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Ana will take on world No.33 Elina Svitolina in the second round of the French Open on Thursday. The 11th seed boasts a 3-0 head-to-head record gainst the Ukrainian, although the pair have never before met on clay.
Ana won both of the first two encounters in convincing fashion, but had to dig deep to see off the Ukrainian in their last meeting in Indian Wells in March. The 26-year-old fought back from a set and break down to eventually wrap up a 4-6, 7-5, 7-6(1) victory in two hours and 29 minutes.
Svitolina reached a career-high of 33 in the rankings on Monday and entered the tournament after advancing to the semi-finals in Nurnberg last week. The 19-year-old achieved her best result at a Grand Slam event in this year’s Australian Open, where she ultimately fell to Sloane Stephens in the third round.
After her 6-1, 6-3 first round win over Caroline Garcia, Ana took some time to reflect on her clay court season so far: “The last few weeks I really played some good tennis,” said Ana. “I beat a lot of top players, and had some tough rounds, too.”
“That's what you need, all kind of variation to get before you get to the Grand Slam. It might be the same this week. You never know what you're going to get.”
“It's important to work through these tough matches and good matches and try to, you know, try to build on that.”
“Today it probably was a bit too much for me,” Caroline Garcia reacted shortly after. “Over the last few months, many things happened for me, and Ivanovic played a very good match today.
“She didn't give me any opportunity, so I'm fine. When you play Ivanovic, things go very fast and you need to be very fast on your legs.”
By Joeri Moerman