Loit test next for Ana

Loit test next for Ana

Despite producing such a polished display during her 6-0, 6-3 mauling of Samantha Stosur yesterday, Ana is focussed on raising her level in the next round. She plays Frenchwoman Emilie Loit tomorrow.

“I’m going to try and improve with each game,” said Ana. “I was pleased with how I played against Stosur, but it’s important that I try to raise my level with each match.”

Ana’s unforced error count was just 19 against the Australian and she seldom made a mistake with her return of serve; rather than going for outright winners Ana seemed to concentrate on making a deep return and then going for a winner when the chance arose, though she did hit several return winners too.

She said: “I tried to play a little bit more securely, to make a little bit less unforced errors and be a little bit more patiently from the baseline, to get some rhythm. Then when I had an easier ball I would go for it. I think it was a good tactic.”

It was a tactic she discussed before the match with temporary coach Sven Groeneveld. “Sven helped me out a lot,” said Ana. “I also learned a lot from the last match against her (at the Australian Open in January).”

Ana will be particularly pleased with the win, not only because it was a revenge victory, but because she is always so eager to learn from past defeats.

Another positive to come from the match was that Ana produced her fastest serve of the year, and the quickest of the tournament so far – a 194kph delivery, which matches her best from here last year. “That’s not bad!” said Ana with a broad smile when told about the feat.

Statistics aside, it is encouraging because it denotes that Ana is able to serve at 100 per cent again, after holding back a bit at the start of the year because of a slight shoulder concern. “That is completely solved now,” said Ana.

“Lately I’m serving much better and more consistently. It helps the other parts of your game, when you feel secure with your serve.”

Ana has never before played Loit, who beat world No.169 Clarisa Fernandez 1-6, 6-2, 6-3 in the first round. Ana, who has a 5-5 win-loss record against left-handers like Loit (four of those defeats were against Patty Schnyder last year), went to watch the 26-year-old in action yesterday.

Ana said: “It’s most important to play my game and be aggressive, so I don’t give them a chance to play their game. And also to enjoy it.

“I always enjoy coming back here. I always said that hard courts are my favourite surface but I love playing on clay here in Paris. I’m really enjoying my time here. I’m just very happy that I had the chance to come here after my injury and I’m trying to enjoy every bit of it. That helps me play even better.”

By Gavin Versi

You can follow live game-by-game text commentary of the match, which is likely to be played on a show court, on this website tomorrow. A full report and audio interview will follow shortly after the match is completed.