Miami run ends in defeat to Venus

Miami run ends in defeat to Venus

Ana succumbed to a 6-7(4), 6-2, 6-2 defeat against seven-time Grand Slam champion Venus Williams in the fourth round of the Sony Ericsson Open in Miami. The 24-year-old had plenty of opportunities to keep pace with the American but converted just one of her 12 break points throughout the two hour-and-23 minutes match.

Williams started the contest brightly. She won the first two games to 30 and was immediately up a break. Ana fought back with great tennis, bashing winners from both wings and eventually broke the Williams serve to level at 3-3, after she had let slip six earlier opportunities. Both players served well for the rest of the set and they duly headed into a tiebreak.

Similarly to yesterday’s match against Hantuchova, Ana was immediately in command and she secured a mini-break. At 5-4 Williams hit a cross-court backhand, seemingly for a winner, but Ana challenged the call and it was successful, as the Hawk-Eye system proved that the ball missed the line by a hair's breadth. Consequently, the 15th seed earned two set points and she wrapped it up at the first time of asking.

Williams lowered her unforced errors count in the second set and stepped inside the court more. Ana was broken in the sixth game and, crucially, she could not exploit a 0-40 advantage in the following game. Ana had to recover steadily from this sledgehammer blow and she lost her serve once more while serving to stay in the set.

Set three was an exact copy of the previous one. Again, Ana was broken by the American in the sixth game and she was unable to convert a pair of break back points. Williams was almost flawless and she broke Ana for a second time in the set and rounded victory after midnight.

Despite tonight's disappointment, Ana heads back to Europe having established herself in the WTA Race to the Championships top 10.

Her next event is the Fed Cup semi-final tie in Moscow against Russia.

By Joeri Moerman