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Ana’s French Open conqueror, Anastasia Myskina, likened her performance against Ana in the third round yesterday to the form that saw her win Roland Garros in 2004.
“It was pretty good match, the best one so far in the clay season for me,” said the Russian, who was hugged by former Russian president Boris Yeltsin after the match. “I’m really, really happy with my game.”
Asked whether she was playing as well as when she won here two years ago, Myskina said: “Yes. I played really solid the whole match – not just one set, not three games. It was two-set solid match. It was really close, though. It was really good.”
Ana fully accepted that she ran into an opponent who was on top of her game. “She just played great tennis,” said the 18-year-old. “Everything I tried to do she was just there, putting the ball back and deep.”
Myskina, who has been ranked as high as No.2 in the world, got to many balls that lesser players would not have reached, much to Ana’s dismay. The Serbian said: “It is very frustrating. But you can’t do anything about it so you must fight. I tried to be calm and come back but she was there!”
Ana will now analyse the match and attempt to learn from it, just as she did her last Grand Slam defeat, against Samantha Stosur. Ana lost to the Australian in straight sets in Melbourne at the beginning of the year, but thrashed her 6-0, 6-3 in the first round here, thanks in part to what she had learned during that defeat.
Ana said: “I’m going to sit down and talk to Sven [Groeneveld, Ana's temporary coach] about the match and see where I can improve on. It is an experience and it is very important to learn from it.”
Ana leaves Roland Garros with the minor consolation that she produced the fastest serve of the tournament so far, a 194kph delivery during her first round match.
By Gavin Versi
Tomorrow: We take a brief look back at Ana’s clay court season