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“Being a professional tennis player is about so much more than hitting balls,” said Luke Jensen, doubles grand slam champion turned ESPN commentator.
Not many children grow up dreaming of taking part in photoshoots or appearing in commercials, rather the idea of winning Wimbledon is what motivates most budding tennis players. However, without sponsors the sport as we know it doesn’t exist. “If you don’t have sponsors, you’re not here today,” said Jensen at last year’s US Open.
Ana has risen one place to No.19 in the latest Sony Ericsson WTA Tour Singles Rankings. Following her semi-final appearance in the doubles competition in Tokyo, Ana’s doubles ranking soars 51 places to No.95.
In the Porsche Race, the standings that determine the eight qualifiers for the WTA Championships in Madrid in November, Ana climbs nine places to No.21.
Ana and Maria Kirilenko lost in the semi-finals of the doubles competition. They went down 6-4, 6-1 to second seeds Lisa Raymond and Samantha Stosur.
It was always going to be a tough challenge for the teenagers, who have a combined doubles ranking of 161; Raymond and Stosur are world No.2 and No.3 respectively.
The match signalled Ana's first appearance in a doubles semi-final on the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour.
Ana put the disappontment of a Second Round exit behind her to reach the Semi-Finals of the doubles event. Alongside Maria Kirilenko, who earlier had beaten her 6-4, 6-4, Ana overcame Angelique Widjaja and Jie Zheng 6-0, 2-6, 6-1.
The teenagers will face second seeds and reigning US Open champions Samantha Stosur and Lisa Raymond on Saturday.
Maria Kirilenko was made to fight for a place in the quarter-finals of the Pan Pacific Open despite a straight-sets victory over Ana Ivanovic. It was a very close match in which Ana managed to convert only one of 11 break points.
Ana will face Russian Maria Kirilenko in the second round of the Toray Pan Pacific Open after brushing aside home favourite Ai Sugiyama 6-3, 6-0 yesterday.
It will be the third time that Ana has faced Kirilenko. Ana holds a 2-0 advantage in career meetings: she beat the 19-year-old 6-1, 6-1 in the second round of last year's Australian Open and triumphed 7-5, 6-1 in qualifying for the Dubai Duty Free Women’s Open a month later.
Ana won her first round match at the Toray Pan Pacific Open against the local favourite Ai Sugiyama 6-3 6-0. Ana had an excellent game and her serve worked well as well, which is very important on this surface. This was one of the matches where one can enjoy watching her! She was very nervous before the match, perhaps a bit more then usual because of the early loss in Melbourne.
Ana’s next opponent is her doubles partner Maria Kirilenko.
Ana has moved up two places to No.20 in the latest Sony Ericsson WTA Rankings. In the Porsche Race, the list used to determine qualifiers for the season-ending WTA Championships, Ana moves to no.30.
Ana currently has 888.5 points, none of which were accrued during the corresponding week in 2005. This week she is appearing in the Toray Pan Pacific Open, a Tier I event.
The breakdown of points on offer in Tokyo is as follows: First Round, 1; Second Round, 42; Quarter-Final, 75; Semi-Final, 135; Final, 210; Winner, 300.
Ana will face local favourite Ai Sugiyama in the first round of the Toray Pan Pacific Open, which begins in Tokyo tomorrow. Ana is seeded no.8 for the first Tier I event of the season.
It will be the first time that Ana has faced the Japanese no.1, who is ranked 27 in the world. If she advances to the second round Ana will play either Russian Maria Kirilenko or a qualifier.
We can today announce Ana’s provisional schedule up to Wimbledon. We must stress that this schedule is provisional and could change at any time – be sure to check this website regularly for the very latest news on Ana.
Toray Pan Pacific Open
January 30-February 5
Proximus Diamond Games
Pacific Life Open
March 22-April 2
Fed Cup Euro/African Zone Group I
Week commencing April 17