Srebotnik slayed

Srebotnik slayed

Ana is into her first singles semi-final of the year at the Tier I Rogers Cup after overwhelming world No.24 Katarina Srebotnik 6-4, 6-4. It was a remarkable display of power hitting by the 13th seed.

Ana, wearing her new black adidas two-piece outfit, made a shaky start and was broken in her first service game. She double faulted to hand the Slovenian a 2-0 lead.

But the 18-year-old appeared to settle in the next game. She hit two thumping forehand down-the-line winners off Srebotnik serves and converted her first break point.

She took her second break point opportunity in the fifth game thanks to a blistering winner and held to lead 4-2. After further holds of serve Ana clinched the opening set with an ace.

Ana earned herself a break point in first game of the second set. In a hugely entertaining point, she demonstrated her improving athleticism by chasing down a drop shot then retrieving a lob that had gone over her head on the backhand side. She smiled wryly after missing an attempted forehand winner and Srebotnik eventually held.

Ana broke to lead 3-2 but faced a break point in the sixth game. She hit what she thought was a clean forehand winner only for the umpire to overrule it. Ana invoked Hawk-Eye, the automatic line calling system and made a successful challenge, smiling as she saw the result on the big screen.

However, the umpire appeared to make another mistake by not awarding Ana the point. Instead, it was replayed and Ana won it before saving another break point with her 16th forehand winner of the match. Srebotnik did manage to break but Ana then broke again to love to lead 4-3.

Another pair of breaks were exchanged, leaving Ana to serve for the match at 5-4. She clinched victory when Srebotnik touched the net while running down a dropshot, though Ana smacked a forehand winner just for good measure.

The 18-year-old jumped up and down with delight as she reached her second ever Tier I semi-final.

Ana, who will face ninth seed Dinara Safina in the last four tomorrow, hit 41 winners at an average of 2.05 per game during the match, which lasted an hour and 21 minutes.

By Gavin Versi