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In a flawless display of power tennis, Ana demolished Samantha Stosur 6-0, 6-3 in the first round of the French Open. It was sweet revenge for Ana, who had lost to the Australian in Melbourne earlier this year.
“I think I played really good today,” said Ana. “I was pleased with the way I moved, the way I was stepping into the court, also the serve was very good. I’m going to try and keep this level and improve with each game.”
Ana lost the opening two points but thereafter she was rampant, dominating her opponent by unleashing a flurry of huge forehands. She raced through the opening set in just 24 minutes as Stosur struggled to get into the points.
“When I played her in Australia I was a little bit impatient and rushing,” said Ana. “Today my tactics were much better and it feels really good to get this victory, especially because I lost to her last time.”
Ana broke in the fourth and sixth games of the second set and though she was broken for the first time as she served for the match at 5-1, she sealed a 63-minute victory that was as good as any first round match she has ever played. “Everything worked well,” said Ana with a smile.
It was an especially impressive performance by Ana considering the difficult windy, temperate climate and the fact that she had not played since injuring her thigh in Berlin three weeks ago.
Ana said: “It was a little bit difficult, but I was trying to watch the ball. I just felt good on the court. Also I had some confidence because I had some really good practice last week.”
Despite the conditions, Ana produced some of her cleanest hitting of the year. She maintained an excellent depth and blazed 35 winners against just 19 unforced errors. She also hit the fastest serve of the tournament so far, a 194kph bullet, as well as four aces.
Stosur was only able to hold serve twice, as Ana piled pressure on the Australian. Rather than going for outright return winners Ana would hit aggressive returns before waiting for her opportunities to finish the points.
“It’s important that I keep this level and try and play at a higher level,” Ana said. “It was good that I didn’t make many unforced errors, that’s something I have been working on.”
Ana will face Frenchwoman Emilie Loit in the second round on Thursday. The other seed in Ana’s sector of the draw, Anastasia Myskina, beat Sania Mirza 6-4, 6-1 earlier in the day.
By Gavin Versi
Click here for an audio interview with Ana.
Click here for game-by-game text commentary of the match.