Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Birthday Thriller: Ivanovic Wins in Madrid

Ana Ivanovic matured in many ways yesterday in Madrid: the Serb left behind her teen years, turning the big 2-0 while winning her first year-end championship match in dramatic fashion, beating Svetlana Kuznetsova 6-1 4-6 7-5.

The win gave Ivanovic a 1-0 record in the Red Group, where she and Kuznetsova will battle with Maria Sharapova and Daniela Hantuchova for a spot in the semifinals. The French Open finalist ran her record to 3-0 against the Russian this year and 4-1 overall. All three of their meetings this year have gone three sets, with Ivanovic winning two of them in extra innings.

Though Ivanovic has a winning record against the Kuz, it certainly was seen as an upset that the 20-year-old was able to beat the No. 2 seed here. Not only will this now make the Red Group more interesting, but it also puts Sharapova in more of an advantageous place after her opening-day win over Daniela Hantuchova. All together, the four women have played 31 times, so the fierce competition in the Red Group will no doubt surface over the next few days.

(Ivanovic was all smiles on a day when she took out the world No. 2. Photo by fred8912026 via flikr.)

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