16 May 2014

Rome Masters Tennis: Ana Ivanovic beats Maria Sharapova

An inspired Ana Ivanovic ended her seven-game losing streak against Maria Sharapova with a 6-1 6-4 thrashing of the Russian at the Rome Masters.
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Serbia's Ana Ivanovic celebrates after defeating Russian tennis player Maria Sharapova during a Rome Masters Tennis match. (AFP Photo)
Ivanovic came firing out of the blocks, storming through the first set in just 31 minutes before breaking the opening game of the second.

But Sharapova, a two-time winner of this event and champion at the Madrid Open on Sunday, broke straight back and kept it on serve until 4-4 when Ivanovic delivered a huge forehand winner to take the advantage to set up the opportunity to serve out the match.
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Russian tennis player Maria Sharapova eyes the ball as she returns the ball to Serbia's Ana Ivanovic during a Rome Masters Tennis match at the Foro Italico in Rome. (AFP Photo)

Sharapova had only lost four of her previous 50 matches on clay - all of which came to Serena Williams - dating back to the French Open in 2011.

"I don't use Madrid as an excuse," she said. "I had a great two weeks and came here to play a tournament. My energy level maybe wasn't at its highest, but Ana played a really great match, coming up with a lot of winners from all over the court, and just really being the better player."
Ivanovic added: "Anytime you lose you talk of revenge. I was dominating the first part of the match. I made good tactics with my coach: I took time away from her and stepped forward when I needed to. And I am really pleased."
Ana Ivanovic, Foro Italico, Maria Sharapova, Rome, Rome Masters Tennis, Rome Masters Tennis 2014, Sports, Tennis, Tennis Star,
Serbia's Ana Ivanovic returns the ball to Russian tennis player Maria Sharapova during a Rome Masters Tennis match at the Foro Italico in Rome. (AFP Photo)

Ivanovic will face Carla Suarez Navarro in the last eight after Simona Halep pulled out of the tournament.
"I'm very sad I have to withdraw from the tournament, but it was impossible to continue because of a left abdominal injury," Halep said. "I have great memories from Rome last year when I reached the semi-final.
"I will fly home to Bucharest and I will have treatment every day. I hope the treatment, together with a few days of rest, will allow me to start practice again next week and I hope I will be ready to play Roland Garros."

The withdrawal will not prevent Halep moving to a career-high world No.4 when the rankings are recalculated on Monday.
Ana Ivanovic, Foro Italico, Maria Sharapova, Rome, Rome Masters Tennis, Rome Masters Tennis 2014, Sports, Tennis, Tennis Star,
Russian tennis player Maria Sharapova eyes the ball as she returns the ball to Serbia's Ana Ivanovic during a Rome Masters Tennis match at the Foro Italico in Rome. (AFP Photo)

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