Can Ivanovic now advance to her first Grand Slam quarterfinal since 2008?


For the second year in a row at the US Open, Ana Ivanovic defeated Sloane Stephens in the third round. The question now is, can the Serb overcome the obstacle of the Grand Slam fourth round that has troubled her since her 2008 French Open trophy?

Sixty-two spots higher in the WTA rankings than in their last year’s US Open match, the 19-year-old Stephens, the youngest Top 50 member, hit 10 double faults against Ivanovic, but was greatly helped by Ivanovic’s 56 unforced errors. In the deciding set, however, Ivanovic reduced the number of errors, from 21 and 22 in the first to sets, to 13, and her winners-UE differential improved from -8 in the first and second set, to -3 in the third, while Stephens converted just one out of seven break points in that third set and hit six double faults.

Ivanovic’s opponent in the fourth round will be Tsvetana Pironkova, and although they are tied at 1-1 in head-to-head, their last meeting was before the 2008 French Open. Pironkova is best known for her 2010 Wimbledon semifinal, when she became the first Bulgarian, male or female, to play a Grand Slam semifinal.

The Bulgarian, who turned pro in 2002, is a hilarious character. Do you know that only last year she realized that ranking points are awarded at all WTA tournaments and not just Grand Slams? 

I’ve been a pro for a while, but I must have missed that memo. I go to some of those tournaments, of course, but–unless I get the urge to upset one of the big stars–I like to leave early. The practice, the locker room chaos, the crowds–it can be so dreary.

Plus, she actually loves the rain at Wimbledon, because she loves water and her father was a canoe champion and mother a swimming champion:

The problem I have with tennis courts, is that they’re dry. That’s why I like Wimbledon; there’s usually a lot of rain, and I can splash around like I do at home.

So, who’s your pick, Ivanovic or Pironkova? I believe in Ivanovic! 🙂 (photos: © Neal Trousdale)


  1. OMG, Pironkova really didn’t understand the ranking points system until now?! I have no words.

    As for Ana,it was a match full of chokes and I doubted she’d be able to pull it off on several occassions,so this result is a nice surprise. I think she could make it past Pironkova but she just has to reduce the amount of errors. If Stephens had more experience she wouldn’t be able to get away with 56 UEs in my opinion.

  2. I think Ana’s got the game for the quaterfinals, but she’s gonna have to be much more relaxed in her next match, which is obviously an issue for her. In this match, she seemed more nervous than Stephens, and i guess 56 errors came from that. Ana just needs to change something in her head, she always talks how she’s gonna be relaxed and try her best, and then she comes into the most important matches totally scared and messes everything up.

  3. I noticed that Sloane didn’t show up for a doubles match today. Perhaps, she was injured during her match with Ana which could have caused her defeat in the 3rd set. I’m picking Tsvetana. Like my player friend, Sesil Karatantcheva, Bulgarians are very cool and laid back.

  4. There goes another one… Of course, Johnny, how could Ana have ever beaten Sloane if Sloane had not been seriously injured. Not to mention your very own player friend Sesil Karatantcheva, who is as cool and laid back as any and every Bulgarian is. I hope they all, Sloane, Sesil, and the rest of the Bulgarians, finally get thoroughly cured of all the impairing injuries they suffer from, so as to show their true worth to the world.

  5. Oh, thanks Tulp, you are completely right, we are all considering ourselves to be tennis experts here. I will give you one special advice,too. If you can’t deal with people’s opinions going to a tennis forum is not a good idea. Listen to me!

  6. Marine, I can deal with anyone’s opinion, as long it is based on sheer fact, rationality, empathy, and goodwill. And so, I *am* listening to your ‘special advice’, but it’ll take much more ‘speciality’ to make me heed it. Love galore.

  7. Funnily enough, your reactions in this thread don’t sound very rational, empathic and show little goodwill,for all they’re worth to be honest…

  8. OK, if that’s the level of construing “reactions”, I give up, you win – “for all [it’s] worth to be honest”, whatever that means. As you may see, even a comma can count, let alone motives – if you know what I mean.


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