Ivanovic mastering Birmingham grass for a place in the semifinals


Ana Ivanovic

Ana Ivanovic is top seed at this week’s $710,000 Premier-level AEGON Classic and in the three matches that followed her first-round bye, the Serb never lost more than five games, the latest such feat coming in today’s quarterfinal against sixth-seeded Klara Koukalova.

After dominating from the onset, Ivanovic won the close second set by taking a crucial break in the ninth game to get herself one win away from her first final on grass, 6-1 6-4. Ninth-seeded Zhang Shuai will be Ivanovic’s opponent in the semis, as the Chinese stunned third seed Sloane Stephens 6-3 6-1. The other semifinal will feature Barabora Zahlavova Strycova, who upset fourth seed Kirsten Flipkens 6-4 6-2, and seed No.16 Casey Dellacqua, who stopped Kimiko Date Krumm 6-1 6-0.

Ivanovic is now a WTA leader in match wins this season with 35. Her fellow Birmingham semifinalists are all playing at that stage of a Premier-level event for the first time. (photo: Jimmie48)

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