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By Gokul Pillai
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Ivanovic has been unable to make it to even the last eight at any of the Grand Slams this year. She suffered with fatigue and was unable to play some tournaments in April. Then the Serbian kicked into form with a semi-final spot at Birmingham and Carlsbad. She lost in round of 16 to Maria Kirilenko at last week’s Pan Pacific Open. She will try to get her game back on track and will try to qualify for the season ending Bali event.
Experienced Russian, Kuzntsova has been striving hard to improve her rankings this year. After her marathon match against Francesca Schiavone at the Australian Open, she reached the final in Dubai and then earned a semi-final spot in Marbella. Later, she went on to nail a quarterfinal spot in Roland Garros and Hertogenbosch. She has been injury laden in the past month and will try to perform at her best standard in this event.
Both the players have met seven times before and Ivanovic leads the head-to-head at 5-2. The last time they met was last year at Fed Cup where Kuznetsova won in straight sets. Ivanovic has a sturdy backhand and an aggressive forehand with which she can pull through long rallies with ease. Kuznetsova has a massive forehand, can scramble across the baseline at high speeds and can work angled volleys in the match. Ivanovic should be able to come through in a three set slugfest.
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