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Serbian Ana Ivanovic has had a poor first quarter of the year. She struggled in January and only managed a fourth round finish at the year's only Grand Slam till now. Before it, Ana's performance was even worse as she was knocked out in second round at Brisbane and then in the first round at Sydney. In February, a much improved Ivanovic reached the quarterfinal of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships where she lost to Caroline Wozniacki. She continued to improve and reached the semifinals at Indian Wells. Against Maria Sharapova in the semis she pulled out with a hip injury. In what is her first event on clay this year, Ivanovic made a positive start and beat Nadia Petrova 7-5,6-1 to cap a confident display. Her win/loss record this year stands at 15/9.
The World No.1 had started the year brilliantly when she won the Sydney International beating French open champion Li Na in the final. She followed that win with her first Grand Slam victory at the Australian Open. By doing that, she became the first-ever player to jump from World No.3 to World No.1 directly. She continued to play like a champion in the following months as she won the WTA title at Doha and then at Indian Wells too. She did however, lose in the quarterfinal of the Miami Sony Ericsson Open to Marion Bartoli. She then lost to arch-rival Maria Sharapova in the final of the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix in Stuttgart. Even in the first round here in Madrid, she put in a sluggish display before getting past Andrea Hlavackova. She would be looking to move up a gear as she moves into the business end of the tournament. Her win/loss record now stands at 30/2.
The two have not played each other in around two years now, before that they played each other twice and Ivanovic leads their head-to-head 2-1.
TennisEarth predicts this match to go to Azarenka in two sets.
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