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WTA Rome 2013: Ana Ivanovic vs. Urszula Radwanska 1st Round Preview

By Pawan Atri    + Follow

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Keywords: International BNL d'Italia | Ana-Ivanovic | Urszula-Radwanska
WTA Rome 2013: Ana Ivanovic vs. Urszula Radwanska 1st Round Preview
A resurgent Ana Ivanovic will take on the other Radwanska - Urszula in the opening round of the Italian Open here at the Foro Italico in Rome on Tuesday. The Serb is seeing a revival of sorts in her fortunes as with a new vigor, a much more toughened mind and with some necessary modifications in her game she has been able to take on the very best in the game. Despite, all these changes she hasn't got the better of the women who matter the most - the ones who are on the top of the mountain, but she has been quite close a couple of times.

2008 French Open victor Ana Ivanovic has not made secrets of her desire to make a return to the top-10 in the WTA rankings and the way she has been playing ever since she came out triumphant in both her rubbers in the Fed Cup tie versus the Germans; it shows that she is on the right track. In her first tournament after the play-offs in which she beat world no.6 Angelique Kerber and the talented Mona Barthel, the former world no.1 made it to the quarterfinals of the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix in Stuttgart where she was knocked by eventual champion Maria Sharapova in a thrilling three setter.

She built on that impressive act by reaching the business end of the event, i.e., the semifinals of the Madrid Open and this time too it was the world no.2 who ousted her in straight sets. However the progress that she made to the last-4 stage of the tourney in the Spanish capital perked up her ranking to no.13 in the world taking her within sights of her goal. The Basel resident knows the importance of doing well at the Internazionali BNL d'Italia as a few big scalps would see her back among the game’s elite.

Her drive in Italy opens up versus Agnieszka Radwanska’s younger sister Urszula Radwanska as the two will do battle for a place in the round of 32 of the competition. Albeit, Ula as she is fondly called has been recognized as being the Wimbledon runner-up’s sibling only, she has made steady progress on the tour and is now ranked as no.35 in the standings. She has accomplished a more than decent 13-11 win/loss record for 2013 and her best performance in a tournament has been a fourth round showing at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells.

The two girls have met twice before on tour and the head-to-head between the pair is tied at 1 all. While Urszula overwhelmed Ivanovic in Tokyo in 2012, the darling of the cameras got the Pole’s number in March this year when they squared-off in the second round of the Sony Open. It was an absolute annihilation of the 22 year old by the former Queen of Paris as she came out of the Crandon Park Tennis Center after picking up a resounding 6-2, 6-1 victory.

It is definitely the match Ivanovic’s to lose as she has the experience of winning the biggest prize that is on offer on the red dirt. In addition, she is getting where she has always wanted to and with her world class forehand firing in all the cylinders, it would be really tough for Urszula to take her out. The only hope that she could have is that if Ana doesn’t begin the match in a consistent conduct because on some days she can be a slow-starter, then the outcome of the duel will only be decided in a third set.

Pick: Ivanovic in two.

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