Top-seeded Ana Ivanovic advanced to the semifinals of the Monterrey Open on March 6 in Mexico. Ivanovic, who is the tournament’s defending champion, will face third-seeded Caroline Garcia of France in one semifinal match on Saturday night at 7 p.m. (ET).
Ivanovic had little trouble with France’s Kristina Mladenovic in the quarterfinals, winning the match in an hour (6-3, 6-2). The No. 6 ranked player in the world converted all four break points while Mladenovic struggled with her serve, double-faulting six times. Mladenovic, who is ranked No. 64 ranked by the WTA, only had a successful serve rate of 40 percent.
“I’m very happy with my performance today – she’s a very good player and it was a tough match for me,” Ivanovic said. “But from the first moment on I was very focused. I was very happy about that.”
Ivanovic has played just six sets in reaching the semifinals this week. The 27-year old defeated unranked Nicole Vaidisova of the Czech Republic 6-1, 7-6 (7-4) in the first round and France’s Pauline Parmentier, the No. 96 ranked player in the world, 6-3, 6-2 in the second round before dispatching Mladenovic.
The 27-year-old is playing in her second tournament semifinal this year and possesses a 7-3 record heading into her match with Garcia. She reached the semifinals of the WTA Brisbane International, defeating Varvara Lepchenko before losing to No. 1 ranked Maria Sharapova in the finals.
Ivanovic, who has a 444-193 career record and 15 singles titles, will have a tough match tonight against Garcia, a rising WTA star. Garcia, 21, has played five sets this week.
She defeated No. 8 seed Magdelena Rybarika of Slovakia in a walkover as Rybarika retired after losing the first set 7-5. Garcia defeated Karin Knapp (Italy), the No. 55 ranked player, 7-5, 7-6 (7-5) in the first round and unranked Bethany Mattek-Sands (USA) 7-6 (7-2), 6-0 in the second round.
Garcia, who is ranked No. 29 in the world, has been playing really good tennis lately. She has won seven of her last eight matches, losing only to Timea Bacsinsky in the finals of the tournament in Acapulco (February 23-28), and is 11-5 this year. Garcia has a 149-137 professional record with one tournament title.
This will be the second meeting between Ivanovic and Garcia. Ivanovic took the first match 6-1, 6-3 at the French Open in the round of 128.
According to Ros Satar of LiveTennis.com, what makes the Ivanovic-Garcia match interesting is “that Ivanovic hits hard and has really worked on taking up a much more aggressive stance,” and “Garcia is a smart cookie and plays with a lot of spin, and is certainly not averse to giving vent to her feelings.”
Ivanovic won the 2014 Monterrey Open, defeating Jovanna Jaksic in the finals.
Ivanovic made news earlier this week in Monterrey as she dressed up as Catwoman at the player’s party.
[Photo by Francois Mel/Getty Images]