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04 November 2012

Inspired Ivanovic leads Serbian revival


MATCH REPORT

Photo: Paul Zimmer/Srdjan StevanovicAna Ivanovic (SRB) with the Serbian team

GAME, SET, MATCH SERBIA

Ivanovic d. Kvitova 63 75
Ivanovic with three match points. She errs on the first and looks to have won it at the second time of asking only for Hawkeye to show it was out by a milimetre. She fires a forehand winner on the third match point and collapses to her knees as the Serbian bench goes wild. What a match!

Kvitova 36 5-6 Ivanovic*
An easy hold for Ivanovic and Kvitova will have to serve to stay in the match after the change of ends.

Kvitova* 36 5-5 Ivanovic
Kvitova ignites the crowd (and it seems the brass band too) with some fantastic tennis and notably some monster serves to hold and put the pressure back on Ivanovic.

Kvitova 36 4-5 Ivanovic*
A forehand winner from Kvitova sees her win the first two points of the game before Ivanovic hits long to face three break points - the first break points she has faced all match. Kvitova misses a forehand on the first and then is forced into an error on the second to hand her opponent a lifeline in this match.

Kvitova* 36 3-5 Ivanovic
Kvitova slaps a backhand winner cross court to move to 30-30 before forcing the error to get game point. Ivanovic lofts one that looks a bit iffy before finally firing long and now she will serve for the match.

Kvitova 36 2-5 Ivanovic*
And now it's the turn of Ivanovic to have an easy hold as new balls are brought onto the court for the next game.

Kvitova* 36 2-4 Ivanovic
Finally Kvitova finds her way into a game and she will be grateful for a hold to love. The crowd certainly are.

Kvitova 36 1-4 Ivanovic*
Kvitova tries a drop shot at 15-15 and it falls limply into the net. Ivanovic moves to 40-15 with a big first serve that I don't think the Czech got a racket on. An Ivanovic forehand clips the top of the net to put the score at 40-30 and she fires wide after a long exchange to go to deuce. Ivanovic holds and leaps into the air as Kvitova fails to get the necessary height on a forehand that flies into the net.

Kvitova* 36 1-3 Ivanovic
Three break points for Ivanovic as she races to 0-40. Kvitova nets a first serve before winning a cagey exchange to move to 15-40. A big first serve and Kvitova saves the second but fails at the third time of asking. Thinking out loud if Ivanovic wins this match and Jankovic also manages to overcome Safarova who does Dejan Vranes play in the doubles? Ivanovic is on fire...

Kvitova 36 1-2 Ivanovic*
There is an extreme contrast between Ivanovic's service games and those of Kvitova. The Czech will be expending so much more energy than her opponent as Ivanovic holds to love.

Kvitova* 36 1-1 Ivanovic
The consensus of the Twitterati is that Ivanovic is playing one of the best matches they have seen against a quality opponent in the last four years. She fights her way to 30-40 before hitting a backhand into the net to go to deuce (not again surely?) A point is shared between both players before Alison Laing issues a time violation warning to Kvitova who promptly sppons her forehand almost into the oppostion bench. Ivanovic fails to convert the break point and Kvitova puts herself in a good position with a cross court winner before Ivanovic forces the error and the Czech hits long. Deja vu - another Kvitova service game epic! Kvitova hits wide again before Ivanovic fires long on her second break point. This time Kvitova gets the advantage as Ivanovic bizarrely chooses to hit a drive volley and it clips the top of the net and goes out. The Czech holds but it's far from a walk in the park.

Kvitova 36 0-1 Ivanovic*
Jelena Jankovic is nowhere to be seen on the Serbian bench. She is presumably off warming up in advance of her potential next match against Lucie Safarova - how difficult a position to be in. Ivanovic holds with ease and if she can keep the momentum going this match could be over pretty quickly.

FIRST SET SERBIA 63

Kvitova* 36 0-0 Ivanovic
The best players in the world are capable of producing their best tennis on the biggest stage and it's fair to say that Ivanovic is doing just that. She races to 0-30 with a couple of great backhands before a mistake moves the score to 15-30. Another forehand winner, another fist pump (a swirly one this time) and the Serbian has two set points at 15-40. She pushes her forehand wide (just) on the first set point and just when it looks like she has won the set with a great reaction shot to a drop shot umpire Alison Laing rules that the Serbian hit the net. Ivanovic and captain Dejan Vranes argue their case and when Ivanovic wins the next point she gives Laing a steely look. Kvitova saves a thrd set point with a backhand winner and the atmosphere is electric. Kvitova nets (again) to hand Ivanovic a fourth set point but she just can't convert it as she hits a backhand long. What a game this is proving to be. Another fabulous rally and more fist pumping delight from Ivanovic but can she convert her fifth set point? No she can't as Kvitova come to the net and puts away a backhand to force another deuce. A sixth set point for Ivanovic with another forehand winner and Kvitova manages to find a big first serve to save it. Another deuce, another forehand winner from Ivanovic to give her a seventh set point. At last the Serbian converts and Kvitova goes for a toilet break with a very disappointed look on her face.

Kvitova 3-5 Ivanovic*
Ivanovic takes the new balls and moves to a 30-15 lead after another punishing rally. But Kvitova come roaring back to 30-30 with a beautiful shot at the net. Ivanovic goes to 40-30 with a lovely winner that Kvitova incorrectly refers to Hawkeye. Suddenly the Serbian fans are in full voice but they are quietened by an unforced error from their star to go to a deuce game. A big first serve and a put-away forehand gives the Serbian game point but Kvitova slaps a forehand past her to move back to deuce. A great rally goes the way of the Serbian and the Czech slaps her racket to the floor in disgust before netting to give Ivanovic the game.

Kvitova* 3-4 Ivanovic
That will do wonders for Kvitova as she comes through a tough test to hold serve, but it's still the Serbian who has the momentum in this match.

Kvitova 2-4 Ivanovic*
A double fist pump from Ivanovic as she looks to her bench after a sensational backhand passing shot down the line to move to 40-15. She then consolidates the break with a big first serve.

Kvitova* 2-3 Ivanovic
Kvitova, whose serve was so strong yesterday, hits another double fault to open game five of the first set. A net cord sends the Czech's backhand wide of the court to put the score at 15-30 before Ivanovic secures two break points at 15-40 with a vicious forehand low to Kvitova who is at the net and can't do anything with it. The Czech saves the first one with a big serve that Ivanovic fails to return and then hits long to hand her opponent the first break of the match. Comeback o'clock?

Kvitova 2-2 Ivanovic*
Ivanovic moves to 30-0 but a double fault sees her hand a frrebie to Kvitova who hits a looping backhand from her opponent into the net and then sees the ball sail past her on her forehand wing. Game Serbia.

Kvitova* 2-1 Ivanovic
A new day and a new Ana Ivanovic. The Serbian is making Kvitova work hard for every point and both players are striking the ball beautifully. Kvitova fires an ace out wide to move to 40-30 and after another long rally Ivanovic nets her backhand much to her frustration.

Kvitova 1-1 Ivanovic*
Ivanovic exchanges gruelling forehands with Kvitova but comes out on top to move 30-0 up again before netting on her preferred forehand side. A deft drop shot gives her a 40-15 advantage and then Kvitova fires long to even the scores.

Kvitova* 1-0 Ivanovic
And there are those nerves. Kvitova double faults on the first point of the match before falling to 0-30 with a shot into the net. She produces a stunning forehand passing shot down the line to get back to 15-30 and then finds the baseline to force an error from the Serbian to move to 30-30. A pair of blistering forehands later and Kvitova has game point at 40-30 which she converts with a booming ace. Ouch. Good start so far.

*denotes server


11:08 Both players will be feeling immense pressure going into this one. For Ivanovic it's a must-win and for Kvitova there is a huge amount of expectation from a passionate home crowd. Kvitova won the toss and chose to serve.

11:05 Ana Ivanovic actually leads Petra Kvitova 3-1 in their previous head-to-heads but the Czech No. 1 won their most recent encounter at the Australian Open at the start of this year. It would be fair to say that Ivanovic had been playing much better in the latter stages of 2012, though, reaching the quarterfinals at the US Open before losing to Serena Williams.

11:00 The teams enter onto the court and unsurprisingly the place erupts at the mention of the Czech team. This is going to be a vocal home crowd for sure.


Welcome back to the Fed Cup by BNP Paribas Final. The first match on court today is the battle of the No. 1s between Petra Kvitova and Ana Ivanovic.

Czech Republic need just one more point to win a second successive Fed Cup title, whereas Serbia need a flawless performance all round if they are to produce an unlikely comeback.

Kvitova was too strong for Jelena Jankovic yesterday and Ivanovic made too many unforced errors as she fell in straight sets to Lucie Safarova.

Should Kvitova win then it will go straight to the doubles rubber (no fourth singles match will be played).

Don't forget to refresh your browser to keep up-to-date with all the goings on.

Petra Kvitova (CZE) - 04/11/2012

Ana Ivanovic (SRB) - 04/11/2012

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    • Ana Ivanovic (SRB) with the Serbian team Ana Ivanovic (SRB)
    • Ana Ivanovic (SRB)Petra Kvitova (CZE)
    • Petra Kvitova (CZE) and captain Petr PalaAna Ivanovic (SRB)
    • Ana Ivanovic (SRB)Ana Ivanovic (SRB)
    • Serbian fansCzech team cheer on Petra Kvitova (CZE)
    • Ana Ivanovic's parentsPetra Kvitova (CZE) and captain Petr Pala
    • Petra Kvitova (CZE)Czech team
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    3 : 1
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    O2 Arena, Prague, Czech Republic

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