French Open

Ivanovic sails into French Open semis

2015-06-02 15:39
Ana Ivanovic celebrates her victory. (Patrick Kovarik, AFP)

Paris - Ana Ivanovic reached her first Grand Slam semi-final in seven years on Tuesday when she defeated Ukraine's Elina Svitolina 6-3, 6-2 at the French Open.

The seventh-seeded Serb, who last made the semi-finals of a major on her way to her only Grand Slam title in Paris in 2008, will face either Czech 13th seed Lucie Safarova or Garbine Muguruza, the 21st seed from Spain, for a place in Saturday's final.

It will be Ivanovic's fifth last-four appearance at a major following similar runs to the 2007 and 2008 semi-finals at Roland Garros, Wimbledon in 2007 and the Australian Open in 2008.

"I don't know whether to feel happy or old," said the 27-year-old, who has now won all her seven meetings against Svitolina, seven years her junior.

"It was very tough to play today. The wind was really strong and the ball was bouncing all over the place so I just needed to stay calm and use my feet more."

Ivanovic and Svitolina, who was bidding to become the first Ukrainian woman to reach the semi-finals of a Grand Slam, exchanged breaks in the second and third games of the opening set.

But the vastly more experienced Serb, watched from the stands by German World Cup-winning boyfriend Bastian Schweinsteiger, broke again for 3-1 to lay the foundation for clinching the first set.

Breaks in the first and seventh games of the second helped Ivanovic into a comfortable 5-2 lead and despite double-faulting on her second match point, she sealed victory on her third with a sweeping forehand winner.

Ivanovic was rewarded for her positive approach on Court Philippe Chatrier, her 37 winners to just eight for Svitolina telling its own tale.

Out on Court Suzanne Lenglen, Czech left-hander Safarova was looking to follow-up her fourth-round defeat of world number two Maria Sharapova by reaching her first semi-final in Paris.

Muguruza, who beat Serena Williams last year on her way to the quarter-finals, was looking to become the first Spanish woman into a Grand Slam semi-final since Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario and Conchita Martinez at the 2000 French Open.

The other quarter-finals take place on Wednesday when two-time champion Williams tackles Italy's Sara Errani, the 2012 runner-up, and Swiss 23rd seed Timea Bacsinszky faces unseeded Belgian Alison Van Uytvanck.

Read more on:    french open  |  ana ivanovic  |  tennis

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