Prior to her first match at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia Ana Ivanovic had lost nine of her last 11 matches, so the victory in the first round of the clay-court tournament in Rome is kind of a relief. Plus, it’s not just any kind of victory. The former world No.1 Ivanovic defeated Elena Vesnina of Russia, who is at No.32 ranked 26 spots higher than the Serb. And that’s not all, Ivanovic won in straight sets 6-1 6-3. And the icing on the cake is that Ivanovic’s serve wasn’t broken at all during the encounter with Vesnina, even better, she didn’t even face break points.
It was the first career meeting between Ivanovic and Vesnina. Vesnina was a semifinalist in Ponte Vedra four weeks ago, and had won five of her last seven matches before losing to Ivanovic.
Ivanovic’s opponent in the second round will be ninth seed Victoria Azarenka of Belorussia. They have played only once so far, last year at the French Open, and Azarenka won in straight sets. (photo: © Neal Trousdale)