Ana Ivanovic was ahead in both sets of her third-round encounter with Maria Sharapova at the Internazionali BNL d'Italia, but she displayed her brilliant ability to let a match slip away and you know how well Sharapova can smell prey.
Sharapova made a terrible start to the match, making a total of four double faults in her first two service games to assist Ivanovic in taking a 3-0 lead which comprised of two breaks. Ivanovic had a game point in the following game, but Sharapova started winning. Still, Ivanovic earned a set point at 5-3 and five set points at 5-4, aaaand Sharapova saved them all to level at 5-5! In the tiebreak it was again Ivanovic who first established a lead, but again Sharapova clawed back from 4-4 in the tiebreak to win the set with a shot right on the line.
Even though Ivanovic started the second set by dropping serve, she again built a lead, 3-1. However, the history repeated, the lead was not enough, as Sharapova took charge and won all the remaining games. Final score: 7-6(4) 6-3.
In the quarterfinals, the second-seeded Sharapova will face wildcard Venus Williams, who overcame Samantha Stosur 6-4 6-3. Other quarterfinal pairs are: Dominika Cibulkova vs. Li Na, Serena Williams vs. Flavia Pennetta, and Angelique Kerber vs. Petra Kvitova. (photo: Ralf Reinecke)