PARIS (AP) Ana Ivanovic advanced to the semifinals of a major tournament for the first time since winning her only Grand Slam title at the French Open seven years ago with a 6-3, 6-2 win over Elina Svitolina on Tuesday.
The seventh-seeded Ivanovic played aggressively throughout and compensated for her many mistakes with 37 winners to extend her unbeaten record against her 20-year-old opponent to seven.
After sealing her win with a forehand passing shot – her 28th forehand winner of the match – the 2008 champion at Roland Garros said: ”I don’t know if I should feel very old or very happy.”
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With windy conditions on Court Philippe Chatrier, Ivanovic started with a double-fault but once she found her range she was in complete control. The Serb was also the best player on important points, saving three of four break points.
The 27-year-old Ivanovic will next face 13th-seeded Lucie Safarova, who defeated Garbine Muguruza 7-6 (3), 6-3 to advance to her second Grand Slam semifinal. Safarova, who upset defending champion Maria Sharapova in the previous round, also made it to the semifinals at Wimbledon last year.
Safarova was made to work hard by Muguruza in a tight first set then broke the Spaniard in the second game of the second set. She closed out the match with a clean forehand winner.
After trading breaks early on, Ivanovic raced through the opener, securing another break in the fourth game, and sealed the set by holding at love.
She kept hammering Svitolina with her big forehands to break at the start of the second set and quashed her opponent’s comeback attempt in the second game when she saved a break point at 30-40 following a 17-shot rally.
With sudden gusts of wind blowing the red clay into the player’s eyes, Ivanovic ended the match with 30 unforced errors but her all-risk approach worked. The former top-ranked player broke again for a 5-2 lead and served out the match on her third occasion.
”The ball was going all over the place,” Ivanovic said. ”I’m really happy that I stayed calm despite the mishits.”
In the men’s side of the draw, second-seeded Roger Federer was to play Stan Wawrinka in an all-Swiss quarterfinal and local favorite Jo-Wilfried Tsonga was up against Kei Nishikori.