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Ivanovic wins Indian Wells title

Ana Ivanovic
Ivanovic beat Kuznetsova for the fifth time in six meetings

Top seed Ana Ivanovic hit a barrage of winners on her way to beating Svetlana Kuznetsova in the final of the Pacific Life Open in Indian Wells.

The 20-year-old Serbian won 6-4 6-3 to claim the sixth title of her career and solidify her place at number two in the world rankings.

Ivanovic edged a tight first set with the only break in game nine.

And after letting a lead slip in the second, Ivanovic won nine straight points on her way to sealing the title.

She finished the match with 30 winners to Kuznetsova's 14, and condemned the Russian to an eighth defeat in her last nine finals.

"This feels amazing," said Ivanovic.

I think I played a bit too much to her forehand today

Svetlana Kuznetsova

"I knew I needed to play aggressively today and just tried to move into the court as much as possible. I think I did that well."

Kuznetsova said: "It's painful any time you lose but I prefer to get to the final and lose.

"I think she played incredibly well in the first set, every important point she hit the ball on the line.

"In the second set, I felt much more pressure because I had to go for it a bit more and she broke me three times. I think I played a bit too much to her forehand."

There may have been just one place separating the players in the world rankings, but world number two Ivanovic went into the match with a 4-1 record against the number three.

But Kuznetsova had produced the performance of the week to upset Maria Sharapova, who was previously unbeaten in 2008.


The first set of Sunday's final was a closely-fought affair, with only two break points, and it was the more aggressive play of Ivanovic that prevailed.

She had hit more than twice as many winners as Kuznetsova by the time her chance came in game nine, setting it up with a sweeping backhand winner.

And Kuznetsova faltered at the key moment with a wild backhand, allowing Ivanovic to serve out the set to love.

Kuznetsova required the trainer at the changeover and Ivanovic came out for the second set in confident mood.

When she broke again early in the second set, victory looked to be within sight, and it came as a considerable surprise - not least to Kuznetsova - when the top seed immediately handed the advantage back with a poor service game.

It proved to be little more than a blip, though, as Ivanovic kept up the pressure with some fierce returning and broke again in game seven.

A third love-service game of the match followed for Ivanovic and she swept to three match points in the next game with her ninth straight point - a blistering backhand winner.

The first match point went begging but Ivanovic converted the second, letting out a shriek of delight on sealing the win.

see also
Indian Wells pictures
23 Mar 08 |  Tennis
Injured Sharapova to miss Miami
22 Mar 08 |  Tennis

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