In preparation for Roland Garros, players have been competing at the preliminary tournaments for the upcoming climax event of the clay court season. Former French Open champion YONEX player Ana Ivanovic (EZONE Ai 98) has sustained her strong performance at the last three tournaments with the title in Monterrey, and this time becoming the semifinalist at the WTA Premier 5 tournament, Internazionali BNL d'Italia in Rome.
No. 11 seed, Ana, faced Maria Sharapova, the two-time winner of this event, in the third round. 26-year-old Ana put pressure on her tough rival with aggressive shots, including 22 winners throughout the match. Ana overcame the No. 8 seeded Sharapova playing in straight sets, 6-1 6-4, by capitalizing on five of eight break chances, and exacted revenge for last month’s Stuttgart final.
Ana’s great form over the past few weeks has earned her a trip to Paris for the second Grand Slam tournament of the year seeded at least 12th.
Japan’s Soeda Captures 14th ATP Challenger Tour Title in Busan
YONEX VCORE player Go Soeda (VCORE Tour G, PTGSPN) of Japan claimed the ATP Challenger Tour title in Busan, defeating No. 8 seed Jimmy Wang of Chinese Taipei with a 6-3, 7-6(5) score line.
In the final, Go was very solid, especially on his service games. He managed to score 80% of the first serve points, overcoming his opponent in 1 hour 34 minutes with two breaks to clinch the crown.
This marks his first Challenger title since he won at the Maui Challenger in 2013, and the 14th in his career. Go’s world ranking has new risen to 103rd, gaining momentum for the qualifying round of Roland Garros.
Busan Open Challenger Tour [Busan, Korea]
Men’s Singles [Final]
Go Soeda (VCORE Tour G, PTGSPN)(JPN) def. Jimmy Wang (TPE) 6-3 7-6(5)
Internazionali BNL d'Italia [Rome, Italy]
Women’s Singles [Semifinals]
Serena Williams (USA) def. Ana Ivanovic (EZONE Ai 98)(SRB) 6-1 3-6 6-1
*Ana's picture was taken at the 2014 Australian Open.