LONDON // The Former French Open champion Ana Ivanovic will draw on lessons from her last Wimbledon clash with Venus Williams when she plays the five-time champion tomorrow for a place in the quarter-finals. The Serb, 21, who marched past Australia's Samantha Stosur 7-5 6-2 yesterday to secure a meeting with Williams, said she had learnt a lot from playing the world No 3 in the semi-finals two years ago.
"I'm very excited. I can take a lot from that match," she said referring to her 6-2 6-4 defeat by Williams in 2007. "She likes to go for her first shot. She likes to dominate the points. I just think I have to try to make a lot of returns." "Obviously, it's going to be important for me to serve well in that match because she has great first serves," added the 13th seed. "So if I can hold on to my serve and then put pressure on her, that would be a key."
But Ivanovic, who has slipped from the world No 1 spot she held last year, is not the only one who will be drawing on her memories of the 2007 match in preparation for tomorrow. Williams, who recorded her 17th successive win at the grasscourt major yesterday with a 6-0 6-4 triumph over Spain's Carla Suarez Navarro, also remembers her fourth round opponent's strengths. "We had a lot of great exchanges," the American said of that semi-final two years ago. "I just remember playing aggressively."
"She is talented," added Williams. "This is a good surface for her, she does everything well." Venus and sister Serena, who faces unseeded Daniela Hantuchova tomorrow, are firmly on course for a repeat of their 2009 clash in the final and are characteristically stepping up a gear with each round. But Serena, who won the last of her two Wimbledon crowns six years ago, is not expecting her bid to reach the quarter-finals to be an easy ride.
"She is such a smooth player and she takes her time on the court," said Serena. "I have to make sure I don't rush myself because she is playing well ... so I'm going to have to really bring a tough game." *Reuters