x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Ivanovic returns to basics

High on the list of candidates to fail to justify their seeding at Wimbledon is Ana Ivanovic, last year's French Open champion who endured a tale of woe since that Roland Garros red letter day.

LONDON // High on the list of candidates to fail to justify their seeding at Wimbledon is Ana Ivanovic, last year's French Open champion who endured a tale of woe since that Roland Garros red letter day. The Serbian, in steady decline from the world No 1 ranking after a series of injuries affected her form and confidence, lives to fight another day, however, after coming strongly through a tough encounter against the 39th-ranked Italian Sara Errani.

Shunted out to Court 18 because of her fading reputation, Ivanovic grew in stature after taking a tight opening set in which she trailed 3-5 and in the end secured an emphatic 7-5, 6-1 passage into a third- round meeting with Samantha Stosur, the Australian who was surprise French Open semi- finalist earlier this month. Ivanovic, who had escaped from match-point down in her opening round against the Czech Lucy Hredecka, said: "I've gone back to basics in my last two matches and it makes me feel much more comfortable out there.

"Obviously it is going to take time to rebuild my confidence but I feel that this week I have taken some big steps in that direction. I just feel like I need to allow myself some time and be patient and work hard." Dinara Safina, whose confidence took a severe battering during a woeful French Open defeat by Svetlana Kuznetsova three weeks ago, was given a searching Court Two examination by Paraguay's Rossana De Los Rios but came through safely 6-3, 7-5.

Kuznetsova, her Roland Garros nemesis, was far more impressive in breezing past Pauline Parmentier 6-1, 6-3 in only 50 minutes. Considering she holds two major titles, Kuznetsova is far from a major attraction here and found herself on Court Three yesterday after opening her challenge on Tuesday in the wilderness of Court 14. @Email:wjohnson@thenational.ae