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Ivanovic overcomes mid-match blip to win in LA

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Originally published on: 26/02/10 11:40

Ana Ivanovic was made to work for her second-round 6-4 4-6 6-1 victory over Vania King at the LA Tennis Championships.

The former world No.1, playing for the first time since withdrawing against Venus Williams in the fourth round at Wimbledon with a thigh strain, suffered a mid-match slump before raising her game to race away with the third set.

She will now face either Sam Stosur or Maria Kirilenko in the third round.

“It’s just the first match and I have the ability to improve” – Ivanovic

The No.6 seed at the Los Angeles event – seeking her first tour title since October 2008 – struggled to deal with King’s counterpunching style, but eventually changed her tactics to overpower the American in the final set.

“I felt happy with the way I was moving and playing,” said Ivanovic. “It’s just the first match and I have the ability to improve. I had an opportunity a few times to put the ball away but had a little doubt in my mind as to which shot to take.”

And the Serbian was not the only player pushed hard in LA. No.2 seed Vera Zvonareva had looked on the verge of falling victim to an early exit before taking nearly two and a half hours to subdue Shuai Peng 3-6 6-3 7-6(6).

The Russian now faces either Jill Craybas or Yanina Wickmayer, who play on Wednesday.

Peng’s compatriots Zheng Jie and Li Na both sealed places in the third round. Like Ivanovic, Zheng’s level dropped during the second set of her match against Olga Savchuk beore she recovered for a 7-5 1-6 6-2 victory.

Li was 6-0 2-0 up against Ayumi Morita before the Japanese retired hurt.

In the remaining first round matches, Sabine Lisnicki beat veteran Japanese qualifier Kimiko Date Krumm 7-6(5) 2-6 7-5, while Daniela Hantuchova battled back from a set down to beat Melanie Oudin 6-7(3) 6-2 6-2.

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