Ana Ivanovic sweeps by Larsson at ASB Classic

DAVID LONG
Last updated 21:08 01/01/2014
Ana Ivanovic
PETER MEECHAM
STRAIGHT SETS: Ana Ivanovic needed just 43 minutes to crush Johanna Larsson in the ASB Classic

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Those hoping to see a thrilling and exciting match from Ana Ivanovic at the ASB Classic tonight were sorely disappointed, as the second seed needed just 43 minutes to crush Johanna Larsson 6-1 6-1.

It was the most one-sided match at this tournament, as the former French Open winner took apart the game of her Swedish opponent. She was clinical, ruthless and punishing and she should now be regarded as the clear favourite to take out this title.

"I was really happy, I didn't do much wrong out there," Ivanovic said afterwards. 

"I came on court quite relaxed and expected a tough match because we'd had close matches in the past.

"I tried to be aggressive, step up and try to put pressure on her serve and also my first shots and I did that really well.

"I honestly didn't expect that and when I stepped on the court for the first few games I let my swing go and I felt good with my timing and rhythm.

In her first round match, which was a drawn out 7-5 7-6 win over Alison Riske, she struggled to dominate the points and could have easily lost.

Reflecting on it now, she says she's benefitted from being pushed by the American.

"It was a tough first round opponent for me and also today I was a bit sore after the first round match, but I felt good on the court and I enjoyed it out there.

"I really love this place, I feel at home and very comfortable here," she added. 

"I have my family here and it does have a good vibe about it.

"It's my first time and already I hope that I get a chance to come back."

Today Ivanovic plays Japan's Kurumi Nara, who yesterday accounted for compatriot Ayumi Nara 6-0 6-1. They have never played each other before and Ivanovic admits she doesn't know much about her opponent.

"I was a bit surprised to see that scoreline," she said. 

"I'm sure my coach watched that a bit and he'll watch some of her matches from the past and we'll have a talk about it over practice and make a plan."

It will be a busy day tomorrow for Ivanovic, who is also playing doubles with Belgian Kirsten Flipkens. They are up against the third seeds Lucie Hradecka from the Czech Republic and the Netherlands'  Michaella Krajicek.

"I am looking forward to it, because it's been a while since I had that situation [of playing singles and doubles in a day]. The last time was in Perth or in the Fed Cup.

"But I really enjoy playing doubles with [Kirsten] Flipkens, she's a fun girl and we're good friends. It's going to be a good day. I really look forward to stepping on the court again."

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- Fairfax Media

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