For many tennis fans they would never have forgotten Ana Ivanovic but now the Serbian star is being talked about for what she’s achieving on court ahead of the scene of her biggest triumph, the French Open.
The 26-year-old shot to the top of the game in 2008 when losing only one set en route to winning at Roland Garros and although she has failed to match those heights since she looks set to challenge once more.
Winning the Monterrey title last week gave the former world number one her second trophy of the campaign after landing the first prize of the season in Auckland and only Na Li and Serena Williams can boast as much silverware so far.
Ivanovic’s performance at the only Grand Slam played was also encouraging as the Basle resident became one of the favourites for the Australian Open when knocking out Serena Williams in the round-of-16.
The enormity of that achievement seemed to hinder her in the quarter-finals when she lost out to rising star Eugenie Bouchard but the fact she was able to beat Williams, especially from a set behind, gives the impression that another Major is within reach.
Since everything changed in Paris six years ago Ivanovic has not managed even a quarter-final appearance in her five returns but in none of those seasons has she been playing with as much confidence as now.
Only a single set was surrendered in Auckland and just one more given away last week, both examples of how the 13-time WTA winner may be nearing the ruthless mentality that took her to the summit of the sport all those years ago.
What was particularly impressive about her performance last week was that her last match of the event before in Miami couldn’t have ended worse with Ivanovic surrendering the last two sets without registering a game as she crashed out 2-1 to Petra Kvitova.
The same player of previous years may have taken another one or two events to recover properly from such a chastening loss but the 2008 Australian Open finalist was back in business in her next event winning the first of what was to be five matches on the way to the title.
Currently 33/1, Ivanovic looks an excellent price to confirm she is back to her best, however, in this form she could start the fortnight in the City of Love at half that price.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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