Tennis Freaks

“1821: Nadal, I’ve noticed, has a problem with his shorts, in that they keep on getting stuck up his jacksie and he has to pull them out before every point. Not sure why he doesn’t just get a size up, he’s probably loaded.”

Venus-Ivanovic as it happened

Australian Open, Melbourne

Women’s quarter-finals result:

V WILLIAMS (US) v A IVANOVIC (Ser)

6-7 (3-7) 4-6

By Chris Bevan

0400: Wow, I hope you enjoyed that as much as I did – another great match that could have gone either way. It was Ana Ivanovic who came through though, despite Venus William’s best efforts, and she will play Daniela Hantuchova in the semi-finals.

The other women’s last-four match sees Maria Sharapova play Jelena Jankovic, which shouldn’t be a bad one to watch either.

Venus 6-7 (3-7) 4-6 Ivanovic
It’s all over, but not without one helluva fight from Venus. Ana is up against it at 15-40 but two big serves get her out of a hole and she completes a thrilling victory when a Venus forehand flies a mile wide.

A shout of delight from Ana – and yet more fist-pumping, obviously – signal that she is into the semi-finals.

Venus 6-7 (3-7) 4-5 Ivanovic
Ana loves to celebrate a winner with a quick pump of the fist, possibly even more so than Lleyton Hewitt. She has good reason to here though, moving to break-point with a scintilating forehand down the line before Venus sends another volley into the net. Ana positively dances back to her seat and she will serve for the match, next.

Venus 6-7 (3-7) 4-4 Ivanovic
Another tight game for Ana but she responds well to the pressure and her first ace of the match comes at precisely the right time.

Venus 6-7 (3-7) 4-3 Ivanovic
Williams may be back to square-one in this second set but she is sticking with her aggressive approach. Ana is matching her shot for shot though, and puts away one super volley before snatching the next point with an outrageous passing shot. Venus is facing another break but keeps battling, gasping for breath, and holds. She needed that.

“Ivanovic is bit of an enigma – capable of sheer brilliance but also total madness!”
Justin, in Bury on text 81111

Venus 6-7 (3-7) 3-3 Ivanovic
A change of racquet for Venus – has her mini-revival bitten the dust? A thumping forehand winner into the corner suggests otherwise but Ana is chasing everything down and gives us a couple of fist pumps as she holds to move level.

“I totally agree with Ali! Cant revise with all this sport going on! Ivanovic for the title!”
Charles at Aberdeen Uni on text 81111

“If Ana can win tonight, will it be the four most attractive semi-finalists ever in a Slam? As if 24 hr live updates weren’t distracting enough!”
Anon on text 81111

Not sure about that, but what does everyone else think!?

Venus 6-7 (3-7) 3-2 Ivanovic
The Venus serve wobbles for the first time in this set, mainly thanks to some stinging cross-court forehands from Ana. A Venus backhand flies well long and this second set is back on serve.

“Good luck with revision Ali but I must disagree! This is Ana’s for the taking. She is powerful, mentally strong and, might I add, beautiful. Ahem.”
Chris, in Hampstead on text 81111

Venus 6-7 (3-7) 3-1 Ivanovic
A bit of a dip in form, this, for Ana – especially after the first set. She seems up for the battle though and a beautiful backhand down the line gets her back on track in this game and off the mark in this set.

“Venus is really firing at the moment. She has cranked up the pressure and is being a lot more aggressive, coming into the net and finishing off the point with some good volleying.”
BBC Sport’s Chris Bailey in Melbourne

Venus 6-7 (3-7) 3-0 Ivanovic
Ana’s turn to show she is up for the fight but Venus is in the zone at the moment, especially at the net, where she can seemingly do no wrong. She has got a bit of daylight in this second set now and Ana has a lot to think about as she sips her water at the changeover.

Venus 6-7 (3-7) 2-0 Ivanovic
More superb stuff by Venus, who seems to have upped her game after a poor tie-break. Some ferocious forehands give her two break points and she puts away a backhand volley this time to take the game in style.

“Why are these updates on 24/7?! African Nations Cup during the day, Aussie Open at night! Not handy when you’re trying to revise 🙂 Anyway, Jelena Jankovic all the way. Sharapova and then Venus in the final will both succumb!”
Ali, struggling Strathclyde uni student! on text 81111

Venus 6-7 (3-7) 1-0 Ivanovic
How will Venus respond to dropping that first set. Very well, actually. She powers down a couple of booming serves to hold with ease.

Venus 6-6 (3-7) Ivanovic
A cracking Ana forehand puts her 4-2 up and, despite upping the volume again, Venus is soon chasing this one, putting a woeful backhand volley into the bottom of the net. Ana serves for the set at 6-2 but has to wait for another mistake on the volley from Williams to wrap it up and take what has been a fascinating first set. More of the same please!

Venus 6-6 Ivanovic
Ana goes for broke again on the Venus serve but the American holds to love and we are going to have a tie-break to decide this first set.

“This is great competitve tennis. They are both taking their opportunities on the second serve and this match could go either way.”
BBC Sport’s Chris Bailey in Melbourne

Venus 5-6 Ivanovic
Another tense one. Ana is under some pressure at 30-30 but her serve does not let her down and the Serb holds when Venus puts a smash into the net.

Some belated fashion news – Venus is wearing a microscopic skirt to round off a nice blue, white and black stripey blouse, while Ana has elected for a little blue number. They both look very hot out there – it is a lot warmer in Melbourne than it is here in Shepherd’s Bush, I think.

Venus 5-5 Ivanovic
Venus is into her groove now. A superbly athletic smash gets her going and she is into the net again to put away a volley and level this one again.

0245: Some good news from Court 19. Britain’s Daniel Evans is into the fourth round of the boy’s singles after a 6-3 6-2 victory over Tyy D Trombetta of the United States. A good win for the boy from Brum.

Venus 4-5 Ivanovic
It’s Ana’s turn to see if she can hold…and she does so without any problems. A classy volley gets her off to a good start and despite a dodgy double-fault she is now on the brink of taking the first set. No pressure on that Venus serve then.

“Go Bevan! Any info on the two contenders’ dresses tonight? Let’s hope there’s no injury keeping Venus from performing at her best…”
Chris, Hampstead. Again. The Uri Geller of tennis and all that on text 81111

In case you missed it, Chris spotted Serena Williams had a blister last night, even before she took her sock off. If either player is carrying an injury tonight, he will be the first to know, trust me…

Venus 4-4 Ivanovic
Venus has upped the volume to try to change her luck on serve and it works, just. A couple of double-faults knock her back to 30-40 but she digs in to hold for the first time. Well done!

“A great battle developing out here with two players at the top of their game and battling hard.”
BBC Sport’s Jonathan Overend in Melbourne

Venus 3-4 Ivanovic
These two are not holding back today. Some blistering returns by Venus this time, and she is able to come in to finish things off at the net. Ana’s backhand is not quite firing yet and another unforced error on that side gives Williams the break – can someone please hold their serve!?

Venus 2-4 Ivanovic
Blimey, Venus cannot buy a point on her serve at the moment – she has only won two in this match so far. Ana is going for break with pretty much every shot and it is paying off – a crunching backhand return flies down the line and yes, you guessed it, we have another break.

0222: As some of you may know, I’ve been a curse on the hopes of anyone British playing at Melbourne Park this year. Can Daniel Evans change all that? Let’s hope so…He is the third seed in the boy’s singles and up against Ty D Trombetta of the United States and has just won the first set 6-3. Fingers crossed…

Venus 2-3 Ivanovic
The Ana backhand is not quite such a formidable weapon as that spectacular forehand and Venus has already worked that out. Ana’s finding serving a lot more difficult than returning and we have yet another break. This one is very much in the balance…

Venus 1-3 Ivanovic
Phew, can Ana keep this up? Three forehands of real class give her another break. Now, can she hold her serve this time?

“Williams/Ivanovic is a men’s QF according to the BBC Sport website!”
Anon on text 81111

Glad you’re awake – you’ve passed my little test…

Venus 1-2 Ivanovic
Ana is still smashing the ball all over the place, but in this game the difference is they all fly out. A double-fault compounds her misery and that’s a break back for Venus.

“They have had a break each but, of the two, Ana has looked much more impressive. It was a stunning drop-shot by her to undercut it and set up her break – a shot of real magic. If we are going to see some more of that, then we are in for a real treat here.”
BBC Sport’s Jonathan Overend in Melbourne

Venus 0-2 Ivanovic
Venus has got a heavily strapped right thigh but she is still moving as well as ever and is keen as mustard to come into the net. A couple of crashing returns by Ana announce her intentions though, and a delicate drop shot sets her up for a crucial early break. Wow!

Venus 0-1 Ivanovic
Neither of these players have dropped a set in the tournament so far…so both in form then. Venus has won all four of their previous meetings but that doesn’t bother Ana here and she holds without too much trouble.

0203 : Here we go. Ivanovic to serve first.

By the way, don’t forget to play your part too. The night will go a lot quicker if YOU get involved, so text me now on 81111 with the word TENNIS before your comment.

0159: There’s a place in the semi-finals up for grabs and the winner will play Daniela Hantuchova, who has just beaten Agnieszka Radwanska in her quarter-final on the Rod Laver Arena. A bit one-sided, that one…

0152: Morning folks, sleep is sooooo over-rated isn’t it? Plenty to keep you awake tonight too, starting with former World number one Venus Williams against fourth seed Ana Ivanovic. It could be a cracker…let’s hope so.

Story from BBC SPORT

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