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.”

Archive for ivanovic

Sharapova v Ivanovic as it happened

Australian Open, Melbourne

Women’s final result:

M SHARAPOVA (Rus) bt A IVANOVIC (Ser)

7-5 6-3

By Piers Newbery

Second set:

0435: That’s your lot, join me tomorrow at 0830 GMT for coverage of the men’s final between Novak Djokovic and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. I’m off for a cuppa.

0430: We are treated to shots of fans watching in Sydney and a very cold looking Shanghai before Sharapova takes to the podium and lifts the trophy.

“This is just incredible,” she says. “If someone had told me in the middle of last year I’d be standing here with the big one, I’d have said ‘forget it.’ Last year was pretty difficult for me and my coach, who lost his mother, and I really want to dedicate this to her.”

0428: An emotional Ivanovic thanks everyone she can think of when receiving the runners-up prize before the tears get to her. Don’t worry, she’s laughing and crying at the same time. Poor love.

0417: “Sharapova came out here and got the job done and throughout the tournament played excellently. She got rid of Davenport, Henin, Jankoivc and Ivanovic. Ana didn’t play particularly well and I just think she needs a little more time.”
BBC Sport’s Sam Smith

0417: “Sharapova has deserved this – she didn’t drop a set throughout and it’s thoroughly merited.”
Times correspondent Neil Harman on 5 Live

Sharapova 6-3 Ivanovic
Ivanovic makes a terrible start with a tame double fault and a poor forehand into the net. Sharapova is bouncing around, desperate for the next point, and the Russian crunches a fabulous forehand winner for 0-40 and three championship points. She goes long on the first and wide with a forehand slice on the second, but Ivanovic puts a forehand wide on the third and it’s game over. Sharapova falls to her knees and looks tearful as she gets up and salutes the crowd.

Sharapova 5-3 Ivanovic
Sharapova looks to be sprinting to the finish line now and is getting stronger and stronger from the baseline. Ivanovic hits one great backhand return but she’s already 40-0 down and it’s not enough. An enormous crash disturbs Sharapova at one point, possibly from a loudspeaker. Sounds like someone has knocked over the tea urn in the 5 Live commentary box. Wouldn’t surprise me.

Sharapova 4-3 Ivanovic
After a bit of a lull the match comes alive again when Sharapova fires a superb forehand winner down the line for 0-30. Ivanovic then comes up with a great second serve before Sharapova goes long with a return for 30-30. And then….. yikes! An Ivanovic double fault and a forehand error and Sharapova breaks. That could be it.

Sharapova 3-3 Ivanovic
Ivanovic attempts to attacks a Sharapova second serve on the first point, only to see the ball come fizzing back past her for a winner. Sharapova then crunches away a mid-court forehand and sees out the game easily enough. Scrappy stuff at the moment but Sharapova has the edge.

Sharapova 2-3 Ivanovic
That’s a great service game from Ivanovic, round off with an ace.

Sharapova 2-2 Ivanovic
Sharapova is looking very strong again and, despite one spectacular whipped forehand winner from Ivanvovic, it’s a straightforward hold.

Sharapova 1-2 Ivanovic
That’s more like it from Ivanvovic, who comes up with a couple of winners as she holds easily. Sharapova puts an iced towel around her shoulders at the changeover while Ivanovic puts on a sort of ice jacket. Cool.

Sharapova 1-1 Ivanovic
In contrast to the previous 10-minute service game from Ivanovic – who will be world number two after this tournament whatever the result – Sharapova holds to love.

0343: “Sharapova to win this one. She has much more experience at this level and her returns of serve are that much more threatening.”
From Alex via text

Sharapova 0-1 Ivanovic
Just as her forehand looks on the point of collapse, Ivanovic gets a couple of tasty short balls and despatches them with ease for 40-30. The yips return, though, and another forehand error takes things to deuce. Sharapova dominates the next point with some arrowing backhands but Ivanovic saves the break point with a big serve. On the second deuce Sharapova comes up with a magnificent backhand return on the stretch. Another break point and the rally of the match – Sharapova has a short forehand but Ivanvovic reaches it and throws up a lob that lands on the baseline and she hangs on. Big game.

First set:

0333: “Thoroughly deserved for Sharapova. She had a tricky moment but came through like champions do.”
Times correspondent Neil Harman on 5 Live

Sharapova 7-5 Ivanovic
Well, it wasn’t exactly straightforward but Sharapova finally takes the set. Ivanovic tries something different and heads to the net but without success and Sharapova holds to love. Yuri looks chuffed.

Sharapova 6-5 Ivanovic
Now it is Ivanovic who couldn’t hit a barn door…. More errors from the Serb see Sharapova get two break points and a wayward Ivanovic backhand gives the Russian the game.

Sharapova 5-5 Ivanovic
Ivanovic is screaming and pumping her fist after she smacks a belting forehand and a wrong-footing backhand to get within sight of the set, but a poor drop shot and missed backhands and forehands let Sharapova off the hook.

0320: “Sharapova lost a bit of service rhythm and you can see Ivanovic has been building up the intensity. It will be interesting to see if Sharapova can get her service rhythm going again.”
BBC Sport’s Sam Smith

Sharapova 4-5 Ivanovic
Ivanovic takes control with a hold to 15 after some woeful returning from Sharapova, who has gone completely off the boil.

Sharapova 4-4 Ivanovic
“Come on!” screams Sharapova as she whacks away a forehand volley to level at 30-30, but a double fault follows to give Ivanovic a break-back point. A lengthy rally ensues and it is Ivanovic who falters, shrieking as she falls backwards on a backhand. The sinister looking Yuri Sharapov urges on his daughter from the stands. Sharapova duly double faults twice to give up the break, after a few cold stares at her opponent who is dancing around when receiving.

Sharapova 4-3 Ivanovic
The first Hawkeye moment of the day. Ivanovic smacks a backhand down the line, it’s called out, the umpire overrules, Sharapova challenges – and it was out after all. Oh, the shame for the umpire. Ivanovic does well to come through from 30-30.

Sharapova 4-2 Ivanovic
This is great stuff from Sharapova. She opens with a winnning drive volley – does anyone hit that shot better? – and then throws in a backhand down the line on her way to a third straight love service game.

Sharapova 3-2 Ivanovic
A wild forehand from Ivanovic at 15-15 gives Sharapova another glimpse of a break, and the Serbian then double-faults to slip to 15-40. Sharapova absolutely pounds away from the baseline and Ivanovic eventually cracks.

Sharapova 2-2 Ivanovic
After a slightly low-key start, Sharapova unloads on a couple of thumping winners – one off the backhand and one forehand. Another love game. It’s not getting any cooler out there and the spectators are fanning themselves for dear life. Shepherd’s Bush remains bracing.

Sharapova 1-2 Ivanovic
There are danger signals for Ivanovic when she plays a wayward drop shot and slips 0-30 behind but Sharapova makes a couple of unforced errors, and Ivanovic then fires her first spectacular winner of the day. An excellent second serve gives her the game and the Serbian celebrates a great hold.

Sharapova 1-1 Ivanovic
Sharapova mvoes to the net on the second point and Ivanovic nets with an attempted pass. She follows it up with a beautiful forehand winner down the line and holds to love.

Sharapova 0-1 Ivanovic
A confident start sees Ivanovic race to 40-0 with the help of a first ace and she takes the game to 15. That should settle any nerves.

0241 GMT: “It’s the hottest day of the championships so far and the referee does have the option to bring the roof over if necessary.”
BBC Sport’s Chris Bailey

0237 GMT: “Sharapova is in her ivory dress – is it ivory? I’m not sure. And Ana is in her pale blue outfit.”
5 live’s tennis and fashion correspondent Jonathan Overend

0235 GMT: “Come on maria! I an so nervous right now though.”
From anon via text

0233 GMT: “It’s very, very hot out there.”
5 live’s Jonathan Overend

0232 GMT: The players have to go through the teeth-grinding pre-match interview on their way onto court. Ivanovic expects “a good match”. Sharapova either wasn’t up for it or we missed her.

0230 GMT: Just to remind everyone, you can follow this match on BBC One, Radio 5 Live, via live streaming on this website, or just stick with me. Choices, choices….

0225 GMT: And to deal with the elephant in the room that is the ‘glamour’ brought to the occasion by these two ladies, I think The Sun said it best yesterday when they described this potentially classic encounter as: “Battle of the babes – it’s Ana v Shazza!”

0222 GMT: Aussie hero Pat Rafter arrives on court as part of the pre-match build-up and is described by the announcer as a man who “embodies the national character”. A bronze bust of the man himself is then unveiled – slightly creepy but well deserved. “My ego is slightly inflated now so I’ll go home and let my brothers beat it out of me,” says Pat. Good man.

0220 GMT: We should be in for a cracker as the two best players over the past fortnight have made it through to the final. They have a 2-2 head-to-head record, with Sharapova having won their last meeting in Madrid in November and Ivanovic having won their French Open semi-final last June.

0215 GMT: Good morning everyone, welcome to the women’s final. And happy Australia Day. To celebrate we are being treated to a choir of shiny young Australians singing the national anthem on Rod Laver Arena. They appear to be dressed as chefs, which may not be ideal as it looks pretty hot out there already, if a little windy.

Story from BBC SPORT

Advertisements

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

Ivanovic v Wozniacki as it happened

Australian Open, Melbourne

Women’s fourth-round result:

A Ivanovic (Ser) bt C Wozniacki (Den)

6-1 7-6 (7-2)

By Piers Newbery

Second set:

Ivanovic 7-6 (7-2) Wozniacki
Well, she’s done it but the squeal of delight on sealing victory suggests Ivanovic is very, very relieved. In fairness, she dominates the tie-break after dropping the opening point and never looks in danger of losing it, but she will need to step up if it’s Venus next.

I will be back for a bit of Federer v Berdych later on, I suggest you do the same. Stuff work/school/college/sleep.

Ivanovic 6-6 Wozniacki
Ivanovic looks set to wrap up the win as she gets to 0-30 ahead and, after being hauled back to 30-30, smacks an unstoppable off-forehand right into the corner.

Match point and Wozniacki comes up with a big serve-big forehand combination before digging herself out of trouble and forcing the tie-break.

Ivanovic 6-5 Wozniacki
Hmmm, classy stuff from Ivanovic who puts her recent difficulties out of her head and holds to love.

Ivanovic 5-5 Wozniacki
A Wozniacki double fault on the first point suggests the Dane is feeling the tension of serving for the set, but she gets a set point only to snatch at a backhand. Ivanvovic misses a break point before Wozniacki sends a sliced backhand long on her second set point. The pendulum swings back to Ivanovic and she takes the game on her second break point when a wild Wozniacki forehand sails out.

Ivanovic 4-5 Wozniacki
There are signs of an Ivanovic meltdown when she makes two double faults in a row but the 20-year-old gathers herself to serve out from 30-30.

Ivanovic 3-5 Wozniacki
A straightforward hold to love and it’s Wozniacki who is in total control at the moment.

Ivanovic 3-4 Wozniacki
Well, who’d have thought it? Wozniacki is climbing all over the Ivanovic serve and hammers back some great returns to get another two break points at 15-40. Ivanvovic steels herself and sends down some big serves to get back to deuce before Wozniacki misses with a return on a third break point. Ivanovic gets a hugely lucky net-cord and blows a kiss to the sky before finally taking the game.

Ivanovic 2-4 Wozniacki
Wozniacki gets straight up from her medical timeout and plays her best game so far, running Ivanvoic around the baseline with some heavy groundstrokes off both sides.

0111: Despite looking fine, Wozniacki is having a fairly thorough examination of her left thigh that involves lying on the court and being pummelled by the trainer before having it strapped. Meanwhile, Ivanovic nips off for a ‘comfort break’.

Coming up soon on the Vodafone Arena will be Daniela Hantuchova v Maria Kirilenko. Some lazy journalists might call that ‘an attractive clash between two of tennis’s glamour girls’. But not this lazy journalist, no sir.

0109: “Ana has a lot of variety, she is moving better than ever and its refreshing to see someone come to the net. You cant help but love her!”
From Dan from Exeter via text

Ivanovic 2-3 Wozniacki
This is becoming a decent test for Ivanovic now as Wozniacki gets her fourth break point of the match and finally converts when Ivanovic hooks a forehand wide. The small Danish contingent go bananas, and the trainer comes on to attend to Wozniacki.

Ivanovic 2-2 Wozniacki
Look out – another solid service game from Wozniacki and she looks far more comfortable out there now. And then she goes and asks for the trainer at the next change of ends.

Ivanovic 2-1 Wozniacki
Ivanovic holds to 15 but the highlight of the game comes when Wozniacki puts over a couple of rather feeble smashes before changing tack and taking the point with an excellent angled volley.

Ivanovic 1-1 Wozniacki
Wozniacki gets over the disappointment of the previous game with a superb hold to love, rounding it off with an ace.

Ivanovic 1-0 Wozniacki
Aaaargh, Wozza! When she gets the chance to plant her feet and whack it, Wozniacki is pretty handy, and she does just that to earn another break point. Unfortunately, she then dumps a high backhand volley into the net and, moments later, Ivanovic takes the game.

First set:

Ivanovic 6-1 Wozniacki
Yep, Ivanovic is stepping it up now and wallops several returns past Wozniacki to break again and take the set. The scoreline is a bit harsh on the Dane but that’s the second week of a Grand Slam for you.

0045: “Great news about Jade Curtis,this is a big make or break year for her. Good start to it. I feel like I haven’t done anything but watch tennis for days.”
From Mark via text (Tell me about it. I was so spaced out before coming to work I squirted washing-up liquid onto a bowl of salad)

Ivanovic 5-1 Wozniacki
Ivanovic looks especially pleased when she moves to the net and chops away a deft angled volley for 15-15 and, despite the best efforts of the tireless Wozniacki, takes the game easily enough.

Ivanovic 4-1 Wozniacki
A fantastic forehand pass sets the ball rolling for Ivanovic and she soon has another break point when Wozniacki sprays a backhand well wide. The Serb misses with a forehand return but moments later converts a second break point with a breathtaking backhand when the ball is almost behind her.

Ivanovic 3-1 Wozniacki
Wozniacki gets stuck into another Ivanovic service game and has a chance at 0-30 up but the fourth seed recovers with an ace on her way to holding.

Great news on Court 14! Jade Curtis, sometime columnist for this website and British junior legend, beats Olivia Rogowska in straight sets in the girls’ singles. And Rogowska is an Aussie!

Ivanovic 2-1 Wozniacki
Wozniacki is finding her feet and holds serve to 30, despite a couple of blistering Ivanovic winners.

Bad news out on Court 13 as British junior hopeful Dan Cox goes out of the boys’ singles in straight sets to Jared Easton. To make matters worse, Easton is an Aussie. Will the misery never end?

Ivanovic 2-0 Wozniacki
Wozniacki’s returns are working well and she forces a couple of errors to get a break-back point at 30-40. Ivanovic saves it with a stunning angled backhand that Wozniacki challenges unsuccessfully. Wozniacki gets a second break point but Ivanovic eventually saves it with a backhand winner following a fortunate net-cord, and goes on to hold. Good game.

Ivanovic 1-0 Wozniacki
Ivanovic is up for this one, pumping her fist after winning the very first point. The Serb immediately earns three break points at 0-40 by dominating from the baseline, and takes the third of them with a sweeping forehand into the corner.

0010: After a couple of dodgy days the sun appears to be out again in Melbourne. Lucky devils. Later on we’ve got Venus Williams, Roger Federer and the big Novak Djokovic v Lleyton Hewitt clash to come.

0005: Day eight, and we’re kicking off with fourth seed Ana Ivanovic taking on Denmark’s Caroline Wozniacki for the first time.

Ivanovic is the world number three, reached last year’s French Open final and Wimbledon semis, and is generally very good and getting better.

So what about Wozniacki? She’s 17, ranked 64, of Polish parentage, won junior Wimbledon in 2006 and she enjoys reading Harry Potter books. And this is by far the biggest match of her career.

Story from BBC SPORT

Ivanovic vs Williams as it happened

Wimbledon semi-final result:

A IVANOVIC (Ser) 6 v V WILLIAMS (US) 23

2-6 4-6

SECOND SET

“Venus came out of the blocks so fast and Ivanovic was overwhelmed early on. She did recover to make it a match but Williams dominated and had 16 break points in total.”
BBC Sport pundit Martina Navratilova

Ivanovic 2-6 4-6 Williams
Venus charges into a 30-0 lead but a fine forehand service return and a Williams mis-read of a drop shot keeps Ana in the contest. The end is soon coming though and a wide backhand from Ivanovic puts Venus in her sixth Wimbledon final. It was an impressive performance from the 27-year-old while the “Catherine Zeta Jones of tennis” (as the commentator describes Ivanovic) will have to wait for another year.

Ivanovic 2-6 4-5 Williams
Venus takes control of the game with the help of a stunning forehand winner from mid-court. Williams claims three match points but Ivanovic impressively holds her nerve to save them all which forces Venus to serve for the match.

Ivanovic 2-6 3-5 Williams
A glimmer of hope for Ana as she goes 30-0 up. But Venus is like a dog with a bone and battles back to deuce before two unforced errors from Ivanovic gives the American the game.

Ivanovic 2-6 3-4 Williams
Williams claims two break points thanks to a couple of fine winners. Ivanovic then meekly fires into the net and Venus is back in charge of this set. I am not going to say how decisive that is though as my boss sitting next to me has just pointed out my woeful prediction from earlier.

Ivanovic 2-6 3-3 Williams
Venus holds serve with a wonderful cross-court forehand winner as she scampers to a deep Ivanovic shot into the corner. What a way to win a game.

Ivanovic 2-6 3-2 Williams
Ivanovic looks to be slowly getting her game together as she holds again. Williams comes to the net twice and is punished. Once with a drive to the body that she can only put into the net and the next with a cute Ivanovic lob that the lanky Williams cannot reach.

Ivanovic 2-6 2-2 Williams
You know when I said this could be over pretty soon? Well forget that. Ivanovic claims her first break with a forehand winner after Williams produces her sloppiest service game of the match so far. The crowd respond, they really want to see a contest.

Ivanovic 2-6 1-2 Williams
This could be over pretty soon folks. Ana just cannot cope with Venus’ groundstrokes and, combined with a poor first serve percentage, it is not looking too good for the sixth seed. Williams claims three break points and another double fault from Ivanovic gives the three-time Wimbledon winner a real stranglehold of the match.

Ivanovic 2-6 1-1 Williams
Some great stuff from Williams as she takes a 40-15 lead with a superb forehand winner as well as some more brutal backhands which leave Ivanovic scrambling. Ivanovic is battling just to keep in every point and lets out a desperate yelp of anguish as she skies a backhand which gives Williams the game.

Ivanovic 2-6 1-0 Williams
A vital game for Ivanovic to win, especially as she goes 0-30 down. She shows her fighting qualities and even issues her first celebration scream on the way to holding.

“Venus is keeping Ana so deep that when there is a short ball, Ivanovic cannot take advantage as she is six feet behind the baseline.”
BBC Sport pundit Martina Navratilova

FIRST SET

Ivanovic 2-6 Williams
Ruthless, powerful and precise – that’s Venus all over as she claims three sets points. She then double faults but Ana cannot hang on as she loses the first set in just 35 minutes.

Ivanovic 2-5 Williams
Ana keeps the set alive despite some wayward serving. Some funky telly graphics show that she has only won 51% of points on serve so far today. Even I realise that is not good.

Ivanovic 1-5 Williams
Williams looks rattled for the first time as she goes 0-30 down. Normal service is resumed though as she rattles off four straight points courtesy of some typically powerful strokes. The Centre Court crowd seem not to be taken by this semi yet and there is not a lot of noise from the fans.

Ivanovic 1-4 Williams
What a weird game. Venus claims three break points with the help of a mis-hit service return that also gets caught up in the wind to limp over the net. Ana shows signs of life to get the game back to deuce but two double faults and a couple of wayward forehands hands Venus a further four break points. The American fails to take any of them, Ana gets on the board for the first time and receives a warm reception as she returns to her seat.

Ivanovic 0-4 Williams
Better from Ana as for the first time so far, Venus is placed under pressure on her serve. The Serb claims two break points but Venus ups her game, as well as the screaming, to fight back. I reckon Ivanovic is being distracted by the bright luminous pink plasters on her knee. Just a thought.

“She has looked ready to go right from the start, Venus has imposed herself physically and stroke-wise.”
BBC Sport pundit Martina Navratilova

Ivanovic 0-3 Williams
Ana is having what is commonly described as a nightmare. She looks completely lost out here on Centre Court and is powerless to stop Williams in this mood. Venus claims two break points, sealing the break on the second as Ivanovic fires a backhand wide.

Ivanovic 0-2 Williams
It really is a perfect start for the three-time Wimbledon champion as she holds to love with little difficulty. Venus gets all of her first serves in and seals the game with a powerful mid-court backhand winner

Ivanovic 0-1 Williams
Venus immediately seizes the initiative as she takes advantage of a nervy start from the Serb. Ivanovic elects to serve first but is shaky, double faulting early on while a lucky net chord for the American puts her in charge of the game. Ana saves one break point but can’t stop Venus breaking on the next.

1523: While the duo are warming up, let’s have a look at how they got to the last four.

Venus has overcome Alla Kudryavtseva, Hana Sromova, Akiko Morigami, Maria Sharapova and Svetlana Kuznetsova while Ivanovic defeated Melinda Czink, Meilen Tu, Aravane Rezai, Nadia Petrova and Nicole Vaidisova to reach the Wimbledon last four for the first time.

They have met twice before, in 2004 in Zurich and Luxembourg in 2006, with Williams winning both in straight sets.

1521 BST: Here we go then for the first women’s semi-final. The two players are interviewed for the telly before taking to the Centre Court stage. They look remarkably chipper and relaxed, they are hiding the nerves well.

Ivanovic vs Vaidisova as it happened

All England Club, 25 June-8 July

Wimbledon quarter-final result:

N V’SOVA (Cze) 14 v A IVANOVIC (Ser) 6

6-4 2-6 5-7

THIRD SET

Vaidisova 6-4 2-6 5-7 Ivanovic
Ivanovic does it! Vaidisova looks shaky as she slips to 0-30 thanks to yet more unforced errors but recovers to 30-30 with a wide ace. Ivanovic then finds the line with a beautiful backhand to gain her first match point against the serve, only to fail to return Vaidisova’s serve and send the game to deuce. A cruel net cord falls the wrong side of the net from Vaidisova next up, though, and a double fault sends Ivanovic into raptures as she secures her first Wimbledon semi-final. Brilliant stuff from the Serb, who will face Venus Williams next up.

“What a great match that truly went all the way to the line. Unbelievable from Ivanovic as well, who had to find a way to win in the face of some brilliant tennis early on from Vaidisova.”
BBC Sport pundit Virginia Wade

Vaidisova 6-4 2-6 5-6 Ivanovic
The momentum definitely looks to be with Ivanovic now, the Serb holding to 15. Vaidisova is cranking up the Kevin-the-teenager petulance rather annoyingly, blaming her cheering section/coach at every opportunity for missed shots – and Ivanovic quietly goes about picking her off point by point. Vaidisova cracked before, will she do so again?

Vaidisova 6-4 2-6 5-5 Ivanovic
Unbelievable! Vaidisova cracks and Ivanovic gets her forehand cranking nicely to break back to 15 – this match is not done by a long stretch.

“Vaidisova missed those three break points in the previous game and she looked like she was still dwelling on them there. This match really is up in the air now.”
BBC Sport pundit Virginia Wade

Vaidisova 6-4 2-6 5-4 Ivanovic
As remarkable a story as Ivanovic’s is – plucked from obscurity in Serbia, given an interest-free loan of £500,000 by a Swedish businessman to develop her tennis career and then marching up the rankings and repaying every penny of said loan before her 19th birthday – it does get somewhat tiresome not only hearing it every round, but practically after every set. Still, fair play to the Serb who digs deep to battle back from 15-40 down with two blistering forehand winners, and then saves another match point at advantage. She goes on to seal the hold with an unreturnable serve and that’s remarkable tenacity from Ivanovic – can Vaidisova hold her nerve?

Vaidisova 6-4 2-6 5-3 Ivanovic
Vaidisova moves to within a game of her first-ever Wimbledon semi-final with a hold to 15, her serve keeping Ivanovic out of most points and, when it doesn’t, finding winners with what is a blistering forehand.

Vaidisova 6-4 2-6 4-3 Ivanovic
You’d need a rather sharp rapier to cut the tension on Ivanovic’s serve and the Serb is as lucky as a lottery winner when a volley bounces twice on top of the net and drops over at 15-30. She backs it up with a fabulous wide serve and forehand winner, and a wide Vaidisova backhand keeps the Serb in the match.

Vaidisova 6-4 2-6 4-2 Ivanovic
Ivanovic looks to be making the mistake of turning to safety-first play on Vaidisova’s serve and the Serb fails to live with the Czech’s aggression. Vaidisova strides to 40-0 up with a smashed forehand volley and a couple of big serves, and goes on to hold when Ivanovic sends a return long at 40-15.

Vaidisova 6-4 2-6 3-2 Ivanovic
No sign of Ivanovic throwing in the towel just yet, as she holds with a couple of forehand winners and a big first serve.

“Vaidisova was the better player for a good hour out here, but she then got a little indulgent in the second set at exactly the time that Ivanovic stepped up her game. However, she looks like she’s settled back into her gameplan again and it’s the Czech that looks odds-on to go on and win this.”
BBC Sport pundit Virginia Wade

Vaidisova 6-4 2-6 3-1 Ivanovic
Brilliant hold to 30 from Vaidisova, resisting several pummelling forehands from Ivanovic before sealing the game with a superb backhand winner down the line.

Vaidisova 6-4 2-6 2-1 Ivanovic
Well, has the momentum swung yet again? Vaidisova relies on her forehand to pressure Ivanovic and secures break point with a brilliant crosscourt winner. It’s all the opportunity she needs as she manufactures the perfect point, pushing Ivanovic wide and then slamming a forehand winner into the open court to snatch the lead in this final set.

“Oh dear, Ivanovic has lost the rhythm a little bit and Vaidisova takes advantage with some impressive winners.”
BBC Sport pundit Virginia Wade

Vaidisova 6-4 2-6 1-1 Ivanovic
Much better from Vaidisova, who bludgeons down a series of first serves on her way to a hold to 15.

Vaidisova 6-4 2-6 0-1 Ivanovic
I’ve just been informed Miss Vaidisova has a Facebook account – I may have to add her, see if I can offer any tips on her game you know? Anyway, the Czech’s restroom break looks only to have fired Ivanovic up, the Serb holding to love with a series of fine serves and forehand winners. That’s five games in a row for Ivanovic, who looked down and out after that first set.

SECOND SET

Vaidisova 6-4 2-6 Ivanovic
Vaidisova throws the set away in a hurry with a series of unforced errors as Ivanovic draws level to 15 with her second break of the set. Bizarre game from Vaidisova there, who looked to have lost it mentally as she gifted point after point to her opponent. The Czech goes straight for a rest break at the end of the set… perhaps a call of nature meant she wanted out of that set as fast as possible.

Vaidisova 6-4 2-5 Ivanovic
Ivanovic confirms the break despite a Vaidisova fight back from 0-40 to 30-40, and the Czech 14th seed looks like a six-year-old who has just had her curly wurly snatched from her hand by the school bully.

Vaidisova 6-4 2-4 Ivanovic
Ivanovic, fresh from having that luminous rubbish reattached to her right knee, moves to 40-0 up against the Vaidisova serve thanks to a couple of winners and an unsuccessful challenge on a line call from the Czech. Vaidisova saves one with a brilliant serve and forehand winner, but Ivanovic forces the error next point to gain the initiative in this set.

“Great work from Ana there, and she deserves to be up in this set with the quality groundstrokes she has put in.”
BBC Sport pundit Virginia Wade

Vaidisova 6-4 2-3 Ivanovic
Ivanovic may want her knee re-strapped, but it doesn’t look to be causing her any problems as she digs deep to save a break point with an ace before going on to hold with a couple of forehand winners.

Vaidisova 6-4 2-2 Ivanovic
Vaidisova settles herself well with another hold to love. Ivanovic gives a nod to the umpire as she asks for her trainer to come out at the next break, apparently to re-tape her knee.

Vaidisova 6-4 1-2 Ivanovic
That’s more like it from Ivanovic, who holds to 15 with a series of winners on the forehand. Vaidisova would be well served to get back to her tactic of targeting the Serb’s backhand, but the fact that Ivanovic has seven winners in this set already, compared to Vaidisova’s four, tell you all you need to know about the swing in momentum out on Centre Court.

Vaidisova 6-4 1-1 Ivanovic
Virginia Wade praises Vaidisova’s movement by declaring “she’s as loose as anything”. If only huh? Still, though, her winner-or-bust approach gets her in trouble as Ivanovic earns two break points with a forehand winner on the run. Vaidisova responds by smashing her racket, getting a warning, and then serving up an ace and an unreturnable to move to deuce, before saving another break point with a superb forehand down the line. It’s not enough, though, as Ivanovic breaks back with a stunning pick-up volley at the net and that could be just what the Serb needs to get her going.

Vaidisova 6-4 1-0 Ivanovic
Two beautiful first serves help Ivanovic to 30-0 up, but Vaidisova again targets the Serb’s backhand to take three points in a row to earn break point. It’s all she needs as Ivanovic sends another crosscourt backhand wide and it’s just the start to the set the sixth seed didn’t need.

FIRST SET

Vaidisova 6-4 Ivanovic
Ivanovic smashes a brilliant forehand return winner down the line to highlight that she might not be out of this match entirely, but it’s another comfortable hold from the big-serving Vaidisova to 15 as she takes the first set in 39 minutes.

Vaidisova 5-4 Ivanovic
Remarkably, Vaidisova has sent down 16 unforced errors so far in this match and another couple help Ivanovic to an easy hold to 15. More evidence that this match has yet to really spark from both girls, but Vaidisova will serve for the set next up.

“It’s not easy for Ivanovic, because Vaidisova must feel like she’s always in control despite so many unforced errors. The Czech either hits a winner or a loser, at the moment she’s hitting more of the former, and so Ivanovic is relying on Vaidisova’s own inaccuracy to win points.”
BBC Sport pundit Virginia Wade

Vaidisova 5-3 Ivanovic
After just an eight-minute delay we’re back under way without a warm-up. More great work from Vaidisova, whose serve is really ticking, as she wins the first three points after the break to move to one game away from the set.

1326: Funnily enough, Rafael Nadal and Mikhail Youzhny are playing on in their fourth-round match a stone’s throw away on Court Two, much to the chagrin of my colleague Jonathan Stevenson, who apparently is desperate for some nosebag. Still, the covers are coming off on Centre Court with that short shower passing overhead, and we should be back under way very soon.

Vaidisova 4-3 Ivanovic (15-15)
Not that I’m writing off Ivanovic mind, I’d be equally happy taking the young Serb home I tell you. I’ll be honest, I’m not really that picky, as my mates will testify. Anyway, it’s bad news on Centre Court as the rains come all of a sudden and play is suspended with brollies sprouting up like fungi in a neglected garden.

Vaidisova 4-3 Ivanovic
And Ivanovic replies with a love-game hold of her own, producing some fine groundstrokes to keep Vaidisova out of the points. Apparently Vaidisova is fluent in Czech, German, English and French – and by my reckoning she has yelped in all of them so far in frustration at the odd mistake. Beautiful, rich and intelligent – just the sort of girl I’d like to take home to meet the folks.

Vaidisova 4-2 Ivanovic
That’s more like it from Vaidisova, who finds four first serves and responds by approaching the net and bullying her way to a love-game hold.

Vaidisova 3-2 Ivanovic
Ivanovic has not really got her serve clicking just yet, and Vaidisova produces some fine returns to bring up two more break points. However, the Czech misses a simple forehand at the net to waste the first and then sends the second long, much to Ivanovic’s relief. A superb forehand return winner brings up Vaidisova’s third break point, but Ivanovic hangs on well to win the next three points and hold.

“It really is interesting how the games are working out. Both players have had their chances, neither have really got going, and yet it’s compelling tennis.”
BBC Sport pundit Virginia Wade

Vaidisova 3-1 Ivanovic
Two stunning forehand winners indicate Ivanovic has settled nicely, and she takes Vaidisova to deuce with the Czech mixing serve-volley winners with long groundstrokes. The 14th seed holds, though, to keep her nose in front in this set.

Vaidisova 2-1 Ivanovic
The crowd is notably bigger for this encounter than Venus-Kuznetsova’s grunt-fest earlier in the day, though the presence of an overwhelming majority of middle-aged men in long coats is a little unnerving. A couple of long rallies appear to help settle the girls and Ivanovic feels her way into the match with a hold to 30 thanks to a forced error from Vaidisova.

Vaidisova 2-0 Ivanovic
There’s no rhythm at all in this match yet, with both players mis-hitting returns and struggling to keep within the tramlines. There’s a lot of cheap points on offer, with only the occasional winner being produced. Three times Vaidisova has to save break points, and three times she fails to make the most of her own game points, before she finally holds with a forehand. Big hold that.

Vaidisova 1-0 Ivanovic
First blood to Vaidisova, who breaks to 15 thanks to some brilliant timing on her groundstokes and some early rustiness from Ivanovic. The pair have met twice before, with a win apiece, so despite that fine start from Vaida, expect this to be a close encounter.

1244: There’s no time-wasting out on Centre Court as Vaidisova and Ivanovic race out with Venus Williams and Svetlana Kuznetsova barely back in the warmth of the dressing room.

This is what is known among the men in the office as a “dream ticket” – two of the loveliest ladies on the tour and two of the brightest up-and-coming talents. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – it’s a tough job this, but someone’s got to do it.
Story from BBC SPORT

Sharapova v Ivanovic as it happened

French Open Semi-final result:

A IVANOVIC (Ser) bt M SHARAPOVA (Rus)

6-2 6-1

GAME-BY-GAME UPDATES

By Piers Newbery

Second set:

Sharapova 1-6 Ivanovic
That’s the way to reach your first Grand Slam final – a love-service game polished off with an ace down the middle. It was certainly a case of form overcoming experience today and Ivanovic will be a match for either Henin or Jankovic in Saturday’s final.

Sharapova 1-5 Ivanovic
The opening point sums up Sharapova’s day as she dumps an attempted drop volley into the net with Ivanovic stranded way behind the baseline. But if there’s one player out there who will not give up on a seemingly lost cause it’s Sharapova and she battles back to avoid the dreaded bagel (love-set). Meanwhile, we get several shots of some bearded types who are presumably big in France.

Sharapova 0-5 Ivanovic
At 30-30, Ivanovic forces Sharapova back with a succession of heavy groundstrokes, approaches the net and thumps away a forehand winner. She enjoys it so much that she repeats the trick on the next point and it’s nearly done and dusted now.

Sharapova 0-4 Ivanovic
Sharapova tries to keep her hopes alive in a hard-fought game but after being taken to three deuces, a double-fault and a forehand error give up another break. At one point an American voice from the crowd shouts out, “Just keep the ball on the court!” Sharapova immediately puts a backhand four feet long.

Sharapova 0-3 Ivanovic
Bearing in mind the current geo-political situation and the wranglings at the G8 I will steer clear of sentences using the words ‘Russian, missiles and targeting’ and simply say that Sharapova’s usually rock-solid groundstrokes are out of synch today. She’s struggling to keep the ball in play and Ivanovic holds with ease.

Sharapova 0-2 Ivanovic
This is really good stuff now from Ivanovic who is winning the battle from the baseline comprehensively. At one point Sharapova tries to change things with a sortie to the net, only to see the ball walloped straight past her. Another break follows and the Serb is on course for the final.

Sharapova 0-1 Ivanovic
No sign of nerves from Ivanovic as she holds serve to love and Maria’s dad Yuri Sharapova looks distinctly unhappy in the stands. Ilie Nastase, meanwhile, looks quite happy chatting away to two pretty ladies. The old devil.

First set:

“It’s confident stuff from Ivanovic and at the moment she looks on the way to her first Grand Slam final.”
Five Live’s Jonathan Overend

Sharapova 2-6 Ivanovic
It’s a false dawn for Sharapova as Ivanovic breaks yet again – this time to 15 – and sprints back to the chair.

Sharapova 2-5 Ivanovic
It’s all going smoothly for Ivanovic until she double-faults at 30-30 and then blazes a forehand into the tramlines. It can only be nerves after such an accomplished start and Sharapova certainly looks buoyed by the break.

Sharapova 1-5 Ivanovic
Things are warming up a bit now – both women hit the ball hard and flat from the back of the court and we should be in for some great rallies. Ivanovic has the upper hand at the moment and gets to break point with a rasping forehand before Sharapova double-faults.

Sharapova 1-4 Ivanovic
Ivanovic does well to come through a tight service game, firing down two service winners from 30-30 and giving it some “C’mon!” Away from the match there’s been a disappointing lack of shots of random stars in the crowd so far but will keep you informed if Antonio Banderas turns up again. I would have thought Banderas would have been up for a bit of Sharapova v Ivanovic.

Sharapova 1-3 Ivanovic
You can be certain that Sharapova will battle all the way whenever she steps on court and she gets off the mark with two blistering backhands down the line. Still not exactly fluent stuff from the Russian but Ivanovic has been warned.

Sharapova 0-3 Ivanovic
So despite what you might just have read, Ivanovic is a break up after a comfortable hold and looks in control. Sharapova may not be moving “like a cow on ice” as she said the other day but she’s all arms and legs at the moment.

Sharapova 0-2 Ivanovic
Sharapova has a chance to level but double-faults at 40-30 and two points later Ivanovic takes advantage with a superb running forehand down the line, followed by a Henmanesque fist pump.

Sharapova 0-1 Ivanovic
Ivanovic opens with a thumping ace and gets Sharapova on the move early on – not the Russian’s favourite style of play and it’s a straightforward hold for the Serb.

1302 BST: The players enter the Philippe Chatrier Court, which is barely a third full – not bad going bearing in mind it’s lunchtime in Paris.

1300 BST: So here we go for the first of the women’s semis in Paris and it’s a hard one to call. Sharapova is the second seed and has won two Grand Slam titles but is far from comfortable on clay and has a dodgy shoulder. Ivanovic is playing in her first Grand Slam semi but is a woman in form, having won the recent German Open.