Ana Ivanovic didn’t her game up to par at the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix. The former number one saw difficulty once again when playing Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic as she took a near rout of the match winning 6-4, 6-1 on Centre Court at the Stuttgart Porsche Arena Thursday night. It became the fifth loss in a row Ivanovic has suffered against the Czech and the one that took her out of making the quarterfinals.
The two European superstars already met twice this season with the Czech continuing to get the best of the Serb. Pliskova won her fourth straight against Ivanovic at the BNP Paribas Open in the third round with a near perfect straight set win. With the surface changing for the players, it could become an advantage to the former number one who has a French Open title under her belt making it clear of her experience. The wins for Pliskova have all come on hard courts making it an interesting match and whether she can come out with the same force as before.
The Czech took a jump out front making it look like she was handling Ivanovic once again. The Serb answered her in the third with a victory before taking a meeting with coach Nigel Sears. After telling her to settle down and get back in it, the words of advice were implemented by Ivanovic who won on serve then broke Pliskova to tie the set at three all. All the hard work came to a halt despite winning another game as the Czech couldn’t be stopped. She kept her rush to the set win in high gear taking it 39 minutes ending with a 71 percent serve percentage that came mostly on winners and her six aces.
The second saw Ivanovic struggling to get a point while Pliskova didn’t let off the pressure. She won eight points in a row landing winners and a three aces to go up 2-0. Another triple break point made it a commanding 3-0 rout over Ivanovic as the former number one didn’t have much to respond on. Pliskova continued to cruise toward a chance for the bagel and the match getting her fourth win while the Serb recorded her first point. The fifth saw Ivanovic get one against Pliskova on serve that ended her scoreless woes but not the tough outing she saw herself in.
The end was near for Ivanovic as her stronger opponent recorded a fifth win playing against the Serb on service in the seventh. The 28 year old had the score in her favor and notched a second win on a double game point winner. It was the last win she’d get at the tournament as Pliskova held serve in the eighth and put the match to bed watching Ivanovic’s return fall long of the baseline ending the one hour and six minute match. By the time the Czech put down her racket, she had recorded ten aces with just one double fault in her straight sets win. With her second return near 80 percent it became possible that every piece of her game worked well enough to put her in new territory. All could be made possible as she’ll move on to face No. 2 ranked Agnieszka Radwanska in the quarterfinals Friday.