ANA Ivanovic has overcome rain, nerves and Ekaterina Makarova to reach the French Open’s quarter-finals for the first time since she triumphed at Roland Garros in 2008.
The Serb advanced 7-5 3-6 6-1 after play was disrupted by steady rain for almost three hours to earn a crack at Ukraine’s Elina Svitolina, who preyed on stage struck Frenchwoman Alize Cornet 6-2 7-6 (11-9) in a controversial contest.
Svitolina and Cornet ferociously disputed a line call, prompting Cornet to tell the umpire: “The ball is touching the back line and you know it. You’re looking in my eyes and you know it.”
The official ruled against Cornet, prompting a barrage of whistling and jeers from a partisan crowd.
Ana Ivanovic is playing in inspired form.Source: AFP
Watched by her boyfriend Bastian Schweinsteiger, the Bayern Munich and German footballer, Ivanovic was too solid for Makarova.
Ending a long absence from the last eight in Paris, Ivanovic was joyous post-match.
“Amazing,” she beamed.
“I really worked hard for each match. I worked hard even before the tournament to reach the quarter-final again here. It feels amazing. Yeah, very proud the way I played in the third set.
“In the third set I knew I had to step up the level, because she’s a very dangerous opponent.
“She gets lots of balls. She was very aggressive on her down-the-line shots. I tried to take that away from her.”
Svitolina weathered a partisan crowd and Cornet’s theatrics to succeed.
At 20, the youngest woman left in the draw, Svitolina secured her first grand slam quarter-final booking with a composed display.
The baseliner from Odessa is already renowned as one of the tour’s hardest workers.
“I was expecting (this) because I was working really hard to achieve this,” she said.
“It shows that I’m moving right way. Brings me a lot of confidence this win. So there is a lot of things to take from this tournament, and it’s not finished yet. I will try my best in quarter-final.
Yeah, I’m looking forward to it and feeling really confident from today’s match.”
The lengthy rain interruption heavily disrupted the schedule, prompting officials to hold over fourth-rounders between Maria Sharapova and Lucie Safarova and Garbine Muguruza and Flavia Pennetta until Monday night (EST).