IVANOVIC KEEPS S’PORE HOPES ALIVE

Ivanovic beat Madison Brengle 6-0, 6-3 in 72 minutes. Photo World Sport Group

BY WTA Tennis

WUHAN — Ana Ivanovic retained an outside chance of qualifying for the WTA Finals in Singapore with an impressive straight set victory over Madison Brengle at the Dongfeng Motor Wuhan Open yesterday .

Having dropped just four games in her opening round triumph over Alexandra Dulgheru, Ivanovic, the No 9 seed, went one better against Brengle, completing a 6-0, 6-3 win in just 72 minutes.

The confidence oozing through Ivanovic’s game was clear for all to see as early as the second game, a beautifully disguised drop shot bringing up the first break points of the match. She called on the same stroke to capture the second break, and with just 28 minutes on the clock the set was hers.

Just as impressive as the Serb’s shotmaking was her concentration. In a 12-minute opening game to the second set, the Serb recovered from 0-40 down to hold serve, and she was forced to dig deep on several other occasions before finally wrapping up victory with an ace out wide.

But to book a date with the BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore presented by SC Global, Ivanovic must continue her impressive run at Wuhan and go deep into the draw both here and at next week’s China Open.

On the immediate horizon is third round opponent Garbine Muguruza, another player in the hunt for a spot in Singapore. The Spaniard, seeded No.5 in Wuhan, was every bit as impressive as Ivanovic outclassing fellow WTA Rising Star Sloane Stephens, 6-2, 6-0, in barely an hour.

ROAD TO SINGAPORE LEADERBOARD
After second day of competition in Wuhan

RANK PLAYER   POINTS WUH BEI LIN HKG TIA LUX KRE
Current +/-       900 + 1000 280 280 280 280 470
1 Serena Williams * USA 9945
2 Simona Halep * ROU 5840
3 Maria Sharapova * RUS 4322 R32++
4 Petra Kvitova CZE 3483
5 Lucie Safarova CZE 3222
6 Flavia Pennetta ITA 3034
7 4 Garbine Muguruza ESP 3032
8 Carla Suarez Navarro ESP 3010
9 -2 Angelique Kerber GER 2975
10 -1 Agnieszka Radwanska POL 2955 R64
11 -1 Karolina Pliskova CZE 2955
12 Belinda Bencic SUI 2865 R32
13 Caroline Wozniacki DEN 2621 R32
14 Timea Bacsinszky SUI 2483
15 1 Madison Keys USA 2430 R32
16 -1 Sara Errani ITA 2410 R64
17 Elina Svitolina UKR 2400
18 Roberta Vinci ITA 2320
19 Victoria Azarenka BLR 2276 R32
20 2 Ana Ivanovic SRB 2227
21 -1 Ekaterina Makarova RUS 2202
22 1 Venus Williams USA 2177
23 -2 Jelena Jankovic SRB 2175 R32
24 Andrea Petkovic GER 1987 R64
25 Kristina Mladenovic FRA 1805
26 Samantha Stosur AUS 1720 R64
27 Anna Karolina Schmiedlova SVK 1720
28 Sloane Stephens USA 1650 R32
29 1 Irina-Camelia Begu ROU 1621 R32
30 -1 Sabine Lisicki GER 1569
*    Players who have already booked their places in Singapore
+     Maximum points available for tournaments at each city
++   ‘R’ indicate the round a player was defeated
✓    Tournaments players are scheduled to play before the WTA Finals

THE BATTLE FOR POINTS BEFORE WTA FINALS:
Sept 27-Oct 3: Wuhan Open (WUH)
Oct 3-11: China Open (CHN)
Oct 12-18 Generali Ladies Linz (LIN)
Oct 12-18: Hong Kong Open (HKG)
Oct 12-18: Tianjin Open (TIA)
Oct 19-25: Luxembourg Open (LUX)
Oct 19-24: Kremlin Cup (KRE)