Venus sweeps past Ivanovic at Eastbourne
EASTBOURNE, England (AP) — Venus Williams eased into the quarterfinals at Eastbourne with a convincing 6-3, 6-2 win over Ana Ivanovic on Wednesday.
The unseeded American, playing her second match following a five-month layoff, served well against the former No. 1 and didn't face a single break point in the first set while breaking Ivanovic twice.
Ivanovic had her only break point at 1-0 in the second set, but Williams hit 122 mph first serve to save it before breaking twice more.
Williams will face French Open champion Li Na or Daniela Hantuchova in the next round.
The 30-year-old Williams was in much better form Wednesday than in her first match in Eastbourne, a three-set struggle against eighth-seeded Andrea Petkovic.
Besides her serve, Williams looked to have rediscovered the timing on her forehand, using it to earn her the first break of the match at 2-1.
Ivanovic, who reached her first semifinal of the year in Birmingham last week, kept the match competitive with some crowd-pleasing winners, including a delicate backhand, cross-court pass that left Williams flat-footed and set her on the way to a break point early in the second set.
Williams improved to 7-1 against Ivanovic.