Ivanovic wins Serbian 'derby'

  • Last Updated: January 18 2013, 11:51 GMT

Ana Ivanovic reached the last 16 of the Australian Open after winning her all-Serbian battle with Jelena Jankovic.

Ana Ivanovic: Triumphed in her all-Serbian battle
Ana Ivanovic: Triumphed in her all-Serbian battle

Ivanovic, the former world number one, won 7-5 6-3 to earn herself a meeting with Polish fourth seed Agnieszka Radwanska who beat Briton Haether Watson.

"It was intense from the first to the last moment, but I really felt like I stayed in the zone and played each point for, you know, that point," said Ivanovic.

"That's what was my goal today, so I'm very pleased I managed to do that and to do it well,'' Ivanovic said.

"We haven't played each other in a grand slam (event) for a while, but it's always tough. She's still a very good player and even though we are different opponents now than we were then (French Open), it's still a battle."

Much has been made of the rivalry between the two - but Ivanovic insists it has been blown out of proportion.

"It's fine. It's really good. We had a really good week in Prague for the final of the Fed Cup. Yeah, we were hanging out a lot, joking. It's nice. We know each other for a while," confirmed Ivanovic.

"I think it's competitiveness and you have that with everyone you play and especially someone coming from your country."

Ivanovic, the 13th seed, has shed weight and built strength in a bid to push back into the elite top 10 this year.

"I'm still working on my upper body strength. In the off-season, I really did improve a lot in my fitness," she said.

"I feel overall a lot more stable on the court and a lot more powerful as well. I think my strokes are heavier as well and that's something I worked on a lot.

"I definitely move a lot better and faster. Still, there's a lot of room for improvement, but some things take time. But I'm very, very happy that this hard work is paying off."


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