Ivanovic aiming high

Iva Ivanovic believes her current level of performance could carry her all the way to the French Open title.

Iva Ivanovic believes her current level of performance could carry her all the way to the French Open title.

The 20-year-old, favourite for the crown following her elimination of top seed Maria Sharapova, comfortably dispatched Patty Schnyder 6-3 6-2 yesterday to claim her place in the last-four.

The Serbian came into the match on the back of a ’double-bagel’ 6-0 6-0 win over Petra Cetkovska in the last round – and her confidence told once again against the 10th-seeded Swiss, who was making her first quarter-final appearance at Roland Garros since 1998.

“I’m really happy with the way I’m playing at the moment,” said Ivanovic, the French Open runner-up 12 months ago.

“That’s something I want to keep focused on and keep working hard. In my days off I have time to prepare for the following matches, and that’s something that’s been great these past few weeks.

“So yeah, I just want to keep at this level.”

Ivanovic will play Jelana Jankovic in the semi-finals, after the number three seed brushed aside Carla Suarez Navarro.

The 23-year-old cruised to a 6-3 6-2 win in just 73 minutes to set up a clash with her fellow Serbian, against whom she has won just once in six meetings.

Looking ahead to her semi-final with Jankovic, Ivanovic admitted she could not put her finger on why she had enjoyed such dominance in their previous encounters.

She said: “It’s hard to say. Against some players you just do better than against others.

“She’s a tough opponent and she defends well. Every match is a new match, and I just have to keep playing like I played so far.”

She added: “It’s going to be an interesting match. At least we have one Serbian for sure in the final.”

Jankovic is hoping, though, that the clay at Roland Garros will yield a change of fortunes.

Only one of her five losses to her compatriot has come on clay – at Amelia Island last year – and she feels that the jury is still out as to whether Ivanovic has a significant advantage on the surface.

“I had troubles in the past against her – but I don’t think we played on clay many times,” said Jankovic.

“It’s a different game and it’s different circumstances, so I think it will be a completely different match. We’ll see how it goes this time.

“I really have to attack. She has some weaknesses in her game – and I really need to play well tactically to play the right shots, play the right game; then we will see.

“I will fight very hard, and hope I can do it – get in a grand slam final for the first time.”

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