Vol. 5 Num 1141 Tue. August 14, 2007  

A Serbian day

Serbian third seed Ana Ivanovic defeated fourth-seeded Russian Nadia Petrova 7-5, 6-4 here Sunday to win the 600,000-dollar WTA hard court tournament.

Ivanovic, who said she was inspired by compatriot Novak Djokovic's Montreal Masters triumph over world number one Roger Federer earlier in the day, fired 23 forehand winners past Petrova as she claimed her second title of the year.

The 19-year-old served for the first set at 5-4 but couldn't finish it off, having to come back and serve again to take the opener.

There were no hiccups, however, as she served for the match at 5-4 in the second, as Ivanovic held her serve to love and finished Petrova off with her fourth ace of the match.

"I was really pleased with my performance today, she's a tough opponent," Ivanovic said. "I knew I had to take chances. I'm very excited -- this is great preparation for the US Open."

Ivanovic said she knew before her match that Djokovic had pulled off the upset of Federer in Montreal.

"It's amazing -- I saw a little bit of his match," she said. "He played amazing tennis so I was motivated to do the same thing."

Ivanovic had to battle for her finals berth against another compatriot, second-seeded Jelena Jankovic.

She rallied from 1-4 down in the third set on Saturday to beat Jankovic 4-6, 6-3, 7-5.

Petrova, in contrast, advanced to the final in a walkover when top-seeded Russian Maria Sharapova pulled out before their scheduled semi-final with a left lower leg strain.

Ivanovic, the runner-up at the French Open, was playing her first tournament since a semi-final loss to eventual champion Venus Williams at Wimbledon.

Now, projected to rise one spot to a career high No. 4 in the world rankings on Monday, she heads to Toronto to defend the Rogers Cup title she won last year when the tournament was held in Montreal.