(November 7, 2010) A red-hot Ana Ivanovic concluded the season celebrating her 23rd birthday and a return to the Top 20. Ivanovic captured her second title in the last three weeks with a 6-2, 7-6(5) win over Alisa Kleybanova in today's Commonwealth Bank Tournament of Champions final. The Bali win will vault Ivanovic back into the Top 20 for the first time since October 25th, 2009.
Ivanovic closes the season on a tear that saw her win 13 of her final 15 matches.
"It was a great match and we played some great tennis from the very first point. I really enjoyed it so much," Ivanovic said. "The second set came down to mental strength and just believing in myself. I managed to stay calm so I was happy to close out the match. We practiced a lot together this week and we have both been hitting the ball hard, but I just tried to stay calm and to use her pace."
The former world No. 1 won her 10th career title, three weeks after she claimed her ninth title in Linz. Prior to that Austrian win, the 2008 French Open champion had not won a tournament since Linz in 2008. She is now 10-4 in WTA finals.
"She serves big and that was the biggest challenge for me," Ivanovic said. "It’s great to win another title, I am thrilled and it’s a big step for me. The last few months have been great and really exciting, and it’s a good way to go into next season."
The title ensures Ivanovic will be seeded for the 2011 Australian Open, which starts in January. The Belgrade baseliner is 4-3 lifetime against Kleybanova.
"Ana played great tennis and I was probably a little tired from the previous two matches," Kleybanova said. "I played well but I’m obviously disappointed and I hit a few too many unforced errors in the beginning of the match. I played much better in the second set but at some points, I didn’t play as well as I should have. It’s OK, I’m very happy I got to the finals, I played very good tennis all week and I’m very happy with my performance. I did all I could today and gave everything on the court."
The 24th-ranked Ivanovic held off 40-year-old Kimiko Date Krumm, 7-5, 6-7(5), 6-2 in two hours, 23 minutes in Saturday's semifinals.
Date Krumm defeated Daniela Hantuchova, 7-5, 7-5, beating Hantuchova for the third time in three meetings, after Seoul in 2009 and Tokyo this year.
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