BIRMINGHAM, England (AP) — Former world No. 1 Ana Ivanovic, who admits to a dislike of competing on grass, moved within one win of her first final on the surface with her third confident victory in a row at the Aegon Classic on Friday.
The top-seeded Serbian beat the sixth-seeded Czech, Klara Koukalova, 6-1, 6-4 to reach the semifinals of the Wimbledon warm-up event.
Ivanovic has described playing on grass as "like being stuck to the ground all of a sudden," but there was little wrong with her movement nor any evident lack of self-belief as she forcefully completed her win in 72 minutes.
There was a 20-minute phase in the second set when Koukalova, who has a grass-court title to her name, seemed capable of regaining parity and held service up until 4-3.
But Ivanovic boldly attacked off the ground to break serve in the psychologically crucial moments of the ninth game, and closed out the match without fuss.
"It's a tough transition, not only in the body and the movement, but also in the mindset," Ivanovic said of her improved grass-court showing. She was even now able to believe she could win the tournament.