STANFORD, Calif. (AP) — Ana Ivanovic has a new coach and a better outlook. Venus Williams continues to work toward another possible Grand Slam title.
The fifth-seeded Ivanovic won her first-round match in the Bank of the West Classic, defeating Sabine Lisicki 7-6 (2), 6-1 on Tuesday. The former world No. 1 lost to Lisicki in three sets in their previous meeting at Wimbledon.
"My mentality has changed," Ivanovic said. "Sometimes just a few points make a difference and it helps to be positive in a tight situation. I did that today in the tiebreak."
She also hired Dejan Petrovic and was playing her first tournament with him.
"It was a lot of things on and off the court," Ivanovic said of her split with Nemanja Kontic following the loss to Lisicki at Wimbledon. "He helped me a lot and sometimes these decisions are very hard."
Williams, also a former No. 1, beat qualifier Paula Kania, 6-3, 6-2. She'll next play fourth seeded Victoria Azarenka, whom she has beaten in three previous meetings.
"She's always a tough competitor," Williams said. "I'll need to be focused and on my toes."
Ivanovic has won three tournament titles on the WTA Tour this season after failing to win a tournament in 2013. She owns 14 career titles.
"I don't think like that," she said. "When I was being introduced, I heard that I won three titles and I thought 'I did?' I knew I had played a lot of matches, so maybe I should not have been surprised."
Ivanovic fell behind in the first set and rallied to win it in a tiebreaker.
"It was a tough first match for both of us," Ivanovic said. "She was playing very well. In the tiebreak I thought I had to be aggressive, so I came to the net. I felt confident in doing that."
Continue reading this story on the...