The sun may have been shining down on Margaret Court Arena, but Serb Ana Ivanovic had to persevere through some on-court turbulence as she was pushed to three sets by Chinese Taipei’s Yung-Jan Chan on Wednesday, eventually prevailing 7-5 1-6 6-4.
The 13th seed battled mid-match injury concerns and a determined showing from a qualifier buoyed by an upset victory.
Ranked 118 in the world, Chan, who toppled Daniela Hantuchova in the opening round, wasn’t afraid to take Ivanovic outside of her comfort zone, regularly producing well-weighted drop shots and crafty angles to good effect.
Hindered by a left ankle complaint during the second set, the 25-year-old called a medical time out where she received a massage and supportive strapping.
Although she lost the set 6-1, Ivanovic was able to regroup in the third, earning an early break before going on to serve it out 6-4 in a match that lasted two hours and 18 minutes.
“It was tough to play in the conditions and with the shadow coming across the court. Plus she’s won doubles titles on tour ... she has good hands,” Ivanovic said when asked about Chan’s all-court style.
She was also quick to downplay any talk about her ankle, saying the trainer’s attention was more a result of her “tying her shoes too tight” than anything overly serious.
In their first career meeting, Ivanovic started the contest in the manner expected from the more-experienced player, racing to a 3-0 lead.
However, Chan, utilising the drop shot to great effect, mustered a surprise break before turning the match on its head, claiming five successive games on her way to a 5-4 lead.
The pendulum again swung when Ivanovic cracked a backhand winner down the line, the Serb using the shot a spur to take the set 7-5.
Albeit aided by a wayward opponent, the second set was an almost perfect display of tennis from Chan, with the 23-year-old hitting a total of nine winners and committing just the solitary unforced error.
That stellar form didn’t quite translate into the third though, as Ivanovic, looking more assured and steady on her feet, broke in the opening game of the decider before serving it out 6-4 in 46 minutes.
The focus will now turn to an all-Serbian third round encounter, with Ivanovic set to do battle against countrywoman and 22nd seed Jelena Jankovic.