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By Matthew Cronin
LOS ANGELES, Aug 12 (Reuters) - Ana Ivanovic continued her impressive form with a powerful 7-5 6-4 victory over Nadia Petrova in the Los Angeles Classic final on Sunday.
The 19-year-old Serb, who reached this year’s French Open final and Wimbledon semi-finals, will move up to a career high number four when the world rankings are released on Monday.
She joined compatriot Novak Djokovic in the winner’s circle on Sunday after her childhood friend upset world number one Roger Federer to secure the Montreal Masters title.
“He played amazing and I was motivated to do the same thing so we would have two titles today,” Ivanovic told reporters. “I knew he won before I went on court so it was a little more pressure for me, but I tried to play my best and I’m really happy.”
Ivanovic initially had trouble finding rhythm on her serve but once she located the corners of the court she began to control the rallies.
The fourth-seeded Petrova tried to punch holes in Ivanovic’s backhand, but the Serb moved quickly to utilise her huge forehand.
Ivanovic broke Petrova to 5-4 when the Russian missed a forehand down the line, but Petrova broke her back to 5-5 when Ivanovic erred on a backhand.
But Ivanovic kept going for her shots and broke Petrova again to 6-5 when she powered an inside out forehand return of serve winner.
Petrova said she could not cope with Ivanovic’s forehand.
“She just rips it off without thinking, sometimes I think she has no idea where it’s going to go, but compared to other players, it’s by far the best forehand out there,” Petrova said.
Ivanovic immediately broke Petrova at the start of the second set and never looked back, the Russian failing to create a single break point.
Ivanovic impressively closed out the match in the final game, torching four straight winners, including a 102 mph serve out wide to clinch victory.
The Serb then let out a shriek of joy and raised her arms to the sky.
“It was tough at times because I muscle pain from yesterday and shoulder very tight,” “ said Ivanovic, who needed two and half hours to best Jelena Jankovic in the semi-finals. “I didn’t want to go in third set because I was really tired from yesterday’s match. I tried to take my chances.”