Ivanovic advances to Brisbane final

Reuters News
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Posted: Jan 09, 2015 2:44 AM

BRISBANE (Reuters) - Serbia's Ana Ivanovic battled her way into the final of the Brisbane International on Friday, beating American Varvara Lepchenko 7-6(2) 6-4.

Ivanovic, who came from a set down to win her previous match, once again had to dig deep before seeing off Lepchenko after nearly two hours on the Pat Rafter Arena.

Lepchenko twice served for the opening set but Ivanovic broke back both times then won the tiebreaker.

In the second set, Ivanovic charged to a 5-1 lead before she got the wobbles, allowing Lepchenko to reel off the next three games before she finally sealed the win on her seventh match point.

Ivanovic's opponent in Saturday's final will be either Russia's Maria Sharapova or Elina Svitolina of Ukraine.

Ivanovic will be chasing her 16th WTA career title and her fifth in 12 months after she began her latest resurgence up the world rankings.

Currently ranked seventh, the 27-year-old is looming as one of the favorites for the Australian Open, starting in Melbourne on Jan. 19.

(Reporting by Julian Linden; Editing by John O'Brien)