sport

Birmingham glory for Ivanovic

Ana Ivanovic has won the first grass-court title of her career at the Aegon Classic in Birmingham.

 

The Serbian beat surprise finalist Barbora Zahlavova Strycova 6-3 6-2 and did not lose a set all week at Edgbaston Priory Club.

She is now set to move up to number 11 in the world rankings as a result of winning her 14th career title, and the third of a very successful year.

Ivanovic is also the only female player to reach finals on clay, hard courts and grass in 2014 and has won 37 matches already this season - more than anyone else on the WTA Tour.

Her Czech opponent Zahlavova Strycova, whose only WTA title was in Quebec in 2011, broke serve in the opening game as Ivanovic made a nervous start, but the favourite and top seed responded by winning the next four games.

Ivanovic's only real trouble was with smashes, the 26-year-old missing a series of overheads and then raising her hands in celebration when she finally found the corner.

Zahlavova Strycova prolonged the inevitable by saving two match points to hold serve in the seventh game, but Ivanovic took her third chance to win the title.

Ivanovic follows in the footsteps of legends such as Billie Jean King and Martina Navratilova, both former Edgbaston champions.

"I couldn't ask for better preparation for Wimbledon than to win my first title on grass," said the top seed.

"It definitely feels very special, not just to win my first title on grass, but to put my name next to champions like that."