Ivanovic ends title drought
Ana Ivanovic won her first WTA Tour title in over two years after completing a 6-2 5-7 6-4 win over Venus Williams at the Auckland Classic.
The Serbian 1 had not won a title since the end of 2011 but looked to be back to somewhere near her best during an assured display against fellow former world No 1 Williams.
Ivanovic raced to the first set and also took control of the second, with Williams only sparking into life when her opponent was serving for the match.
The seven-time grand slam winner saved two match points as she turned the set around completely, but Ivanovic got back on top in the decider and this time was able to close things out.
"Venus showed again what a great sport she is and what she has done in the past," Ivanovic said after the match.
"At the end of the second set I made a couple of errors that I hadn't made up until that point," the Serb added of her yips in failing to close out the match in straight sets.
"But I just decided I would try to enjoy it and play and move forward and be aggressive."
Williams received a walkover in the semi-final before being defeated in the title-deciding match, but the American was still happy with the way she is tuning up for the Australian Open.
"This was amazing preparation, I should have been here years ago. It's all I could hope for," she said.