Ivanovic serves Stosur praise
By Paul Malone
December 22, 2006
TENNIS starlet Ana Ivanovic has tipped Queenslander Sam Stosur to race with her towards a top 10 spot next year.
Ivanovic, who soared more than 80 ranking places this year to reach No. 14, is rated by her coach, Australia Fed Cup captain David Taylor, as the best young woman on the tour.
The Serbian teenager could play Stosur in 2007 as early as the Mondial Australian Women's Hardcourt championships, which start at the Gold Coast on Sunday week, after they split the results of their two meetings this year.
Ivanovic has been practising in Sydney for the past week ahead of a season the 19-year-old believes can bring her a maiden grand slam title.
"She (Stosur) is a great player. She has the potential to have a better ranking, the top 20 pretty fast – the top 10, for sure, one day," said Ivanovic, who lost to Stosur at the Australian Open last January before beating her at the French Open four months later.
Stosur is training in Sydney before starting a new coaching association next week with former Australian No. 1 Nicole Bradtke at the Gold Coast.
Bradtke will coach Stosur, 22, at the hometown tournament before guiding her at the Medibank Private International in Sydney and the Australian Open later next month.
Stosur has been hitting at Sydney's White City after a conditioning program under Martina Navratilova's former trainer Giselle Tirado.
Ivanovic, who will be the third seed at the Gold Coast, had wins in 2006 over three top-10 women – world No. 2 Amelie Mauresmo, Gold Coast top seed Martina Hingis and Patty Schnyder.
The Serbian feels she is ready to win a Grand Slam.
"That's what I'm working hard to do. I'm sure quite soon I will reach my goals," Ivanovic said.