ANA Ivanovic has declared the time is right to extract some revenge from American Venus Williams, with the pair headed for a classic quarter-final showdown tomorrow.
But Williams, pressed about the revenge factor, last night used diplomatic card to perfection by refusing to bite back, saying only: "I think she's a great player. I know she'll do her best tomorrow."
Williams, seeded eight, holds a 4-0 career edge against the Serbian fourth seed.
Both players claimed straight-sets fourth-round victories yesterday -- Ivanovic beating Denmark's Caroline Wozniacki 6-1 7-6 (7-2) and Williams side-stepping Poland's Marta Domachowska 6-4 6-4.
The last time the pair met, at last year's US Open, Williams repeated the result at Wimbledon earlier in the year with a 6-4 6-2 win.
This time around, Ivanovic, 20, says the new Plexicushion surface at Melbourne Park, as well as an intense off-season fitness program, has her primed to reach the semi-finals of the Open for the first time.
"She's definitely a tough opponent," Ivanovic said. "Last two grand slams I lost to her. Exactly the time for some revenge. I think I'm a little bit of a different player. I've got fitter and stronger on the court.
"And also these courts are a little bit slower than US Open, so I think that's something that definitely suits me better because she's a big server and she likes to go for the big shots."
Ivanovic, a finalist at Roland Garros last year, underwent a tough fitness program at the end of last season in a bid to increase her upper-body strength.
She said the regime had given her greater confidence in competing with the likes of world No. 1 Justine Henin.
"Yeah, it's definitely a big part of my game, because now I feel much stronger out there and I feel I can keep up with these girls for a longer period of time," she said.
Ivanovic said Williams posed a massive challenge -- mentally as well as physically.
"Yeah, definitely it is, because she's a big hitter and she likes to dominate the rallies," Ivanovic said.
"So it will be just important for me to stay there, stay there with her, and still try to get that first shot."
Williams said: "Yeah, I do consider myself a big-match player. I do enjoy those times. I enjoy the challenge. And that's about it."
Both Ivanovic and Williams had to dig deep yesterday.
Ivanovic needed to save a set point in the 10th game of the second before serving out the match.
Williams was forced to battle hard against Domachowska before emerging in straight sets. She then went on the partner sister Serena and secure a berth in the fourth round of the women's doubles with a 6-4 6-1 win against Meilen Tu and Maret Ani.
The famous sisters remain on track to meet in Saturday's final with Serena to face third seed Jelena Jankovic, who beat Australian Casey Dellacqua on Sunday night, in today's quarter-finals.
Uhm you're reading way too much into that article. Try looking at her quotes, and not the crap that the writer puts in there.
(1/20/17) Just discovered this gem in my private messages from 2006:
Who is Rtael?
This guy Rtael ,brainless and ignorant, is one of the most obnoxious, arrogant and coward guys whos has been a pest in this forum for years now.Given the new anti-bully policy he'll probably be expelled soon. Observe how he tries to rally and gang others against you. Mean people like him shouldn't be allowed here. And all because he "doesn't like your attitude"!! **Everyone should consider themselves warned!**