IVANOVIC b Bartoli 63 64
Q. You must be very pleased. Can you tell us what you particularly liked with your game today?
ANA IVANOVIC: Um, I actually really liked that eighth game in the first set. I thought that was kind of a turning point, because after that point we both played really solid.
That game I really stepped up, you know, another notch and I really stayed low and I was sort of aggressive with my feet. I thought that was something I was lacking in the beginning a little bit.
I really played well the next few games, and then beginning of the second set I broke her straightaway. I think that was very important, and I'm very pleased about it.
Q. Before you broke her game you talked to your coach. What kind of magic words did he give to you?
ANA IVANOVIC: Well, actually, he said I'm doing fine. He just said, you know, Be aggressive and step up a bit more. That's exactly what I felt, as well. I wasn't executing as well as I did in the previous matches, so I really tried to sort of let go and strike the ball well.
That's what I did, and that was very important.
Q. When you have so much success early in your career and then when you start kind of on this way back, how difficult is it mentally to realize that you've got the potential to get back to where you were?
ANA IVANOVIC: Well, it is very hard, I think. And also, you know, they say experience is a good thing and you learn from your experiences, but, you know, when you're young and upcoming you don't have these experiences. You don't know what to expect or what the consequences are. You just go with it.
And then with so many experiences and everything it does help you at some points, but also it sometimes creates a doubt. You know, because you analyze and think too much.
But, you know, I'm just very happy that the work I put in, that it's, you know, paying off and I'm starting to put it together in matches, in the big matches, too.
Q. You talked about revenge for both Wozniacki earlier this year and Bartoli last year. How much do you think about that when you're preparing for the match or when you're on the court?
ANA IVANOVIC: Not really, no. I spoke to my coach about the match today, and he's like, Okay, now, you tell me what you remember from last match. I said, Actually, I don't remember anything, you know. It's really a match at a time.
Every time it's different circumstances as well, and you have to adjust and you have to, you know, adjust your game a little bit, as well.
But I really knew I had to be aggressive. She does strike the ball a lot harder than maybe it looks. And also, her serve comes through a lot more than it seems. I really tried to stay positive and to accept that she might hit some really good shots and winners, but, you know, she might miss some, too.
It wasn't gonna be as much rhythm in the matches as I had maybe with Caroline. So I just accepted that and went on the court with that mentality.
Q. Is the reason her ball is faster than it looks because her technique is so unusual?
ANA IVANOVIC: Yeah, for sure that's the case, also. And she stays really low and she takes the ball very early.
So she hits quite flat.
Q. When Bartoli took that timeout in the second set, did she explain what was going on? What did you understand of the situation?
ANA IVANOVIC: Well, obviously she called the doctor. They did not have a timeout, so it was just evaluation. So I actually thought she was feeling dizzy.
It was a little bit strange second set, you know, just sorry to say. But afterwards, I asked her, and she said she had some virus. So I guess that was the reason.
Q. There have been times over the last few years when you've talked about playing aggressive, and you actually have played aggressive but the balls weren't staying in the court necessarily. So what's the difference now when you're playing aggressive and actually keeping them inside?
ANA IVANOVIC: I worked so much on trying to get cover on the ball and just staying low. I think also with confidence it comes that you sort of finish your shots. I felt like lots of times I would execute well in the past and I would doubt it so I would pull out a little bit, and then the result wouldn't be, you know, as good as if I stayed through the ball.
This is what I really work hard on, just finishing my shots and getting cover, especially on my forehand. This is one thing I think I talked about it in Dubai it's really weird that forehand has been my bad shot, and Nigel, the first thing he said, We have to work on your forehand. I'm like, why?
It is the case, and I feel a lot more confident executing.
Q. What did he do specifically with your forehand? He said what, Bend lower or you're not following through enough or what?
ANA IVANOVIC: Yeah, it is definitely getting lower and getting in better position. But also getting more work on the ball, so a lot more spin. Getting the racquet head underneath the ball more.
Q. Is there anybody else you want revenge on in the near future?
ANA IVANOVIC: Next match I play (smiling).
No, I just want to try and keep this level up and try to enjoy it. I'm actually having fun competing. And, you know, having tough matches and having good challenges, that's what it's all about.
It's nice to actually, you know, play matches rather than just have practice weeks.
Q. How many people do you have in your team now? How many people are traveling with you?
ANA IVANOVIC: Just Nigel.
Q. Is that it?
ANA IVANOVIC: Yes.
Q. Are you comfortable with some kind of smaller team?
ANA IVANOVIC: Yeah, I definitely am. Obviously I have some help, you know, certain weeks for the physical side. But otherwise I'm really, really happy. We really communicate well, and I feel I can learn a lot from him still. That's really important.
I think we both enjoy that kind of relationship.
Q. Are you still talking to that doctor in Australia, the woman orthopedist?
ANA IVANOVIC: Yeah.
Q. Does she give you a program of what you need to do?
ANA IVANOVIC: Yeah, definitely.
Q. So what are you doing during the tournaments?
ANA IVANOVIC: Well, I have been doing beginning of the week, last three or four days I haven't done anything because I have been playing quite a lot. But I have been doing lots of upper body strength and some strength for legs, as well, to sort of like tracking a little more.
You know, one part of the body, it's a little bit weaker than the other, so I tried to even that and do all these kind of exercises.
And then get my shoulders a bit stronger so I can get that spin on the ball.
Q. You were mentioning the other day the Infidel, the book you're reading. Can you tell us a little bit more about how you select your reading material? Do you get recommendations from friends? Book reviews? Wander around the bookstore looking at things? And also, do you try to alternate between serious and more entertaining stuff? Infidel is pretty heavy.
ANA IVANOVIC: Yes, this was actually a present, yeah. I got it just the other day from a friend.
She said, Oh, it's really, really good book. I'm gonna get it for you. So she did.
I actually like to alternate sometimes if I'm on holidays just to have a lighter read, just, you know, love story and something light hearted. But also I like to learn from the books, as well.
This one, I think you can learn a lot about other cultures, as well, and just also psychology a little bit. And also I actually enjoy reading autobiographies, too.
Q. It's incredible, if you think about it, that you haven't play Sharapova since the Australian Open Final four years ago.
ANA IVANOVIC: Has it been that long? Yeah, it is actually pretty amazing. I didn't think it was that long.
Q. Given that you've both been on tour a while and you're Grand Slam champions, do you want to talk about specifically your feelings towards her and how her game has evolved and if you play her what you think you have to do?
ANA IVANOVIC: Actually, I have seen her play a little bit. I have been watching a bit more of tennis lately. She's definitely still has, you know, same style, really aggressive, and sort of she goes for that first hit, and obviously big serve. That, I think, improved in her game, as well. It's gonna be tough match.
Obviously it's very hard to say when you don't actually feel the ball and we haven't played in a long time so that's something I'm gonna make adjustments once I'm on the court.
I definitely want to focus on what I'm doing out there, and it's very important probably also to expose her movement.
Q. What do you remember from that Australian Open final? It's been a while now.
ANA IVANOVIC: Oh, my God. I remember how much I cried afterwards. I actually remember one shot in particular. It still hurts me so much. Silly dropshot forehand. I know. I was like, Why? Seriously, why?
Q. It was on the break point?
ANA IVANOVIC: It was 30 All. I think it was 4 All, 30 All. I was doing really well, and I was like, Why? Just hit it. Just, why? Sometimes I try to be too fancy when there is no need for it.
Q. So you still have nightmares about that shot?
ANA IVANOVIC: Yes, yeah. I actually cried all the way home on the plane about that shot. (Laughter.)
Have you ever seen me do the dropshot again on my forehand? No. I tried to learn.
Q. In a respectful way though do you remember the semifinal with the squeaky shoes?
ANA IVANOVIC: I do. Yes, I do remember that. I still don't like, even here, even when I'm warming up, you can hear. It's just because the courts are hot. There is nothing I can do about that. I don't drag my shoes.
Q. On purpose?
ANA IVANOVIC: On purpose, yeah; otherwise I wouldn't be able to run. (Smiling.)