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post #31 of 4614 (permalink) Old Aug 22nd, 2007, 11:37 PM
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Re: ~Ana's articles~

The New York Observer

Welcome, Power Serbs!

Ana Ivanovic and Novak Djokovic, 19 and 20, Threaten to Up-End U.S. Open; McEnroe Says He’s Better Than Roddick; She’s Already the Hottest

by John Koblin

Published: August 21, 2007

Ana Ivanovic, the modest 19-year-old Serbian tennis player, spent this past weekend traveling between the players’ hotel, at the Le Méridien on 57th Street, and the U.S. Open Tennis Center in Queens on a bus that departs once an hour. She is sharing a room with her mom. She’ll be in bed by 10:30, reading The Secret, the best-selling Rhonda Byrne self-help book.

“I want to go to Abercrombie and Fitch,” she said. “I want to get jeans. Their jeans fit me best.”

If she has time, she said, she’ll go to Macy’s too.

Some female tennis stars crave the chance to land high-end endorsement deals, to dress in Prada, to start their own fashion lines. Ana Ivanovic is not one of them. At a time when women’s tennis has been ravaged by indifference, injuries and shameless self-promotion, she may be just the player the Women’s Tennis Association desperately needs. She’s humble, smart, hungry and ridiculously attractive. Oh—and she has perhaps the best forehand in tennis.

Starting Aug. 27, when the three-week U.S. Open kicks off, she’ll be a star.

[Power Serbs: Novak Djokovic, 20, Has Beaten the Best]

On Aug. 19, eight days before the start of the tournament, she strolled into the players’ lounge on the second floor at Arthur Ashe Stadium. She’s got an athletic shape, at 6-foot-1 and 159 pounds. She has almond-shaped brown eyes and a deep brown tan. She wore a pink Adidas T-shirt, and her hair in a ponytail and looked, despite the fact that she had just spent the previous 90 minutes hitting tennis balls, completely fresh.

She arrived accompanied only by her mother, who speaks little English and quickly excused herself from the room.

“I’m sorry for being late,” she said. (She was less than 10 minutes late.) “I was practicing.”

Ivanovic talks in long, unpunctuated sentences full of false starts (“I think, you know, so, yeah …”) but her English, which she learned nine years ago, is fantastically—refreshingly—expressive in a way that the language of the hyper-media-trained players from America and Western Europe rarely is.

She discussed her game, where in the last year she’s made a steady climb from 16th to No. 4 in the world, the youngest player in the top 10.

“For quite a long time I was around 20th, and I obviously wanted to make this step and break in the top 10,” she said. “I just needed more confidence and more consistency in my game so I would win against top players more often.”

She’s done exactly that. This year, she’s 5-0 against Maria Sharapova and Jelena Jankovic, the No. 2 and No. 3 players in the world, respectively. And she landed in the French Open final and the Wimbledon semifinals, her best-ever finishes in Grand Slams.

When it comes to tennis fundamentals, Ivanovic’s most powerful strength is her forehand. She begins the stroke with her arm turned at a high-arching angle that she whips down to smash through the ball in a style reminiscent of Steffi Graf. She learned it when she was 11.

“Since I was young they always told me I had a powerful forehand,” she said. “Really, growing up I realized that’s my biggest weapon, so I want to use it as much as I can.”

She’s also dramatically improved her movement on the court—helping her to move up 12 spots in the world tennis rankings in the past year—and she’s working on an increasingly powerful serve.

But what separates her most from the rest of the women’s game is a growing, almost preternatural understanding of the psychological vagaries of the sport—a rite of passage for every champion.

When Ivanovic was asked about the most important match she ever played, she spoke briefly about her biggest win—defeating Sharapova in the French semis—but more extensively of her most spectacular loss, when she was routed by Justine Henin at Roland Garros in her first Grand Slam final, 6-1, 6-2. “Even if I lost the final and didn’t play the best tennis, I still learned so much from that experience,” she said.

“Each match until the final, I was thinking ‘O.K., this match, I want to play the best I can and see how this goes.’ In the final, I thought ‘Oh, my God, I could win Grand Slam! I might win Grand Slam!’ It went from technical part to emotional part and that was the big mistake. I wasn’t ready for that. Once I was on the court, all these emotions came and I didn’t know how to deal with it. But next time, if I’m in that situation, before the match I know I’m going to feel these emotions and be ready to put them aside and know how to focus.”

After a pause, she added, “Very easy to say, much harder to do, but this match helped me a lot.”

She described Henin as the player she feared the most on tour. (“She’s a great mover and doesn’t make many unforced errors so she makes you win points more than once.”)

And she discussed Venus and Serena Williams—the leaders of the women’s game over the past decade, against whom collectively she is 0-4—with equal humility.

“They both play very powerful,” she said. “It’s still something I have to practice hard on because they don’t give me much time to play my game. They dominate—they are the ones dictating. I really hope I can play against them soon because then I’m more comfortable with that kind of game.”

In other words, the more she sees them, the more she’ll learn and the better she’ll play against them. She’s a true strategist at heart, even though she technically plays without a coach. (She’s given one through her endorsement deal with Adidas, but he’s regarded as a consultant.)

It also says something about her makeup that she is most eager to face the players most likely to expose the weak point in her game: her lack of mobility, which leads to an inability to return strongly hit shots in the far court.

“My biggest weakness, there are so many girls that are hitting very powerful—myself, I hit quite fast—but when someone hits it even harder and faster then it’s going to be hard because I still want to have enough time to adjust and have time to hit the ball,” she said. “I’m working a lot on that aspect right now.”

HER TENNIS CAREER BEGAN WHEN she was four years old and living in a town just outside of Belgrade. She saw a commercial during a televised match between Monica Seles and some player she couldn’t remember, before she understood what tennis really was. It was an important moment.

“In between breaks there was commercial for tennis school,” she said. “I remembered the number and asked my mom to call it for me and for fifth birthday my father bought me small tennis racket and a month later I stared playing tennis.”

Her game, however, isn’t patterned after Seles’s or, Ivanovic will say, anyone else’s. Ivanovic said she didn’t watch much tennis at all as an adolescent or as a teenager. (When I made reference during the interview to the 1999 French Open final between Steffi Graf and Martina Hingis, easily one of women’s tennis most famous matches ever, Ivanovic said she wasn’t familiar with it.)

“It just comes naturally,” she said. “Basically, I think technique is very individual.”

Her early life has been recounted by tennis writers in largely the same way: She grew up in poverty-stricken and war-torn Serbia and grew up playing tennis on a makeshift court inside a converted pool.

That’s partly the truth. When she was 11, she actually began practicing mostly in a tennis bubble, which was reserved for the country’s elite players. She also played on three clay courts in the town next to where she grew up, which may help explain how she won 16 out of 19 matches on clay this year. As a teenager, she began traveling to Switzerland, the European version of the Florida tennis factory.

It was also at the age of 11 that she changed the grip of her forehand, which resulted in the more powerful, looping stroke that is now her most lethal weapon. That change come at the recommendation of her former coach, Dejan Vranes, the person Ivanovic credits most for making her a top five tennis player.

Although he’s no longer her coach—he’s now the Serbian head coach during the international tournament, the Fed Cup—he remains close to Ivanovic. (At the interview, she wore a pair of earrings he gave her when she reached the French Open final.)

THE NEXT BIG STEP FOR IVANOVIC, if she is to continue on her breakneck trajectory, is to make the final at a major played on hard courts. She’s never made it past the third round at the U.S. Open.

On Sunday, she practiced at Louis Armstrong Stadium and said the courts are playing slow—much slower than they were at a warm-up tournament in Toronto a week ago, when she was bounced out of the first round by an unranked Chinese player.

One of the big wildcard factors over the next three weeks, for Ivanovic, will be the reaction of the fans.

New Yorkers always pick a player or two to carry on a wave of good feelings to the championships.

Ivanovic likes this.

“The French and Wimbledon, it’s higher class and it’s very traditional,” she said. “Here, it’s a lot of people and a lot of people that know a lot about tennis. It’s much more enjoyable in this tournament.”

And she could just become It.

The W.T.A. women’s tour is starving for idols at the moment. Kim Clijsters, who won the U.S. Open two years ago, retired this year at age 23. Other marquee players are no longer factors: Amelie Mauresmo is injured; Martina Hingis is trying a comeback after squandering years on a premature retirement.

Maria Sharapova, last year’s winner, was widely regarded as the next star of tennis. She certainly is that—she made more in endorsements last year than any female athlete ever—but with her predictable forehand-and-serve game, she hasn’t quite lived up to those expectations on the court.

Ivanovic, for her part, has begun to receive the star treatment—there are already a number of professional-looking Ivanovic fan-worship sites on the Web—but she seems to regard the press attention, the photo shoots and the all-around notoriety with the same even attitude that she applies to everything else.

“It’s good to do something different and forget about court and practice,” she said. “But it’s also important to keep a good balance, because at the end of the day they ask you to do commercial because you achieved something good in tennis, so in order to achieve more you have to practice hard.”

and I'm not even fan of Ana Ivanovic... just an objective observer who realize how perfect she is

AMAZING BELGRADE MIRACLE: In just three years (2008-2011) 5 different players born in same city reach world #1 in rankings and several GS titles and finals (WTA singles: Ana Ivanovic and Jelena Jankovic, ATP singles: Novak Djokovic, ATP doubles: Nenad Zimonjic and Daniel Nestor... with notable performances of Bojana Jovanovski, Janko Tipsarevic and Viktor Troicki which is also all three born in Belgrade)
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post #32 of 4614 (permalink) Old Aug 26th, 2007, 05:44 PM
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I googled this one

RTS wants Ana Ivanovic to be the host of Eurovision
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post #33 of 4614 (permalink) Old Aug 26th, 2007, 05:55 PM
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Re: ~Ana's articles~

She's not going to accept it a couple of days before RG gets underway. Or at least if it's still to be hosted in the middle of May.

Ana Ivanović.
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post #34 of 4614 (permalink) Old Aug 26th, 2007, 11:06 PM
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French Open: 1st Round
25/05/2008 (Sun 11:00 AM) Roland Garros - Paris

she could be there at least for semis
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post #35 of 4614 (permalink) Old Aug 27th, 2007, 08:07 PM
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I found this story. It is similar to that Ezekiel psoted, though

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post #36 of 4614 (permalink) Old Sep 7th, 2007, 06:10 PM
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Re: ~Ana's articles~


Звонарёва ~ Павлюченкова
Петрова ~ Клейбанова
Сафина ~ Кириленко
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post #37 of 4614 (permalink) Old Sep 7th, 2007, 08:36 PM
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Epigone could you tell us what the articles about?
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post #38 of 4614 (permalink) Old Sep 28th, 2007, 08:36 PM
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Stay away.
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post #39 of 4614 (permalink) Old Sep 28th, 2007, 08:39 PM
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Short translation :

Ana visited one primary school at Kosovo I think, she gave them money and played a volleyvall with them in a skirt and high heels

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post #40 of 4614 (permalink) Old Oct 7th, 2007, 11:56 AM
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Re: ~Ana's articles~

A nice article here
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post #41 of 4614 (permalink) Old Nov 20th, 2007, 03:09 PM
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Re: ~Ana's articles~

another article where ana is mentioned on orf (for those who understand german ):

the article is about tennis players as fashion models and ana is mentioned as "serbian tennis wonder" who is the most sought after tennis player after sharapova for fashion photo shoots and stuff. the add for sony ericsson she did with hantuchova is mentioned as well as her deal with adidas.
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post #42 of 4614 (permalink) Old Nov 23rd, 2007, 10:20 PM
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Re: ~Ana's articles~

Ana made appearance on a new tv talk show with Ceca , hopefully it shows up on youtube

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post #43 of 4614 (permalink) Old Nov 24th, 2007, 05:30 AM
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I was right
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post #44 of 4614 (permalink) Old Dec 2nd, 2007, 03:56 PM
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Re: ~Ana's articles~

Ivanovic, Szavay Set To Wow Budapest Crowds
Source: WTA official site

BUDAPEST, Hungary - On December 10, two of the brightest young stars on the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour will go head to head in beautiful Budapest for the second edition of the KENO International Tennis Exhibition. The contest will see local favorite Agnes Szavay take on Serbia's Ana Ivanovic in a match which is sure to provide plenty of entertainment for the spectators in the Hungarian capital.

The emergence of Ivanovic as a major force on Tour was one of the most exciting developments of the 2007 season as the 20-year-old took the game by storm. Perhaps the greatest of the young Serb's long list of achievements was her memorable runner-up finish to Justine Henin at Roland Garros, although in a year which saw her collect three trophies and establish herself in the world's Top 5 there was certainly no shortage of highlights.

However, Ivanovic is not the only player to have experienced a significant breakthrough over the course of the last 12 months and her central European neighbor Szavay's ascent up the ranks was arguably just as impressive. The 18-year-old was one of the surprise packages of the year, breaking into the elite Top 20 and lifting two Tour titles along the way. Szavay started out the year ranked a lowly No.185 in the world, but 56 wins later and she finished it sitting pretty at No.19.

"I've been to Hungary many times before and I have good memories," Ivanovic said. "I'm happy that I can return and I'm also glad that I can play a match against Agnes as I've known her for a long time. I always take my matches very seriously and I will do my best at this exhibition as well. Nevertheless, I also would like to enjoy the game and hope that the fans will do so as well."

"This year I"ve beaten many top players and my aim is to do my best against Ana too," Szavay said. "This match is really important to me and not just because I get to play in front of a home crowd, but also because the Hungarian Tennis Federation celebrated its 100 anniversary this year and it would be a nice present if I could win the match against such a good player as Ana."

The KENO International Tennis Exhibition, hosted by PromoSport Ltd., will also be graced by several stellar names from the men's game, including Top 20 stars Ivan Ljubicic and Tommy Robredo and past legends, such as Henri Leconte, Mansour Bahrami, Miloslav Mecir and Karol Kucera.

and I'm not even fan of Ana Ivanovic... just an objective observer who realize how perfect she is

AMAZING BELGRADE MIRACLE: In just three years (2008-2011) 5 different players born in same city reach world #1 in rankings and several GS titles and finals (WTA singles: Ana Ivanovic and Jelena Jankovic, ATP singles: Novak Djokovic, ATP doubles: Nenad Zimonjic and Daniel Nestor... with notable performances of Bojana Jovanovski, Janko Tipsarevic and Viktor Troicki which is also all three born in Belgrade)
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post #45 of 4614 (permalink) Old Dec 5th, 2007, 04:07 PM
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Re: ~Ana's articles~


Ana Ivanovic has spent the last week training at the National Tennis Centre in Roehampton as she prepares to travel to Australia for the start of the 2008 season. The 20-year-old, who is the No 4 ranked player in the world, was born in Belgrade, Serbia, and now resides in Basel, Switzerland.

During 2007, Ana rose up the rankings from No 14 at the beginning of the year to the top 10 position that she occupies today. This progression was helped by recording three Sony Ericsson WTA title victories between May and September in Berlin, Los Angeles and Luxembourg. The right-hander also came close to picking up her first Grand Slam title as she made it to the final of the French Open and the semi-final of Wimbledon before falling to Justine Henin and Venus Williams respectively.

During her time at the National Tennis Centre, Ana took time out of her busy training schedule to speak to some of Britain’s talented juniors who were in Roehampton for a Talent Identification camp. The pro player fielded questions from the girls who used the session as a chance to find out what it takes to reach the very top of the game. Three of the questions asked were:

Q: What do you think the main differences are between top 100 players and juniors who are trying to make it there?

A: I believe that strength and fitness are both key factors but experience is also crucial. When I was 16-years-old I felt like my shots were as good as the professional players but I lacked experience and I found it hard to play two good matches in a row.

Q: What age were you when you started playing tennis?

A: I was 5-years-old but I don’t believe that there is one special age to start playing; everyone is different.

Q: Where is your training base?

A: I don’t really have one training base at the moment as I’m on the road so much playing tournaments. I like to train in Spain and Holland whenever I can and also in London now! The National Tennis Centre is an unbelievable facility which is right up there with the best places in the world.

Jazzi Plews, who is 9-years-old and was meeting Ana for the first time, said: “I loved meeting such a great player. I’ve watched her training during the last week and it’s been brilliant to see how good she really is. I want to be a pro when I’m older so seeing Ana play really inspires me to go out and train harder.”

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