Ana Ivanovic: "Life is brutal on the circuit"
The Serbian tennis player recalls his two years of hard when she comes back into the Top 20 after its success in Linz and at the Masters B Bali
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BRUSSELS From its splendid 1.86 m, it has dragged on for two years in the languor player lost, caught in a spiral of black cruel failures. Former World No. 1 and winner of Roland Garros in 2008, Ana Ivanovic has experienced hard times: 5th in 2008, 22nd in 2009, it comes back into the Top 20 (17th) thanks to his success in the Masters B Bali, after failing to 65th place in mid-July. He had been interviewed once at Wimbledon, when she touched the bottom. Still majestic, she explained her difficulty in climbing up the slope. Fast flow, staccato tone, to explain the inexplicable. How could she have fallen so low? Then the sky began to lighten. Semi-Finals in Brisbane, Rome ... and Cincinnati, Aug. 14, against Kim Clijsters, where new hitch, she was forced to retire due to injury, while his game seemed to find a Kim stood still on his way to U.S. Open in the quarter. Since then, the beautiful Ana aligned the good performance, and reconnected with success in Linz in October in Bali last weekend at the Masters B, with, as shifts in Luxembourg and Beijing ...
Ana, after months of doubts and all performance-cons who have been yours, did you start to believe in a curse?
"I always try to look on the bright side of things. I finally replayed some very good tennis and my confidence has been cheered by some victories. "
How did you feel during this descent into hell, that made you slide to 65th in the world?
"It was not funny at all, but long ago I do not look at the standings. When I was young, and when I climbed, I was very excited by its changes, always with the goal of reaching the Top 10. Then I realized it was better to look elsewhere to get better and come with that classification. "
In Montreal, where you had imposed in 2006, the tournament director you even refused a wild card, which forces you to play qualifying. Have you experienced this as a humiliation?
"Humiliation is too strong a word. Disappointment, certainly. If you had asked me to prepare a list of tournaments dear to my heart, Montreal would have been at the top. There, in 2006, I won my first important success. I remember the champagne with the management team of the tournament, for which I even did a lot of public relations since then to promote their event. When you are not going well, you want your old friends support you, is not it? This was not the case. Through press statements, they wanted me to head down under water. It's very disappointing. "
How did you lose the trust that you lived when you were the best player in the world?
"Confidence is a strange thing, difficult to control. She left suddenly ... After my win at Roland Garros in 2008, I chained several wounds, and every time I picked up the competition, I was hoping to play again like before. But be on the sidelines for a while makes your back very hard. You must find the rhythm of the matches. Now I faced a good opponent, I had some tough matches and painful defeats. I worked hard in training to regain that confidence, but I felt like I was looking for more, the more it eluded me. Rather than letting things go and to enjoy myself, I wanted absolutely that it comes back. "
While you would have to be patient ...
"It's like with everything. There are things that take time. You do them correctly, but as you do not see the results come of your efforts right away, you start to doubt instead to stick to what you have to do. When all goes well, when you win, it's easy to forget what brought you to this level of play "
What is the difference between Ana Ivanovic Ana Ivanovic confident and that has no?
"Good question. I am a very aggressive player who likes to take control of trade in order to dictate. But when I am less sure of myself, I become hesitant and passive. I do not play my game and I am no longer myself. And I lose games like that against Kateryna Bondarenko in the first round of the U.S. Open last year, when I had a match point. You let events get away. This defeat was probably the cruelest moment of the past two years. It took me a while to get over it. "
You started working with a woman, Marija Lojanica, who looked after you during adolescence. For what reason and who had the idea of homecoming?
"I know Marija since I was 13 years old and she is also part of the coaching team of Serbian Fed Cup. It was she who now handles my fitness and I have already made great progress with her. I needed someone new, but that I had confidence. "
The choice of a woman is perhaps not insignificant. More gentle, more understanding with regard to your sensibility?
"Exactly. As she has known me long, she knows what are my weaknesses. And off the court, I have someone I can entertain myself or exchange. We can do girl stuff. Yes, it's a good change to have a woman at my side. "
But there's also your mother, who always travels with you. You have 23 years. Why did you still need his presence? You are an adult, you may be more independent ...
"What do you mean? I take my own decisions! And then, why should I deprive myself of an opinion as valuable as hers? My mother is my best friend, my best advice. It is the shoulder that protects me and which I can cry when it's wrong. But rest assured, it leaves me space. She did not overprotects. I love to have him at my side. "
When you have won Roland Garros, you were perhaps in advance of your program. Justine had left the scene, nobody expected ... The coronation is it not come too soon?
"I think seeing things like that is disrespectful because there are so many good players on the circuit! You can not say that is because Justine is a party that I won. I had already played two Grand Slam finals before (Editor's note: 2008 Australian Open, beaten by Maria Sharapova and Roland Garros 2007, beaten by Justine Henin). So, I deserved this victory. A Grand Slam, it never comes too soon. You win because you are better than others at this time ... But I also realized that perhaps I had reached the great dream of my life. And maybe I thought it would be easy now. I took it for granted rather than working hard as when I started. I may have changed state of mind and I thought that things would come easier. This is not the case, but I have learned. Every game is different, every opponent, too. And you have to work hard. "
Being suddenly become a star in your country, the Serbian president have attended your 20th birthday, for example, it had also adding pressure, right?
"I do not think so. In Serbia, tennis has become very popular, everyone follows it closely, but I do not see it as pressure, rather as motivation, as inspiration. "
Do you find that life is brutal on the circuit?
"Yes, it is. You are alone, it's hard to have friends because you're competing. Stay with your team, you always see the same faces. Your friends, your family miss you. Having to go home too. It's tough. That's why we must have something to hand ... "
As the fashion photo shoots that you do a lot, maybe too much?
"No, I do not do much. I'm doing one every two months, but I have other hobbies. I love to read, watch movies. I enjoy spending time with my family and I study economics. I spread my studies over several years is no hurry, but I have a diploma by the end of my career. "
What do you dream?
"I think I can still win many Grand Slam titles. I'm only 23 years old and I remain convinced that the best is still ahead of me. Yes, it will still happen a lot. You must continue to follow your path if you think it's good rather than seek another solution. Because that's where you get lost. Sometimes the answers are there and you do not see them. "
I think some questions bothered Ana.. like the one about her mom and the one about her winning RG. Journalist..