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post #46 of 4670 (permalink) Old Dec 7th, 2007, 06:03 AM
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Re: ~Ana's articles~

Not quite an article, but close to it I guess. Nastya Myskina wrote about Ana in her blog/column/whatever

I like Ana a lot. She is one of the most promising players on the Tour, and she had such a good season that I decided to write a bit on her.

Ana had been the player to watch for a while. And I had watched her matches even before we played each other at Roland Garros 2006. I won quite easily (62 63). Many were surprised by that score cos I wasn't impressive in my last tournaments. But I knew Ana was a real threat to me and I was prepared to play her. I knew before the match what to expect from her. Her main weakness back then was her backhand and I was simply loading that side during the whole match. Besides, Ana was not in great form, she was nervous and made a lot of errors.

Since then she's improved drastically. She became more mentally tough, she improved her backhand, volleying skills, she strengthened her serve. Technique-wise Ana is a well-balanced player today. At least, that was what I saw in Madrid (at YEC). She became much more consistent.
And I'm not surprised with her improvement. First of all, she's a very talented player but also (which is probably even more important) she's got a great team by her side. She's got a great fitness coach, her parents support her and it really helps when you've got people you feel comfotable with.

That's why I believe Ana will be all right. If she keeps playing, keeps working on her game like she does nowadays she will have a bright future. She's got a potential to become a real champion. She's physically strong and, at the same time, she can think on court. Yes, she hits hard, sometimes she relies too much on the power of her shots but she doesn't forget to move forward to the net to finish the point off. I think she is ready to win a Grand Slam and this should be her goal in 2008.
Credit to AnnaK4Ever (I think that's their username, the stat person, you know who I am talking about ) for the translation.
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post #47 of 4670 (permalink) Old Dec 11th, 2007, 11:36 PM
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Re: ~Ana's articles~

nice words from nastya about ana there
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post #48 of 4670 (permalink) Old Jan 6th, 2008, 11:13 AM
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Re: ~Ana's articles~

Quite fresh and long - Novak and Ana interview


Novak & Ana

War-torn Serbia has produced the two most brilliant and beautiful players in tennis right now. They are funny, charismatic, and if they ever get together and have kids, the rest of the world may as well give up

Interviews by Emma John and Adrian Deevoy
Sunday January 6, 2008
The Observer

Novak Djokovic

Men's tennis in 2007 was all about one man: Novak Djokovic. At the start of the season, he was 19 years old and ranked 16th in the world. By the time he left Wimbledon - stymied in the semis by foot blisters - he was number three. But the moment that defined his stellar year was not, surprisingly, a win. It was his appearance in the US Open final, against Roger Federer, in September. Djokovic may have lost the match, but the sight of Maria Sharapova screaming him on from his guest box - with Robert De Niro alongside - confirmed he had something that Federer, whatever blazer-and-trouser combos he may concoct, will never be able to emulate: style.

Article continues
For a sense of Djokovic's flair, you could watch his Wimbledon quarter-final against Marcos Baghdatis, one of the most thrilling matches of the year, despite being five hours long, or the attacking play that defeated Federer in the final of the Montreal Masters in August. But that is only half the story. For the rest, see Djokovic's YouTube moments: his full-throated karaoke rendition of 'I Will Survive' at the French Open; his on-court impersonations of his fellow players, from a crotch-fiddling Nadal to a prancing Sharapova. Djokovic has charm and, crucially, wit, and has taken it upon himself to be Serbia's most winning, and most committed, ambassador to the world.

In his family's Belgrade office, in one of the city's ubiquitous concrete blocks, the young man who is the family business offers drinks with the kind of manners that would please your mum. I put it to Novak Djokovic that with his sporting ability, the four languages he speaks and the Monte Carlo second home, not to mention last year's $3.9m (Ł1.9m) prize money, he has to be the most eligible bachelor in Serbia right now. He laughs. There have, it transpires, been a few phone calls from hopeful mothers. 'Yes, that's one of the things that's happening now,' he says with a smile. 'But it's just part of the success. I'm happy, my family's happy, everything is going well.'

The evidence is around us. Djokovic's schedule for his three-day home visit is full of public appearances and private meetings, and the office is bustling. Uncles and cousins come and go, finalising arrangements for a charity event at the Belgrade Arena - one of the largest indoor stadiums in Europe - under the direction of Novak's dad Srdjan. Novak will be playing a doubles exhibition match with Ana Ivanovic, Jelena Jankovic and Janko Tipsarevic who have, in barely a year, effected nothing less than a revolution in Serbian sport. Until their recent successes, tennis ranked lower on the sporting consciousness here than volleyball, handball and water polo. Now it is challenging football and basketball as the country's most popular sport. Since the French Open, the tennis federation has seen a 40 per cent increase in people playing the sport and basketball courts are being hijacked by children wanting to hit balls over an imaginary net.

'Football has always been big here, even though we never achieved anything,' says Djokovic, who is a big fan of Red Star, the 1991 European champions. 'I love football and it's the sport I would really like to play. I've said on national television here that I would really love to play for one of our football clubs when I finished my tennis career. Everybody was surprised, but that's what I really want to do. When I finish, who knows? A couple of games, or half a season.'

Is he any good? 'Yeah!' What kind of player? 'Attacking. I like to score.' This makes sense: given his propensity to strip off his shirt for tennis fans, he would particularly enjoy the celebrations.

Anyway, who has the best body in the men's dressing room? He pauses to consider this quite seriously. 'Oh. Whooh. I would say, for sure, Paradorn Srichaphan. He has not been playing and I haven't seen him for a while. But he still has the best body in men's tennis.' Better than Rafa? 'Rafa? No, no... I don't like bodies like Rafa's.'

I ask if he has any bad habits. 'Breathing,' he replies. Er, right. 'It's something that's bothering me a bit. I still don't have the right breathing on the court, exhaling when you're hitting the ball. You lose a lot of energy if you're not breathing right. Maybe some yoga would help.' In 2005 he had an operation to fix what he calls a 'deviation' in his nose. Sounds weird. 'Yeah, it was! It was the worst time in my life. I was in the hospital and for three days I couldn't breathe because I had things in my nose, it was terrible. But the surgeon was from Italy and he knows how to do the job really well. He did nose surgery with Paolo Maldini and even Prime Minister Berlusconi. So he's pretty famous there.' Those are some important noses. Did he offer any, you know, shaping? 'Aesthetic wise? No, that was something they didn't offer.'

More than a hundred journalists turn up to Novak's morning press conference. With his white shirt tucked in to a pair of jeans, rimless glasses and his earnest responses, he has the air not so much of a sportsman as of a PhD student, or an accountant. Alongside him sit his two younger brothers, teenager Marko and 12-year-old Djordje, both promising players. Marko's shy, but little Djordje is not. When someone asks him who his tennis idols are, he replies: 'I like players from the past like Andre Agassi. But I like myself the best.'

Djokovic's own hero was, and remains, Pete Sampras, because, aged six, it was Sampras he watched win Wimbledon in 1993, jump- starting his love of the game. It is hard to imagine in what way punctilious Pete might have inspired such an extrovert. Djokovic laughs. 'We're totally opposite. Totally opposite personalities. Totally opposite game. But I just love the way he deals with the pressure. He always plays well, always serves well in the important moments. Mentally he was the strongest person I've ever seen. I'm just really sad that I still haven't had the chance to meet him. Maybe in the upcoming season in the States I will.' What will he say when he finally does meet him? 'I don't know... I'll probably say nothing for 10 minutes, I'll be so confused. Then I'll say, "Let's play!"'

One player he has befriended - ever since they began competing - is Andy Murray. You suspect they would make a pretty wild duo. 'Well, we haven't partied too much,' says Djokovic, looking almost demure. 'But on the court you can see how we're both playing with a lot of emotion. He screams a lot, and I throw rackets.' The pair have always been closely compared in ability and potential; but over the past year, while Djokovic has been fulfilling his, Murray has been left nursing injuries and kicking the sofa. Does that make things awkward between them? Novak looks momentarily sheepish. 'Actually, I lost his number.'

Perhaps he has the gossip on what is happening between Jelena and Andy's brother Jamie, who looked so cosy at last year's Wimbledon? He grins. 'No. But as soon as I see Jelena today I'm going to ask her what's going on. I heard she was denying everything, but I think I saw them at the US Open together, so I don't know.' And speaking of these things, what is the deal with him and Sharapova? 'There is no deal,' he says, though he is clearly not offended at the question. 'Obviously when you see her sitting there in the final of the US Open cheering for me you think, "What's going on?" But it's just a nice friendship.'

By 5pm, Djokovic has changed into a velvety brown suit, far more befitting his sex-symbol status, for Serbia's sports personality of the year awards, held at one of Belgrade's slightly shabbier hotels. Apart from a wrestler, a drag racer and a kayaking quartet, Djokovic's only real competition for the title comes from Jankovic and Ivanovic. At the buffet that follows her son's inevitable victory, his mum, Dijana, talks about the tennis academy that the family is hoping to establish in his name. 'The important thing is that the idols for young Serbs now are very good kids,' she says. 'They are people who really worked hard to get where they are now. They didn't steal, cheat, or kill somebody to get there. For 10 years it was so bad. The role models were gangsters, or drug dealers. Everything is changing.'

Afterwards, the Djokovic family head for dinner with one of their own idols - Alberto Tomba, aka Tomba la Bomba, the legendary Italian skier and multiple world champion. Djokovic's father Srdjan was a skier for the former Yugoslavia, and his parents met on the piste; throughout Novak's childhood they ran a pizza-and-pancakes restaurant in the ski-resort town of Kapaonik. While most professional sportspeople shun the slopes - because neither their coaches nor their insurance companies like it - Novak still skis whenever he can. So which is he: speed or style? 'I like to think it's a combination of both,' he says. 'But I try to have more style. I like to look nice on the skis.'

That Djokovic became a tennis player at all is something of a curiosity. As well as inheriting skiing genes from his father, his mother's family contained some serious volleyballing talent. 'Nobody actually played tennis in my family,' he says. But as he watched four tennis courts being built opposite the family restaurant, the five-year-old Djokovic was enthralled. Jelena Gencic, who opened the tennis camp there, is still coaching in her seventies; Djokovic often describes her as the biggest tennis influence in his life. Gencic remembers the day he first arrived to play. 'He arrived half an hour early with a big tennis bag,' she says. 'Inside his bag I saw a tennis racket, towel, bottle of water, banana, wrist-bands, everything you need for a game. I asked him, "Who packed your bag, your mother?" He said, "No, I packed it." He was only five. I said: "How did you know what to pack?" And he said, "I watch TV."' His mum Dijana says that even as a young boy he was a perfectionist. 'I always tried to win,' Djokovic agrees. 'I was as competitive as I am today.'

It was his tennis routine that saw the family through during the Nato bombing campaign in 1999. 'All our family were here in Belgrade during the bombing, and all day we were on court,' Dijana says. 'And this is what saved us. It wasn't any more or less safe than any other place in the street, but if you're sitting at home in the basement, thinking they are going to bomb your home, you're going crazy. It's not good. We were practising all day, and at seven o'clock we would go home and sit with the curtains closed, everything closed and dark the way it had to be.'

Sponsors weren't interested in a young Serb, even when he won junior European titles, so Djokovic's parents had to rely on their extended family for help. Perhaps that partly explains why Djokovic is so keen to be an ambassador for his homeland. 'He always feels he needs to act diplomatically,' says his coach, Marian Vajda. 'He loves his country.' And yet, ironically, his popularity has become so overpowering that he has to train abroad. 'Even to come to see his family is hard,' Vajda says. 'He gets so bothered. Last time we had a practice in Belgrade we had 20 people on the court, so I said no more. It's better for him to practise somewhere else. But of course he misses it so much.'

Belgrade Arena holds 20,000 people. Tonight, every seat is filled, and every person present - little boy, teenage girl, adult male - seems to have a fairly open crush on 'Nole', as they call him here. The other participants in the celebrity doubles match, Tipsarevic, Ivanovic and Jankovic, are announced to loud cheers. When Djokovic appears, however, the cheers turn to hysterical screams. Grown men hurl themselves down the stadium steps to get closer. The four greet one another as the old friends they are; Djokovic, living up to his heart-throb role, offers Ana an elaborate bow that ends on bended knee. The crowd loves it.

Although they played at different clubs, Djokovic has practised and played with Ivanovic since they were five years old. 'She's a fantastic girl,' he has told me earlier, 'one of the nicest I've ever met. She has such a great personality, very calm and very positive. And she's beautiful as well! She has a beautiful smile. She's attracting people wherever she goes because she's very bright and people recognise it and respect her.' Has she ever taken a game off you? 'No!' Then: 'I'm joking. Of course she has. But I could never play with her 100 per cent serious because I laugh with her more than anyone else. I really enjoy practising with her.' Who's better, Ana or Jelena? Djokovic is too gentlemanly to be drawn. 'I just say... I don't know! I wouldn't, because they're both playing great tennis.'

The exhibition match is only one set long, much of it a showcase for his on-court silliness and, of course, impersonations. At the end of the evening, Djokovic and Tipsarevic join the band to sing a popular, though puzzling, song about friendship (sample lyrics: 'I myself am a migratory bird'). Djokovic's voice is not what you would call tuneful, but right now he could release a recording of his tooth-brushing routine and still have a number-one hit. Maybe one day, he says, he could be a singer, or an actor. 'Or who knows what,' he says. 'I'm really enjoying my time.'
Interview by Emma John

Ana Ivanovic

Taking an early evening constitutional along the western shore of Lake Zurich, Serbian tennis star Ana Ivanovic is talking, 19 to the dozen, about the curious world she inhabits. Even the swans turn their heads the better to catch this 6ft 1in peach-skinned girl as she walks, and talks, and sips her large Starbucks takeaway. Then talks some more.

She is wearing skinny jeans, a bitter-chocolate leather jacket and a cream silk scarf. In conversation, as on court, she covers a lot of ground quickly. No sooner has she dispatched the subject of Robbie Williams than she is happily lobbing George Clooney into the conversation and skilfully volleying the topic of Slobodan Milosevic back over the net.

As we head up Zurich's old cobbled streets, she is talking about travel, which, as a professional tennis player, takes up 90 per cent of her time. 'I live in a suitcase,' she says, but you know what she means.

Ivanovic reels off the matches played and the countries visited in the past year alone, and you cannot begin to calculate the air miles and the WTA kudos she has accumulated. There was the Australian Open (she reached the third round), French Open (she lost the final to Justine Henin), Wimbledon (memorably beaten in the semis by Venus Williams) and the US Open (knocked out, fourth round, that Williams woman again).

Meanwhile, without so much as a sip of barley water, she was also off to the Tier I events. 'Tokyo, Miami, Berlin, Rome, San Diego, Toronto, Moscow,' she says in a resigned sing-song.

By the time we have meandered back towards Starbucks (she needs refuelling), it has been made plain that no matter how moneyed, mollycoddled and media-massaged these tennis princesses may be, most of them put in more court appearances per year than Pete Doherty.

Does your personality change once you're on court?
I'm more aggressive. It has to happen because if you're too soft you're going to lose. I'm very easy-going off court, but I really want to win once I'm walking on to the court.

At that moment, do you hate your opponent?
I try not to think about the person, just their tactics, their weaknesses and strengths. I play against the ball. It doesn't really matter who you're playing at that point.

Even if you're facing one of the Williams sisters?
That's a little harder. They play very aggressively.

Are you a bad loser?
Very bad. Even if I play backgammon with my coach I hate to lose. I won't talk to him for, like, an hour. So imagine how it feels when you lose at tennis. That makes me determined not to lose because I hate it so much. Even at a set down and match point I always believe I can come back.

But sometimes you must know it won't happen...
Sometimes. In Australia against [Vera] Zvonareva, I was 6-2, 5-1 and 40-0 down and I was thinking: 'Nothing's going my way today.' And when you're having a bad day, there are normally a lot of people watching, so it's sort of embarrassing.

What do you do half an hour before a big match?
I like to be alone and listen to music. Every match I play, I have a tune in my head over and over. It might only be a few words or a small piece of the tune, but it can drive you mad.

Can your mind drift during matches?
It's not always possible to concentrate completely, so you'll find yourself thinking about something someone said earlier. That's when you have to pinch yourself and get back to what's happening on the court.

Have you ever cheated?
No. Actually, I did once. I was a junior and there was no referee and I played against this Russian girl and she cheated so badly. She was calling balls out that were a metre inside the line. I was so angry, I thought: 'Every time she cheats, I'm going to cheat her back.' So I did.

Earlier this afternoon, Ivanovic made a fleeting appearance on the sports floor of an upmarket (this is Switzerland, they don't do downmarket) department store. As a resident of Basel, she is treated as a local in Zurich. Her approachability is appreciated and fans cluster around as she dispenses multilingual goodwill and free Adidas T-shirts.

Ivanovic's sponsorship deal with the sportswear giant was engineered - like her entire career - by her manager, Dan Holzmann, a Swiss-based German entrepreneur, who took on Ana when she was 14. He needed only two hours before deciding to invest the half a million dollars it would take to groom the naturally gifted girl. Within 18 months of her 2003 pro debut, Ivanovic had paid this seed money back. Holzmann continues to negotiate shrewdly - with Adidas, Wilson, Aqua Viva and Verano Motors - on his charge's behalf. With her global marketability and his business acumen, they make an enviably winning team.

Having remained unmolested for the duration of her lakeside date, Ivanovic is spotted by a few youths. They blush and jostle and, much like your reporter, ask her random questions that she claims to enjoy more than talking tennis tactics. 'Get it over the net and between the lines,' she says of her complex technical game. 'At the end of the day it's really that simple.'

Do you remember the war starting in Serbia?
No, I was too young, but I remember the bombing in 1999 [by Nato, during the Kosovo War]. That was something I'll never forget - the biggest shock of my life. My parents tried to keep it away from us, they wouldn't talk about it or put the news on. But schools were shut, nobody went to work, everything stopped. It was a bit scary, but people really stayed together and protected each other.

Describe your bedroom as a child.
When I was very young I shared my bedroom with my brother. He's four years younger than me. Later we had separate rooms. Mine was apricot-coloured - nice, eh? I was so happy because I had a TV in my room. I wasn't crazy about putting posters up of movies stars or singers. I only really loved Monica Seles - I so was obsessed.

Your parents must have found your tennis obsession strange...
Yes, firstly because I was such a clumsy kid. I couldn't run without knocking something over. Then I wanted to play tennis and no one in my family knew anything about tennis. Looking back, I really don't know what attracted me to it, but I still have a video of my first-ever practice, when I was five. Watching it now, there was a little bit of talent there; I could hit the ball.

Do you feel that you missed out on a normal teenage life?
Not really - I never liked going out to parties. Partying and drinking were never my thing.

Do you cry easily?
I'm quite an emotional person. I cry a lot. I do not like conflict, so if I have an argument with my parents I'll often cry. I become too emotional. I cried after I lost in the Stuttgart Open. Another bad day for me and she [Tatiana Golovin] played better than me. But there'll be plenty more opportunities.

The world's fourth-ranked woman tennis player insists on buying and fetching the foamy mugs of ubiquity from the Starbucks counter. 'I just love these places,' she says without a hint of irony, and if you were 20 years old and had gone from war-torn Serbia to itinerant tennis ace, you might feel the same.

Ivanovic is a wealthy woman these days - she won more than $3m (Ł1.5m) in 2007 alone. She wears Armani Code perfume, goes on regular frock-shopping raids with her lawyer mother (dad, handily, is an economist) and invests her sponsorship millions on the advice of top European businessmen.

Tall, beautiful, talented, minted. That's it, she's getting the next coffee, too...

Your website is among the most-visited of any female athlete. Which do you visit most often?
I shouldn't say Lime Wire [a music-sharing site], should I? I go to iTunes! And YouTube is always interesting. You can find anything on YouTube.

Who, to your mind, is the most attractive woman on the tennis circuit?
[Laughs] It's hard to say for a girl but... [Maria] Kirilenko. She's quite attractive.

Are women attracted to you?
Oh my God, I've had a few uncomfortable experiences but I'm so allergic to that. I just can't... even now when I see my friends and they just want to kiss the cheek. I prefer men.

Do you prefer men to be philosophical or funny?
I like men who are thoughtful, but overall I would prefer them to be funny.

Here's a funny but slightly philosophical joke: no matter how good you get at tennis, you'll never be better than a wall.
A war? Oh, a wall. Yes, that's funny.

Could you ever date a short man?
I know you should say it's about the person inside, but probably not. I'm tall and it's too difficult.

Why don't you just marry Novak Djokovic and have unbeatable tennis babies?
[Laughs] We're still so young. We're both just 20. We have many more years in front of us yet.

Are all Serbians good-looking?
As a people, Serbians are very tall, and we have olive skin and dark hair, which can look very nice. You have to be very beautiful to stand out.

Would you ever play tennis drunk for fun?
No, I've never done anything drunk. I'm an in-control person. I was tipsy a few times but I can't drink. I told you, I'm a real party-pooper.

Can what you wear affect your game?
It really can. You'll be wearing a dress you don't feel comfortable in or you'll think: 'These shorts keep coming down all the time!' You lose focus if you think your shorts are falling down.

Are you able to jump the net?
No, I'm not. I should learn.

You may need to do that at Wimbledon this year. Is there anything you wouldn't do in order to win Wimbledon?
Oh, I'd do so much that you can't imagine - as long as it wasn't really bad.

Sell your soul?
No, I need that.

Your grandparents?
I love, love, love my grandparents.

Eat a dog?
Eat a dog?! No, nothing that crazy. And I wouldn't do something like jump in the Thames naked. I'm just not that type of person. But you probably understand that by now.

A church bell sounds six. It comes from an elegant clocktower with a wide, round face. Standing beneath the steeple, like its human embodiment, Ana Ivanovic watches the young couples drift by in the fading sunlight. 'I'll have a family and live in my own home one day,' she says without emotion. 'But that's for the future.'
Interview by Adrian Deevoy

Fact file

Novak Djokovic

Age: 20
Ranking: 3
Career highlight: Beating the top three, Roddick, Nadal and Federer, in consecutive days in August last year
Biggest disappointment: Limping out of his 2007 Wimbledon semi-final against Rafael Nadal
Look out for: His powerful, angled forehand and his excellent banter at press conferences

Ana Ivanovic

Age: 20
Ranking: 4
Career highlight: Beating Maria Sharapova to reach her first grand slam final at the 2007 French Open
Biggest disappointment: Having to pull out of the WTA's Rome tournament last year with a knee injury
Look out for: Her strength from the baseline and upcoming appearances as a Unicef ambassador
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post #49 of 4670 (permalink) Old Jan 12th, 2008, 05:31 PM
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Re: ~Ana's articles~

Ana confirmed to take part in Eurovision 2008:

Ana open to love match:

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post #50 of 4670 (permalink) Old Jan 12th, 2008, 08:27 PM
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the "Ana Ivanovic open to love match" is pretty interesting esp when in reference to a melbourne romance she replies:
"The people are really kind, so you never know."

Home of cricket hosts tennis match

THAT'S the MCG all right, but not as we've ever seen it before. The stadium has played host to many spectacular events but never has it held a game like this.

For a sports shoe promotion, the top of the G's city end scoreboard was transformed on Friday into a three-quarter size tennis court, suspended above the 100,000 capacity ground and with the city skyline as a backdrop.

And yesterday four of the game's top players were lucky enough to enjoy a hit in this unlikely location.

Marcos Baghdatis, Ana Ivanovic, Alicia Molik and Brydan Klein played a game on the precariously perched court, but were too dazzled by the view to bother keeping score.

All four needed a detailed safety briefing before scaling dozens of stairs inside the scoreboard.

Molik stepped on to court with a bit more trepidation than usual.
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post #51 of 4670 (permalink) Old Jan 13th, 2008, 05:53 PM
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January 12, 2008

Ana Ivanovic

Ivanovic Signs Landmark Contract With Yonex

TOKYO, Japan - Ana Ivanovic, who on Monday will rise to a career-high ranking of No.3 on the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour, has signed potentially the biggest racquet endorsement deal in the history of tennis. The 20-year-old has agreed to a four-year contract with Yonex and will use the Japanese manufacturer's products immediately.

"I'm delighted to join Yonex," Ivanovic said. "I spent a lot of time testing their racquets and was thrilled to discover that they add something to my game. It was the first time I was trying new racquets and it was a great feeling to be able to play so well with them. I'm very excited about playing with this new racquet."

Ivanovic will play with the black RQiS-1TOUR racquet. She will also use Yonex accessories, such as racquet thermos and grips. Both Ana's racquets and bag will have her name written/embroidered on.

"We are very excited to have Ana in our team," said Yonex International Division General Manager Wataru Hirokawa. "Yonex always demands young prospective players who can win Grand Slam titles and capture the No.1 ranking. We believe that Ana is the one who can do that in the very near future.

"Ana is not only a great athlete with strong passion on court, but she is keen to study finance at university; she always wants to improve herself. Passion on court and intelligence off court are characteristics that match our company image. Of course, she is also a very charming young woman."

Ivanovic added: "I love visiting Asia, and I'm looking forward to spending more time in Japan thanks to this agreement. That's another little thing that makes me very happy to sign this contract."

The agreement is the latest record-breaking deal for Ivanovic: her adidas contract is believed to be one of the most lucrative since Steffi Graf's retirement, while last summer she signed the biggest ever endorsement deal in Serbia.

Meanwhile, during the Australian Open fortnight, Ivanovic will write a daily diary that will be published in The Age, The Sydney Morning Herald, USA Today, on sonyericssonwtatour.com and her official website, www.anaivanovic.com.

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post #52 of 4670 (permalink) Old Jan 15th, 2008, 05:56 PM
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Re: ~Ana's articles~

Who says "you know" more during interviews, Serena or Ana?
During an ESPN interview on Day 1 Serena kept saying "you know".
Ana said "you know" severeal times during her interview after her first match.

Serbian fourth seed Ana Ivanovic battles nervous start

Article from: Herald Sun
Dave Donaghy
January 16, 2008 12:00am

ANA Ivanovic last night revealed she would be battling internal, as well as external, rivals in
pursuit of her maiden grand slam title.
Ivanovic, 20, said she may have put too much pressure on herself before her match yesterday
against dangerous Romanian teenager Sorana Cirstea.
The Serbian fourth seed struggled through the first set against the 17-year-old before winning
7-5 6-3.
"Yes, I think so. It's been the case in the past years here," Ivanovic said.
"But, you know, today I won the first game and I had 40-love in the second game.
"I had 40-love in the third game, and I lost those games.
"Obviously, you know, stopped going for that much, trying more to put the ball in the game. She
came up with some winners.
"And instead of that, you know, I should just keep playing my game and keep being aggressive,
you know."
Ivanovic said she had to learn how to deal with the pressure she placed on herself.
"Yeah, obviously that's one of the things I'm still learning how to deal because all the
pressure I put on myself," Ivanovic said.
"Obviously coming into Australian Open I always want to do well here and I love coming here --
always a little bit extra pressure.
"But, you know, I really try to work hard. Once I'm on the court not to think too much about
"You know, today, it's no secret I was in the first set a little bit panicking and trying to
find, you know, my game, you know.
"But, as I said, I'm really happy to be through. I can work on this for next matches."
Ivanovic will meet Tathiana Garbin in the second round after the Italian beat Greece's Eleni
Daniilidou 6-2 6-2.
The Serb said she had prepared for a tough fortnight of tennis.
"I had really good preparation in off-season and I feel very fit, you know, ready to go some
tough matches, you know, even tough conditions," Ivanovic said.
"Last week (Sydney) I played some good tennis; coming into this week feeling a little bit more
"So, you know, I think I can perform better than I did today, and that's all I'm looking
forward to."
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post #53 of 4670 (permalink) Old Jan 15th, 2008, 06:00 PM
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Re: ~Ana's articles~

Was it necessary to have this online advertisement next to Ana's article?

Aussies have a sense of humour as well, eh?
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post #54 of 4670 (permalink) Old Jan 29th, 2008, 12:10 PM
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Re: ~Ana's articles~

A bit behind but i thought it was a nice article and thought i'd post it.



Ana Ivanovic's charm won her the crowd's support but not the Australian Open final

Ivanovic's heart of gold no match for Sharapova's steel

THE L-plate driver crashed. She had a wonderful ride for 13 days, but Ana Ivanovic wasn't ready to win a grand slam tournament yesterday. She lost control of the wheel, and her forehand, late in the first set.

"I still think I have a lot of grand slam finals in front of me," said Ivanovic, who seemed to sustain minimal damage in her straight-sets bingle. "So it's just a learning experience and a learning process."

While Maria Sharapova is only six months older, the Russian has been on the road for many years. Maria has been driving longer, and she also is more driven. "She was in this situation more times than I was," Ivanovic said.

Sharapova had spoken of how she had been in a private "bubble," oblivious to external distractions. Her dad's throat-slitting motion after the Justine Henin match — offensive to others — was an in-joke between them. Her eye was only on the road ahead.

Ivanovic, however, had been with us. The public was invited along for the road trip. When she became teary on the podium, we felt her pain, as the Great Empathiser, Bill Clinton, would say.

If the "Aussie Ana" angle was somewhat overplayed — and it was a highly successful public relations exercise — it was clear that Ivanovic enjoyed the Australian Open as much as Australians enjoyed her company. There was genuine affection on both sides.

Ana's uncle was hosting a backyard barbie "celebration" in Mentone last night. "I hope they won't mention much about the match … because I don't know how happy I will be to talk about it. But, you know, still we gonna try to have fun. It was a great two weeks for me."

The brunette had more fun, but the blonde got it done. Private Maria was to celebrate with her "team", whereas public Ana gave the impression that we'd all be welcome at the barbie if uncle didn't mind. Sharapova, the seasoned pro, took care to thank the WTA's sponsor — which also happens to pay her about $US4 million ($A4.5 million) a year — and ticked all the corporate boxes before, finally, dropping the private shield.

Sharapova was the bookies' favourite, but not the crowd's. About 95 per cent of the audible barracking were exhortations to "Ar-na". Sharapova, eyes only on the white lines and the ball, didn't need them and probably wouldn't have heard them. She did "c'mons" herself.

They were on Ivanovic's side because she seemed warmer and more accessible — plus the Mentone factor. Ivanovic comes across as someone we might know.

Sharapova is 188 centimetres, athletic, articulate and tougher than Clint Eastwood. She earns $30 million a year in endorsements. She writes essays, and gets inspirational text messages from Billie Jean King. The Sharapova package is imposing. No one like that lives next door.

Measured against expectations, including her own, a Sharapova defeat would have been viewed as a train wreck, especially given she was steamrolled by Serena Williams in the final last year. As the L-plater, Ivanovic had less on the line. It is strange to consider that Ivanovic is now the world No. 2, ahead of Sharapova.

The Ivanovic camp was hardly dented. Sven Groeneveld, her implacable Swedish coach (is there any other kind?), even gave yesterday's failure a positive spin.

"I think she's done an incredible job to get where she's at and actually push — the only one really pushed Maria in the whole tournament. I know where she's coming from and I know where she's been and I know where she's going. That's all we're going to wait for."

Ivanovic had not been past the third round here until this year. "I want her to be very proud of what she achieved," the coach said.

Groeneveld's assessments were kind — Ivanovic made 33 unforced errors to Sharapova's 14. She was blessed that the score was as flattering, and that she was within two points of the first set (5-4, 0-30). Bereft of drama and unexpected turns, the final was flat.

Groeneveld's comments were predicated on an understanding of how far his player had come in a short time. Was she ready to win a slam yesterday? The question was rhetorical, and Groeneveld didn't really dispute the notion that Ivanovic was on grand slam training wheels.

"You know, you're facing a player like Maria, you will have to be ready. Do I think she can be better? I think she can be better. So, what is ready? I mean she's on the court, she's in a final, so you better be better. She was as ready as she could be."

She wasn't ready to win. And so she didn't.

Maria Kirilenko & Agnieszka Radwanska ♕
You're wrong, I'm right, I'm smart, you're dumb.
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post #55 of 4670 (permalink) Old Jan 29th, 2008, 08:10 PM
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Re: ~Ana's articles~

nice article
shows how much aussies have been converted into ana fans!
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post #56 of 4670 (permalink) Old Feb 7th, 2008, 03:30 PM
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Re: ~Ana's articles~

Ana, Jelena and Novak to appear on post stamps in Serbia:

05.02.2008 , BEOGRAD
Izvor: PRESS


Naši najbolji teniseri dobijaju uskoro zaslužena mesta na srpskim poštanskim markama. U martu svečana promocija!

IDOLI MLADIH... Jelena Janković i Ana Ivanović

Likovi naših proslavljenih tenisera Novaka Đokovića, Ane Ivanović, Jelene Janković, Nenada Zimonjića i ostalih srpskih reprezentativaca uskoro će se naći na poštanskim markicama Srbije!

Ovu akciju pokrenulo je Javno preduzeće „Pošte Srbije", a likovni izgled markica do kraja februara osmisliće firma „Jugomarka".

Željko Ivanji, direktor Sektora za strategiju, razvoj i marketing „PTT Srbija", kaže za Press da su sportisti naš najbolji brend.
- Ima li nešto lepše od slanja pisma s likom nekoga ko je poznat u celom svetu! To je najbolja promocija za našu zemlju, ali i za same „Pošte Srbije". Ovo nije prvi put da se na ovaj način prikazuju uspesi naših sportista, ranije smo imali sličnu akciju s vaterpolistima. Odluka o izdavanju ovih markica biće doneta na narednoj sednici Upravnog odbora, a potom će preduzeće „Jugomarka" osmisliti likovni dizajn samih markica. Pre nego što nove markice pustimo u promet biće održana svečana promocija zajedno s našim teniserima - ističe Ivanji.

Srpski teniseri već su obavešteni o ovoj ideji, koja ih je iznenadila i oduševila. Goran Đoković, stric Novaka Đokovića, kaže za Press da su u stalnom kontaktu s predstavnicima Olimpijskog komiteta koji su im i otkrili ovu nameru.
- To su divna vest i lep gest Srbije. Čim bude urađen izgled markica, doći ćemo da ih pogledamo. Nadam se da će nam se svideti - kratko je prokomentarisao Đoković, koji je otputovao s Novakovim timom u Moskvu na Dejvis kup.

Ana Ivanović oduševljeno pozdravlja ideju „Pošta Srbije", saznaje Press od sagovornika koji je blizak porodici Ivanović.
- Ana je, naravno, obaveštena o celoj akciji. To je prelepa ideja. Izuzetno lepo i apsolutno pohvalno je što nikoga nisu izostavili, već će cela reprezentacija biti na markicama - ističe sagovornik Pressa.

Generalni direktor TS Srbije Dušan Orlandić kaže za Press da je ovakva akcija dokaz veličine naših tenisera.
- Ovo je izuzetno lepa ideja. Kada se nečiji lik nađe na poštanskoj markici, to znači da je on vrhunski u svojoj oblasti - naglašava Orlandić.


Ana said it is a very beautiful idea and she is absolutely thankful that nobody was left out of the postage stamp.

The article states the source of the information was someone that is close to the Ivanovic family.

Maybe Jelena Jankovic was the source?
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post #57 of 4670 (permalink) Old Feb 7th, 2008, 03:40 PM
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Re: ~Ana's articles~

News from Serbia states one of its towns is offering Ana and Jelena land for the construction of a tennis centre.
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post #58 of 4670 (permalink) Old Feb 14th, 2008, 09:59 PM
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Re: ~Ana's articles~

Ana’s childhood tennis club “Partizan” is building a tennis stadium which will be named after her.

The club’s president, Dusan Grujic had many, many good words for Ana and her family. He stated Ana is the only tennis player in Serbia that never took a single Euro from the club, but on the other hand she truly gave very much to the club.

Mr. Grujic said that he can never be in a state of reality when Ana Ivanovic is in question. He recommended Ana’s place after her tennis career is with the club.

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post #59 of 4670 (permalink) Old Mar 31st, 2008, 02:35 PM
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Re: ~Ana's articles~

Ana’s Madrid dress sold for 2 200 Euros

An Austrian humanitarian dinner for Serbian children of Kosovo & Metohija was held at the elite Gazel club in Vienna where Ana Ivanovic’s dress was auctioned for 2 200 Euros.

The dress was created by Belgrade’s Verica Rakočević for Ana’s Year End Championship Madrid ball. The humanitarian dinner was hosted by Austria’s TV host, Dorotea Dodo Roščić, a native of Kosovo & Metohija.

The humanitarian dinner raised 17 000 Euros which will go to the organization “Mother of Nine Jugovićs”.

Source: Društvo - Aktuelno - RTS March 31, 2008 09:25

This is awesome. Ana is able to auction her dresses for charity while she is alive, well and playing. Anyone know how much it cost Ana to have the dress made?
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post #60 of 4670 (permalink) Old Apr 9th, 2008, 08:45 PM
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