Ana gets advice from the top
Wednesday 21 January 2009
By Helen Gilbert
Roger Federer has been labelled many things; legend, Swiss superstar, the Fed Express. Now he can add superb agony uncle to the list because, according to Ana Ivanovic, he is fantastic at handing out advice.
The No.5 seed made the revelation after her second round defeat of Alberta Brianti at Rod Laver Arena on Wednesday. Speaking during her post-match press conference, she said she often had “nice chats” with the world number two at tournaments.
“He gives me sometimes a nice advice,” she said. “It’s great because he achieved so much. I would love to have the opportunity to spend more time talking to him, because I think there are so many things I can learn from him, from his experience.”
Indeed, Ivanovic might like to pick his brains further over the next two weeks. At the moment the 21-year-old is without a full-time coach. She is working with Sven Groenefeld during the Grand Slam, but it can’t help to dip into the knowledge of a man who has 13 Grand Slam singles titles to his name.
Picturing Federer as an agony uncle is certainly new, but the Serbian thinks he suits the role perfectly. “He’s been, you know, in a position – I think in all positions you can image on a court, dealing with so much pressure, being in the position of No. 1 for so long. I think it would be great to have opportunity actually to speak with him a little bit more.”
So what’s the best piece of advice Ana has received from the cool-as-a-cucumber player who was presented with a cow in his home town of Basel after winning Wimbledon in 2003? Not surprisingly, it is to relax and not stress.
“I think one year at the US Open I spoke to him,” she recalled. “He said that you just basically have to enjoy and try to don’t think too much. Because I used to stress a lot about traveling so much and using so much time in traffic. He said, you know, you can’t change that. You just have to basically accept it.”
Ivanovic admits other people have told her the same thing, but for some reason a nugget of advice from Federer makes her sit up and take note. “When you hear it from someone like him, you know, it gets stuck much more.” Ana, we understand ...