I thought we needed a thread to post Ana's interview.
So here it is. First Wimbledon interview:
A. Ivanovic Interview - 27 June
Wednesday, 27 June, 2007
Ana Ivanovic (SRB) beat Melina Czink (HUN) 6-0, 7-6.
Q. Did the rain break come at a good time for you, allow you to regroup a little bit?
ANA IVANOVIC: It did. I was happy about that. No, I started a very good match. I think I played some really good tennis. But then she started being much more aggressive. I didn't adjust to that really quickly. I was more trying to still just put the ball in, and she used that opportunity. But, I mean, it helped me a lot because I could take some time and realize what I'm doing wrong. Then from the first moment when I was back on the court, to step more forward and be more aggressive again.
Q. When you went home after Paris it was rather wonderful, wasn't it?
ANA IVANOVIC: Yes, it was very nice. It was an experience I will never forget. They treated us really nice there. Yeah, it was exciting times.
Q. Can you talk about what happened.
ANA IVANOVIC: Yes, on Sunday we arrived to Belgrade in the afternoon and then they waited for us in the airport. Djokovic, Jankovic and me, they took us to the parliament house in the center of the city. We were on the terrace. In the square was about maybe, I don't know, 10,000, 15,000 people to welcome us. It was unbelievable feeling because they used to do that for basketball, yeah, volleyball players when they would win gold medals. This was one of the first time they organized for individual athletes. That was a thrilling moment.
Q. Are you recognized more now when you go around, at home?
ANA IVANOVIC: Yes. It change a lot. We are now I think they recognize us much more because tennis is becoming so much more popular now and so many people follow our results. We don't spend much time home. When I go back, I actually realize how many people know for us and follow.
Q. Is it okay to have less privacy now than you perhaps had before?
ANA IVANOVIC: Well, I think that's part of what we are doing. The sooner we accept that, the sooner we adjust. It's better for everyone. On the end of the day, we are here because of them, as well.
Q. A slow start to this tournament for you. Did you find the first two days frustrating?
ANA IVANOVIC: Yesterday I was expecting to play, and then on the last moment they cancel me. I guess that's just part of the tournament. We have to adjust. There was many matches canceled. I was not the only one. We just have to try and work out the best we can. In Paris also happened. I played my first round on Wednesday. It's important to be open for these kind of changes and once you're on the court to just accept it and try to concentrate on tennis.
Q. You were obviously very nervous at the French Open in the final. The fact there's this expectation at home make you more nervous or give you more confidence?
ANA IVANOVIC: Well, obviously every expectation, it makes you a little bit more nervous when you play. But it's important also not to think about that when you're on the court, because on the end of the day it's a matter of how I play. If I play good, I will win.
I just try to focus more on that, on my own game, try to enjoy. Obviously I feel more pressure now. But still I'm very young. I have many, many Grand Slams yet to come. I just want to enjoy my time now.
Q. Your second Grand Slam final will obviously be a lot easier than the first one.
ANA IVANOVIC: I'm sure about that. Every experience I have, it's just a bonus. I think every Grand Slam final you play you're nervous, you have some kind of nerves you have to deal with. Just because you've been in that situation before, you know how to deal with it better.
Q. What is it like walking out to play a Grand Slam?
ANA IVANOVIC: It's unbelievable feeling because that's the biggest tournament of the year. Especially Wimbledon, it's always very special. You want to do well. There is so many other players also hungry to beat you, trying to do well, as well.
It's just important to forget about all that and focus more on the game.
Q. I mean playing a Grand Slam final.
ANA IVANOVIC: A Grand Slam final. It was pretty amazing. I tried to not think much about it. But once I was on the court, I could feel the spirit and the atmosphere out there. So it was a little bit hard for me to focus on my game. But it's definitely something I will never forget. Every next match I play, if I get this feeling that I'm nervous, I will just go probably back to that experience and say what can be more nervous than a Grand Slam final. So that will help me for sure.
Q. Do you think you might have gotten taken to a third set?
ANA IVANOVIC: Yes, she raised her level in the second set. She played some really good tennis, tried to put a lot of pressure on me. But I felt the tiebreak I played really well. It was important to stay there and show her that I'm ready to fight for every point, to put pressure on her, to come up with some good shots.
Serve helped me a lot today. I managed to hold most of my serves, service games. I think that was the important part of today's match.
Q. Is the pool, that is now so famous, where you practice, is that in Belgrade? Do you think you'll ever go back there for a little swim?
ANA IVANOVIC: No, actually the kids are still practicing there. It still exists. The club actually I grew up playing tennis. So I go back there sometimes because it's very close to my house. Yeah, maybe one day I'll hit again there.
Q. Do you think a lot of people from Belgrade will come to watch you, or have they come?
ANA IVANOVIC: Yes, I receive a lot of phone calls already while French Open. They came to watch, especially for a final. Now, as I said, tennis is becoming so much more popular, people are more interested in actually coming to tournaments and watching matches live. Yeah, I receive lot of messages from my friends saying, Oh, if you come the second week, we come as well.
Q. If you make the final, there will be a huge delegation?
ANA IVANOVIC: Half of the court will be Serbian supporters.
Q. Do you think your game can be as strong on grass as it is on clay?
ANA IVANOVIC: I think so. My serve, it's working really well at the moment. I worked a lot on it. I'm improving volleys.
But it's a different game than on the clay. It's important for every player to adjust the best they can. I think I can do well.
But, as I said, I just don't want to put any pressure on myself. I have so many years yet to come. I enjoy my tennis at the moment. I enjoy being out there and competing against these girls, trying to win. That's all that matters for me at the moment.
Q. How do you feel when people say you are the prettiest girl ever to play at Wimbledon?
ANA IVANOVIC: Thank you. I'm very flattered.
Q. You didn't get any Valentine's Day cards at all?
ANA IVANOVIC: Few messages, but no cards. I'm sure they were shy (smiling).
Q. Do you see yourself as one of tennis' glamour girls?
ANA IVANOVIC: I don't see myself that way. People know me for how I play tennis. Once you're on the court, it doesn't matter the way you look. It doesn't help you win points. For me, it's important to do well in what I'm doing, to achieve the goals I have for myself. That's definitely in tennis.
Q. You talked about the recognition you had at home. Did you notice the amount of people queuing up to see your game out there?
ANA IVANOVIC: It was great atmosphere on the court today. I felt really good support here. But once you're on the court, you just kind of focused. You don't notice too many people around. I could feel the atmosphere was great. I'm happy about that because this is very special tournament. I really hope I can have some support from British fans.
Q. You're from a small country. Are you aware of some of the other small countries, like Uzbekistan, Belarus, players coming from these little countries that used to be part of the Soviet Union?
ANA IVANOVIC: Yes. I think there is many players from these countries at the moment, a lot of them young players. I think it's exciting for tennis because the more players we have, the more better players we have, it's more exciting because we have challenges all the time.
At this moment I think in women's tennis almost anyone can beat anyone. That's what brings excitement for a crowd and also for us.
Q. What are some of the challenges for these small countries to produce players?
ANA IVANOVIC: I think from knowing where I come from, the most important thing was financial support. If they have possibility to travel and compete, they have talent, I'm sure they can break through, compete in the top level.
Q. What is your target for this Wimbledon? Have you looked ahead to the quarterfinal and Mauresmo?
ANA IVANOVIC: No. I actually haven't looked at the draw at all. I just know for my second round now. As I said, I just want to enjoy each match, not think too much about future. As I said, anyone can beat anyone. It's just important to take it step by step and enjoy it. I feel good at grass. I feel good here in London. Obviously, I want to do well. I'm going to give it a shot.
Q. It's Mauresmo in the quarterfinals, then Sharapova in the semifinals.
ANA IVANOVIC: Thanks for that.