I thought we needed a thread to post Ana's interview. :p 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.
Jun 27th, 2007, 07:56 PM
Great interview thanks!
Jun 28th, 2007, 07:16 PM
Interview after 2nd round:
A. Ivanovic - 28 June
Thursday, 28 June, 2007
Ana Ivanovic (SRB) defeated Meilen Tu (USA) 6-4, 6-3
Q. How did you feel out there today?
ANA IVANOVIC: It was a very tough match for me. I don't know how much score indicates that, but it was fight. She played really well today. We had lot of long rallies. It was tough. But my serve was working very well today. I was mixing it a lot. That helped me a lot to get through today's match.
Q. How much has the experience of the French Open affected, helped you move on?
ANA IVANOVIC: It helps me a lot. Through the matches, I've been through many tough matches in French Open. So now when I'm in the same situation, I just go back to that experience and I feel able to go through that again. I feel strong and confident.
It helped me a lot.
Q. Sorry to bring up bad memories. Do you go back to the final in Paris and think about that?
ANA IVANOVIC: Yeah, that also helps me because obviously I was very nervous for that match. Every match I play I get little bit nervous before I go on the court. If I think about final, I say what can be more important than a Grand Slam final so I find a way to relax a little bit more.
Q. How did you deal with the nerves in that instance?
ANA IVANOVIC: For me if I'm nervous, I stop moving. So key point is just to keep feet going, watch ball, focus on my shots, rather than if I'm going to win or lose point.
Q. Before your matches, how do you relax?
ANA IVANOVIC: I like to have maybe 15, 20 minutes just by myself to listen to iPod, just some music. Depends on the mood I'm in. And then it's important, too, to have a good warmup, to sweat a little bit. That helps me also with the nerves.
Q. What's on your iPod?
ANA IVANOVIC: I have lot of things. Usually it's R&B and house music also.
Q. You did so well at the French Open. You're obviously comfortable on clay. How are you finding the grass in comparison?
ANA IVANOVIC: It different game. It's different kind of movement. It takes some time to adjust to it. But now I'm starting to feel better on the court. I feel I'm moving well. Yeah, I just want to play my game basically, try to be more aggressive, which I think can be very useful in the grass.
Q. Do you think your game is actually suited to grass?
ANA IVANOVIC: I think so. I have a very good serve. I like also to come to the net. I improve my volleys. I feel comfortable in that part of the court as well. That for sure is going to help me.
Q. You've done a mobile phone advert with Daniela. Can you tell us about that?
ANA IVANOVIC: Yes, it was last year just before French Open we did that commercial. It was first time for me to do something like that. It was very exciting. It's completely different than what we are doing. Experience was nice, but on the other hand it was also very hard.
Q. Do you feel nervous with the spotlight on you away from the courts?
ANA IVANOVIC: Yes, I do. Especially it's something I'm not so familiar with. Many people around us were professionals filming that many times before. I was a little bit nervous. But I guess, yeah, we just try to think as we think on the court: to forget about what's around us and focus on what we have to do.
Q. How important is off court profile to you?
ANA IVANOVIC: I think it's important. It's nice to do things besides tennis because it's also a kind of balance. If you only focus on tennis, only practice, sometimes you can get too tired. It's good to keep balance and do other things besides tennis. Yeah, I enjoy doing that sometimes.
Q. What are your other interests away from tennis?
ANA IVANOVIC: When I'm traveling so much, I like to read a lot, especially on the planes. Before matches also sometimes to relax a bit. I love watching movies. Music most of the time. Just something relaxing, yeah.
Q. You won the US Open Series last year. Do you think that's having any impact in tennis, and if so how?
ANA IVANOVIC: Well, it's definitely very exciting, yeah, very exciting time for me. I won my first Tier I title. I didn't expect to win US Open Series. It was good achievement from me. It's important tournaments, important part of the year.
Q. Do you think it's helping tennis, the sport of tennis, to have this series leading to the US Open?
ANA IVANOVIC: Yes, it is. I think it's very exciting and very good idea because not only you want to win tournament but also you competing for something else as well.
Q. Do you think you can win the title this year?
ANA IVANOVIC: Well, I want to. Obviously I want to perform the best I can, and that's my goal. But there will be so many hard matches, so many players want to do the same thing. I just want to take it step by step and not think too much about, yeah, matches in front.
Q. Who do you think is the favorite for the title?
ANA IVANOVIC: Well, it's hard to say. There is many players at the moment that can be very, yeah, win this tournament. As I mentioned yesterday already, at this point I think everyone can beat everyone. It's exciting for women's tennis. It's very exciting for us. I think there are players like Justine and Mauresmo definitely favorites.
Q. Do you think actually the women's tour is more interesting than the men's with Federer and Nadal winning?
ANA IVANOVIC: Yeah, I think that's very exciting. For people also watching because you don't know who's going to win this week. Before you could say maybe, as you said, Federer, he's probably going to win every tournament he plays. In the women's, it's different at the moment. That's what's exciting for all of us.
Q. Whose idea was it to play doubles with Daniela?
ANA IVANOVIC: After French Open she asked me to play doubles. Yeah, so I accepted.
Q. You will play after Wimbledon Fed Cup. Maybe you will play against Hantuchova again. Do you speak about it with her?
ANA IVANOVIC: No, we don't. We don't talk much about it. Just about this tournament. It will be first time we play doubles together. But we haven't spoke about Fed Cup.
Jun 28th, 2007, 08:30 PM
How many times can you say exciting in an interview?
Jun 28th, 2007, 08:55 PM
It's defo her favourite word! :lol: At least it's not 'you know'! :lol:
Jun 28th, 2007, 08:57 PM
It's defo her favourite word! :lol: At least it's not 'you know'! :lol:
:p That's really more annoying.
Jun 28th, 2007, 09:08 PM
who uses "you know" a lot? :confused:
i have the impression ana now uses the word "experience" a bit less than in the last year :o i could be wrong, though :p
Jun 28th, 2007, 09:15 PM
Kim Clijsters used to! :lol: It was hard to find a sentence said by her without at least 2-3 you-knows. Jenny wasn't a bad you-knower either. :lol:
Jun 28th, 2007, 10:02 PM
When I saw 'you know' I thought not about Kim, but Masha ;)
Jun 30th, 2007, 12:24 AM
props on the interview!
Jul 2nd, 2007, 03:55 PM
Short interview after today's match:
A. Ivanovic - 2 July
Monday, 2 July, 2007
Ana Ivanovic (SRB) defeated Aravane Rezai (FRA) 6-3, 6-2
Q. Good win.
ANA IVANOVIC: Yes, I'm very happy about the win today. It was tough. We had to stop on Saturday and then continue two days later, but first set I played really good and she also played very good tennis, and I was very excited to win that set because I think we both played great.
And today it was important, the first game, and I managed to break her, although she had advantage when we continued. And that gave me confidence to play better and to relax a little bit more and just enjoy the tennis.
I was really happy that I could serve out also very well.
Q. Another good atmosphere out on that court. You must be interested to get in one of the big courts this week.
ANA IVANOVIC: Well, yeah, I'm enjoying my time. All three matches I played I had a great atmosphere and there was a lot of people supporting me, and that was great. So I enjoy playing out here, and the crowd and supporters are very good. Yeah, hopefully tomorrow we can play a good match on a bigger court, but we'll see.
Q. You've never played on Centre Court, have you?
ANA IVANOVICH: No, not here, Court 1 last year.
Q. You've got Petrova in the next round. How do you see that?
ANA IVANOVICH: It's going to be definitely a very tough match because she's a great player, and on grass she has very good potential with her serve and strokes. She hits pretty hard and very flat serve, so I think it's important for me to keep level and high percentage on my serve and try to put her under pressure on the return and just to move more forward and try to be aggressive and dominate first.
Q. And the Serbians march on still at Wimbledon; you're all doing very well?
ANA IVANOVICH: Yeah, it's exciting. It's great seeing all of us getting through. Actually we are all in different parts of the draw so we have a chance to go far without playing each other, so that would be amazing.
Jul 3rd, 2007, 06:40 PM
A. Ivanovic - 3 July
Tuesday, 3 July, 2007
Ana Ivanovic (SRB) beat Nadia Petrova (RUS) 6-1, 2-6, 6-4
Q. Could have gone pretty much either way right till the end.
ANA IVANOVIC: It could really. It was very tough match today, especially with so many stop and gos. It was very, very tough out there.
In the first set I played some really good tennis. I was doing everything right. I was hardly making any mistakes. We had to stop. When I came back, I lost little bit concentration and I felt little bit empty inside, not so in the fighting spirit.
But then that stop we had in the third set, it helped me a lot to calm down, come back on the court and try to fight through it. My shots and my serve were not working as well today, but sometimes you have to win when you don't play your best tennis.
That was a little bit key today so I'm happy to get through.
Q. Tough to finish when you're three points from the match?
ANA IVANOVIC: Yeah, it was very tough. I felt the momentum going when I broke her on 4 All, then we had to stop. So it was another tough time.
But I was mentally quite strong to come back and play some good tennis in that last game and served out well.
Q. Was that one of the toughest Grand Slam matches you played, if you take into account the weather, your opponent?
ANA IVANOVIC: Definitely. Not so much physically as mentally. It was very tough. As I said, with lots of stops, up and downs in my game, I had to fight for every point because I didn't feel on the top of my game today.
But sometimes you have to win these matches, and hopefully tomorrow I have chance to play better again.
Q. It's 15 All, the rain comes. What do you do?
ANA IVANOVIC: Yeah, I was a little bit nervous. I went out there on 5 4 to serve and I looked at the sky. It was all dark. I was like, Is it going to hold this game? I made a good first serve. I was 15 Love up, thought maybe we can finish the game. But then on 15 All it started pouring down so we had to stop.
I was obviously a little bit nervous. But also she was quite upset, so she started going for her shots. So maybe again that was a good thing, to stop. Yeah, she could also calm down.
I was definitely in a better situation continuing the match.
Q. When did you first play on grass?
ANA IVANOVIC: First time, I believe it was 2001, for a junior tournament here.
Q. What did you think of it then?
ANA IVANOVIC: Well, even before I came, everybody was telling me that I'm going to do well there. They were like, You have such a powerful game. You have a good serve. You're going to do very well there. I was like, Okay, if you say so, I'll try.
Then since I came here, I really enjoy playing on grass. It's different. It's different kind of tennis, but it's faster, which I enjoy. Yeah, my serve helps me a lot.
Q. Where was that first time?
ANA IVANOVIC: First time here in Roehampton when I played junior tournament.
Q. How have you been enjoying London?
ANA IVANOVIC: Yes, I still haven't had chance to go to the city much. But the other day I went to a concert in Wembley and it was really nice experience. I was there for couple of hours. It was amazing. I enjoyed it a lot. Hopefully I will have chance to see some concerts soon again.
Q. Did you meet anyone there?
ANA IVANOVIC: I saw David Beckham. He was sitting quite close to us. That was exciting. And also Kiefer Sutherland. We just pass by him on the way to our box. I was exciting because I follow 24 closely, so it was exciting to see him.
Q. Were you nervous at all?
ANA IVANOVIC: Yes, I was nervous. I wanted to have picture with him. But we were going different direction. I was like, No, I want to go, I want a picture. I have to have better reaction next time.
Q. Did people recognize you there?
ANA IVANOVIC: A couple of people asked for picture and autographs. I was really surprised because it didn't happen much before in my career. So that was pretty exciting.
Q. Who did you go with?
ANA IVANOVIC: We went with Djokovic and his manager and my brother went with us.
Q. Are you hearing a lot from Belgrade wanting radio interviews or things like that?
ANA IVANOVIC: Yes, lot of people actually. French Open and here we have much more journalists coming here, are coming for tournament, and that's very good for us as well.
It's also nice to have someone from your country. It's amazing. They really follow us a lot. Every time I go back there, I'm surprised how many people support us. And it helps us a lot because we can hear that they're supporting us. That helps a lot.
Jul 3rd, 2007, 10:50 PM
Q. Were you nervous at all?
ANA IVANOVIC: Yes, I was nervous. I wanted to have picture with him. But we were going different direction. I was like, No, I want to go, I want a picture. I have to have better reaction next time.
Now SHE's standing on the other side.
Jul 5th, 2007, 04:21 PM
Interview after today's victory:
A.Ivanovic - 5 July
Thursday, 5 July, 2007
Ana Ivanovic (SRB) beat Nicole Vaidisova (CZE) 4-6, 6-2, 7-5
Q. Are you more surprised for the final reached in Paris or the semifinal reached here?
ANA IVANOVIC: Well, both were really surprising for me. Today I still probably haven't realized what happened. It was unbelievable match. She played very well.
I mean, it was my first time on the Centre Court. To win like this was amazing, so I'm really, really exciting about my win today.
Q. The first time on Centre Court, did it strike you how far you've come since the swimming pool?
ANA IVANOVIC: Yeah, for sure a lot. I was really intimidated when I first stepped on the court. It was very exciting because I played centre court in Paris, in Australia, US Open, but never here. This was very special tournament for me.
Actually to have chance to play on Centre Court, that was already amazing, so I was little bit nervous in the beginning. Obviously didn't have chance to practice there before.
But then as the match went on, I tried to focus on my game more. It was really good.
Q. What are your thoughts and emotions as you walk onto this court for the first time?
ANA IVANOVIC: Well, obviously I was very exciting coming on Centre Court. It's completely different than any other center court. Also I wanted to perform well, especially it was my first time. So that was little bit distracting in the beginning.
But then later on I just tried to forget what was happening around me, just to focus on the court and the strokes.
Q. You looked more emotional at the end than you have at the end of some of your previous matches.
ANA IVANOVIC: Yeah, it was very emotional match today. She's great player. She played some really good tennis today. Was very tough. I had to fight for every point. I was a break down in the second set. I was a break down in the third set. To come back and win it was amazing for me.
Obviously was very emotional. I wanted to win so much. I tried to fight for each point individually. Played some good tennis when it counted the most.
Q. Out of those three match points, which one do you think she should have played better or do you think it was you playing very well, those three?
ANA IVANOVIC: Well, the first one I think I played some very good tennis. I was really aggressive. The third one, I think it was second serve. It was a little bit shaky second serve, and I think she missed the return straightaway.
Yeah, I think that was probably, yeah, her biggest chance. But the thing was that, in the third set, even when I was a break down, I just knew I could do it. I had feeling I could win this match.
I think that what made the big difference. I tried to focus on my serve which didn't work so well thorough the match. It was times when it was going well and then the no.
At the end I tried to focus and take more time on that. I was really, really happy to save these match points and have chance to break her.
Q. What were you wearing on your knee?
ANA IVANOVIC: It was just tape for tracking my knee, because last week when I played on Saturday it was quite slippery out there. Just for tracking the knee, just as prevention.
Q. Just normal strapping?
ANA IVANOVIC: Just for tracking the knee. It's not the full bandage, just to move a little bit.
Q. Was there an injury of some sort?
ANA IVANOVIC: No. It's okay. It's just prevention. It also gives a little bit support, so it's good.
Q. How hard is it to play aggressively on match points? Many young players on match points will play nervous. The two you took, you played super aggressive.
ANA IVANOVIC: Well, I knew I had to take my chances, because if I gave her an opportunity she would take it. She played unbelievable match today. She was really aggressive.
The only feeling I had that could make me win this match is if I was even more aggressive and dominating the first.
That's what I did so well towards the end of the second set. I knew I had to keep this game. When I was these match points down, that was basically the chance I got.
I like to take a risk, as well. I didn't want to wait and see if she's going to make mistake or not; I just wanted to take this in my hand and make the shots.
Q. You said you were nervous at the beginning. Centre Court, is that what made you nervous?
ANA IVANOVIC: Yes, I started a little bit nervous because, as I said, usually we have a chance to practice on centre court before we go on. But here I didn't have chance and I never played before.
It was a very strange feeling when I went on. But as the match went on, I tried to focus more on my own game.
Q. What is your take on the crowd at Centre Court, the whole Wimbledon experience so far?
ANA IVANOVIC: I had great support through all my matches, and today was unbelievable atmosphere, especially towards the end. I really wanted to perform well here.
They give me so much support. It helps me a lot to relax and to play even better because that motivates me a lot.
Q. Are you surprised by that?
ANA IVANOVIC: Coming here, I didn't know what to expect. I can see the difference from last year to this year. It's been so much more support this year. I really enjoy it. The fans are really great here.
Q. Novak is through also. Serbians have had a fantastic run this year. Why the breakout this year? Did they change the water supply?
ANA IVANOVIC: Yeah, I'm so happy for him. He had very tough match today. Yeah, it's very hard to say because we are all very young. Novak and I, we are same age.
We still have so many years in front of us. It all happen really suddenly for Serbian players coming through. But I think we all have we are talented and we have good potential to play at the top level.
I think we just have to use our chances. This is the time for us. We have confidence. We just want to win each match we play.
Q. Do you think what you went through as a country has given strength?
ANA IVANOVIC: I'm sure it does. Obviously it motivates us, too, because it was quite tough growing up back home. Now there is so many young kids playing tennis because of us.
For us doing good, it can help them to improve and to have chance and to maybe have little bit easier road than we did. That's very motivating for us. We try to do the change as best we can.
Q. Does the story line of it ever amaze you?
ANA IVANOVIC: Yes, it's unbelievable because when I was a kid, obviously I was dreaming of playing Grand Slam, reaching finals and winning it, but it was far from realistic at that time.
But then I guess you just go each tournament and play and try to perform the best you can, and then you start winning matches and that gives you confidence.
Then being at the Grand Slams, that's already a huge step for us. Playing at the top level, it's something amazing.
Q. What changed once you came back from Paris in Serbia towards you, towards Djokovic? Do they write much more about tennis than before?
ANA IVANOVIC: Every time I go back it's very surprising for me how many people actually follow and how many people know about us. When we came back from Paris, we had a beautiful ceremony in the center of city. It was about 10,000 people waiting for us. It was pretty amazing feeling.
It's very exciting for us. I always hear they support us and they follow our results. That gives us confidence. And also wish to prove them we are good.
Q. Thoughts on the semifinal?
ANA IVANOVIC: It's going to be very tough match. Venus is in a great shape. They played amazingly last couple of matches. It's going to be very tough.
But I have experience. I played on Centre Court already. So I just want to go tomorrow and enjoy, try to play the best I can and see who will be better tomorrow.
Q. Being in the final in Paris, then in semifinal here at Wimbledon, totally different conditions, how did you manage to adapt to these new conditions within two weeks?
ANA IVANOVIC: Yeah, it was a little bit tough. After Paris I needed some time off. I had few days to relax, then to change my mindset because it's a little bit different game, clay court and grass.
But I've been really enjoying my time here, and I feel that each match I played a little bit better. I'm really exciting to be in the semifinal coming. Into the tournament I didn't expect that. I just try to enjoy each match individually.
I played some good tennis when it counted the most. I'm very excited about tomorrow's match.
Jul 5th, 2007, 05:17 PM
How many times can you say exciting in an interview?
1st round interview - 3
2nd round interview - 8
3rd round interview - 1 (but the interview was short)
4th round interview - 4
qf interview - 6
let's see if she can beat her second round interview :p
Aug 28th, 2007, 11:17 PM
Interview after 1st round at US Open:
THE MODERATOR: Questions.
Q. Nice to get off to an easy start?
ANA IVANOVIC: Yeah, definitely. I was really happy with my performance today. It's never easy first round. Especially last year we had the tough one. I was really focused from first point on, played some good tennis. I'm really happy to be through.
Q. Are you staying with your mother here in New York?
ANA IVANOVIC: Yeah. Actually my dad is here from Australia here as well this week.
Q. How often are they both able to be at tournaments for you?
ANA IVANOVIC: My mom and my dad you mean?
ANA IVANOVIC: It's very rarely. My father and my brother, they come in Paris and Wimbledon because it's kind of close and they have some break also in that time. But usually just my mom travels.
Q. Are you taking a bus into this tournament every day?
ANA IVANOVIC: No. We have a car luckily, so it makes it much easier.
Q. Less the 40% on your first serve. Does it worry you?
ANA IVANOVIC: Well, it's first match. You always need some time to get into the match. But I think my serve was much faster than it was before. And my second serve was also getting a lot stronger. So that gave me a lot of confidence. Sometimes I was looking for too much on my first serve. I was just trying to figure out what works the best for me.
So tomorrow I'm going to get some time to work on it, so hopefully for next match I'll have a high percentage. But I think I was serving quite well at some moments. It didn't really bother me much. I'm sure I can improve it for the next matches.
Q. How do you feel about the energy in the stadium?
ANA IVANOVIC: First two matches they took a while, but it was great atmosphere. I practice a couple times on that court through last week. I found that I enjoyed it the most of all. So I was really happy when I saw schedule, when I was scheduled to play on that court. I really enjoyed. The crowd was great. Hopefully they can support me like this through whole two weeks.
Q. Is there a television network in Serbia so people can see your matches and Djokovic's matches and Jelena's matches?
ANA IVANOVIC: Yes, I think they broadcast all our matches because also lucky for us we are playing on big courts, which are televised so they can also show it back home. I think they have Serbian Eurosport and also Avala TV they broadcast our matches.
Q. If it comes to pass that you and Jankovic play each other, how many television sets would be tuned into that match?
ANA IVANOVIC: Definitely it would be very exciting because we played each other plenty of time in the past years, but never on Grand Slam. So that would be very exciting match for sure for Serbian TV. At least we'll have one player for sure in the semis if that would happen.
Q. What do you think it meant to the country, the big celebration in Belgrade after Roland Garros?
ANA IVANOVIC: It was amazing because they never actually did that celebration for individual player. It was always for a group, for a team sport. So it was amazing for us as players to be on the terrace. Also for the country, I think tennis is now becoming one of the major sports back home. So I think many people were happy that they organized that for us.
Q. Is it important to you to show some sort of a nice face of Serbia as a tennis player?
ANA IVANOVIC: Yeah, it's a great honor to be representing my country because I grew up there and I know that it's a great country, that we have a great potential. But just it was tough because we were at the war couple times. I don't know how good image we had in the other countries, in the world. But I think tennis, what Jankovic, Novak, also Zimonjic and also other players, Tipsarevic, what we are showing to the world, it's different side of our country. That's great honor for us.
Q. Is it true the government is now building a tennis center in Belgrade?
ANA IVANOVIC: Well, I don't spend much time home, so I didn't really hear anything about it. But I really hope it's true because we definitely need some facilities. There is many, many kids now playing tennis. It would be great if that's true. And also for us, that we can go back to Belgrade and spend some more time there.
Q. There's a report that the Djokovic family is trying to build a tennis center.
ANA IVANOVIC: Well, that would be great. I think the more we can invest in our tennis, the better it is. Because, as I said, tennis is becoming such a popular sport right now. We need definitely facilities. We have maybe one or two clubs in whole Serbia that they have gym and tennis courts in the same place. So that would be great if something new is happening.
Q. How was Nakamura from the last time you played her?
ANA IVANOVIC: Yeah, last year we had quite tough match here, so I was expecting tough match again. From first point on, I tried to focus and tried to play the best I can. I just think I was trying to play more aggressive and don't give her much time because she likes to run and she likes to defend. So I try to get that away from her, and it worked well for me today.
Q. You've had a very fine season. In your mind, do you believe you can win a Grand Slam?
ANA IVANOVIC: I definitely believe so. I think at the moment anyone can beat anyone in woman's tennis. It's definitely something I want to achieve. It's just that I don't want to put that kind of pressure on myself. I just want to take it step by step and try to enjoy each match. If I start thinking emotionally if I'm going to win a Grand Slam or not, then the journey is becoming much more difficult. But just focusing on my game, that's the only way I can achieve that goal.
Q. We know what happened at the French Open final, but what's your assessment to what happened to you at Wimbledon?
ANA IVANOVIC: Well, Wimbledon, Venus played unbelievable good match. She was serving amazingly. It was for me tough to hold my serve. So she was in a great shape. I think if I would be more aggressive and maybe my serve percentage would have gone up I would have more chance. But definitely she didn't give me much.
Aug 29th, 2007, 06:40 PM
Post-match interview after the 2nd round:
A. IVANOVIC/A. Rezai
THE MODERATOR: Questions.
Q. You started out the match kind of slow. You got broken in the first game. Seemed early on you were questioning a lot of calls. Did you feel off this morning?
ANA IVANOVIC: Yeah, it was a very slow start for me. It was first match, center court. I was a little bit nervous. She was obviously tough player to play against. I was going a little bit for too much, meaning I was going too much for the lines in the beginning of the first set especially. So there was a lot of close calls, especially my serve in the first game they were all very close to the lines. I guess I saw them also very close because I was nervous. Then as the match went on I got a little bit in the rhythm and took my opportunities.
Q. What did it mean to be on Arthur Ashe Stadium?
ANA IVANOVIC: It was amazing. It was only my second time playing there. Last year against Serena was the first time. Obviously that's the biggest stadium we have playing tennis. It was a great feeling, great atmosphere.
Obviously first match it's never easy playing there, but I tried to take the best I can. It was great experience because maybe in the future rounds I'll have opportunity to play there again. Having already one match behind me, it's great.
Q. Some players really love the experience of playing in New York, and others like Justine will say, It's not my favorite Grand Slam.
ANA IVANOVIC: It's tough. I find it also very hard because there is lot of travelling, lot of people. Everyone is trying to talk to you. You spend maybe more time in the center than you would do in Paris or Wimbledon.
But it's definitely great atmosphere. It's different. It's many people. Once you're on the court, it builds you up and gives you energy to play harder. So definitely trying to enjoy it as much as I can. On the end of the day it's a Grand Slam, so you want to play the best you can.
Q. Is it important to you to see yourself become well known to the American fans here?
ANA IVANOVIC: Definitely that would be very exciting, because America is such a huge market, such a huge country. But when I'm on the court I don't think in that direction. I just play for myself and try to perform the best I can. That's all I'm concerned about when I'm on the court.
Q. What were your feelings when you first got to New York about what you had to do to be successful?
ANA IVANOVIC: When I came here I had, unfortunately or not, quite a long time to prepare for this tournament. I took my time and tried to practice twice a day. I was actually very lucky that I was here earlier so I can practice on center court, on Louis Armstrong, all these big courts. That was great opportunity for me.
I just try to enjoy city a little bit more, try to go shopping, spend some time around. I really appreciate that.
Q. Did you feel like your game was at the point when you got here where you thought you could make a big statement?
ANA IVANOVIC: Yeah, definitely. I mean, coming into tournament my goal is to play better than I did last year, to reach the second week, because I never did that here. So that was my first goal. But it's definitely a lot of tough opponents in my part of the draw, so I just want to try to play the best I can. But I feel very good physically and also mentally, and I think I'm playing well at the moment. So I just want to enjoy that and try to do the best I can.
Q. Have you been recognized a lot more in New York compared to last year and after your last two Grand Slams?
ANA IVANOVIC: Yeah, I can notice difference. Last night going for dinner a couple of people came to me and said, Oh, good luck tomorrow. It's like, Thanks. So it was actually amazing to have that experience.
Q. Earlier in the year when you were here you said a fan asked you to sign his underwear. Have you had any sort of similar requests?
ANA IVANOVIC: Yeah, actually yesterday when I was signing autographs after practice, the guy asked me to sign his forehead. I was like, Are you kidding (laughter)?
Q. Did you sign it?
ANA IVANOVIC: No, I didn't. I felt bad for him walking with a sign. I say, I can sign your ball or shirt, but forehead?
Q. A lot of players want to take it match by match. You've said much the same. You have one match ahead and then it could be Venus. In a lot of ways things are speeding up for you here, huh?
ANA IVANOVIC: Yeah, definitely. I mean, it's not a big secret that this part of the draw is much harder. There's many good players. Also hopefully I can win my next match and then play against Venus again. We had tough one in Wimbledon just few months ago. I would really be excited to play against her. I never beat her. But I think this is different tournament, different circumstances. I am feeling even fitter than I was in Wimbledon. So I would really like to play against her. I definitely have chance.
Q. Can you go back over the reception you had in June in Belgrade.
ANA IVANOVIC: It was amazing because they never did such a reception for individual athlete. It was always for a team sport. So that's something I'll never forget. When I was a kid I went there to welcome volleyball and basketball players. It was me standing up on the terrace. It was really amazing feeling. As I said, I will remember that through whole my life. And also now tennis, it's becoming one of the major sports back home. Wherever so we go we get recognized.
Q. Are you involved in the growth of tennis there?
ANA IVANOVIC: I heard they want to build some more stadiums and more sports facilities. That's definitely a big step that we need to make in order for our tennis to grow, because there is so many kids practicing at the moment but there is not enough courts. I really hope by building these stadiums it will help for kids to have better facilities for practicing. Also we are very talented nation and we have good coaches. I'm sure there is lot of kids who gonna come up.
Q. Do you anticipate returning to Serbia when you are finished playing tennis?
ANA IVANOVIC: You never know where life going to take you. At the moment I just enjoy what I'm doing. I don't think too much. I think I'm still young and have many years in front of me. I don't still think about settling down. But it's definitely one of options because I grew up there and that's where all my family is and I have so many relatives and friends also. It would be nice to go back there.
Q. Serbian tennis is the big story this year. Does Novak and Jelena's success on court add pressure to you to do well?
ANA IVANOVIC: No, it kind of motivates me because they are both great players and they both achieved so much. I just see it as motivation to do even better and to play better than them, to maybe go one step further. That's definitely a positive thing. But I think they are in the same situation. So I think it's great for all of us. And also Tipsarevic, he can see us doing well and that's also for him very motivating.
Q. From all the places you have visited, is there any special place you would like to come back but you can't because now you're playing?
ANA IVANOVIC: There is many places. Really, that's the part of tennis that I really like. It's travelling, seeing different countries, meeting different cultures. I really enjoy that part of my job. love Australia. I always look forward to coming back there. Yeah, Barcelona, I enjoy being there as well, because I like sea and beach. It's really tough to say. But I know there is lot of beautiful places in this world.
Q. The event in June, you were in a stadium or on a balcony?
ANA IVANOVIC: We were on a balcony in the center of the city, like a big square. It's parliament building with a big terrace. We went on the terrace.
Q. How many people do you think showed up to see you?
ANA IVANOVIC: Maybe 10,000, 15,000. It was very nice to see because most of them were very young, so it was nice to see that kind of people are attracted to tennis.
Q. You used to be one of the kids in the crowd yourself?
ANA IVANOVIC: Yes. When basketball players were coming, with my family I used to go there, just welcome them. That's what I used to do before.
Q. Krstic of the Nets was here watching you.
ANA IVANOVIC: That's nice. I really like basketball. My father was a basketball player. I enjoy watching that. Actually, I never watch NBA game live, so I would like to do it.
Q. What's your coaching situation?
ANA IVANOVIC: Sven Groenefeld from adidas is helping me still. I really enjoy working with him. It's great to have him because he's so experienced, and we also communicate well, and that's always important for any relationship. I really hope he can help me go further as well.
Q. He's here?
ANA IVANOVIC: He's here, yes.
Sep 1st, 2007, 07:21 AM
Interview after the 3rd round:
A. IVANOVIC/V. Dushevina
THE MODERATOR: Questions.
Q. Looked pretty easy out there today. Was it as easy as it looked?
ANA IVANOVIC: Definitely I'm really happy with the result today. She's tough opponent. She played good last couple of matches, so I expected a tough match out there. But I was really happy with the result. It's always nice to get through like this. I played some good tennis.
Q. You're doing well, have a big following here. Do you see this tournament as a way to becoming a household name such as Maria Sharapova? Do you see that as a goal of this tournament?
ANA IVANOVIC: Yeah, it's definitely one of the important tournaments. Especially it's American, it's a big market. But I'm on the court, I don't think in that direction. I focus on my tennis. My manager is here to do a job in that part. But I would definitely enjoy to do some stuff also besides tennis.
Q. Earlier Djokovic was talking about growing up together, with you being in the same generation. Can you talk about coming up through the ranks with him, seeing how well he's doing.
ANA IVANOVIC: Yeah, it's very exciting. We knew each other before we started playing tennis. It's amazing to see him now at the Grand Slams, playing so well. First time when we were still playing juniors, it was already a big thing for us, especially tennis at that time wasn't so popular back home. Now seeing him doing so well, it's motivation for me. It's really great to have someone to catch up that I know so good. He had a tough match today. It was amazing win for him. I think it was tough draw, but he went through it.
Q. You knew each other before tennis?
ANA IVANOVIC: Yeah.
Q. How is that?
ANA IVANOVIC: Well, with my family, I went on holidays in the mountain in Serbia. We just went into a restaurant for lunch. I think, my father knew his uncle. They went to school together. He has his uncle, yeah, he was there. We met. We played on the swings, how you call this, on the slide. 15 years later we are here, we are playing something different.
Q. You haven't defeated Venus yet to date. Do you look forward to the chance of possibly playing her next round to try to get the first one against her?
ANA IVANOVIC: Yeah, definitely. We had tough matches before. Last one was in Wimbledon recently. She was in a great shape. She's also playing good at the moment. We had tough matches, but definitely I think I have chances. I'm looking forward to that match because I think I'm in a good shape. I feel good on the court. It will be exciting to play against her.
Q. When was the first time you saw her play in a Grand Slam on television?
ANA IVANOVIC: Oh, I remember actually I played juniors in Paris. I don't know how many years ago was that. Was maybe five, six years ago. And I remember I was in a junior locker room, and she came in there. I think she played on Suzanne Lenglen. I have picture actually with her, with another friend. It's amazing now I have opportunity to play against her. One of my very first big matches was against her in Zurich on a Tier I tournament.
Q. Where is that picture?
ANA IVANOVIC: It's in my home. I have it.
Q. On the wall?
ANA IVANOVIC: No. It's somewhere with all the pictures from tennis.
Q. Do you have any sense of how much people in Belgrade are following this tournament? Is it on television? Every match? Radio? Do you have any idea?
ANA IVANOVIC: Well, when I speak to my friends after matches, with my father or brother, they tell me that all people are calling them, everyone is following. They broadcast over TV, yeah, Internet, radio, everything. For example, today I played after Novak, so they had all afternoon and night of tennis. They have Jankovic and Tipsarevic coming up. It's exciting. Everyone is following. It's now a big thing. I think all nation is watching tennis.
Q. Did you have any contact with Tipsarevic at all when you were younger?
ANA IVANOVIC: Yeah, actually we grew up playing in the same club. So I know him. I remember when he has nine, ten, he was a big star. He was later on ranked No. 1 junior. I always looked up to him when we were practicing in the same club.
Q. Have you actually had contact with Venus? I know you asked for a picture. Was she nice about it? Have you spoken longer than that?
ANA IVANOVIC: No, just the picture. Actually I wasn't the one asking for a picture. It was my friend, she asked. She was, like, Let's take it together. I was like, Yeah, good. That was the only thing.
Q. Your friend was a tennis player as well?
ANA IVANOVIC: Yeah. Actually it was Sanja Ancic, the sister of Mario.
Q. Do you admire what she and Serena have done off the court as well as on the court?
ANA IVANOVIC: Yeah, definitely, they're both great champions. They won so many Grand Slam titles. I think they took tennis to another level. They were the first one who were powerful on the court and changed the game a little bit. So that's very exciting for today's game.
They are still on the top.
Q. What about their love of fashion, what they're doing outside of tennis?
ANA IVANOVIC: I think it's like every girl, every woman, she likes the fashion. I'm not surprised they're enjoying it, as well.
Q. You're smiling a lot, seem to be pretty relaxed. Are you enjoying this tournament as much as it seems?
ANA IVANOVIC: Yeah, yeah, definitely. It's a Grand Slam, so it's a very important tournament for everyone. This is the furthest I got here, so I'm very excited about that. Also I have, I think, pretty good chance in the next round. It's a tough draw, but I'm playing well at the moment, so I have all the reasons to be happy.
Q. Do you feel like you're at your best right now?
ANA IVANOVIC: Yeah, definitely. I improved a lot. Also since Wimbledon. I'm really excited. I'm looking forward for next challenges. I feel good on the court. So that's definitely a plus.
Q. In the press conferences you're very smiley, kind, sweet. On the court, do you kind of change your personality?
ANA IVANOVIC: I think I'm still the same person, but I'm just focused and I'm fighting for each point. Of course, I'm serious and trying to do the best I can. But still inside I'm the same person.
Q. The other night you were working as a journalist as well at the Wilson party.
ANA IVANOVIC: It was exciting. It was the first time I did something like that. Tennis Channel asked me to do a feature with me, so I accepted. Also during the night, I was going around and interviewing a few people. I got interview with Roger. That was great.
Q. What did you ask him?
ANA IVANOVIC: I asked him about New York, how much he's enjoying party. I was actually very surprised to find out that he enjoys shopping.
Q. Is Roger Federer a good interview?
ANA IVANOVIC: Yeah, yeah, he was a lot of fun. I felt weird asking him questions. But it was something different. He was really good actually.
Q. He's aware of your career and your success?
ANA IVANOVIC: Yes.
Sep 1st, 2007, 01:47 PM
How many time the word, exciting, ? I lost counting.
Really nice to hear she feels great and confident. Then I really think she can beat anyone. At RG she was thinking about the victory which made her play bad. At Wimbledon she was injured. Hard to guess how much that affected her game, but she was certainly not 100%.
Now it all looks good. Feeling great, great form, her surface.
Of course it's still Venus, so I still can't think that much of winning this match. But I'm really confident in Ana. She really can win!
Sep 9th, 2007, 12:23 AM
Nov 7th, 2007, 04:31 AM
Surely they do interviews at the YEC ? :shrug:
For the meantime here are some random excerpts ...
"At the end, I tried not to think about the score any more, but I'm really happy I was able to stay calm and break her."
“The cake, people singing happy birthday in Spanish, it’s something I will remember for the rest of my life.”
“It was an unbelievable match. I played some great tennis at the start, then she came back, and it was extremely tough. I’m just so happy I came through and it was an amazing birthday.”
:clap2: :) :aparty: :bdaycake: :rocker2: :yippee:
Nov 27th, 2007, 08:59 PM
Can anyone german speaking (azdaja?) translate this litle article from Annabelle (Swiss) magazine???
Begegnung mit... Ana Ivanovic
Von ihrer Wahlheimat Basel aus hat sich Ana Ivanovic in die Top Five der weltbesten Tennisspielerinnen gespielt. Vor zehn Jahren, in Belgrad, trainierte sie noch in einem leeren Schwimmbecken.
http://img169.imagevenue.com/loc827/th_72064_Annabelle01_122_827lo.jpg (http://img169.imagevenue.com/img.php?image=72064_Annabelle01_122_827lo.jpg) http://img191.imagevenue.com/loc182/th_72066_Annabelle02_122_182lo.jpg (http://img191.imagevenue.com/img.php?image=72066_Annabelle02_122_182lo.jpg) http://img147.imagevenue.com/loc841/th_72071_Annabelle03_122_841lo.jpg (http://img147.imagevenue.com/img.php?image=72071_Annabelle03_122_841lo.jpg) http://img192.imagevenue.com/loc393/th_72081_Annabelle04_122_393lo.jpg (http://img192.imagevenue.com/img.php?image=72081_Annabelle04_122_393lo.jpg) http://img206.imagevenue.com/loc509/th_72087_Annabelle05_122_509lo.jpg (http://img206.imagevenue.com/img.php?image=72087_Annabelle05_122_509lo.jpg)
Text: Peter Ackermann Fotos: Anne Morgenstern
Ana Ivanovic sass in ihrem Tennisdress in der Umkleidekabine, vier Stunden lang, allein, und weinte. Draussen wartete ihr Manager. Vor kurzem hatte der Schweizer Unternehmer sie unter Vertrag genommen. Vor der Vertragsunterzeichnung hatte er sie gefragt, was sie sich in ihrem Leben erhoffe. Die 14-Jährige
schaute ihm in die Augen und sagte: «Ich will im Damentennis die Nummer eins der Welt werden.» Daraufhin finanzierte er ihren Trainer, ihre Reisen und die ihrer Mutter, die mit dem Rest der Familie im kriegsgebeutelten Serbien lebte. Er zahlte ihr eine Wohnung in Basel und gab ihr Taschengeld. Er hatte Grosses mit ihr vor. Und Ana ahnte, mit Dan Holzmann könnte sie den Aufstieg zum Tennisprofi schaffen. Doch dann versagte sie bei ihrem ersten gemeinsamen Juniorenturnier. Sie hatte in Mailand zu den Favoritinnen gehört und wollte vor den Augen ihres neuen Managers gegen eine deutlich tiefer klassierte Spielerin auftrumpfen. Doch Ana spielte miserabel und schied in der ersten Runde mit 2:6 und 3:6 aus.
Sie wollte die Umkleidekabine nie wieder verlassen. Sie fürchtete, ihr Manager würde die Zusammenarbeit kündigen, und sie müsste zurück nach Belgrad, wo man andere Sorgen hatte als das Sponsoring eines Tennistalents.
Heute, fünf Jahre später, ist der Basler Dan Holzmann immer noch ihr Manager, und Ana Ivanovic gehört zu den Top Five des WTA-Rankings. Nur zwei Jahre nach ihrem Tiefpunkt in Mailand hatte sie am Zurich Open den Sprung zu den Profis geschafft und spielte sich innert eines Jahres von Position 705 auf Rang 97 empor. Das war der grösste Sprung, den eine Spielerin je gemacht hat.
Dieses Jahr erreichte sie in Wimbledon den Halbfinal, wo sie der späteren Turniersiegerin Venus Williams unterlag. Und an den French Open spielte sie erstmals in einem Final eines Grand-Slam-Turniers. Ihre Vorhand ist ihre gefürchtete Stärke. Ihr Winnerschlag ist ihre Vorhand. Beim Aufschlag erreichen ihre Bälle eine Geschwindigkeit von 196 Kilometer pro Stunde und werden auf 3.2 Zentimeter zusammengepresst. Gemessen daran ist ihr Händedruck bei der Begrüssung unerwartet weich. Das Make-up täuscht nicht über die mädchenhaften Züge ihres Gesichts hinweg.
Ana Ivanovic, warum spielen Sie Tennis?
Ich habe als Vierjährige im Fernsehen Monica Seles spielen gesehen, die damals in Serbien ein Star war. In einer Pause kam der Werbefilm einer Tennisschule in Belgrad. Ich lernte die Telefonnummer auswendig und bestürmte danach meine Eltern, mich dort anzumelden. An meinem fünften Geburtstag bekam ich dann mein erstes Racket, und einen Monat später begann ich in einem Club Tennis zu spielen.
Wie reagierten Ihre Eltern auf Ihr Talent?
Meine Eltern unterstützten mich sehr, drängten mich aber nie. Sie fuhren mich zu den Trainings und Turnieren, waren für mich da.
Während Ihrer Kindheit war Serbien mehrmals in Kriege verwickelt. Wie haben diese Ihr Leben beeinflusst?
Ich habe als Vierjährige mitgekriegt, dass der Kosovokrieg ein sehr, sehr harter Krieg für mein Land war. Mehr habe ich nicht begriffen. Meine Eltern sprachen kaum je über Politik. Sie wollten, dass mein Bruder und ich so behütet wie möglich aufwachsen. Bewusster erlebt habe ich den Krieg der Nato gegen Serbien, als ich elf Jahre alt war. Meine Eltern schliefen mit uns Kindern im Erdgeschoss in einem Zimmer. Zweimal explodierten ganz nahe bei uns amerikanische Bomben. Die Fenster zitterten. Wir Kinder fürchteten uns. Der Krieg hatte für uns aber auch eine gute Seite: Die Schulen waren geschlossen, und so hatten wir viel häufiger Zeit zum Spielen.
War im Krieg überhaupt an Tennisspielen zu denken?
Nicht in den ersten Wochen. Turniere und Trainings fanden keine mehr statt. Und niemand konnte sagen, wann der Krieg aufhört. Da begann ich halt für mich zu üben. Ich stand jeden Morgen um 6 Uhr auf und trainierte von 7 bis 9 Uhr. Zu dieser Zeit wurden noch keine Luftangriffe geflogen. Da alle Tennisanlagen
geschlossen waren, trainierte ich in einem leeren Schwimmbecken. Und schlug dort täglich meine Bälle an die Bassinwand.
Wie haben Sie sich damals Ihr Leben als 20-Jährige vorgestellt?
Ich wollte immer nur Tennisspielerin werden.
Wann ahnten Sie, dass Sie tatsächlich mal die Nummer eins im Tennis werden könnten?
Ich war so um die 11 Jahre alt, als ich begann, mir vorzustellen, gegen Lindsay Davenport und gegen Serena und Venus Williams zu spielen, die damals mit ihrem aggressiven und sehr harten Tennis aufkamen. Als ich dann als ganz junge Profispielerin am Zurich Open 2003 in der zweiten Runde tatsächlich gegen Venus spielte und nur ganz knapp 6:7 und 6:7 verlor, wusste ich: Es liegt alles drin.
An die Weltspitze
Ana Ivanovic (20) wurde am 6. November 1987 in Belgrad geboren. Ihre Mutter ist Rechtsanwältin, ihr Vater Betriebswirtschafter, lange Zeit spielte er professionell Basketball. Mit vier Jahren verfolgte Ana im Fernsehen ein Tennisspiel ihrer Landsfrau Monica Seles und wollte danach ebenfalls Tennisspielerin werden. Seit sie 14 Jahre ist, lebt sie in Basel. Zu ihren grössten Erfolgen zählt die Teilnahme am Grand-Slam-Final beim French Open und ihr 4. Platz in der Weltrangliste (Stand: Ende Oktober). Ana Ivanovic mag historische Bücher und hört Popmusik. Vor einem Tennismatch spielt sie Sudoku oder Backgammon.
Sie kamen als 13-Jährige über einen französischen Talentscout in die Schweiz. Wer war während Ihrer Pubertät Ihre wichtigste Bezugsperson?
Meine Mutter, die mich zunächst überallhin begleitete. Doch die Reisen waren teuer. Und in Belgrad interessierte sich niemand für ein Sponsoring. Häufig war ich allein unterwegs. Seit meinem 15. Lebensjahr ist es mein heutiger Manager, Dan Holzmann. Er ist ein Glücksfall für mich. Dass er mir nach meinem katastrophalen Spiel in Mailand weiterhin das Vertrauen schenkte, war für meine weitere Entwicklung enorm wichtig.
Haben Sie eine beste Freundin?
Ja, Jelena. Ich kenne sie seit der Primarschule in Belgrad, wo sie noch immer lebt.
Sie sind die meiste Zeit unterwegs, verliert man da nicht irgendwann den Draht zueinander?
Es stimmt, wir sehen uns nicht sehr häufig, da ich selten in Belgrad bin. Aber wir halten uns immer auf dem Laufenden. Sie ist wie ich sehr an Psychologie interessiert. Deshalb reden wir häufig über unsere persönliche Entwicklung oder über «other things».
Laufen Gespräche über Männer unter «other things»?
Ja. – Dazu so viel: Ich bin Single. Mein häufiges Reisen macht eine Beziehung fast nicht möglich. Zudem scheinen meine 1.85 Meter auf viele Männer eine abschreckende Wirkung zu haben.
Sie wurden am 6. November zwanzig Jahre alt. Merken Sie manchmal, dass Sie eine andere Pubertät hatten als Ihre Freunde?
Ja. Dadurch, dass ich fast nur um Erwachsene herum bin, bin ich früher reif geworden. Wenn ich ausgehe, dann um schön Essen zu gehen. Mit Partys kannich wenig anfangen. Auch wenn ich mit meinen Kolleginnen in Belgrad manchmal mitgehe. Meistens habe ich jedoch nicht viel davon. Ich möchte ja vor allem wissen, wie es ihnen geht und mit ihnen schwatzen. Und das geht im Lärm eines Nightclubs schlecht.
Was hat der Sport Ihrer persönlichen Entwicklung gebracht?
Ich habe durch den Sport früher als andere in meinem Alter gelernt, Eigenverantwortung zu übernehmen.
Was machen Sie, wenn Sie mal nicht eigenverantwortlich sind?
Hmm. Vor ein paar Jahren, als ich noch keinen Führerschein hatte, bin ich trotzdem einmal Auto gefahren.
Haben Sie mal geraucht?
Nein. Und ich mag den Zigarettengestank auch nicht.
Waren Sie mal in einer illegalen Bar?
Waren Sie mal betrunken?
Nein. Das heisst: doch. Ein bisschen. In Italien, in einer Bar, in der ich mit meiner Mutter und meinem Fitnesstrainer war. Bei der Durchsicht der Getränkekarte
dachte ich: So einen schön farbigen Cocktail möchte ich auch mal probieren. Wir bestellten dann zwei Cocktails füruns drei - und ich trank von beiden. Danach
war ich beschwipst. Sprach am laufenden Band. Und imitierte Szenen aus meiner Lieblingsserie «Friends».
Vermissten Sie in Ihrer Pubertät etwas?
Nein, ich war nie besonders crazy und wollte es auch nie sein. Deswegen glaube ich auch nicht, dass ich etwas nachholen muss. Ich habe gern alles unter Kontrolle. Ich bin mir der Konsequenzen meines Handelns sehr bewusst.
In einem Tennismatch ist es unmöglich, alles unter Kontrolle zu haben.
Das stimmt. Eine Gegnerin lässt sich nur bedingt kontrollieren. Viel entscheidender aber ist, wenn es bei mir selbst nicht optimal läuft. Und das ist in neunzig Prozent der Spiele der Fall. Vielleicht hatte ich zu wenig Schlaf. Oder meinem Körper wäre nach Erholung. Trotzdem muss ich raus auf den Platz und spielen. Deshalb ist es so wichtig, Eigenverantwortung zu übernehmen. Denn am Ende ist man auf dem Spielfeld sehr auf sich gestellt.
Treten Sie aus Aberglauben vor Ihrem Aufschlag nie auf die Grundlinie?
Ja. Man muss eine Linie als Grenze akzeptieren.
Was war Ihr bisher wichtigstes Spiel?
Der Sieg über Maria Sharapova im Halbfinal in Frankreich. Noch wichtiger war aber meine Niederlage in meinem ersten Grand-Slam-Final gegen Justine Henin. Auch wenn ich das Spiel gegen die Weltranglistenerste verlor und nicht mein bestes Tennis spielte, gewann ich so viel Erfahrung hinzu.
Wie gehen Sie mit Niederlagen um?
Auch wenn es unangenehm ist, muss ich analysieren, was bei einer Niederlage falsch lief und was ich anders machen könnte. Beim Grand Slam sagte ich mir in jedem Match vor dem Final: «Ich versuche einfach das beste Tennis zu spielen, das ich kann, und sehe, wie weit ich damit komme.» Im Final war es mit der Gelassenheit vorbei. Ich dachte: «Oh, ich stehe in einem Grand-Slam-Final. Und ich könnte den Grand Slam gewinnen.» Danach konzentrierte ich mich einfach nicht mehr auf das Technische. Das war mein Fehler. Ich war auf dieses Gefühl, in einem ganz wichtigen Final zu stehen, nicht vorbereitet. Und ich wusste nicht, wie damit umgehen. Ich fühlte mich ganz ähnlich wie in Mailand, als ich vor Dan einen besonders guten Eindruck machen wollte und übermotiviert ans Spiel ging. Jetzt aber weiss ich, dass ich das nächste Mal eine halbe Stunde vor einem so wichtigen Spiel diese Nervosität in der Kabine für mich allein durchleben und dann auf die Seite stellen kann – um mich nur noch aufs Spiel zu konzentrieren.
Warum wollen Sie die Nummer eins werden?
Es geht mir nicht um Anerkennung, Autorität, Ruhm oder Geld. Ich möchte einfach wissen, dass ich die Beste bin in dem, was ich mache. Ich hoffe, es nächste
Saison zu werden. Um es dann möglichst lang zu bleiben.
Martina Hingis wurde mit 22 Frührentnerin.
Ja, aber sie begann viel früher mit professionellem Tennis als ich. Natürlich weiss man im Sport nie, wann der Körper die Ziele nicht mehr erreichen kann, die der Kopf setzt.Was, wenn Sie nie die Nummer eins werden?Dann wäre ich sehr, sehr enttäuscht. Und doch käme es auf die Gründe an, weshalb ich mein Ziel nicht erreicht habe. Es ist wie bei einem Match: Wenn ich weiss, dass ich hundert Prozent gegeben habe, um mein Ziel zu erreichen, und es hat nicht geklappt, dann hatte ich halt Pech. Wenn ich aber nicht mein ganzes Potenzial ausgeschöpft habe, dann wäre ich sehr enttäuscht von mir.
Wie stellen Sie sich Ihr Leben als 40-Jährige vor?
Ich möchte eine Familie mit zwei Kindern haben.
Wovor fürchten Sie sich?
Ich habe Angst vor der Dunkelheit.
Sie wohnen seit fünf Jahren in Basel, haben die Niederlassung B. Was bedeutet Ihnen die Schweiz?
Ich komme immer wieder gern in die Schweiz zurück. Hier fühle ich mich wohl und habe wichtige Schritte meiner Karriere gemacht. Ich habe im Interclub mit den Grasshoppers gespielt. Die Schweiz ist meine zweite Heimat geworden. Und am Zurich Open zu spielen, ist für mich fast wie ein Heimspiel. Ich hatte immer eine grosse und herzliche Unterstützung von den Fans. Ich war eine der Favoritinnen in diesem Turnier. Leider bin ich dieses Jahr schon im ersten Spiel rausgeflogen, ich war übermotiviert.
Wenn Jugendliche in der Schweiz auf Lehrstellensuche sind und …ic heissen, haben sie weniger Chancen.
Die Serben haben seit den Kriegen kein gutes Image, das habe ich gemerkt. Man sollte Menschen aber nach ihrem Charakter und nicht nach ihrer Herkunft
beurteilen. Es ist doch widersinnig zu sagen, die Serben sind schlecht, die Engländer sind gut.
Was denken Sie, wenn Sie als hübscheste Tennisspielerin bezeichnet werden?
Ich fühle mich sehr geschmeichelt. Jedes Mädchen bekommt gern Komplimente. Und ich geniesse es, ein gutes Image zu haben. Aber in erster Linie will ich als Tennisspielerin wahrgenommen werden.
Sie werden oft als Glamourgirl und als Nachfolgerin der zurückgetretenen, sportlich nie supererfolgreichen Anna Kurnikowa gehandelt.
Tennis ist glamouröser geworden. Die Spielerinnen achten heute stärker darauf, dass sie in einem tollen Dress aufs Feld gehen. Das erhöht die Attraktivität dieser Sportart, was ich begrüsse. Doch ich vergesse nie, dass ich mit dem Aussehen keinen einzigen Punkt gewinnen kann.
Nov 27th, 2007, 09:35 PM
I used Google Translator :lol: Not much new there, really.
There were two nice stories though,
She lost her first match in Milan, soon after picking up her sponsership deal with Holzmann. She sat in the lockerroom crying after, terrified that he wouldn't want to sponser her anymore. :awww:
Then there was another one about if she ever has gotten drunk. The translation was awful for it, but it had something about her drinking two cocktails and acting out scenes from the TV show "Friends" :haha:
Nov 28th, 2007, 03:53 PM
Can anyone german speaking (azdaja?) translate this litle article from Annabelle (Swiss) magazine???
i can give you a loose translation, it's actually one of better interviews.
it begins with the story about ana's loss in her first match after she signed the deal with her manager. he had asked her what she wanted to achieve in life and she looked into his eyes and replied she wanted to become nr 1 tennis player in the world. when she played her first match in milan she wanted to impress him, but she failed and then locked herself away in the locker room for 4 hours and cried because she was afraid he would end the deal with her because of that and she would have to go back to belgrade where people had worries other than tennis.
today, 5 years later she still has the same manager and is in the top 5 in the world. she reached the semifinal in wimbledon, the final in rg and her forehead is her strength, blablabla. on to the interview.
q: ana ivanovic, why do you play tennis?
a: the story about wathing the add when she was 4 years old.
q: how did your parents react to your talent?
a: their parents have always supported her without putting any pressure on her.
q: during your childhood serbia was involved in several wars. how did this influence your life?
a: when she was 4 years old she noticed that the war in kosovo ( when she was 4 years old? :confused: ) was a very difficult one for her country, but she didn't notice much more because her parents wanted her brother and her to grow up as much normally as possible. she was more conscious about the nato war against serbia in 1999. her parents slept with her and her brother in a room on the ground floor and 2 times the bombs exploded quite close to their place. they, the kids were scared :awww: but the war had some advantages for children because they didn't have to go to school and had more time to play :lol:
q: was it remotely possible to play tennis during the war?
a: not in the first weeks, but since nobody could tell when the war would end she started to train in the swimming pool in the morning when there were no bombers in sight, you know the story.
q: what did you think you would be doing as a 20 year old back then?
a: she has always wanted to be a tennis player.
q: when did you first realise that you could really become a nr 1?
a: she was 11 when she dreamed about playing against williams sisters and davenport and when she lost a close match to venus in zürich in 2003 she realised it was all there.
then there is her short biography.
q: you came at the age of 13 to switzerland thanks to a french talent scout. who was your most important person during your puberty?
a: her mother, but travelling was expensive and in belgrade nobody was interested in sponsoring her. then she met holzmann at the age of 15 and she is lucky that he supported her even after than match in milan.
q: do you have a best friend?
a: jelena, who she knew from the primary school in belgrade where she still lives.
q: you are mostly travelling, do you think you will eventually lose touch with your friends?
a: it's true they are not seeing each other, but they keep each other updated. jelena is interested in psychology and they often talk about each other's development and "other things".
q: does talk about men fall into that category?
a: yes. about that - she is single because she is travelling a lot, plus she is tall and that seems to scare men away :lol:
q: you turned 20 on 6th of november. do you sometimes notice you had a different puberty (i think he means teenage years) form your friends?
a: yes, she was surrounded by grown ups and matured more quickly. she also prefers going out for a dinner to partying even if she sometimes goes to a club with her friends. she prefers talking to them and that doesn't work in noisy clubs.
q: what did sport contribute to your personal development?
a: she learned to be responsible early.
q: what do you do when you are not responsible?
a: she once drove a car before she got her driving licence :devil:
q: have you ever smoked?
a: no and she does not like the bad smell of the cigarette smoke :yeah:
q: have you ever been to an illegal bar?
q: have you ever been drunk.
a: no. actually yes, a bit. when she was in italy with her mother and fitness trainer she was in a bar and she wanted to have a coctail she saw on a picture and they ordered 2 coctails for the 3 of them. she drank a bit of both and she got a bit drunk and talked a lot and imitated scenes from her favourite tv series "friends".
q: did you miss something in your puberty youth? :rolleyes:
a: no, she was never crazy and she never wanted to be that, she likes to control things and be responsible.
q: it's impossible to control everything in a tennis match.
a: that's true. it's difficult to control an opponent, but more important is how she herself feels and in 90% of the matches it's not perfect, lack of sleep and all that jazz. that's why it is important to act responsibly because on the tennis court she's on her own.
q: is superstition the reason you never step on the line while serving?
q: what was you most important match?
a: win over sharapova, but more important was the final she lost to henin because she learned a lot from it in spite of not playing her best tennis.
q: how do you feel about your losses?
a: even if it's not pleasent she has to anaylyse her game. in the rg final she lost her nerves in a way that was similar to when she lost in milan because she wanted to impress her manager.
q: why do you want to be nr 1?
a: it's not about respect, authority, fame or money. she wants to know she is the best at what she does and she hopes to achieve her goal next year and stay there for as long as possible.
q: martina hingis retired at the age of 22.
a: she started playing pro-tennis earlier than ana, but of course you never know when your body will stop achieving what your head demands.
q: what if you never become nr 1?
a: she would be very dissappointed, but just like with every match you can give your 100% and lose. she would be dissapointed if she fails to give her best.
q: where do you see yourself at the age of 40?
a: she want to have a family with 2 kids.
q: are you afraid of something?
a: of darkness.
q: you've lived in basel for 5 years. what does switzerland mean to you?
a: she always gladly returns to switzerland, it has become her 2nd homeland and she made some of the important steps in her career there. for her the tournament in zürich is like a home tournament and she has always had a great support from fans. she feels sorry she lost her first match there this year.
q: youth who are looking for an apprenticeship job in switzerland have less chances of finding it if their name ends with ic.
a: serbs have a bad reputation since all the wars, but people should judge others by their character and not by their nationality (note: true, but irrelevant in this case since people in much of europe discriminate against immigrants anyway and if you think serbs are the only ones who get discriminated against or the ones who get discriminated against most try being a turk for a year or so :tape: )
q: what do you feel when they say you are the most beautiful tennis player?
a: she feels flattered, every girl likes compliments, but she wants to be preceived as a tennis player primarily.
q: you are often described as a glamour girl and the next anna kournikova who has never become glamorous tannis player.
a: tennis has become more glamourous and players pay attention to what they wear on court, which is good for promoting the sport, but she never forgets she can't win any point with her looks.
Nov 28th, 2007, 10:13 PM
i can give you a loose translation, it's actually one of better interviews.
Thanks!!! :bounce: :wavey: :drool: :clap2: :drink: :bowdown: :dance: :yeah: :yippee: :bigwave: :hatoff: :banana:
May 25th, 2008, 10:28 PM
RG/08 1st Round: Ana beat Arvidsson 6-2 7-5
Q. So what can you say about your first match here, and more specifically about the second set? It was a little bit harder.
ANA IVANOVIC: Yes. First of all, I'm very happy with the victory. It was very nice to come back here to Paris and go out there and play again, you know.
It was the first match of the tournament, so it was the first time experience for me. But I really enjoyed it out there. She gave me a tough match, especially in the second set. I let my intensity go down for a bit, dropped for a bit, and she used it and she started playing much better. But towards the end I'm happy that I found back my game and managed to break her back, and win the second set.
Q. Congratulations, first. Who do you see as your biggest rival to reach the final and win Roland Garros this year? And do you think you have a better chance to actually win the final when you compare to last year when you've lost to Justine Henin?
ANA IVANOVIC: It's very hard to talk about the rivals, because I know it sounds cliché, but it is like that. We take match by match. Every opponent can be dangerous if you let them play, so I really don't ‑‑ I didn't even see the draw, who I play against. So in the future just step by step, basically. That's what helps me to play my best and perform the best I can.
But your other question was about the final. In the case I play final again, for sure I will ‑‑ I think I will perform much, much better than I did last year. But last year was a great experience, you know, and, yeah, don't regret it.
Q. This is the best time of your career, but you didn't play as well as last year on clay. Can you explain exactly why?
ANA IVANOVIC: Uhm, yeah. This year it's ‑‑ I'm in different position than I was last year. Last year I just broke into top 10, and, you know, I had much less pressure, honestly speaking. Now I'm No. 2, and obviously I have more expectations for myself. So that's something I'm still learning how to deal with it. And this year, I had to play tournaments that I had to defend the title, so it was a new experience but, you know, I'm still learning.
I'm only 20, so I really tried to enjoy every match. I think I'm doing a good job. Obviously it was a little bit hard last few weeks, but now I feel I have my game back.
Q. The first set score looks pretty good, but of course it was not an easy first set, and it was difficult for you to put together a string of five or six really good points in a row. Is there any way you can come out of the chute faster, start faster?
ANA IVANOVIC: Today my goal was just to basically get rhythm, and I was really happy with my game in the first set. I thought I did pretty much everything. She wasn't playing really badly at all. I was doing everything, you know, I spoke with my coaches before and we were practicing. And obviously I tried to set myself in a position to hit a good stroke and a winner. I wasn't overhitting and overpowering from the first shot on. That was my goal for today, so I'm happy about it.
Q. What do you think about your serve in the first set? It was not so good. ANA IVANOVIC: I think percentage of my serve was a little bit low, and I had quite a few double faults. But otherwise, yeah, I think it's something I've been working on in last couple days, and I've been practicing really well. So little bit I was disappointed in my first serves, but still, you know, I got through today's match, and I get chance to work on it more.
Q. When you see someone like Justine retire at the top of the game, does it make you think you might want to take some breaks along the way in your career to lessen the intensity and the pressure?
ANA IVANOVIC: I think it's important through the year to get enough time also for rest and recovery, and then prepare again. Because there is lots of tournaments, and if you play week after week you get burned ‑‑ you get burned out. Maybe you can last one or two years, but that's it. I'm really lucky with my team around me, and we make quite good scheduling and smart scheduling, so I still have time to rest and get my mind off tennis. And, you know, there is ‑‑ after Miami I had some break, and after Wimbledon again. So for me, personally, it's very important. And, yeah, I think it's good to try to work out the best for you.
Q. What do you think is a good number of tournaments for a top player to play?
ANA IVANOVIC: For a top player, I would say about 15, probably, yeah.
Special bonus :lick::
VIDEO INTERVIEW (http://www.rolandgarros.com/en_FR/multimedia/console/mflash.html?targetLink=/media/video/INT.ana.ivanovic1.25052008_EN_480x360_400kbps.flv&lang=en_FR&localisIE=true)
(after RG/08 1st Round match)
May 28th, 2008, 08:19 PM
RG/08 2nd Round: Ana beat Safarova 6-1 6-2
Q. On paper that was supposed to be a lot more competitive match, so just talk about how you won that so quickly.
ANA IVANOVIC: Yeah, I expected a very tough match, and I prepared myself that I have to work hard for every point. That's what I did out there, and I put a lot of pressure on her. Sometimes, you know, she even made mistakes when I didn't expect it. But still I'm really happy the way I played. Like I said, I expected a very tough match, so, you know, to win with a score like this, it's definitely a great, great proof that I played good today.
Q. Did you feel your form coming back in practice before you got here?
ANA IVANOVIC: Yeah, I did. Definitely. Especially after last two tournaments I played. I really felt like I needed, you know, to hit a lot of balls and to work really hard. I did that, and I had enough time to prepare. So coming into these matches I felt confident in practices, and that helped me a lot to perform good.
Q. So what happened in between Indian Wells and today where your form fell off so much?
ANA IVANOVIC: After Miami I had about 10 days' holiday, so just to relax and to regain my, yeah, my energy, and then we start with preparation. We played Fed Cup indoor hardcourt, and then I had only a week to prepare on clay. The weather wasn't so good, so I didn't get as much practice as I hoped to. But definitely Grand Slams are the tournaments you really want to peak for, and I'm really happy that my form is coming back.
Q. Your next opponent is Caroline Wozniacki. You beat her in Australia. What can you take from that match? Have you noticed her development recently?
ANA IVANOVIC: She's a very tough opponent, and we had a very tough match in Australia. She played well, so I'm going to expect another very tough match. You know, she's rising. She's very young and talented, so I just want to go out there like I won today and work hard for each point and, you know, don't expect, you know, she's going to give the match away. So I have to work really hard for it. And, yeah, if I play like I played today, I think, yeah, I have a good, good chance to go through.
Q. What would be the key for you to have consistent good results? Because your career, it seems like you have two months of great play, two months of down, another two months. What do you think are the most important things in order for you to get there?
ANA IVANOVIC: Yeah, that's something I'm definitely working on, because I feel like I have to play tournament after tournament very well. That's something that wasn't the case in the past. And then, you know, I'm trying to improve, to work, to practice consistent for a few weeks. I'm just, yeah, basically playing tournaments and competing. And being in that situation over and over again, it's something that's going to give me confidence. But still, you know, I'm ranked No. 2, so that's also a great thing to see that I can still improve in many things, and still I have such a high ranking. So that's something that motivates me, and pushes me to work harder and to keep up the hard work.
Q. So on clay, on this surface, what are the most important things? Can you play a lot of offense, or is defense just as important here?
ANA IVANOVIC: It is very important, defense, as well. Obviously you don't get as many winners as you would probably get on hardcourts, so you have to work hard for each point. And also to realize, especially for myself, I find it important to realize that sometimes I go for too much. So just to take more time and build the point, you know. Sometimes you have to build over and over again. But still to be patient enough and disciplined to do it. And my serve was going really well today, so that, I think, it's a key for me in the next matches.
Q. I know the top players say they don't look at draws, but your draw, that bottom half is very, very difficult. Have you looked at it? And can you talk about it? It's Serena, both Williams sisters and yourself and Jankovic. There's a lot of talent there.
ANA IVANOVIC: Well, I didn't know about it, so now I know. Thank you for that (laughter.) No, I think ‑‑ I know it sounds cliché, but it is like that. Players like to take it match by match and not get overexcited and look too much forward. Any opponent can be tough if you don't play ‑‑ if you don't play well, you know, you can struggle with everyone. So that's what I find important for me to focus on each ‑‑ not only each match separately, but within that match just on each point to work as hard as I can, because in the past two weeks I was too focused on the result. Not necessarily the way I played. So I really wanted to turn that around this week and to change, and it's been going good for me. I want to keep doing that. Yeah, like I said, there are many tough opponents. But still, if you want to win a tournament you have to beat all of them. Yeah, I just have to work hard for it.
Q. I think you said in Australia that changing racquets helped you with your backhand. What about your forehand? And do you have the same feelings as with your old racquet?
ANA IVANOVIC: Yes, I do. I work ‑‑ I work hard. And like with this racquet, I got a lot of benefits on my serve speed, and also heaviness of the ball. That's something I have to worry, because this racquet helps me a lot with the spin. But obviously if I flatten out too much on my forehand it's not good. So anyway, I have to keep working on it. Yeah, my forehand is going well, so it's still the same.
VIDEO INTERVIEW (http://www.rolandgarros.com/en_FR/multimedia/console/mflash.html?targetLink=/media/video/INT.ana.ivanovic.28052008_EN_480x360_400kbps.flv&lang=en_FR&localisIE=true)
After Ivanovic def Lucie Safarova 6-1 6-2 R2 RG/08 match.
May 31st, 2008, 01:00 AM
RG/08 3rd Round: Ivanovic def Wozniacki 6-4 6-1
Q. You looked sluggish at the start. What happened?
ANA IVANOVIC: Yeah, it wasn't a great start. I made ‑‑ she gave me a tough match today, and I struggled a little bit with my rhythm. I wasn't moving towards the net as much as I wanted to. Because she's tough opponent, I had to be aggressive and step up. That's something I wasn't doing and I wasn't happy about in the first set. But, you know, I was just so happy after I lost that service game on 4‑3 that I managed to stay calm and win the next two games, which were really important. And then in the second set I started doing a little bit better and moving towards the net more.
Q. Is that the best set you've played in a few months, the second set? Because you were really controlling with your forehand. Everything seemed to be going pretty well.
ANA IVANOVIC: I did. I did play well, but I thought the match I played against Safarova was even better, and I served also better in that match. Today I didn't go for as many first serves as I probably should have. But, you know, I just tried to find my rhythm back again and to be aggressive and don't force it too much, don't flatten out a lot, and try to move her with heavy balls. That's something I did well in the second set, I thought, and I was really, really happy about it.
Q. Do you think you've really found your game yet, or do you think you need a couple more matches before it's really there for you?
ANA IVANOVIC: I feel I have my game, you know, especially with the match against Safarova. Today in the second set I was feeling better and better, and obviously that's a good feeling you want to have. Because as the tournament progresses you have tougher and tougher opponents, so you have to raise your level.
Q. Next round you play another Czech player. If you can talk about this match, and if you are surprised with Cetkovska?
ANA IVANOVIC: Actually, I know her from junior years, but I haven't watched her play for a long time. I don't know much about her, but I have time. I think she is not an adidas player, so I can speak about match with Sven a little bit. Yeah, I just, like I said, I felt really good the last two matches I played. I want to keep up the good work and, you know, work hard for every point. I think on a clay court it's very important, you know. Especially if the conditions are tough and the courts are heavy, you have to really work hard. There are not many winners, and you have to accept that, and that's what I'm working on.
Q. Second successive time you've beaten Caroline in a major. She's only 17. How highly do you rank her and how high do you think she'll go?
ANA IVANOVIC: I think she's a talented girl and she can get far in the rankings. She very young, but she already has lots of experience in the Grand Slams. In Australia I believe we played fourth round, and here third round. She gave me both times tough match. I think she has great potential.
Q. How shocked are you that Serena lost today?
ANA IVANOVIC: Yeah. I was surprised to see the result. I didn't see any of the match, obviously, because we played at the same time. But, you know, it's a tough, tough loss for her, I guess. I'm sure she would be disappointed, because I thought coming into this tournament she was in very good shape. So, yeah, it's hard. I believe Srebotnik played a good match.
Q. A lot of times the top players will say every match is tough. And then a lot of us think, oh, that's just a cliché because the players are winning so easily. But maybe when you get to third round against experienced players it's not so easy.
ANA IVANOVIC: Yeah. Many, many people think it's cliché, but it's not. We really have to work hard from the first round on. Everyone can be tough opponent if you don't play, you know, the way you want to play and if you make lot of mistakes. So it's very important for us to focus on each match individually. That's why it's so good in Grand Slams that we have a day in between, because it's not so hard many times physically. It's more mental effort. You have to work really hard for each point, you know. And, yeah, you just have to be strong, and sometimes you have tough days and opponents didn't have anything to lose so they can perform much better than, you know, usual. So you have to be really strong and stay with them and, yeah, win these matches.
Q. Since Justine Henin is not here anymore, do you think that you and Serena and Maria Sharapova have more pressure?
ANA IVANOVIC: Obviously. You know, it's very sad to see that Justine is not here anymore. She had great year here last year. She's someone ‑‑ someone everyone, I think, wanted to be and wanted to be better than. So ‑‑ but I think speaking for myself, I don't ‑‑ nothing changed in my preparation for tournaments or in my game or my goals, you know. I still have to work very hard for it. And like you said, there's lots of other players that are playing well, and you have to keep your focus and keep on the right track and try to beat them and be better than them.
Q. Something different. If you have a special dress for Roland Garros? We are in a fashion city. If you have something special, if you develop it for Paris by your hand? Especially your earnings or...
ANA IVANOVIC: No, nothing. This is a dress designed by adidas. It's the same one I had in Australia just a different color. So, yeah, I'm happy with it.
VIDEO INTERVIEW (http://www.rolandgarros.com/en_FR/multimedia/console/mflash.html?targetLink=/media/video/INT.ana.ivanovic.30052008_EN_480x360_400kbps.flv&lang=en_FR&localisIE=true)
After IVANOVIC beat WOZNIACKI 6-4 6-1 RG/08 3rd Round match.
Jun 1st, 2008, 01:57 PM
ANA's post match press conference (http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x5mld2_untitled0004_sport) :)
Thanks to #1SteffiGraf#1 :wavey: here is Video Interview after
Ana Ivanovic "Bried" Petra Cetkovska 6-0 6-0 4th Round RG/08 match
Jun 3rd, 2008, 07:08 PM
After RG/08 Quarterfinals (IVANOVIC def. SCHNYDER 6-3 6-2)
Q. Again, it was quick today. Did you expect to have a tough game?
ANA IVANOVIC: No, I think it was a pretty tough game. We had lot, lot of tough matches in the past. Going out on the court, I knew I had to work hard for every point, because she doesn't give you many free points. I did that very well today. Obviously, you know, the score indicates a little bit easier match than it actually was. I was just so happy to close match in that last game because it started to rain a bit, you know, and I started to rush, as well. So I was happy to calm down and still win the game.
Q. Do you have a problem your left ankle? Because it was taped today.
ANA IVANOVIC: I was taping both my ankles these days, and today I tape it just in case because I twisted earlier this year. So I just want to have precautions.
Q. You're officially living in Basel. Can you tell us something about that?
ANA IVANOVIC: Well, unfortunately, I don't spend as much time there as I hope for, because obviously we travel so much. You know, I have coach from ‑‑ Sven's from Amsterdam, Holland and, you know, Scott's from Australia, so I don't spend as much time there. But I enjoy going there. My manager is there and it's a very nice and quiet city.
Q. Coming to Paris 10 days ago, did you expect to go to the semifinal so easily?
ANA IVANOVIC: Well, easily I wouldn't agree. I had to work really hard for my matches. I was really happy the way, you know, I started playing better. Because tournaments leading up to French I didn't find my form and I didn't play as well as I hoped for. So, you know, coming into the tournament and each match playing better and better, it's something that for sure gives me confidence. Yeah, I'm just enjoying so much each match.
Q. You have the opportunity now to reach No. 1. Does it make it more difficult to focus on tennis?
ANA IVANOVIC: No. That's something, you know, that comes naturally with the way you play, the results you're making. So I just want to play each match the way I play it and not think much about that. You know, at the end of the day rankings take care of themselves. If you play well, if you're winning, the rankings come.
Q. If it is to be Jelena who you play next, Jankovic, can you ask you how you feel about that match?
ANA IVANOVIC: We played many times before, and we always have touch matches. I think we played only once on green clay, and never at a Grand Slam. It's going to be interesting match, if it happens. At least we have one Serbian for sure in the final.
Q. Do you think you'll still have to raise your level of play for the next match, or are you pretty satisfied with your current level?
ANA IVANOVIC: Obviously today's match was a lot different than any other match. Patty is an opponent that doesn't give you many free points, so I had to adjust to that a little bit and be more patient. I am really happy the way I'm playing at the moment, so that's, you know, something I want to keep focused on. Yeah, and then keep working hard. In my days off I have time to prepare for the following matches, and that's something that's been great these few weeks. So, yeah, I just want to keep this level.
Q. When you have played Jelena you've had the better of the results. Why do you think that is?
ANA IVANOVIC: Well, it's hard to say, you know. Against some players who just do better than against the others. She's a tough opponent and she defends really well. You know, I try to, you know, step in and be aggressive and play my game. You know, every match is a new match, a new experience, and I just have to keep playing like I played so far.
Q. How would you describe your relationship with her?
ANA IVANOVIC: Well, obviously, you know we come the same country, so we know each other for a long time. When she was younger she went to America and I went to Switzerland, so we didn't really have chance to practice together or to hang out much. So that's how we develop, as well. Now, you know, traveling, she has her own team and I have my own team. You know we don't ‑‑ yeah, we don't just hang out.
Q. A Grand Slam is a physical and it's a mental grind. You had a pretty easy ride so far here, probably the easiest you've had to get to this stage of a major. How important is that heading into the last part of the tournament?
ANA IVANOVIC: It is very important. And also, this is one of the first times that I actually started one of the first days. I usually start always on Tuesday or sometimes even Wednesday. I see the benefits. You know, you just keep having that day off, which is really important. You have time to recover, you know, physically a little bit and also mentally and to, you know, just relax one day, have a light practice, and then mentally regain your focus for next day. That's something that's been working really well for me. So, yeah, I'm just happy to see that.
Q. Is there any time in the spring when you started to feel your game ‑‑ I mean, you had some difficult losses. Did you feel your game start to come together in practice with Sven? What started to come together before you came into this tournament?
ANA IVANOVIC: Yeah, after Rome I started working really hard on court with Sven, and Scott also in the gym. I just started to hit a lot of lot of balls, and that's how I got, you know, my confidence back. Also came few days earlier to Paris and we had unbelievable practices. So that's something I was very excited about, and I was looking forward for competition again and to play matches, and, yeah, go out there and have tough matches. That's something that has changed since that first few tournaments I played on the clay, and I'm very happy to see that.
Q. We're not sure what's going to happy happen with Jelena today. We'll see how her shoulder holds up. If it is her, you know how well she groundstrokes and particularly her backhand down the line and she covers the court well. That one possible hole in her game, her service, how important is it for you to aggressively attack her second serve?
ANA IVANOVIC: Yeah, obviously it's important. It's important part. I just want to, like, keep playing my game. She's a tough opponent, and I have, you know, time also with Sven to prepare and to have some points I have to work on for that match if it happens. You know, I just ‑‑ I just, like I said, I've been playing really well last few games and I felt very comfortable on the court, so that's something I want to keep up and keep up the hard work and just see how it goes.
Q. With Maria gone, is there a change in mentality from knowing you are the one to beat now, seeing as you're the second seed?
ANA IVANOVIC: Yeah, but, you know, I don't see that way coming into this week. I obviously wanted to do the best I could and hopefully win the tournament, so that hasn't changed a bit. I still work hard for my matches and there are very tough opponents, you know. I beat them before, but they also beat me before. So, you know, you just have to go out there and play each match like it's the last match of the tournament, like it's a final. And that's something I went on the court each match I played and it really helps me.
Q. Is it different this year because Justine and Maria, you think like everything is possible because they're all gone?
ANA IVANOVIC: Obviously, you know, like I just mentioned before, you know. All these players that are in the quarters or in semifinal, I, you know, I've beaten them before, but then they also won against me. Justine, you know, I'm sorry not to see her this week here. But, you know, still, there are good players out there you have to still beat.
Q. You played two Grand Slam finals; lost them both. Do you feel as though a new final is near, and do you think you're going to feel any pressure?
ANA IVANOVIC: Well, yeah, obviously pressure comes with every match you play. But still, I found some points that I worked on and that helped me handle those kind of pressures. So I'm having fun out there, and I really hope I can hopefully reach, you know, another final and then have ‑‑ you know, to work on it and maybe even make that one more step and win it. That's for sure my goal, and I've been working hard towards it. So, yeah, I'm just going to see.
VIDEO INTERVIEW (http://www.rolandgarros.com/en_FR/multimedia/console/mflash.html?targetLink=/media/video/INT.ana.ivanovic.03062008_EN_480x360_400kbps.flv&lang=en_FR&localisIE=true)
After IVANOVIC beat SCHNYDER 6-3 6-2 RG/08 QF Round match.
Jun 4th, 2008, 06:25 PM
BEOGRAD -Srbijanska tenisačica, princeza bijelog sporta, kako joj mediji laskaju, Ana Ivanović dala je ekskluzivni intervju bh internetskom dnevniku Pincom.info, u kojem otkriva kako je pored talenta, ulozenog truda i rada uspijeh postigla u najvećoj mjeri zahvaljujući roditeljima. Kaže kako joj novac ne znači puno, te otkriva tko joj se udvarao i nudio brak.
Vrhunski tenisači zarađuju mnogo, kakav je vaš odnos prema novcu?
O novcu ne razmišljam, naravno, lijepo je kada ga imate, ali to zaista nije ono što me pokreće. Moja je sreća što zarađujem radeći ono što volim, a mogu sebi priuštiti i ono što volim, iako u tome ne pretjerujem ni u kom pogledu. Radujem se malim stvarima…Nužno je da u svakom pogledu žena bude nezavisna. Nezamislivo mi je da bilo tko, naročito mlade osobe, nemaju želju samostalno nešto postići u životu.
Osvrnete li se pokekad na sportiste čije su karijere i emotivni zivot pojeli slava i popularnost?
-Nisam imala priliku upoznati takve osobe, ali znam da slični primjeri postoje. Uzroci su različiti veliki pritisci, očekivanja, nerazmevanje okoline ili gubitak privatnosti…Verujem da je zbog takvih skrivenih opasnosti važno sačuvati ravnotežu i ostaviti prostor za život izvan tenisa, u okruženju obitelji i najblizih prijatelja. Nije lako, ali potrebno je ostati vjeran sebi i biti ono što jesi, a ne ono što drugi očekuju da budeš!
Koje su prednosti i mane djevojke koja je u vrhu svjetskog tenisa?
-Prednosti su u dinamičnom životu, punom novih događaja, izazova, putovanja, mogućnosti upoznavanja drugih ljudi i kultura. Mana je kroničan nedostatak vremena za druženje i izlaske s bliskim prijateljima.
Monika Seleš Vam je i dalje uzor?
-Da, Monika je bila i ostala moj veliki idol. Mislim da je ono što je ona postigla zaista izuzetno. Imala sam prilike upoznati je i prema njoj imam osjećaj poštovanja.
Jest li poput nje, ponekad, dozivljavali i neprijatne situacije?
-Ne, na sreću nikada nisam imala neprijatnosti bilo koje vrste. Ljudi mi traže autogram, žele se fotografirati sa mnom i uglavnom se sve na tome završi.
Poželite li zaljubiti se do ušiju?
-Ne, sisigurna sam da je zaljubljivanje nešto što se ne može planirati, to dolazi prirodno, najčešće onda kada najmanje očekujete.
Mislite li da vam neće biti teško prepoznati onog koji će voljeti isključivo Anu Ivanović, a ne ono što ide uz nju?
-Verujem da su takvi momenti nešto što se osjeti i prepozna. Laž i dvoličnost ne mogu se dugo prikrivati. S druge strane, ne donosim brzo sud o ljudima i vjerujem da posjedujem sposobnost realno sagledati određenu situaciju.
Šta za vas znači ljubav?
-Postoje različite vrste ljubavi, ali sve imaju zajedničku karakteristiku koja se svodi na uzajamno razumjevanje, poštovanje i bezrezrevnu podršku.
Kako reagirate na udvaranja?
- Sjećam se da mi je jednom prišao mladić, na aerodromu na Baliju i rekao da prati moje mečeve. Kazao mi je i da mu se dopada kako igram tenis, I da ćemo se jednoga dana ponovo sresti, a onda ću se sigurno udati za njega! To me je prilično iznenadilo, nešto sam mu kratko odgovorila i otišla. Kasnije se ispostavilo da je on sa mnom u istom avionu. U jednom trenutku, nakon nekoliko sati leta, stjuard mi je donio nepotpisano pismo. Nepoznati udvarač se u tom pismu kulturno predstavio i ujedno ispričao zbog načina na koji mi je prišao, i riječi kojima me je šokirao!
Q. First of all, how does it feel to be the new world No. 1? And secondly, are we now in for a period of dominance with you as No. 1? Are you ready to dominate the sport?
ANA IVANOVIC: First of all, I'm very, very thrilled. I didn't know going on to court today. Afterwards, in the locker room, the woman told me. I was obviously very excited. But still, on the other hand, the tournament hasn't ended and the rankings are coming after the tournament. So, yeah, that's the first thing. I just want ?? I have another tough match against Dinara, so that's all I want to focus on for today, or I mean for Saturday.
Q. How did you feel at a break down midway through the third? And what did you do to come up with all those winners and win it?
ANA IVANOVIC: Yeah, I think all the match was lots of ups and downs, lots of breaks. I mean, third set, I just had to put everything on the line being down 4-3 with the break. You know, I had to go for my shots, because it was very long, the match, and a lot of long rallies. So, you know, I had feeling I had to step up a little bit more and, yeah, take a risk. I came up with some good shots, and obviously I felt, yeah, very, very good about it, and happy. That last game was huge, and I stepped up and played some good tennis.
Q. It seems like you were fighting against yourself the end of the second set, beginning of the third set. Really couldn't find what you wanted to do.
ANA IVANOVIC: Yeah, exactly. It was a little bit anxious built up, because, you know, I had my chances in the second set and didn't use them. She started playing really well, and I was too passive at times. I tried to step up a little bit more and then make some unforced errors, so I really had to work hard on, you know, to go back to basics and what I have to do. Yeah, just don't think about opportunities I had. I found it hard at the time, but, you know, towards the end of the set I managed to calm down and step up, and important points, you know, take my chance and play good.
Q. I was wondering, do you know if Sven is allowed to cheer for you in the final? Because he works for adidas, obviously, and Dinara also wears adidas clothes.
ANA IVANOVIC: Yeah, well, unfortunately he can't be in the box, so he's going to sit somewhere and watch it. Yeah, he can't really cheer for any of us, so it's going to be ?? going to be a little bit different and strange for me again, like last year in final. But, you know, I have a great, great team with me here, and my fitness coach is there, my sparring partner, so I'm sure I'm still going to have still a good support here.
Q. You show a lot of emotion whether you win or lose the point. How much do you think that can help your opponent try to get back into the match?
ANA IVANOVIC: Yeah, today the match was really emotional. I tried to get into it, by, you know, saying few commands in the beginning, especially ? I was 3-Love down and I didn't play so good, so I tried to bring myself back into the game. So, yeah, I was it was a way to relieve kind of pressure, emotions I was feeling, and it worked well for me today. So, yeah, I didn't think about it. It just came natural.
Q. You have 2 to 1 win against Dinara. Does this give you more confidence in your next final match?
ANA IVANOVIC: Obviously, yes. Yeah, it's going to be a tough match. She's done a great run, and she played a lot of matches. Two matches she came from match points down to win. She's showing some great strengths, so it's going to be another tough match. But I still want to enjoy my victory today. I have a day to prepare tomorrow, so we're going to see.
Q. After what happened last year in the final, will you do anything different this year to make sure you don't have nerves?
ANA IVANOVIC: Yeah, definitely. The other day someone asked me, Are you going to forget the final and play different one? But I don't want to forget it, because it was great learning experience. I learned a lot from, you know, Justine and the emotions I was feeling going on the court. So I really hope I can, you know, work hard on it and play different this year. Obviously I feel like a different player coming into this French Open. A lot of experience I gain from that final and the final in Australia, so I really hope I can, you know, step up this time and make one more step.
Q. You traded a lot of breaks with Jelena. Do you have an explanation why it was so difficult for you to hold serve?
ANA IVANOVIC: Yeah, it just happened. I think we ?? I think personally I struggled with my first serve percentage. It was very low, and that's something that I really hoped it would be different today, because it was important ?? yeah, important for a game, for my game today. At the other hand, you know, her serve I stride to step up a little bit more and, yeah, put her under pressure straightaway, so it worked well. But at times I think my percentage of the first serves was very low.
Q. You lost seven games in a row precisely because of not holding serve. How did you feel in that moment, and how did you make it to come back in such a circumstance?
ANA IVANOVIC: Yeah, you know, I didn't think about that, because even that seven games I lost, it was very close. Like, lot of games with deuce and ad and it could go either way. You don't have feeling, you know, you're just losing game after game. Then you're like, Okay, hold on. Maybe take a little bit more time and try to put more first serves in, you know, even if it's not as the first serve, just like a second, and to place it and to start point. So I tried to work hard for each point. And, yeah, when I managed to, I think hold my serve and it came back to 2-1, it was important game.
Q. Seems like every match you play against her it's very tough, and at the end, you take risks, you believe in yourself, and she doesn't. Match point, good example. She hits the soft serve and seems afraid, and then you smack the forehand down the line. Do you find that?
ANA IVANOVIC: Yeah, today I felt, especially in the second set when I had some break point chances, I started to be too defensive and not stepping up and, yeah, being dominant. That's something when I face match point I say, Look, you just have to step up, because that's the way to play against her. So, yeah, obviously I had a great tournament and great preparation, so that gives me confidence in these key moments to believe and to step up. She's a player that if you give her chances she can use them. She loves to defend and to run, so you just have to take these kind of risks and believe. Sometimes it works; sometimes it doesn't.
Q. Just about the No. 1, I'm guessing it will be a lot sweeter on Monday when the rankings come out if you have the Roland Garros title and was No. 1?
ANA IVANOVIC: Yeah, definitely. Coming into this tournament, you know, I didn't expect that. I just came, you know, to play each match. Obviously every tournament you play you want to win, so that still hasn't changed. That's still my goal. I have to work hard for it, because Dinara, like I said, she's in great form, great shape, and she's a big fighter, like we could see. So I think it's going to be a really good match, and I just want to go out there and enjoy it, yeah.
Q. Perhaps somebody asked you this before, but how they will in Serbia take this such big thing that you are the first man or woman to be No. 1 in the world? How they will welcome you when you will be back home?
ANA IVANOVIC: I haven't thought about it at all. Like I said, I didn't like to talk about, you know, the rankings at all with my team, so I didn't even know that this would happen. So, you know, it's a new thing for me, too, so I really don't know. I haven't spoke with anyone back home yet. But I'm sure, you know, they're going to be really supportive. And, you know, maybe even like last year they're going to organize something in front of the square. It's definitely a great, great feeling, so I hope I going to make Serbia proud.
Q. There's a lot of time between now and the final on Saturday. How did you prepare last year, and how will you prepare this year? Will you change something?
ANA IVANOVIC: No, I think it's most important, you know, to just have an easier day tomorrow, get a little bit light hit and rhythm, and then have a good night of sleep. Obviously sometimes it's hard with all the emotions to go to sleep, but that's, you know, something you face. But today I think it's most important to recover from this match. It was long match, a lot of long rallies, so my fitness coach is doing a great job with that, also. Yeah, like I said, just take it easy and like I've been doing through whole two weeks, exactly the same approach.
Still not find some link for Video Interview.
Jun 8th, 2008, 12:19 AM
Ana Ivanovic beat Dinara Safina 6-4 6-3
Q. You must be very proud of the way you kept control of that match, that long game at the end of the second set, and you struck right back to win the match. Can you comment on your mentality?
ANA IVANOVIC: Yeah, I was ?? I'm just really proud about my efforts today. It wasn't easy match. She played really well, I thought. First set I had a double break, I believe, and she came back. You know, it was few mental games out there today, so I was really happy that in a key moment I managed to stay strong and calm, in the second set, especially. At 4-2 we had very, very long game. I had few advantages and I wasn't as aggressive, but, you know I kept my composure and stepped up and won my service game and managed to break her again. I'm very, very happy.
Q. Going into the match, were you concerned that even though you've had experience, you have been in the finals, you actually hadn't won one yet? Was that playing on your mind?
ANA IVANOVIC: Yeah, obviously you're nervous. You want to make one step more and win a title. But, you know, last two Grand Slams were great learning experience for me. You know, I'm only 20 and it was my third final already, so that, you know, kept some pressure off me. Just trying to enjoy it, and that's what I did today. Obviously there was a lot of emotions inside, but till the last point I tried to, you know, don't think about the occasion and just focus on my tennis. So I was really happy I managed to do that today.
Q. They say that winning a Grand Slam for the first time changes the way you think about yourself as a tennis player. Do you feel changed already?
ANA IVANOVIC: No, I feel ?? I feel so happy. I have no words to describe that. But Grand Slam, winning Grand Slam is something I dreamt since I was a little kid, so achieving that goal, it's very thrilling. You know, you work so hard and you're, off the court, on the court, and you put so much effort into it. I loved the game and I enjoy playing, so this is the best reward I can get. It's something ?? it's my incentive, you know, to keep working hard, and, you know, win more of these trophies.
Q. How crucial was the shot you played to save the break point in the sixth game of the second set? Were you thinking at that point about her previous comebacks?
ANA IVANOVIC: Sorry? Can you repeat?
Q. I'll ask the first part first. How crucial was that shot you played to save the break point in the second set?
ANA IVANOVIC: It was a huge point, and I was very aware of it. So you know, the next point after I managed to come back to deuce, I tried to think, you know, just to stay calm and make her play, because she was anxious. She had chances to finish that point many times and have 2-1 lead. I knew the next point was so important, so I was really happy I stepped up and win that game. That was something that gave me confidence in that second set, because in the beginning of that second set I thought I lost concentration for a bit. It was obviously very dangerous, so I knew I had to, you know, be back in the moment.
Q. In that stage, were her previous comebacks in the tournament on your mind at all?
ANA IVANOVIC: No, I mean, I knew she was a great fighter, and I knew I had to take any chance I had. I had lot of chances in the first set which I didn't use. She came back, and it was 4-All, and, you know, it was tough because a lot of emotions build up inside. You knew you had a chance, double break, you know, and then all of a sudden you're equal again. So to keep my composure at that point, it was huge for me.
Q. You speak so quickly as Monica Seles and her time; it's amazing. But why wasn't Sven Groeneveld today up there, or he was watching another place?
ANA IVANOVIC: I'm trying to speak slow, but I'm so excited.
Q. It shows your intelligence.
ANA IVANOVIC: You have to understand. Yeah, it was very unfortunate that Sven couldn't be in the box today, because he puts lots of effort, you know, from his side, and lots of hard work in last couple months and year since we been working more together. So I was really sorry for him not to be there this huge moment in my career. But I'm sure he was, you know, out there a little bit suffering, because we are both adidas, and it's very hard for him. But, yeah, I think he was sitting somewhere in ?? I think adidas box, but I'm not really sure. I still haven't talked to him, so I'm sure he's very, very proud of me, too.
Q. After you lost Australia you were crying a lot, very, very upset. When you walked away from that tournament, did you resolve something to yourself about how I'm going to compose myself in the next Grand Slam final?
ANA IVANOVIC: Yes. Yeah, definitely. It was very tough loss for me, and I had few sleepless nights after that, honestly. But, yeah, it's something I learned from. I was again in that final, like in Paris ? it was much better ? but still, I was ?? part of me was already thinking about possibly holding a trophy, you know. So this time I really tried to change that and don't think about that at all and just focus on my game. And there were some moments where, you know, this thought would still come up, but I managed to control it much better and to be aware of every moment of my game. That's something I'm really, really happy about today's game.
Q. It's also been said about you at times that you're too nice and too sweet to have a killer instinct on court. Today maybe you've proved that you really do have that killer instinct inside.
ANA IVANOVIC: I try. You know, I think once you are on the court, it's ?? yeah, it's much easier said than done ?? but you have to be a killer. And you have to, you know, put them under pressure and show your presence and stuff. On the off the court it's obviously different. I still, you know, believe it's important to be a fair player and, yeah, don't lose your appearance just because people might say you're too nice.
Q. I'm sure that you were told or knew even before this match how aggressive Dinara is returning serve, and she started off on the baseline, maybe even inside the baseline. Then you backed her off. How much of a relief was that for you to see her backing off the baseline so she would be little less dangerous returning serve?
ANA IVANOVIC: Honestly, since the last match we played, I had feeling she improved a lot in her movement, and also in her service shots. She was much more aggressive than I remember, so obviously that was something I had to adapt and to take that time away from her. Because in the beginning, I try, you know, to maybe look too much, and she was taking advantage of it. So I had to change it and step up a little bit more and move into the court and give her less time. That's something I did very well. And also, my first serve percentage, I believe it was better than in last match. That's something that was important, because if she faces lot of second serves, obviously, she likes to take advantage of that.
Q. This is another huge moment for Serbian tennis after what Novak has achieved in Melbourne earlier this year. You winning here as the world No. 1. I mean, are we now in a period of dominance with Serbian players like yourself, Novak, and Jelena?
ANA IVANOVIC: I hope so. No, it's amazing. It's amazing achievement. And, you know, for Novak to win the first Grand Slam for Serbian beginning of the year. You know, going into today's final I thought of it, and I said, Come on. He could do it, I could do it, too. So it's something that for sure motivates, and I hope also many young kids will get inspired from us. But, you know, last year the three of us made a huge step here. We had two semifinalists and a finalist, and it was the first time we did really good all together at the Grand Slam. So, you know, coming back this year and he winning a title and now me, it's something that ?? I mean, people back home I think really appreciate, and it's very thrilling for us, too.
Q. Do you feel winning the title today confirms your spot as the world No. 1, and that that was important? Do you think that you will be able to hold onto it for a long time, the No. 1?
ANA IVANOVIC: This title, it's very important for me, because that was my dream for a long time. You know, reaching position No. 1 even, you know, before I played this match in the final was great award. But then again, you know, you have to still ?? when you're on the court you have to play your game, and rankings speak for themselves. You know, you just have to make sure to keep doing the right things on the court and play your matches, and the rankings, they take care of themselves. You know, it's obviously very, very sweet and nice, you know, to reach that. But, you know, you have to make sure you're still working hard on the court.
Q. Four weeks today we'll know the winner of the next Grand Slam. Do you think it's possible that you can win Wimbledon, as well?
ANA IVANOVIC: Well, it's ?? I have to tell you the truth, I'm still, you know, in Paris and trying to enjoy this victory and not thinking still about the grass.
But for sure, you know, I want to, you know, go there and wanting to win a title, because every tournament you play you want to win. And obviously now a lot of players will, you know, play their best tennis against me, because they want to obviously play ?? show their best game. But, yeah, still, I think I have good chance. I've been working really hard, and this hard work gives results. So, you know, next week I have time to, you know, a little bit relax, recover, and also prepare on the grass before Eastbourne and Wimbledon.
Q. We hear a lot about your team. We don't know very much about your parents, and they've chosen to kind of stay in the background. Is that their choice or yours? How did you come to that decision?
ANA IVANOVIC: No, it's their choice. They really ?? they always supported me, maximum. My mom travels with me most of the time, but they don't like to give interviews or to be, you know, in the media. They like to keep aside and, yeah, support me from the back a little bit. They leave it up to me, you know, to my coaches to do the right job. They're always there, you know, to support me and give me the best possible advice.
Q. Do you think that made you more independent?
ANA IVANOVIC: Obviously, you know, it makes you stronger. My parents never forced me into anything. You know, they always supported my decisions, and I think it's important, because you get ?? when you're on court, first of all, you have to make your own decisions. So in some way it makes me much, much stronger. And also since I was very young I started traveling and my mom came often with me, which was great thing. And, yeah, she's like my best friend, too.
Q. Very historic day. Was it comforting to look and see Henin sitting, watching the match rather than across the net as she was last year? I don't know if you're feeling better about that? You got over that pretty easily, didn't you?
ANA IVANOVIC: Yeah. I mean, many, many people ask me, Oh, you want to forget the last year's final? But I don't, because it was great learning experience. Obviously it hurted (sic) at the time and it hurted after, but she's a great champion. I lost to great champion and I learned a lot from her, from the way she handled herself in that final. You know, seeing her today in the crowd, you know, it made me feel really, really good, you know. I thought, you know, maybe I can be like her, I can win a title. So it was really thrilling when she also handed me the a trophy.
Q. Has the forehand always been a natural stroke for you? It's a wonderful stroke.
ANA IVANOVIC: Thanks.
Q. Has that always been pretty much part of you?
ANA IVANOVIC: Yeah, since I was a kid I always had that forehand, and I always hit it very hard. My father used to say always, If you could play that forehand under the line to go, that would be my favorite shot. Because I always tried to hit it so hard.
Q. Novak was the first Serbian to win a Grand Slam in singles. You were the first Serbian to be No. 1. Is there some kind of competition between you, the Serbians, Jelena, too?
ANA IVANOVIC: Competition came natural, hasn't it?
Yeah, I mean, it's great achievement from him. Like I said, you know, going into today's final I thought of his victory, you know, earlier this year, and I thought, you know, Why not? I can win a title, as well. It's something that will motivates us, you know, and I'm sure he will also reach his goal of being No. 1, you know, one day. He has great potential. Jelena, on the other hand, she also is a great girl, and I really hope she can achieve her dreams.
Q. One of the most worrying moments for you was when you stood on that chair at the end and climbed into the VIP box. Obviously meant a lot to you to get into the box. Who was there for you to greet?
ANA IVANOVIC: I tried to call them to help me to come up, but they were hugging each other. I was like, Hey, what about me? But then I had to take it, you know, my possibility to climb over that chair. I don't know what I was doing. I just tried to get to them as soon as I could. My brother was there, my fitness coach and my family. Everyone I could I hugged, doesn't matter who it was.
Q. Were you surprised to see Henin there during the match? And what did she say to you afterwards?
ANA IVANOVIC: Yeah, definitely I was surprised. But at the same time I was glad to see her there. She's a great champion. She won this tournament so many times.
When she handed me the trophy, it was, you know, very thrilling moment, as well. She said, Well done. You really deserve it. It meant a lot to me.
Q. Dinara today when she was on the center court, she looked in a way the way you were there in front of Justine last year with the lack of experience or lack of Grand Slam final. Did you think about that, and did you feel much more confident saying, Now it's me in Justine's place and she's a newcomer? Did it give you a belief right in the beginning? And the second thing, do you really feel you're the happiest woman today on the earth?
ANA IVANOVIC: That's for sure. I think so. Obviously when I was in the court I realized, you know, she was nervous. I try also to look back at the way I felt last year, and it made me more calm because I had those experience and I went through that. It was great learning experience, so, you know, I tried to think about those things, too. Because obviously there is so many emotions within yourself, that you're thinking of, and it's very easy to forget what other person feels. And most of the time they're nervous, too, so this is what I had to work hard on and to realize that she had probably feels more nervous than I do.
That's something that gave me a lot of confidence, you know, and strength to step up in some important points.
Q. It's a great achievement to win. You're incredibly happy. Sometimes people look forward and they say, Well, what comes next? Are you at all concerned or afraid of what the future looks like for someone who's gotten so big so quickly?
ANA IVANOVIC: You know, future comes soon enough, so why worry about that? Yeah, it's just a great moment for me. Like I said, I felt I came a long way since first two tournaments on clay. I learned a lot from that, and it was some tough times. But when you go through these things, it makes you stronger. So I learned a lot from it, and I feel like I found the tools that helped me to be in the moment when I'm on the court. Like I said, you know, some days it's much harder to do than others. Still, you know, I feel this will help me in the future. Obviously, you know, being No. 1 now holds more pressure. But you're also a professional athlete, and if you want to achieve your goals you have to learn how to handle the pressure and realize that pressure is also kind reward, because you put yourself to in a position to doing something memorable.
Q. While in the press room, we are discussing if you are the best looking woman who has ever won the tournament. I want you to know that you have already beaten the stats of Justine Henin, because last year she say 14 times, Allez. You say 17 times today, Adje. Even in the middle of the night sometimes you wake up and you turn and you say, Adje?
ANA IVANOVIC: I'm sure tonight I will, if I sleep at all.
Q. When you did you start to say Adje? Since you were five years old?
ANA IVANOVIC: Yes. Yeah, I think it dates long time back. But, yeah, it just comes natural actually. Lately I say quite few, Come ons, as well, because I'm working with coaches that I speak English with, and people back home I don't think they like that that much. No, it's something I think of a little bit.
VIDEO INTERVIEV (http://www.rolandgarros.com/en_FR/multimedia/console/mflash.html?targetLink=/media/video/INT.ana.ivanovic.07062008_EN_480x360_400kbps.flv&lang=en_FR&localisIE=true)
After Ana beat Safina 6-4 6-3 in Roland Garros 2008 final
Aug 1st, 2008, 04:43 AM
T. PASZEK/A. Ivanovic
6-2, 1-6, 6-2
An interview with: ANA IVANOVIC
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. Was it hard for you to play because of your right thumb?
ANA IVANOVIC: Yeah, it was very frustrating because I didn't know how it's going to pull up. I was in pain through whole match. The pain wasn't so sharp as I felt so weak in my right arm, couldn't hold my racquet on the forehand side. It was very frustrating in the first set. I was really down by it, you know, really felt like I couldn't do nothing. And then in a break after the first set, I thought to myself, You know what, you still can serve and play your backhand, so just imagine you have terrible forehand and you try to put ball in as you can, try to look for your backhand. You know, it worked well for a while. But I guess it wasn't too hard to figure out what she had to do. In the third set, she started playing much more to my forehand. It was just so frustrating that I couldn't control the racquet in my hand. I couldn't feel nothing. Yeah, it was very frustrating. I tried to fight as much as I could. I really wanted to win this match. But obviously she's, as well, a very good player. You know, she figured it out.
Q. What exactly is wrong with the thumb?
ANA IVANOVIC: Well, I don't know, about 10 days ago I started to get pain here and I couldn't hold my racquet at all in my hand. I thought it was just a little inflammation, so I was trying some antiinflammatories. And I didn't practice for four, five days. We were traveling and we were getting here. After four days I went on the court here first day and I still couldn't hold my racquet. So we went straightaway to do MRI. It didn't show anything basically. No tear, nothing. So I was really happy and relieved. So I had two days completely off, still on Voltaren, trying to get inflammation down. It's in a specific place and I couldn't get inflammation out of there. I started to feel better and I could practice and go through it, but not as much as I wanted to. So, yeah, we did tape. It helped a little bit. Yesterday also I felt a little bit, but not so weak. Like today I really felt weak in my hand, that I couldn't really hold my racquet firm. And that was obviously very frustrating.
Q. Sometimes you get an MRI and they find nothing, then it becomes a mystery that can almost be more frustrating than an MRI showing something.
ANA IVANOVIC: Well, I spoke to many doctors, and they all said it just takes time for inflammation to get out. That's the most frustrating thing. Because especially I felt, you know, so good. I had a great preparation, and I feel physically very, very fit. And that's something that frustrates me that I couldn't perform as pain-free as I wanted to. Now obviously I'm a little bit scared, too, because MRI shows nothing, but I still have pain. You know, they say it's gonna go away, but it's there for already 10 days. So I'm gonna try and see the doctor now and try to get it out.
Q. Will that change your schedule or too early to know?
ANA IVANOVIC: Well, the only thing is that I was planning to go straight to Beijing. But now I might go back to Europe to see the doctor.
Q. Does this put Beijing in jeopardy at all?
ANA IVANOVIC: Well, I really hope not. Because, like I said, the MRI didn't show anything. Just the inflammation. It takes time. Yeah, obviously, you know, I still have to see. But I really, really want to be fit to play Beijing. And that's why I'm thinking going back to see the doctor because I don't want to go through what I went through here, you know, just waking up each day and thinking, you know, Am I going to be able to play today?
Q. A lot of key players on the tour are injured. What's going on?
ANA IVANOVIC: Well, you know, it's also a very hard part of the year. Especially Wimbledon and French Open being so close. You try to peak for a Grand Slams, the biggest tournaments of the year. Obviously you put your body through a lot of stress. And each match, it's very, very stressful for a body, especially the way game is developing, players coming stronger, more powerful game. Obviously that's something that you have to try and prevent. That's exactly why I spoke with my coaches and we had these vacations after Wimbledon and taking some time off the court and trying to recover. But I guess I was missing game too much and I was practicing too hard (smiling).
Q. What are your thoughts on the possibility of losing the top ranking?
ANA IVANOVIC: You know what, it's definitely very, very disappointing. Not really much the fact that I might lose it; just the fact that I couldn't perform the best I could here without the pain. And then, you know, if you lose it, hey, you know, the other girl was better. But just the fact that I couldn't perform as well as I wanted, that's even more frustrating.
Q. Where did you buy your shirt (referring to shirt with "I 'adidas logo' Montreal")?
ANA IVANOVIC: Actually, I got it today from the fan. Isn't it nice? I like it (laughter). She asked me to wear it for practice. I thought, you know what, I might wear it for press. I like it.
Q. Did you wear it in practice?
ANA IVANOVIC: No, no, I didn't, because I wanted to wear it now. I didn't want to get it sweaty. It's too nice.
Q. How disappointing is it for you to not repeat what you did in Montréal two years ago?
ANA IVANOVIC: That's very, very disappointing, especially that I felt I had lot of support from the crowd today. You know, even when I was 4-Love down, I really tried to fight back and to look for anything, you know, positive and to get energy from the crowd and to get back into a match and try to, you know, hang around here for a little bit longer. So it was very tough for me to leave the court. It was very emotional after the match. You know what, that's the game. That's tennis. In two years I'm gonna come back here and try to be eager to win again. Hopefully, you know, I'll still have the good support.
Q. Yesterday you didn't want to use the thumb as an excuse for how you played. Was it worse tonight than it was in the prior match or the same?
ANA IVANOVIC: Pain-wise it was about the same. I still have same amount of pain. But just today I felt much weaker, that I couldn't really hold my racquet. That wasn't that much the case yesterday. Yeah, you know it's nothing serious and you know you can handle the pain, but just the weakness is what was bothering me.
Q. Jelena Jankovic announced that it's unfortunate Sharapova will not play in the Olympics. Can you comment on this?
ANA IVANOVIC: She won't play Olympics? I didn't know that. It must be very disappointing because for many players I think they put Olympics even higher than a Grand Slam. So I guess that's a very, very disappointing fact.
Q. Do you put the Olympics higher than the Grand Slam tournament?
ANA IVANOVIC: It's definitely very important event, especially you get chance to play once in four years. You play this year, and who knows in four years if you would be, you know, able to play it. So it's definitely very high on my list.
Q. Jasna Sekaric will carry the Serbian flag in the open ceremony of the Olympics. Wasn't it surprising for you that she would bear it, not Djokovic and maybe you?
ANA IVANOVIC: No, not at all. I think she deserves it. She won a medal last Olympics and Olympics before that. She achieved a lot for our country. She's also, you know, very experienced. It's her, I don't know, third, fourth Olympics. I think she deserves it, to bear the flag. I had chance to meet her a couple of days actually ago when we were welcomed by our president, the whole Olympic team. She seems like a very nice lady, so I'm very proud she will carry our flag.
Aug 26th, 2008, 08:13 PM
US Open 1st round interview
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. Must have been very frustrating, because sometimes you had your game; sometimes you didn't.
ANA IVANOVIC: No, actually, I'm very, very happy, because just to be here and to be able to compete, for me, it's already a great achievement.
I'm just so thrilled to be here and to have the opportunity to play, because after the Olympics it was obviously very disappointing. Since Montreal I haven't had chance to practice. I only started practicing this Monday.
So with so much in practice, I thought I did pretty well. When I went first on the court, I was very excited and I started to play really well. Obviously lack of practice showed off a little bit later, but just so thrilled to have an opportunity to slowly get into tournament and improve.
Q. This Monday, yesterday or...
ANA IVANOVIC: No, not yesterday. A week ago. It would be too much.
Q. Was your participation here ever in doubt? Did you worry that you would not be able to play here at all?
ANA IVANOVIC: Yes. After Beijing I thought, you know, I might not be able to compete here, and I really tried to do everything possible for my recovery. I even went to Australia to see my doctor and to be able to practice.
So I came here last Sunday and was able to practice from Monday, so that was very good. Yeah, just once I started practicing, you know, I started to get better, and finally today and last couple days I was first time without pain. Just very happy.
Q. So you went from Beijing to Australia to New York?
ANA IVANOVIC: Yeah. I went all over the world last couple of months trying to find what is the reason and to solve the problem I had.
So just happy finally to be without the pain.
Q. Your doctor in Australia, what was he able to do for you or give you that's made it better?
ANA IVANOVIC: Well, I did lots of MRIs and lots of tests and x‑rays. It didn't show any tendon problems, but they found few cysts that were causing inflammation. He just did lots of treatment to me. And also he is chiropractor, so he fixed my back and my neck, and everything was so connected.
So I started to feel better, because also before I had no power in my hand. I couldn't hold my racquet. So finally my power was back, and then slowly started, inflammation started to calm down.
Q. Pretty thrilling match for a first round for a No. 1 player with match points and everything. Were you a little nervous at the end?
ANA IVANOVIC: No, I was ‑‑ the last game I had couple of miss‑hits, and, you know, I just tried to stay strong and to play actually for each point and to forget what happened. I'm so happy I managed to do that.
Q. When you're hitting the ball, are you doing it without worrying about the pain? Can you do it naturally now?
ANA IVANOVIC: Yeah, umm, last couple of days I been totally without the pain, so it was really good.
Q. What has been the hardest part for you: the actual physical pain or just the frustration of knowing you haven't really been able to build on the momentum you gained from your French Open win?
ANA IVANOVIC: It was very disappointing. Obviously I was very motivated after I had holidays after Wimbledon, and I was really motivated to start working hard and to get my form back and to compete.
I think I started too fast and too much, and I got obviously injured. Since then, it was really frustrating, because I haven't really been able to practice as much as I want, and obviously frustration was building up.
And I was so much looking forward to Olympics, and very excited to compete there. When I had to pull out, it was probably one of the hardest days of my career so far.
So, you know, to go from there and then to come here and to compete and just, you know, to be able to compete at 100% and without pain, it's already a great achievement for me.
Q. Do you have enough experience now to be able to play your way into a Grand Slam?
ANA IVANOVIC: Yeah, definitely, and that's something probably that helped me in my match today. Obviously, you know, I could feel, you know, in some shots lack of practice, and sometimes, you know, even shot selection.
But the experience and just the calm has helped me to go through these matches. Obviously that's something I have to now rely more on, because obviously I didn't have as good preparation as I hoped for. But I have to use other, you know, tools and other ‑‑ other, yeah, other good things I can do out there.
Q. There are obvious advantages to having a quick and easy first‑round match, but you can look at having a very difficult one such as you had today and the way you were challenged in a positive way, too? I would think insomuch you are able to fight through and maybe get some momentum and have a match like that behind you; do you feel that way?
ANA IVANOVIC: Yeah, definitely it's going to help me, because it was very challenging. I was sad in 4‑2 up and had a couple break points and everything was looking fine. I just dropped my concentration for a moment, and then it was very hard for me to get back into the game.
So, yeah, definitely a match like is going to help me in the next rounds. Obviously I was missing a lot of my match practice, so I got a tough one today.
Q. Do you think your frequent flier mileage helped attribute to your near scare today?
ANA IVANOVIC: Yeah, I think I can have the whole next year free.
Q. Considering the lack of practice time and everything you've been through, what are your realistic expectations here? You're the No. 1 seed, but do you feel you can actually get really far here?
ANA IVANOVIC: I'm very big competitor, so obviously I want myself to win. But I think at the moment it's a lot to ask for. I just want to take it match by match.
And obviously I think I have, you know, good potential to slowly get into a tournament and play fresh. I'm probably one of the few players who hasn't played so much lately, so I can try to use that in my benefit and try to compete each match the best I can.
Obviously I think I can still do well, and just want to basically enjoy each moment I'm on the court and work hard for it.
Q. Were you pleased by the way you went to the net when you needed to?
ANA IVANOVIC: Yeah. It worked really well for me. I was really aggressive. I knew I had to step in, especially from when I had wind in my back and the ball wasn't coming to me.
So I used that really to step in and go ‑‑ follow it at the net, and my volleys were working really well, so I'm very pleased about that.
Q. Your fitness training has been very important for you the last couple of years. Were you able to keep that up even thought you didn't play, or did you even do more because you were bored?
ANA IVANOVIC: Yeah, I was complaining a lot because I was doing only physical. And I said, Can I go on the court at least? So we were doing lots of stuff at specific moments on the court.
But, yeah, we were making jokes at Olympics. I should try compete something else because I was just doing running and sprints. But it's obviously very frustrating, because every day I hoped I can hit, and then I was going, Oh, no, today I still have pain.
So we had to work a lot in the gym, and I think that helped me a lot because today on the court I felt physically really strong and was able to keep up the level without getting too tired.
Q. Can you describe the experience of coming into New York competing in this event as the No. 1 seed?
ANA IVANOVIC: I must say this is my, I think, fifth US Open, and this time I'm the happiest to be here, so I enjoy every moment of it.
And first couple days when I had some afternoons off I went shopping and to Central Park. I really tried to get best out of it. The weather was beautiful, so it helped a lot.
Yeah, just now focus on tournament, and then after the tournament maybe I'll have chance to see a few more things.
Q. Have you paid attention to the circuit since Wimbledon? And if you have, who is the player who's impressed you the most?
ANA IVANOVIC: Safina has definitely done a great job, and she's been playing really well and she has lots of confidence, I think. I think Dementieva also winning Olympics and coming into this week, she also has some confidence.
But, you know, all of the players can be dangerous. Williams sisters, they always play really good here. Yeah, there is a good chance for them.
FastScripts by ASAP Sports
Aug 26th, 2008, 08:24 PM
very nice interview, she's positive and happy, that's all that matters really.:D
Aug 26th, 2008, 08:49 PM
Really liked her interview!
Aug 29th, 2008, 01:47 AM
Q. Julie said that she felt out there today that she felt you almost seemed nervous. Some errors on the forehand, the double faults. She doesn't know what's in your head, but she said from her perspective it seemed that you were nervous. Maybe playing with the No. 1 ranking might have been a lot of pressure for you. Is that a fair assessment of the way you felt today?
ANA IVANOVIC: Maybe a little bit. I was nervous going onto the court because I never saw her play before so I didn't know what to expect. I thought I can slowly, get into the match, and she played completely different than I expected. She was serving extremely well and hitting very powerful shots.
So I really struggled and made too many unforced errors and my serve was not working really well. Obviously, it's very frustrating, because I know I can play so much better. This was very, very disappointing loss for me, but it's something that I have to accept, you know, especially with everything that has happened in the past probably month or two months. I couldn't expect myself to, you know, to maybe even play better.
Q. Since winning Roland Garros you had a tough Wimbledon and a tough tournament here, both at No. 1. I just wonder, do you feel the pressure of No. 1, or does that make you play a little different?
ANA IVANOVIC: No. I see that as reward because, you know, I think I deserve that position. You know, I won a Grand Slam and I was playing really well.
Obviously if you would ask me at the moment if I'm playing like No. 1 probably not, but I can't judge too much on that because I really haven't had chance to practice. This kind of loss I had today is just incentive to work harder, to go back on the court and to keep working hard and practicing and improving.
Because I think I have possibility to maintain No. 1 for a long time and to win a Grand Slam. So I just had a little, you know, unfortunate with injury, and I just have to go back on the court and keep working hard.
Q. You mentioned the thumb. How badly did the thumb bother you today?
ANA IVANOVIC: Today I didn't feel it, and also last match was good. So, you know, I'm just happy to be back on track without pain. Now all I have to do is put some hard yards on the court and go back out there and work hard.
Because also today I had lots of misshits on my forehand. I think it's also, you know, shows a little bit lack of practice and lack of maybe confidence in that area.
Q. I think you said the other day you went from Beijing to Australia for physio.
ANA IVANOVIC: Yes.
Q. And then obviously playing in the States prior. I mean, that's a lot of travel. How much do you think that that factored in, having all that travel?
ANA IVANOVIC: Like I said, I had very tough last couple of months. It's now behind me and, you know, I have to look at the positives. We struggled a lot to find what was wrong with my hand. I couldn't actually practice, so that was obviously frustrating.
Obviously now we found solution for it and I feel better. For me, that's really, really good, and that's incentive to now go back on the court and keep working hard, and hopefully with a little bit less traveling.
Q. What about Julie's game surprised you the most? Like you said earlier, you didn't know what to expect.
ANA IVANOVIC: Her serve was very consistent and very, very strong. She's not such a tall girl, and she was serving really strong and powerful serves. Yeah, had a lot of first serves in as well.
It was very hard to get rhythm because I tried couple times, you know, to make longer rally, to slowly get into the match, but she didn't give me options. She was going for her shots and she was playing really well today.
And still, I think in the third set I created a lot of opportunities for myself. Just, yeah, didn't quite use them. That was very, very frustrating.
Q. How hard was that for you? Because, I mean, obviously you're used to being able to execute shots. You're out there, No. 1 player in the world, and you can't do what you want to do.
ANA IVANOVIC: It was very, very hard, probably the hardest thing about today's match. Okay, if I didn't create those opportunities she was just better. But I think I had lot of chances, and just not being able to use them was very frustrating. Maybe I was a little bit also too hard on myself at some moments.
But, you know, I just have to look positive, that I'm pain‑free and able to play, and to now go back on court and work hard.
Q. Which one has been your biggest opportunity you think you missed in the match?
ANA IVANOVIC: In the third set I had couple. At 2‑All, 40‑Love, three breakpoints. And also first game of the third set, I think I had breakpoint in that game, too. I had opportunity to step up and put pressure on her straight from the beginning in the third set but couldn't quite use it.
Q. I know it's not quite easy to ask because it's just after the game, but do you have any specific plans to go back home and regroup and maybe get back to regain the No. 1 position, because you may lose it?
ANA IVANOVIC: Well, I have to speak with my team and make a plan. We didn't have a chance to do that yet. Obviously, I'm very, very motivated to go straight back on the court. Honestly, I don't need any time off, because I had plenty of it without tennis.
I'm ready to get back on the court and keep practicing. I don't know, maybe even leave tomorrow already and get straight back into it.
Q. Who do you think will win this tournament, and why?
ANA IVANOVIC: It's very hard. I think Williams sisters, I think they have a pretty good chance. Yeah, I think the top half of the draw, it's quite strong.
Q. Julie said that happened when she was out there she didn't feel nervous. It was just another game until it got to the match points. Were you surprised with the poise that she showed out there?
ANA IVANOVIC: Well, I think what I experienced so far is girls, when they play against higher‑ranked players, they have nothing to lose so they go for their shots. Many times they play matches of their life. Not only in women's tennis, also in men's.
When I watch Rafa or Roger or Nole, the players that come up with shots against them is just amazing. They feel no pressure and they're so relaxed to play these kind of shots.
She managed, like she said, to stay calm and to play the same until the end.
Q. How do you see the chances for Caroline Wozniacki to win this tournament, or at least get into the final?
ANA IVANOVIC: I know she's very good player and she's very talented girl. But to tell you the truth, I don't know much about the draw or any opponents or who she's playing.
Yeah, she's very young, and I'm sure she has good possibility.
FastScripts by ASAP SportsAfter todays shocking lose against unknown Frenchy player Ana:angel: atleast stays classy (like always). But best news for me is that she not feels any pain in her right hand.
Aug 29th, 2008, 03:22 PM
watched the post-match interview... how can't you love her?:hearts: She's still so sweet and bubbly, even the journalists refrain from bitchy comments.:angel:
Sep 23rd, 2008, 05:01 PM
Don't know if it's been posted somewhere but here's the Beijing interview
Q: After you won the French Open and reached to No.1 in women’s singles you have not got any other titles this year. Can you self analyze and tell us what’s going on?
Ana: It was really my peak time this year in French Open. In Wimbledon I felt hard in energy and emotional level, especially the injury I have suffered since last month. Before U.S. Open I only got 5 days to practice. It was too short for such an important tournament. Recently I feel less pain and I begin to practice to get back to track. I think I need to be patient and try to adjust to the changes. I’m really happy to be back.
Q: Your last time in Beijing was the Olympic Games. You only stayed here for 3 days and unfortunately you didn’t attend the matches. This time you come here for China Open which is different to you. Can you tell us your feeling about this? Do you think you have prepared enough mentally and physically?
Ana: As you said, my second visit to Beijing is quite different to me. I’m happy to see that tennis is popular here. There are so many fans here. They even come to the practice court to watch players’ training. I hope this time I could stay longer.
Q: Did you know Zheng Jie before Wimbledon? What do you think of her?
Ana: I think Zheng is an aggressive player. I need to play good tennis to beat her. She played really well on the grass court in Wimbledon.
Q: People praised you when you won the French Open and reached No.1, but when you lose the game, they keep criticizing you. Do you think it’s unfair, anyway, 2008 is your big year?
Ana: I can’t change what people think about me. In fact I can’t play because of injury in the last months. I even couldn’t hold my racket. I think every player needs to face the injury in the career.
I realize that to succeed, you don’t need to win every game, but to rise from every fall. What I need to do is keeping a positive attitude. I need to give myself time to get back...
Sep 24th, 2008, 02:22 AM
So true, great interview!! Thanks VirginMary!
Nov 7th, 2008, 07:03 PM
This is Ana's interview while she explains the reason of her withdraw...
ANA IVANOVIC: It's obviously, very, very hard for me. But after the other nights match, it was a very intensive and long match. I started to feel actually worse. So, yesterday, I didn't feel good and today even worse.
So I tried to hit actually yesterday. I was on the court for about ten minutes, and as long as I didn't move it was okay. But if I try to hit a little bit harder or to move on the side, it was impossible to do.
So, you know, even if I would step on the court, I wouldn't be able to even go through a few games.
ANA IVANOVIC: From this year?
Q. From this year.
ANA IVANOVIC: Well, even though I had a tough few months, I still think this was the best year of my career so far. I reached one Grand Slam, and I reached the position of No. 1. So that's lots of positive things to take out from this year.
You know, things like this, you know, little setbacks, it's something that can motivate you even more to work harder and set yourself a new goal, and start working towards them. So, you know, that is something that I have to work on.
I have now a lot of time off and time to prepare for next season.
Q. Obviously, you've had a fantastic year winning both the Grand Slam and becoming No. 1. But can you analyze the second half of your year and work out what happened with a view to changing your plan or schedule for next year?
ANA IVANOVIC: Yeah, you know, I'll definitely learn from mistakes made. You know, mistakes lead to experience, and experience afterwards leads to success. So, you know, you have to look for the positives.
And, you know, it's been very tough, but I also feel like I came out of that as a stronger player, because I still felt I was playing really good tennis. And it's really unfortunate that I didn't feel, you know, 100% healthy for this last tournament, because I was very, very motivated to do good.
But, you know, it's still been a great year for me. I know I can win a Grand Slam again, and I can achieve all these things again. So that's something that motivates me to work harder, and to get good preparation for the next season.
Q. Will the road map help you get the right balance?
ANA IVANOVIC: Yeah, it's important. I've been working with my fitness coach for already a couple of years, so in the past, we did a lot of different scheduling and everything. So we sort of know what works best for me.
So having that in consideration, we're going to make a good plan for next season, and obviously, with the road map and a lot more bigger tournaments, it's much clearer which tournaments you kind of have to play. But still, you know, it's important to find time off to, you know, bring your level down so you can get fit again and compete again.
Q. Do you have any idea how you got the virus?
ANA IVANOVIC: Well, on the plane from Dubai to here the next morning I started to have pain in my throat, and my immune system was probably already down, and I was quite busy for a couple of days. Didn't have a chance to rest a lot and to eat enough. I didn't kind of have an appetite at all. I think it just got worse and worse.
Obviously, when I'm doing nothing, I'm fine. But as long as as soon as I start moving a little bit more I start to feel bad, so.
Q. Do you have a diagnosis for the virus have you had this kind of feeling before?
ANA IVANOVIC: Yeah, you know, you're here and there you get a little bit sick. That's why when I started to first having pain in my throat I just thought it's nothing big, you know. Then later when I started to have also pains in my stomach.
But, yeah, it's just a general feeling of weakness. You know, typical the doctor said it's a typical virus, it takes a couple of days, three, four days to get out of your system. He prescribed me some antibiotics that I'm drinking now.
Q. Can you talk about, you've had a breakthrough season, but in some ways do you feel that still developmentally as a player you're a little bit behind maybe some of your peers, some players of the same age?
ANA IVANOVIC: I just think that I need to be a little bit more consistent. I improved so much in my game. I was playing really good and I was very satisfied the way everything is going.
You know, okay, unfortunately the injury came, but generally speaking, I think it's something I have to work for next season to be more consistent and play more good tournaments in a row, which I haven't really done much in the past. That's the big goal I have for next season.
Q. You're going to have a lot of points to defend in the early part of the season. Is No. 1 a real goal for you to get back there? To think about the first part of the year are you going to have a goal to play well?
ANA IVANOVIC: My main goal for next season is actually to win a Grand Slam. I think playing well and doing well in the big tournaments, the rankings take care of themselves.
But, you know, I don't feel any kind of pressure, because I know I can play good tennis, and I have confidence in myself. I know when I have a good preparation and I, you know, feel 100% healthy again and enjoy competing, it's going to be good.
Q. As you're going to visit your grandparents, you're going to have time to relax? (Asking about a Brazilian author).
ANA IVANOVIC: Brazilian?
Q. Oh, Paulo Coelho, yes.
ANA IVANOVIC: Yes, it's true I read lot of his books. Now I've got a new one called "Breather". I think it's a new bestseller. I just got it recently at the airport, so I'm going to start that one.
Q. Do you have any interest in Brazil? Do you have some friends in Brazil?
ANA IVANOVIC: I've been to Brazil playing junior tournaments when I was about 15, and I like a lot. It's a beautiful country, and I would like one day to have a chance to go to visit Rio and, you know, even be there maybe for a carnival.
Q. In a couple of weeks we have Davis Cup final. Do you have any preference?
ANA IVANOVIC: Well, yes, I would like you guys to win. Yeah, I think it's going to be tough. You know, especially Spain playing in Argentina. But I think it's going to be a tough match, good match.
Q. Will you go?
ANA IVANOVIC: No.
Q. Another year, will you go?
ANA IVANOVIC: No, no, I need to rest. I need to go to home, you know, for my grandparents to take care of me to get better.
Nov 7th, 2008, 07:33 PM
Ana likes Brazil! :hearts:
Isn't it cute her last sentence? Now I picture her with her grandparents taking good care of her, giving her soup! :lol::lol::lol:
Dec 7th, 2008, 10:40 PM
December 07, 2008
Ana gave an interview to the website of the Brisbane International:
You had a few injury concerns in 2008, how are you feeling now?
Fortunately those injuries are behind me. I am feeling healthy and I’m very excited about the new season. I started training for it already in November!
How will you prepare for the Brisbane International and Australian Open 2009?
At the moment I am training in Spain. I will fly to Queensland in the middle of December and train there before the tournament starts. In the past five or six years I have always trained in Melbourne or Sydney during the off-season. It will be nice to discover a part of Australia that I am not so familiar with.
What are your thoughts on playing at a brand new tournament in a new stadium?
I’m very excited about it.:tape: I’ve heard that the stadium is beautiful, and I’m looking forward to seeing it and playing in it.
Other than play tennis, what will you do while you’re in Brisbane?
I’ll probably do some sightseeing before the tournament, considering that I’ll be in the area for a few weeks beforehand. During the tournament I will visit some nice restaurants, and go for walks around the city in the evenings.
What are your thoughts on returning to Rod Laver Arena after your loss in the final last year? Are you nervous, excited, both?
I’m not nervous at all, I’m excited. The Australian Open is probably my favourite tournament and the one that I look forward to most. Last year was an amazing experience. I’ve never played in front of so many big, noisy crowds before, and I received a lot of support. So I am looking forward to going back there.
Other than play tennis, what will you do while you’re in Melbourne? Do you have a favourite restaurant or place you like to hang out while you’re in Melbourne?
I’ll for sure visit Nobu at the Crown Casino. It’s one of my favourite restaurants. I also like to go for walks along the Yarra river, and sometimes I go to the cinema. If I have time I’ll visit Chapel Street for some shopping.
Who is your toughest opponent on the tour?
It’s hard to say that there’s just one player. There are a lot of great players that are very tough to play against, for example the Williams sisters and Sharapova. It’s important not to think about just one, because they are all my rivals.
Do you think you can reclaim the top spot in 2009?
Definitely. But I’m not thinking so much about rankings. If I improve my game the results will come, and then the ranking comes automatically.
Since claiming the No.1 ranking in 2008, do you feel like there is more pressure on you to perform on a regular basis?
For sure there is more pressure the higher up you go in the rankings. There is extra motivation for the other girl to beat you. I know this because I have been in the position of the other girl myself! It was only by reaching No.1 that I could really appreciate this, and I admire so much how Federer has handled it for the last few years. It’s something that I think you can improve on the more experience you have.
Earlier this year in a column you wrote for The Age you said that, Australia was your favourite country. Would you ever consider moving here?
Yes, for sure. I would consider living there now if it wasn’t so far from all the tournaments. Because of this, it’s not realistic to live there while I am playing tennis but you never know, maybe I could live there when I retire.
What is it about Australia that you love?
I love the beach culture. I am a beach person, and I like that the beach is always busy in the mornings with people surfing, playing volleyball and running. The weather is great and I also like the laid-back, friendly mentality of the people.
Many articles about you reference that you practised in a disused swimming pool in Serbia, do you get tired of being asked about this?
Not really. It’s a part of my development so it’s natural that I am asked about. I understand that it’s hard to always come up with new questions, but I’ve answered that one so many times that I get it less and less these days.
You’ve played tennis on top of the MCG, on a roof and on a desert island, is there anywhere that you haven’t played tennis that you’d like to?
Funny you should ask this, because I was talking to someone about this just after the desert island event. We struggled to think of something else, but I guess playing on a skyscraper for real would be cool.
Jan 17th, 2009, 04:21 AM
Q. Given your illness in Brisbane, are you on track to go one step further this tournament?
ANA IVANOVIC: Yes, I feel I am. After Brisbane, I had a couple days off to recover. I've been practicing really good since then, you know, enjoying Melbourne, hitting quite a few times on the center court, which is great to go out there and enjoy it.
I feel very good coming into the event.
Q. Does the lack of match practice worry you at all?
ANA IVANOVIC: I had couple matches, you know, in Brisbane, and I feel very confident. I feel very fit. I think actually it's the fittest I've been in my career so far.
Obviously, last couple days I tried to play lot of points and try to, you know, implement things I was working on in like match situations.
But it going to be different playing a real match again. But I'm sure, you know, I'll start well and try to work myself into the tournament.
Q. We saw in the second half of last season there was a lot of pressure and expectations. Is it nice to come to the Australian Open and not be one of the top seeds and have that intense pressure on your game?
ANA IVANOVIC: No, not really. You know, I still put expectations on myself and things I want to achieve. I learned a lot from last year. I feel like a girl who can actually win this Grand Slam.
Like I said, I want to enjoy tennis and work myself into playing and competing. But, you know, pressure is always there and it's also what I expect of myself and what I know I can achieve. You know, it's always there.
Q. Both Serena and Jelena were saying earlier today in their minds they both think they're No. 1. Do you also feel that you're No. 1?
ANA IVANOVIC: Well, you know, honestly I don't think about that. I just try to focus on things I have to do on the court in order to win matches and to improve. Playing good and winning tournaments, rankings take cares of themselves. I don't put too much hope or expectation on that part of, you know, the game, the rankings.
Yeah, like I said, just basically enjoying. But I think the race for No. 1 position, it's very close. There is lot of good players at the moment.
Q. Have you managed to go for a surf while you've been here?
ANA IVANOVIC: Not in Melbourne, unfortunately. I've heard about one, one and a half hours' drive to the beaches where you can actually surf. I would love to. Maybe after the tournament, if I have a chance before heading back for Fed Cup, if I have chance to go, I would love to.
Q. Might need a wet suit. The water is pretty cold.
ANA IVANOVIC: I know. All these shark attacks got me a little bit scared (laughter).
Q. You said you've been enjoying Melbourne. What else have you been doing apart from the tennis court? Have you been with your relatives?
ANA IVANOVIC: Yes, actually last night I spent the evening with my relatives, you know, just easy barbecue at home. I went to the cinema a couple of times. Just walked down to the city center, to the South Bank. It's very nice. I like to go for a walk there.
Q. Do you have difficulty having any sort of privacy when you're out, people coming up to you wanting autographs?
ANA IVANOVIC: Yeah, I did experience that. It was also kind of new experience because, you know, up until maybe the end of last year, it will always happen in Serbia, but never really when I was abroad. Now here people come up to me a lot. We always have breakfast in one restaurant next to our hotel. They always come up and ask for autographs. It's kind of new experience. It's kind of strange, but nice. I don't know how to explain it.
Q. Who do you think your biggest rival will be?
ANA IVANOVIC: Well, like I said, there is lots of girls playing very well at the moment. It's the first Grand Slam of the year so everyone is kind of trying to get their form and to feel good about their game. The Williams sisters, Jelena, Dinara, Dementieva, they're all playing well at the moment. It's going to be a very, very tough Grand Slam. I think it's what makes it interesting for us, as the players, also for spectators. They really can't pick a sure winner.
Q. You said you're probably the fittest you've been in your career. Have you seen the weather forecast the next week? Looks like a few 32 degree days. Pretty hot.
ANA IVANOVIC: Well, you know, I spent lot of time in (indiscernible). It's pretty hot there, too. Also quite humid. I actually enjoy playing in heat.
But here in Melbourne, the weather changes a lot. Over the last couple days, they were saying they expected high temperatures, then it was quite low. But, like I said, I really don't mind the heat.
Jan 19th, 2009, 02:49 AM
Ana Ivanovic 19-01-09
Monday 19 January 2009
Start of Transcribed Interview
Q. Tight first set, but you finished it off well with two aces. How did you sum up your first round?
ANA IVANOVIC: Yes, I'm very pleased to have a victory, obviously. In the beginning, I took some time to adjust to rhythm and everything, to slowly get into match, because I never obviously played against her before. Actually never seen her play. And she's very young, talented girl. She was hitting the ball very well.
It took me some time to adjust to that in the beginning, but I'm very happy that I took opportunities I had. It was very, very close first set. In the second set, it was lot of games with deuce and advantage. But very happy to keep my composure in important moments.
Q. Was it a little tougher than you expected?
ANA IVANOVIC: You know, I expect tough match every match I step on the court. Obviously you want to work your way into tournament. Like I said, it was tougher because I didn't know what to expect against her.
I took some time in the beginning, you know, to see that she was tracking the ball very well. I think I was defending little bit way too much in the beginning.
So, you know, just happy to be through and to still have things to work on.
Q. How was it out there in terms of the weather?
ANA IVANOVIC: Yes, it was very warm today. You know, it's important to stay hydrated and drink a lot of water. I've been here in Australia for a month now, so kind of got used to it.
Q. When is the last time you felt like you hit the ball great for two weeks in a row and you were in complete confidence?
ANA IVANOVIC: Well, obviously, you know, I didn't perform best at the two tournaments back to back since probably French Open. But, you know, I feel it's a new year and I feel I'm in a great physical shape. You know, it's a fresh start for me basically.
I just want to get the experience I took from last year. I'm just enjoy my tennis again and enjoy competing. I think this might be the two weeks (laughter).
Q. Are you waiting for that moment where you're going to wake up in the morning, get on the court, everything is going to be great again?
ANA IVANOVIC: I don't think it comes overnight, to be honest. I put lot of hard work in off‑season. Obviously, you know, worked hard off the court as well.
But, you know, I just need some matches to get in that competition spirit again, obviously get some confidence.
But, you know, I can fall back on things I've done in off‑season. That's something that can get me through my first rounds.
Q. How much tougher do you think this slam is than the other three, being that with those three you're playing already into the year, and here basically everybody is coming in?
ANA IVANOVIC: Yes, this is a very specific one. But I think everyone put lots of hard work in off‑season. As soon as you see player, you know, you can tell if they put hard work in or not.
Yeah, it's just important to work yourself into matches, like I said, because you come here without playing too many matches. So, you know, it's important to realize that and have a good confidence from the work you done in off‑season.
Q. What about the speed of the courts? Are they any faster or slower than last year?
ANA IVANOVIC: No, I think they are pretty much the same. The ball is bouncing very, very high obviously. But, yeah, they're playing the same.
Q. What would satisfy you at this tournament? How could you walk away a happy person, be happy with your game?
ANA IVANOVIC: First of all, I'm happy no matter what happens (smiling). Second of all, you know, I just want to have feeling that, you know, I gave hundred percent.
If that was not good enough today, that I lost, or if it was good enough to win, that's perfect. I just want to be honest to myself that I gave the best chance I can possibly give.
Q. How much does playing well, playing your best, mean to you?
ANA IVANOVIC: Obviously, you know, you want to perform the best you can every match. But it only happens maybe few times a year that you play perfect tennis, and other days you have to work yourself and stay tough and be mentally stronger maybe than other players.
So I don't want to, you know, expect myself to play perfect match, because, like I say, it doesn't happen that often. You just have to sort of get through the tough days.
Q. How do you rate your own chances at the moment? How do you rate your own game or form right now?
ANA IVANOVIC: Like I said, I had very good preparations, so that's something that gives me confidence. There are still some things I want to work on. I just feel I need some more match play, yeah, matches in front of big crowds. That's something that's been missing last couple of months in my game.
But otherwise I feel very confident. Today I wasn't doing so much stepping in as I probably would like to. That's something that I worked on in off‑season. Hopefully, you know, in my next match I can implement that.
Q. So there's room for improvement?
ANA IVANOVIC: Yeah, definitely. Like I said, I don't expect myself to step on the court and play perfect tennis from very first moment. You just want to give yourself the best possible chance and give time to work yourself into the tournament.
Q. Dementieva was saying the other day after she won Sydney that she loves the pressure of coming into a Grand Slam as a contender; she actually wants people to talk about her as a major contender. Do you feel the same way?
ANA IVANOVIC: Yes, I think it's important to have a pressure coming into the Grand Slam, because if you feel pressure it means that you're in a position to do something well. That's what you work for and what you aim.
It definitely gives you confidence.
Q. A question on Fed Cup. Obviously you and Jelena could be a team that could win the Fed Cup. How tough are the Russians to even try to take that title away from?
ANA IVANOVIC: You know, I think we have a very good team. I think we have a very good possibility to win the Fed Cup. There are a lot of good players and good teams out there.
But we have to, again, work our way through to the World Group to even be in a chance to play against them.
Q. The Russians have seemed to have owned it the last four years.
ANA IVANOVIC: Hopefully we can take it away from them (laughter).
Q. You enjoy the fan support. They continue to love you more and more each year.
ANA IVANOVIC: That's a great honor. I really enjoy that. It's great to be back here on a big court, see all the people coming out again and supporting me.
Also, you know, few times when I go out for a dinner they come up. They're like, We watched you last year; we're coming again this year. It's great, yeah.
Q. Four of the leading players of recent years ‑ Kim Clijsters, Justine Henin, Maria Sharapova, and Lindsay Davenport ‑ are not playing in this event. Do you think that improves your chances of winning it?
ANA IVANOVIC: Yeah, they were definitely great players. You know, Maria was really unfortunate not to perform. But I still think there are lots of good players out there this year, a lot of tough opponents.
Jan 19th, 2009, 03:03 AM
Thx for the interview!
Funny, she's saying that she IS confident but looks absolutely insecure the moment she steps on a tennis court...
I wish they would have asked her about her serve. I would really like to know what she herself says, thinks about it!
Jan 20th, 2009, 02:26 AM
how the hell do they not ask whats going on with the toss?
Jan 20th, 2009, 02:43 AM
how the hell do they not ask whats going on with the toss?
She gets asked here:
Jan 20th, 2009, 02:57 AM
her own website ignored this minor detail of the match as well in its article.
i wonder what would happen if she catches so many ball tosses in a match against Jelena Jankovic, i cant imagine she wouldnt say something after 5 or 6 times. Definitely not after 20-25 times.