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Ana Ivanovic Interview
Posted on June 10, 2007
Day 14 - An interview with Ana Ivanovic - Saturday, June 9, 2007
Q. You started strongly first game, game and a half, and then it seemed to slide downhill. There wasn't much you could do about it, it appeared?
ANA IVANOVIC: Yes, in the beginning of the match, I felt okay. I was trying to put the nerves aside, emotions aside. But then, in the first service game, it's, all of a sudden, from one point to another. It just -- it just hit me, I guess. And I had so much trouble with my ball toss, first serve. It was going everywhere. It was very hard to control it.
And obviously, then I was trying just to put my first serve in. And she's a great player, so she could use the opportunities she had. And I think that was -- that was the big difference today.
Q. How did you feel last night, were you all jacked-up and nervous or were you calm about it?
ANA IVANOVIC: I was actually surprised that I got quite a good night of sleep. I was -- yeah, yesterday from time to time I was little bit excited, but I managed to control it quite well. And also this morning in the beginning, as I said, I felt okay.
But then, at some point I just realized what was happening, and that slowed me down a little bit. And then the nerves came into my serve, especially. And, yeah, because against her, you have to play some good tennis to win.
Q. I want to go back on that very first question. We saw the great Ana Ivanovic during the first game with great ground strokes. On your first serve, leading 40-Love, you couldn't finish it up. Did you think that was already a turnaround in your mind, or you weren't there yet?
ANA IVANOVIC: No, I think that was just she broke me back, and I thought I was okay. Just that, on 40-15, in that game, I, all of a sudden, started feeling nervous, and my ball toss was going everywhere. So I couldn't really control it. So I start to think more about that instead of my game. And also, I was too much focused on the serve, trying to toss the ball right, so I didn't totally think about moving well or where should I play. And then she could use that well, she stepped up a little bit.
And even when I had some chances to come back, and I played a few good points, she was there. She didn't give me much -- much of a window, and it was tough.
Q. What do you think the difference was between yourself and Justine today?
ANA IVANOVIC: I would say experience. She's been there before, and she won Grand Slams many times before. So she knew how to deal with the nerves. And for me, that was the first time. And obviously, I wanted to perform well. And I -- I felt really good through the whole tournament, so I wanted to show my best again today. And I was little bit overexcited, and maybe even trying to do too much.
But I guess I can use this as experience. And next time I'll be in that situation, I will probably know how to deal with it better.
Q. Would you have preferred a final with Jelena with the same results?
ANA IVANOVIC: Well, it would be amazing if we could have had a Serbian final. But I guess we would both be very nervous and it would be maybe a little bit different match. Because I know her better, and it would be her first final as well. So, maybe it will be easier for both of us.
But, anyway, this was a great experience, and I can actually learn from Justine, because she's such a great champion. And I'm sure she was nervous as well, but she just dealt with that better than I did today. And I can learn from her.
Q. When things were going wrong, what was your feeling when you're on the court in front of all 15,000 people. Did you feel uncomfortable or what?
ANA IVANOVIC: Well, definitely, it's frustrating. Because I know I can perform better, and I know I can play even better shots, and it was not coming. And my serve was not really working. So it was frustrating for me to see that happening. Because I was expecting a good match, and tough match, and I was really hoping it could be much closer.
But again, as I said, it was the first time I was in that situation, and it was many emotions. So, yeah, I guess I can just learn from this, and maybe I can watch a match again, and see what I did wrong.
Q. Justine is not very tall; she doesn't seem very strong. But what is the impression when you are in front of her in such an important match?
ANA IVANOVIC: Well, she's mentally very tough opponent, also, physically, she moves great. So it's very hard to hit winners against her. And you have to hit many shots. She forced you to win points few times, and until you actually finished the points. I was expecting that today. And she had time to turn very powerful shots as well. But I mean, just if my serve would have worked, and I think it could be a much different match.
Q. If you could go back and do anything again in preparation for the final, maybe not get a good night's sleep or work on your serve, what would you do?
ANA IVANOVIC: Well, I still think I did everything I could. Just -- I had a really good practice yesterday, and good preparation today, and I was really feeling comfortable coming into a final. But I just, I guess, just, once I was on the court and I was in the situation, I was thinking more about the occasion than about my game. And that's what I was afraid of for today's match.
But looking back, it just, basically, nothing you can really control. You can just try to learn. And now I know the feeling. So next time, probably, when that feeling comes, I will know how to deal with it better. And I can just learn from this. And looking back, I can't regret anything I did.
Q. This tournament is a tremendous triumph still for you and for Serbia?
ANA IVANOVIC: Yes, for sure, it is. And I had an amazing two weeks here, and I played some really good tennis. I beat a few top players, so that gave me a lot of confidence. And this is whole new situation I had to deal with. And I'm really proud of myself what I achieved these two weeks. And I'm very excited for upcoming tournaments and for other chances I'm going to get.
Q. Could it have been a different match if you had had a 2-Love lead? And can we say that today you had to deal more with yourself and your mental preparation than with Justine?
ANA IVANOVIC: Yes, I think that's for sure. If I could control my emotions better, it would be much different match. And as I said, emotions, nerves were a lot reflecting on my serve. So if that wouldn't be there, I think it would be much different match.
As I said, I can just learn from this, and I can also learn watching her performing in a finals. So, it's a great experience, anyway. So next time I'm in this situation, I can maybe deal with it better, differently.
Q. After yesterday's tough loss to Rafael Nadal, Novak said that his ambitions for his career were eventually to challenge Roger Federer, to challenge Nadal, to become world No. 1. After today's loss, looking back on your tournament, what can you say about your future ambitions, one month, August, next year?
ANA IVANOVIC: Well, for sure, I have ambitions to win Grand Slams and reach a position of No. 1. But I think this was a great experience for me. And in order to reach that, I have to go through this situations and through lot of tough matches, and also dealing with the nerves and the pressure.
But I can learn also from past month I had. And I can just take positives. And I feel I'm on the right way. And there is -- there is many good players out there at the moment, and they all want to achieve those goals. So it's just who is better at that point.
And Justine, she's a great player, and she plays very well here. So it was tough match for me. But I'm sure if I keep doing what I'm doing, I can have another opportunity to reach that. And hopefully next time I can use them.
Q. Do you have still contact with your previous coach Zoltan, did he congratulate you for the two weeks here or not?
ANA IVANOVIC: Yes, I saw him here first week, and, yes, he always sends me text of congratulations, and we have good relations, still.
Q. Did you miss Sven today or yesterday for preparing this match, or not?
ANA IVANOVIC: I would think so, yes. I would say yes, because maybe it would be a little bit different if he could give me some tactics or some headlines. But still, I mean, I can learn from this. And on the end of the day, we are alone on the court and we have to find a way to win on our own. And I couldn't find that today. But hopefully, next time it will be better.
Q. The year is still 50-50. Your powerful game shoots grass, shoots also the court, too, on the US Open. Do you think we'll see you again next year in a big final?
ANA IVANOVIC: Well, that's my goal. And I think my game can be really good on grass. And especially now, I try to come more often to the net. So hopefully, that will be very good for Wimbledon.
But I think, obviously, this result here and in Berlin is going to help me a lot with my confidence, and also getting into big tournaments again. But I just want to take it match by match, and try to enjoy too much separately. And yeah, no matter who against you play, it's another step forward if you win. And sometimes also you can learn more from losses than wins, so it's just important to take it step by step.
Q. Is it the first time in your career that you could feel your nerves like this?
ANA IVANOVIC: Yes, probably. There was maybe another time when, first time I played a big tournament Tier I in Zurich, and I played last round of quallies to get into a main draw, I was a little bit nervous. But not half as I was today. But I think that's something I reach for first time in my life. And it's amazing, so I -- I'm not too surprised that I had that nerves.
Q. But during the match, were you angry about your serves to realize that you couldn't control your nerves?
ANA IVANOVIC: Yeah, I was a little bit -- little bit angry with myself, because I knew I could perform better. And I knew I should have taken maybe a little bit more time. But still, I was maybe even rushing too much. So that's -- that was really frustrating to realize that after the match.
But, it was another match, and against a great opponent, so, yeah, next time, it will be, maybe different.
Q. What do you think about Justine Henin reading the notes of Carlos Rodriguez during the game, and have you seen it?
ANA IVANOVIC: No, I haven't seen. But I guess we all have to find our ways to perform the best we can. And if that helps her, that's good for her, and that maybe helps her to relax or to be focused on what she has to do.
And for me, looking for myself, I prefer to talk more about it before the match, and then have a picture going on the court. But if it works well for her, then, it's good.
Q. At the very beginning, you had such a wonderful start, and then there were problems. When you started to get nervous, what did you say to yourself? What were your thoughts?
ANA IVANOVIC: I was just trying to relax, to move little bit better. Because once you start to get nervous, you get tense, and you can't really move. And just every mistake, you take too emotional. So I was just trying to relax, to breathe deep. And maybe I should have taken even more time between points.
But, yeah, just, it was very -- I was very excited. So even if I would try to relax and then look back on the court, it was like, Come on, now this point. So the emotions would be back, and not really gone away.
Q. She has won every slam, but not Wimbledon. How do you like Justine's chances on grass?
ANA IVANOVIC: Well, I think she's -- she's obviously, a great player on the clay, and she can play well also on the hard. But I think she can perform well in Wimbledon as well. It's just a little bit different game, but with her slice and her volleys, I think she can reach far there.