Ana Ivanovic Interview - Cincinnati, Aug 11Posted on August 12, 2010
A. IVANOVIC/Y. Shvedova
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. Congratulations on your second win in a row. How are you feeling with your game right now? You must be feeling pretty good.
ANA IVANOVIC: Yeah, I'm really happy. A little bit tired from all the stop and goes, but it's been a good match today, especially in the first set. I was playing really well, so I was very pleased with that.
She's tough opponent, and I expected a tough match. She did come back strong in the second.
Q. Do you think the weather really impacted the match, where the first set was really easy for you and the second set was a lot closer?
ANA IVANOVIC: Yeah, and I think this was a match probably with three matches in it. But with every delay, with every new start, it was different conditions. First it was really hot; second time around it was really gusty; third time around it cooled off and the balls were not flying as much. It was a whole different aspect of the game.
You have to try and work your way around it. At the end of the day, it's the same for both of us.
Q. Seems like you included the variety you were practicing, even towards the end of the match when players can perhaps get a little tight.
ANA IVANOVIC: Yeah, I just tried to think -- you know, whatever the score is, I just try to think of doing exactly the same as I do it in practice, and do it over and over again until it becomes automatic, and I can do it no matter on the score.
But, still, I think it's important to be aggressive as well in these moments. Yet there is a fine line between being aggressive and rushing. So I really found that balance today, and really happy I could turn around the second set a little bit.
Q. You have a new coach that's been with you, a woman, Serbian. Can tell us about her, what her name is and what you two have been doing together?
ANA IVANOVIC: Yeah, Marija Lojanica, and I know her sense I was 13. She's been our on Fed Cup team as well. We started about month ago. It's great. I mean, you can see a huge progress in my fitness. At least I can feel it.
It's been also a lot fun working out with a girl and just having fun and throwing in a dance or whatever. You know, just actually enjoying it.
Q. From a technical standpoint, what did you do differently in this match? You only played her once before and you lost to her.
ANA IVANOVIC: Did I.
Q. I was wondering what you did differently.
ANA IVANOVIC: Well, actually, I don't -- yeah, I mean, I tried to play my game today. I took a lot of confidence from that first match. Because in that first match, I didn't start as well, but then I finished the match on really strong note. So I tried to take that and continue like that today.
And especially yesterday I had awesome practice, so just tried to keep that in mind, that good practice, and try to swing through the ball and not push and try to make it.
Q. It seems like your pace of has quickened. Do you think so? Is that something you've done consciously?
ANA IVANOVIC: Yeah, that's definitely something I've been working on. But I think it has a lot to do with the footwork because I'm in a better position to strike the ball, and that's what helps me to get earlier in a position to hit the ball. I can put more pace on it because I'm actually behind the ball and I can do a proper strokes , so that's been a big part of my game.
Once that gets better, I think that it's gonna impact my game even more in a positive away.
Q. You made some news by declining a wildcard you were given to Montreal. Can you talk about the whole process, what's going on with that tournament, and how everything worked out? Because I know initially you weren't and then you were.
ANA IVANOVIC: Yeah, it's very tough, you know. When you're not playing well and when you're low, you need friends who can help you, you know, not remind you of your poor form in the press as well. It's been a little bit disappointing the way it's been. You know, I understand they declined it at first, and I made a different schedule and I entered New Haven. They were really kind to give me wildcard there, so obviously my schedule has changed a little bit.
But it is a little bit disappointing. You know, it's pity, because it was my first big win and I love and fans are great there. I'm gonna miss them this year. You know, some people made me feel a little bit unwelcomed, you know.
And especially with what happened in 2008, you know, because it was year of Olympics. Tournament director approached me and asked me if I could, you know, come and play because they are struggling to get players.
I was little bit injured, and I flew from Europe to play the event, because I felt as defending champion, you know, in Montreal. I flew back to Europe and then flew to China. And, you know, after all that and winning there it's been a little bit hurtful.
But then again, it's a decision, and I have to take it. Like I said, you know, I just made a different plan and worked around it and it worked well.
Q. Will you ever play Montreal again? Do you think you're gonna stop playing there?
ANA IVANOVIC: I mean, it's very hard to say now definite. But, you know, I really love the fans there, and I love to play in Montreal. It's been, you know, great weeks I had there. But I do feel little bit unwelcome.
Q. That's what I wanted to ask you. You received a lot of the support actually from your fans for taking a stand. But for the fans that were in Montreal and were looking forward to seeing you, what would you say to them?
ANA IVANOVIC: I just want to thank them from their support, because I always felt from their side very welcome. It was always very warm feeling to come back there. I remember the first year I won there. We played on Monday and they all came out on Monday to watch us play. It was really thrilling moments for me, so I'm gonna miss them a lot.
Actually last time I was there in 2008 a fan gave me a shirt like, I love Montreal, with adidas in it. So I have good memories from it. But, you know, it's gonna be unfortunate that this year I won't be there.
Q. I think in Stanford you were thinking of going, and then now you're not. So what changed? Was it the tournament director's comments perhaps?
ANA IVANOVIC: No, not so much that. I mean, everyone is titled entitled talking, but it was that I really felt like I been -- even though I didn't play as many matches I been working really hard.
So for me, it was either to push through and play Montreal, so it would be like four tournaments in a row that I never really done in the past, or just take a week off and cool off and then go play New Haven and US Open.
They were kind to give me a wildcard in New Haven, because I was not entered. So, yeah, that basically changed my mind. Definitely too much to play five tournaments in a row and then the US Open straight after.
Q. Do you feel pretty welcome here? This is your second appearance here.
ANA IVANOVIC: Yeah, definitely. Today was a little bit tough with the rain delay. But still, it was a lot people out there. In first match I felt so welcome, and actually crowd helped me so much to get through that match.
Today also, you know, walking around, there is a lot young kids, and that's great to see I think. It's really inspiring actually.
Q. You've been recently talking to Dinara Safina, I saw, at the San Diego players' party or something. You've had sort of similar struggles lately. Can you talk about sort of your relationship with her?
ANA IVANOVIC: Yeah, actually, first time we practice together was in in Wimbledon. After that, we practice couple times I think in San Diego and then Stanford as well and here. She's really nice girl. We sort of hung out a little more and talk a little about just stuff in general. We're like, Ah, come on, let's play final again. (Laughing.) So it's good to inspire each other.
Q. So you talk about nontennis stuff?
ANA IVANOVIC: Mostly about nontennis. We did mention it would be nice to play final again.
Q. What did you think about during today's delay, and was it beneficial?
ANA IVANOVIC: Well, depends which one. The first one I was really kind of confident because I was playing well and so on. Kind of conditions were a lot different when I started so it took some adjusting actually, and I didn't start at well as I hoped for.
But then after second delay on 4-All, I was actually a little bit kind of angry with myself. I tried to calm down a little bit and take some time, because I felt like I had chances which I didn't use. So that one's been a little bit hard one.
But then once I walked on the court the third time, even though it was the warmup I really felt kind of confident and positive towards the match.
Q. Will you still play doubles Andrea Petkovic, who, like you, has her fans, too, if not in Montreal, somewhere else?
ANA IVANOVIC: Yeah, we have a lot of fun together. We only played once actually in Stuttgart, and it's been fun. We don't play doubles as much. She's such a nice girl. I think that's what doubles should be about: just enjoying and trying to win still, but having fun and working on volleys and serve and serve and volley.
Yeah, I really hope we get chance to play more in future.
Q. With such a long delay, two delays, did you get something to eat in the interim? How did you go about that process of deciding should you eat, should you not eat?
ANA IVANOVIC: Actually, this one's been a little bit tough because it hasn't been raining that hard, so we never know exactly when we gonna start again. So I was hanging around gym actually all day.
Yeah, my coaches were bringing me some food and a little bit sandwich and some snacks and bananas. So been nibbling all day.
Q. I'll just go back to Montreal one more time. Was it an emotional decision for you?
ANA IVANOVIC: I kind of got over it a little while back. It was hard, but, you know, this time I really felt so welcome here, and also the tournament director in New Haven made such nice comments. I really felt like this was the right decision for me.
Q. During the delay, did you reflect on your game?
ANA IVANOVIC: Yeah, I definitely talked to my coach. It's of a good chance also to speak a little bit. It's tough, you know, because I was playing so well and I had my momentum going, it was a little bit hard to stop and cool off and so on.
But, you know, I tried to speak to my coach and still tried to analyze the game like we do after match.
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