An Interview with Ana Ivanovic: An Enigma of Women Tennis
Ana Ivanovic is regarded as the most beautiful women tennis
player in the world today. She is an enigma of women tennis. Ana
Ivanovic is a Serbian tennis player ranked No. 1 in the world in
2008. As of January 13, 2014, she is no. 14 in the Women's Tennis
Association (WTA) rankings for singles. She beat Dinara Safina to
win the 2008 French Open and was the runner-up in singles at the
2007 French Open and the 2008 Australian Open, has also qualified
for the annual WTA Tour Championships twice (in 2007 and 2008) and
has won the year-end WTA Tournament of Champions twice, in 2010 and
2011. Today she is the star of women tennis.
Competing as a professional since 2003, she has won 12 WTA Tour singles titles, including one Grand Slam singles title. As of 2013, Ivanovic has career earnings of over 10.7 million US$. In June 2011, she was named one of the "30 Legends of Women's Tennis: Past, Present and Future" by Time and was also included on the list of Top 100 Greatest Players Ever (male and female combined) by reporter Matthew Cronin. Ana has the most-visited website of any sportswoman (according to www.alexa.com).
She won the tennisreporters.net Sexiest Female Player award for five straight years (2005-2009). In 2010 it was renamed the "Ana Ivanovic Sexiest Female Player" award and she was struck off the ballot list, she finished 11th on FHM's 100 Sexiest Women in the World 2009 list. She was named the best-looking tennis player of all-time by The Age newspaper. In October 2008 she won Die Bild newspaper's reader poll for "most beautiful body" in sport, in December 2008 again, she was named "best looking" female tennis player by The Globe & Mail newspaper and Voted Hottest Female Athlete on the planet by readers of sportsnet.ca in 2009.
Her first breakthrough came at the 2004 Zurich Open, where she qualified and narrowly was beaten by Venus Williams in the second round in two tiebreak sets. By the age of 18 Ivanovic had already defeated established players, such as Svetlana Kuznetsova, Nadia Petrova, Vera Zvonareva, and An Interview with Ana Ivanovic: An Enigma of Women Tennis Mauresmo, the last of whom she defeated in the 2005 French Open on her way to reaching the quarterfinals of her second Grand Slam tournament. She also has defeated many other past and present top players including Maria Sharapova, Venus Williams, Serena Williams, Dinara Safina, Martina Hingis, Jelena Jankovic, Agnieszka Radwanska, Caroline Wozniacki, Petra Kvitova, and Victoria Azarenka. When on form Ivanovic is known for her aggressive style of play and impressive forehand, described by Petrova as, "the best out there."
Ivanovic's next Grand Slam quarterfinal came at the 2012 US Open,
where she lost to eventual champion, Serena Williams. At the 2014
Australian Open, Ivanovic caused an upset by beating Serena Williams
in 3 sets to advance to the quarterfinals.
Ivanovic was born in Belgrade, SFR Yugoslavia on 6th November 1987. Ivanovic's mother Dragana, a lawyer, has been courtside during most of her matches. Her father Miroslav, a self-employed businessman, attended as many events as he possibly could. Ivanovic has a younger brother, Milos, with whom she loved to play basketball.
Ivanovic first picked up a racket at the age of five after watching Monica Seles, a fellow Yugoslav, on television. She started her career after memorizing the telephone number of a local tennis clinic from an advertisement. During the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia, she was forced to train during the morning to avoid bombardments. Later, she admitted that she trained in an abandoned swimming pool in the winter, as no tennis facilities were available.
Ivanovic has won many awards. She has won Sony Ericsson WTA Tour most Improved player (2005), Serbian Sport Association "May Award" (2007), Sony Ericsson WTA Tour most Improved player (2007), Sony Ericsson WTA Tour Karen Krantzcke Sportsmanship Award (2007), Sony Ericsson WTA Tour Diamond ACES Award (2008), Sony Ericsson WTA Tour Humanitarian Award (2009), Nominated for U.S. Secretary of State's 2007 International Women of Courage Award (2007), Michael Westphal Award (2008), Serbian Women's Team of The Year (2012, as part of Serbia Fed Cup team), Best Female Tennis Player In Serbia (2012) and Award Pride of the Nation by Serbia Tennis Federation.
Ana Ivanovic today world leading women tennis player in conversation with Namita Nayyar President Women Fitness
Ms. Namita Nayyar: You have won twelve WTA Tour singles titles, including one Grand Slam i.e the French Open in 2008. You have been ranked No. 1 tennis player in the world also in 2008. What has been your motivation that led you to reach such pinnacle of success?
Ms Ana Ivanovic: I love to compete. I fell in love with the game of tennis at a very young age, and I still love it the same way I did when I was a kid. What motivates me is the opportunity to compete, especially at the big tournaments like the Grand Slams. This motivation comes quite easily, because it's something I really enjoy.
Ms. Namita Nayyar: What exercises comprise your fitness regime or workout routine you shall like to share?
Ms Ana Ivanovic: I've always thought it is important to have a lot of variety in your training, to keep things interesting. Although I am very motivated by my love of competing, of course there are some days when training might be more difficult than usual, but if you're doing plenty of different and new activities it's easier. Lately I've been doing some weights work in the gym, to improve my strength. That hasn't been easy, because weights are not so much fun, but I just focused on the ultimate goal of improving my tennis, and that helped motivate me through.
For club tennis players I would recommend interval training - sprints, either outdoors or on the treadmill. This will quickly improve your aerobic ability, and your stamina in matches.
As tennis players we do a lot of footwork drills, because movement is such a big part of the game these days. One of the simple drills that anyone can do is to put a rope ladder on the floor and practice moving inside and around it, without touching the rope.
Ms. Namita Nayyar: Do you take some special diet or have a strict menu that you follow to remain healthy and physically fit?
Ms Ana Ivanovic: Part of being a professional athlete is managing your body and what you put into it. Considering how much we train, the most important thing is to make sure you are getting enough energy and nutrients from your food, and also supplements, to support your training.
Because we burn so many calories we have some flexibility in what we eat: I do love ice cream! But I have a healthy diet overall and I only eat foods like that occasionally. I have some general rules, for example avoiding fried foods. I also don't eat much red meat. I eat a lot of fish and rice. I don't digest pasta well.
As much as I can, my diet is Gluten-free, but it's not always
possible, especially when travelling to places like Asia and South
America; it's easier to find Gluten-free products in the States and
The constant travel can take its toll on your immune system and it's not always possible to get all the nutrients you need. Since the age of 15 I've been taking the vitamin product Juice PLUS+, which I find does a great job of supporting my immune system and giving me peace of mind, that I'm getting the nutrients I need.
Ms. Namita Nayyar: Advice and motivational words to our inspiring and budding tennis playing girls who all are your fans, what they should do for their climb to ladder of success in the field of tennis?
Ms Ana Ivanovic: The most important thing is that you enjoy it, and not take it too seriously, because really it's about fun. Only a small number of people can play tennis professionally; I knew that when I was a kid and so I took my education very seriously, because it's something you can always fall back on.
But overall, my advice is to enjoy your tennis and to always believe in yourself. If someone thinks you have limits, you can use that as motivation to prove them wrong. You can always improve.
Ms. Namita Nayyar: How did you feel before and after your memorable win of French Open in 2008?
Ms Ana Ivanovic: Actually I came into the tournament in not the very best shape, because I had lost in the first round of the Rome tournament. In Rome, on the morning of my match, I knew that I had a chance to become No.1 that same week, it was my life's goal, and I got a little bit emotional and didn't handle the moment well.
So I arrived in Paris with a bad result in my last tournament, but I knew I was in good form. Everything really fell into place. I quickly established a routine: my coaches and I, we would train off-site at a sports club and not even go to Roland Garros unless it was a match day. We'd go to the same restaurant for dinner most nights. My family was all there. It was just perfect, really, although can you imagine I got robbed at my hotel! They stole my jewelry while I was out practising.
But even that didn't get me down. I was really on a mission, and my team were clever because they didn't tell me that I would become No.1 by winning my semi-final. So there was less pressure on me, and it was an incredible feeling to reach the final and become No.1 at the same time. Of course I cried.
I cried also when the Serbian national anthem was played after I won. Of course I will never forget the whole two weeks, and Paris is my favourite city.
Ms. Namita Nayyar: It is known that you had come back in numerous matches with sheer determination against all odds and won. How you were able to overcome match setbacks and low performance periods in your career and what advice you shall like to give to fellow sports person in a similar situation?
Ms Ana Ivanovic: I think to make it as a professional tennis player you have to be very determined, and willing to work hard. There are many talented players, but not all of them become professionals. It's interesting to look back to my junior days - some of the best players back then are no longer playing professionally. I'm not saying they didn't work hard, but sometimes it's about just how much you want it, and how much you're willing to sacrifice.
I still want to be No.1, to win Grand Slams, and that's what keeps me going. That's what motivates me to go and train.
Regarding comebacks in matches, I think all good players believe they can win until they lose the last point, so you never give up. It doesn't even cross your mind.
Ms. Namita Nayyar: You became UNICEF National Ambassador for Serbia and have special interest in the fields of education and child protection. Kindly tell us your activities in this field of noble interest?
Ms Ana Ivanovic: It's a great honour, to work with an organization such as UNICEF, and to have the opportunity to make a difference to kids. I'm very flattered to have this opportunity to help children, and to try to reduce the amount of abuse and violence we see in schools.
When I first became an ambassador for UNICEF in Serbia I read a
lot about the projects I would be supporting and I was amazed to
learn how much aggression there is in schools. For the past six
years I've been part of an awareness programme, aimed at reducing
violence in schools and we've had a lot of success at achieving
this, but there is still a long, long way to go.
When I visit my hometown of Belgrade I try to take part in an event with kids, sometimes going to their school, to discuss the issues of bullying and violence, and how they can be managed better. I try to promote the programme whenever I can, even outside of Serbia, just by talking about it.
Women Fitness Team thanks Ana Ivanovic for giving her valuable time for this interview and quenching the thirst of her fans to know more about her, we shall also like to thank Gavin Versi from DH Management whose efforts made this interview happen.
To know more about Ana Ivanovic visit her site at: http://www.anaivanovic.com