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
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
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 Amťlie 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 KvitovŠ, 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
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, Miloö, with whom she loved to
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: 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 itís something
I really enjoy.
Ms. Namita: What exercises comprise your fitness regime or workout routine you
shall like to share?
Ms Ana Ivanovic: Iíve 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 youíre doing plenty of different and new activities
itís easier. Lately Iíve been doing some weights work in the gym, to improve my
strength. That hasnít 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
For club tennis players I would recommend interval training Ė 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: 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 donít eat much red meat. I eat a lot of fish and rice. I donít digest pasta
As much as I can, my diet is Gluten-free, but itís not always possible,
especially when travelling to places like Asia and South America; itís easier to
find Gluten-free products in the States and England.
The constant travel can take its toll on your immune system and itís not always
possible to get all the nutrients you need. Since the age of 15 Iíve 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 Iím getting the nutrients I
Ms. Namita: 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 itís 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 itís 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: How did you feel before and after your memorable win of French Open
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 lifeís goal, and I got a little bit emotional and didnít handle the
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. Weíd 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 didnít get me down. I was really on a mission, and my team were
clever because they didnít 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: 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. Itís interesting to look back to my
junior days Ė some of the best players back then are no longer playing
professionally. Iím not saying they didnít work hard, but sometimes itís about
just how much you want it, and how much youíre willing to sacrifice.
I still want to be No.1, to win Grand Slams, and thatís what keeps me going.
Thatís 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 doesnít even cross your
Ms. Namita: 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: Itís a great honour, to work with an organization such as
UNICEF, and to have the opportunity to make a difference to kids. Iím 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 Iíve been part of an awareness
programme, aimed at reducing violence in schools and weíve 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
To know more about Ana Ivanovic visit her site at:
Dated 31 January 2014
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