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 England.
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.
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