Ana featured in Courier Mail

Ana featured in Courier Mail

Ana is today featured in the http://www.news.com.au/couriermail/story/0,23739,20936534-10389,00.html " target="_blank" > Courier Mail, the biggest selling newspaper in Queensland, which is home to her next event, the Mondial Australian Women's Hardcourts on the Gold Coast.

All text copyright of Queensland Newspapers

Queen of the Coast
Paul Malone
December 15, 2006 11:00pm

ANA Ivanovic has caught the eye of tennis fans around the world this year and raised temperatures in Australian tennis by snaring our Fed Cup captain as her coach.

Aussie captain David Taylor says Gold Coast tournament drawcard Ivanovic is the best young player in women's tennis.

Taylor has been coaching Ivanovic, the prospective third seed for the Gold Coast's Australian Women's Hardcourt championships from December 31, for six months and mentored the Serbian teenager to her first WTA Tour tier-one title.

Ivanovic, a 19-year-old who has an Australian connection extending to close Melbourne relatives, improved more than 80 ranking places this year to reach No. 14 and has been touted by Gold Coast tournament director Liz Smylie as a future world No. 1.

"She's the best young player in women's tennis – almost anyone would tell you that about her," Taylor said.

"But that's still a long way from actually doing it. Her tennis levels are way above her physical level at the moment.

"I have huge belief in Ana. The two main areas she's improved on are her fitness – she's got a lot leaner and has more muscle – and the great mental gains she has made.

"Ana spent three months in Australia last year and has relatives in Melbourne. She did well in beating Amelie Mauresmo in Sydney."

Taylor is contracted to retake the reins of Australia's Fed Cup team at its tie in April and Tennis Australia has said it is comfortable with him fulfilling both roles.

Ivanovic had agreed Taylor could work with Australian players when training did not clash with his commitments to her.

But Australian No. 1 Sam Stosur, who is looking to hire a coach to prepare her and travel during an Australian campaign starting at the Gold Coast, said she did not want to take Taylor up on the offer.

"I don't think any of us would take up that opportunity. He's working with someone and that takes up a lot of time – it's his priority," Stosur said.

"I worked with him in the lead-up to Wimbledon (before Taylor was hired by Ivanovic), but hopefully I've got someone and it doesn't come to that."

Ivanovic had wins in 2006 over three top-10 women – Mauresmo, Martina Hingis and Patty Schnyder.

Taylor, who coached Hingis and Alicia Molik when they were top-10 players, said the chance to work with Ivanovic was enticing because she was so talented and Swiss-based, like him.

"The job I started at Tennis Australia ended up being away 120 days and home for four. It's pretty hard to do. Working with her means I can spend more time at home," he said.

Ana is also featured in today's Gazzetta dello Sport magazine supplement in Italy. Pictures from the photoshoot she did will be online shortly