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Karl deKroo, Herald Sun.
SERBIAN world No. 16 Ana Ivanovic says living in Australia will provide Jelena Dokic with her best chance of returning to the game's elite.
Ivanovic, who rocketed up the rankings from outside the top 100 in 2005, said Dokic had the ability to regain her career-high ranking of No. 4 in 2002.
"I think it is great for her to be back," Ivanovic said.
"She has been happy in Australia before and she has played some of her best tennis here.
"She has been out for some time. I haven't seen her playing, but for sure she is a great player so she has a good chance of making it back."
Ivanovic, 18, has an uncle in Melbourne and has arrived here early to begin her preparations for the Australian Open in January.
Like Dokic, Ivanovic was born in Belgrade.
She said she harboured no resentment over Dokic's decision to again call Australia home.
"She has to do what is best for her," Ivanovic said. "Australia is a great country."
Practising at Melbourne Park yesterday under the watchful eye of coach Zoltan Kuharsky, Ivanovic said she hoped to score her breakthrough grand slam title in 2006.
"I think this is a very important season for me," Ivanovic said.
"I want to really compete for the grand slams.
"I know I will face some very tough matches, but to be the best you need to compete against the best."
Ivanovic secured her first WTA title at the Canberra International in 2005 and a French Open third-round victory against home-town favourite Amelie Mauresmo also counted among her many season highlights.
"It was a great year for me," she said. "I feel much more comfortable against the top players."
Ivanovic won't defend her Canberra title this year – the tournament where Dokic is scheduled to make her much-anticipated return to the WTA Tour.
She will instead focus on Hopman Cup duties with Serbia and Montenegro in Perth and the Sydney International.
Ivanovic said training in Melbourne would provide her with the perfect preparation.
"I really like Australia so I thought it was a great opportunity to come a little earlier," Ivanovic said.
"The people are so nice, I feel very welcome and the weather is so much better than at home."