Ana takes defeat in her stride

Ana takes defeat in her stride

Ana was not overly disappointed to exit Wimbledon at the third round stage. It was, after all, only her third grand slam as a senior player and she has dozens more ahead of her.

“She played really well so I have nothing to be disappointed about,” said Ana of her defeat by Mary Pierce. “This is a good result for me. This is my first year that I play grand slams and compete at this level so I’m really happy.”

She did, however, have regret that she did not play better against Pierce. “I was really hoping I could go further but she just played really well and didn’t give me many chances,” she said. “But I’m really looking forward to coming back here next year.”

It is easy to forget that Ana is still just 17-years-old. Expectations have inevitably risen since her quarter-final appearance at the French Open last month but it is important to realise Ana’s youthfulness. Already she has comfortably exceeded her expectations for 2005. “My goal this year was to be top 50,” she said.

“I’ve had some good wins against top players. It’s made me more confident and I’m really happy with the way I’m playing. I’m practicing harder and trying to do better.

“I don’t look at things ranking wise but my goal is to put my game on a higher level, to be more consistent and definitely to serve better. For example, in my match against Stephanie Foretz I served really well but against Pierce not so much. I want to improve physical preparation too.”

Ana has played 11 of the 15 tournaments that the Women’s Tennis Association’s Age Eligibility Rules allow. She confirmed she will play the Tier I event in Toronto then the US Open, which will leave her two more tournaments during the European indoor season.

By Gavin Versi