- On Court
- About Ana
- Club Ana
A short time ago, Ana was interviewed by Jolie magazine in Serbia. The following is a translation of part of the interview:
Talent and years of dedication have led her to the very top of world tennis, and a pretty face and charm have opened the door to big advertising campaigns.
“The fact that so many people support me, no matter if they are in the stands or watching on TV, gives me additional energy and self-confidence, especially during the match, and all those compliments really flatter me. Still, while I’m on the court I am totally focused on my game and I only think of what to do in order to win.”
Throughout the last two years you gained huge experience in Grand Slams. What city do you find luckiest – Paris, New York, London or Melbourne?
I mostly enjoy the Australian Open, because I adore the country and I have some family living in Melbourne. I also love Roland Garros. The win over Amelie Mauresmo in Paris is one of my nicest sporting memories!
You have spent New Year’s Eve in an airplane, because you played on the 1st of January in Australia. Do the best sportsmen have to sacrifice their vacations?
Unfortunately, the majority of us professional athletes can’t properly celebrate the most ceremonious days. But a long time ago I realized that, if I want to be the best, I would have to sacrifice many nice things in life. I mostly love to be with my family during holidays in Belgrade. One great thing I did at the end of last year was when I celebrated my birthday with my friends at a 50 Cent concert in the Belgrade arena. It was an unforgettable night out!
How else do you spend you rare moments of rest?
My free time is cut down to a minimum since I started to play sport professionally, so it means a long year!. In tournaments, during moments of relaxation I read books or watch films. Lately I have enjoyed the works of Dan Brown, Paulo Coelho and Erich von Daniken. I have never been a fan of nightclubs, but I frequently visit restaurants with good food, especially if I am in the distant part in the world and I have the chance to try some specialties of the local cuisine.
After your matches in Tokyo, you went to watch matches of sumo wrestlers…
Yeah, I am thinking about changing occupation! I’m kidding. Tennis players could learn a lot from those big fighters. I’m impressed by their sense of strategy and mental power. Sumo wrestlers are very disciplined and have an unusual way of living. They live and train in the same building and, if they want to go out to the city, they have to wear traditional clothes, which were worn who knows how many centuries ago. It was a wonderful experience, because I met a part of a culture that is so different from ours.
How do you get along with Jelena Jankovic?
I can not say that we are friends, but we know each other well as tennis players. I don’t think we are rivals, as many like to think. All of us try to play our best game in tournaments and fight to win it. Jelena is a great player, a big professional, and neither she nor I have the time for vanity. Don’t trust everything some media are trying to create.
How do you prepare for a match?
I like to be alone at least an hour before going out on court. I listen to music, either R&B or Serbian pop, and from time to time I play Sudoku, because it helps me to relax. About 15 minutes before the match starts, I focus on my game, working out on strategy.
How do you cope with defeats?
I don’t like to lose, but I try to stay in a positive mood and to learn a lesson from every mistake. Naturally, there are some defeats that hurt more than others. Matches are played day after a day. When I am on court, everything is about the competition, but when I am defeated I pack my suitcases and fly away to another tournament.
You have been given another acknowledgment recently – the WTA recently named you as the most giving tennis player…
It is our obligation as sportspeople to promote the joy of the game. I am extremely happy when I am in the situation to help someone. Last year I was working a little bit with children in tennis clubs in Belgrade and at the beginning of the season I did something similar in Sydney, where I took part in a clinic with children who have diabetes.
Please note: this interview was conducted in Serbian and translated, so there may be inaccuracies
Photo: Manuela Davies / doubleXposure.com