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Ana will face five-time Grand Slam champion Venus Williams in the first round of the FORTIS Championships, which begins on Monday. Ana is seeded sixth for what is the opening tournament of the European indoor season.
Ana has played the American once before, a memorable second round clash in Zurich two years ago, which Williams won in two tiebreak sets. Williams has not played since Wimbledon and missed last month’s US Open with a left wrist injury.
Sven: Hallo Ana, I'm a big fan of you ever since I saw you first play. What I was wondering is, how doubles partners "find" each other. I mean, if you see somebody you want to play doubles with, do you simply ask the player, or do you ask your management to ask her management? And how do you actually register in a tournament? Do both players call a phone number? Thanks a lot, Sven
Pros and pundit’s talk about Ana’s groundstrokes, in particular her mighty forehand
Chris Bradnam, Eurosport commentator
“I personally think that Ana’s forehand comes alive when she’s moving around the ball. When the ball’s coming down the middle of the court and she has to move to her left to play the shot, she’s different class. She’s taking the ball on the rise and it’s just devastating.
We asked Ana to explain how she hits a forehand and to give a few tips to those looking to emulate it
“I use a semi-Western grip. It can be easily found by picking up a racket lying face down on ground. A ‘V’ should be formed by the thumb and forefinger to the right of the centre of the grip, as you look along the shaft. It is a grip that allows me to play a variety of forehands and easily combines with a shorter backswing for returns. It also allows me to change quickly to a continental grip (the serve and volleying grip) when moving to net.
Ana remains at No.15 in the latest Sony Ericsson WTA Tour singles rankings, which are published today. There are no positional changes anywhere in the top 20.
Despite losing in the first round of last week’s Wismilak International, the gap between Ana and Francesca Schiavone, who is ranked 14th, has closed to seven points because the Italian did not defend the points she earned by reaching the Bali final 12 months ago.
Ana’s doubles ranking slips one place to No.53, while she is unchanged at No.13 in the Porsche Race.
chris: You have often said that Melbourne is your favourite city, and you have relatives there. What do you like about Melbourne? Do you do much sightseeing there?
Ana: I’ve probably done more sightseeing in Melbourne than at other tournaments, because I trained there last December, so I had some free time. Also my uncle lives in Mentone, so I have been there quite a lot. One of the best things about Melbourne is the people. I really like Australians: they seem laid-back and friendly. I’m very happy that both my coach and physical trainer are Australians.
Eduardo von Hafe: As a young boy, I practiced and played tennis to become professional but in our country (Portugal) tennis was not an option at the time, so when I was 16 I chose to study and graduate. Do you think its possible for a boy/girl to study and try a career in tennis nowadays? Best regards, wish you success, Eduardo
Lena: Hey Ana! What was your first thought after you scored the matchball in Montreal? It was definitely a great tournament and I think a foretaste of what is to come. Does it help you to read the fan´s comments? Does it gives you confidence, or what do you feel? You´re an amazing tennis player! All the best!
kevin: Hi Ana! First of all, I want to tell you that you're the kindest girl on the WTA tour and I really appreciate the fact that you're so close of your fans. I want to ask you what do you do during the travels in airplane especially if they are long and I wanna know if it's difficult with the jet lag especially the day after for the training? Thanks for the answers, take care!! Kevin
Ana lost 6-3, 4-6, 6-2 to Russia's Olga Poutchkova in round one of the Wismilak International.
It was an error-strewn performance from Ana, who never looked comfortable during the three-set loss.
“I’m very disappointed with my game today,” said Ana. “I made way too many unforced errors. And my serve, a couple of games it was working and then not so much. I’m disappointed with that. I still had my chances but everything I went for was a mis-hit or a mistake.”
Ana's next scheduled tournament is the FORTIS Championships Luxembourg, which begins on 25 September.