sport.ch interview

sport.ch interview

Ana recently gave an interview to leading Swiss sports website sport.ch.

The following is an extract from the interview transcript:
You’re good friends with Novak Djokovic. How did you get to know him and do you spend a lot of time together? 
It’s such a funny story – we first met when we were four years old! We were on holiday with our families, skiing in the Serbian mountains. We kind of grew up together in tennis – we would see each other at junior tournaments in Serbia and then around the world.
 
This year we’ve spent quite a lot of time together, because we played Hopman Cup together in Perth, and our teams are friends with each other so we’d go out some evenings. I stayed on in Australia to train and watched some of his matches in Melbourne, and he came to watch one of mine in Indian Wells.
 
We’re good friends. He’s obviously a very funny person and we get on great.

You were the world number one about three years ago. Today, people keep measuring your performance against your achievements back then. Is it therefore more of a burden that you were the world number one once?
Ana: Yes, a little bit, to be honest. But I do it too sometimes – it’s normal. The hardest thing is the pressure I put on myself to get back to the top. I definitely play my best tennis when I am relaxed, so I try not to think too much about rankings and even winning tournaments. Taking it “match by match” is a cliché but it’s true that that is the best way to approach your tennis.
 
You are very popular not only as a tennis player but also get a lot of presence in advertising. How difficult is it to find the right balance between professional tennis and off-court-activities?
Ana: Thanks. To be honest, it’s not very difficult. Sponsors are very understanding of my playing and training schedule, so it’s not like I have to cancel practice in order to do a photo shoot or anything like that. My management team are very well organized and make things easy for me, so that I can concentrate on tennis and not worry about having enough time to do everything. So I think I have good balance in this area. I only do photo shoots occasionally, and because of that they are fun and interesting.