- On Court
- About Ana
- Club Ana
Ana this week gave an interview to the Sunshine Coast Daily in Queensland. The interview, headlined "Aussie Ana' sweats on Coast", focuses on the 24-year-old's off-season preparations.
The following is a reproduction of the story, written by Greg Dawkins:
FOR most people, Christmas holidays spent on the Sunshine Coast would be the ideal getaway.
But for Serbian glamour Ana Ivanovic it has been the location for her to lay the groundwork for the 2012 season, which she hopes will return her to the top of women's tennis.
"I came to Queensland for some intense physical preparation," the world No. 22 said yesterday.
"Just like I did two years ago, I did a lot of running through Noosa National Park, swimming and many other outdoor activities.
"I can't think of a more beautiful place to train and it definitely helps keep you motivated."
Ivanovic begins her Australian summer assault at the Brisbane International, which starts tomorrow, followed by the Sydney International (January 8-13) and Australian Open (January 16-29).
The newly upgraded Brisbane tournament has attracted its best women's field, including 13-time major champion Serena Williams, reigning Australian Open champion Kim Clijsters and Australian No.1 and US Open champion Samantha Stosur.
"I definitely hope that training in Queensland can give me an advantage, because I am obviously very used to the conditions here," Ivanovic said.
"It's going to be an exciting start to the season. So many great players at this tournament, and we all want to start the year well.
"I'm sure it's going to be tough competition.
"I think when you go into the first tournament of the season, every player is extra excited to be back on court and everyone is very sharp."
Despite hovering around the top 20 for the past three seasons, Ivanovic has struggled emotionally and physically since her break out year in 2008, when she won the French Open and claimed the world No.1 ranking.
This year almost went by without a title, until she celebrated her 24th birthday in November with a successful defence of her WTA Tournament of Champions title in Bali - her 11TH tournament win.
"It was a great end to the season and it was a big boost for me," Ivanovic said.
"I really didn't want to go the whole season without winning a tournament, so better late than never."
Off the court, Ivanovic has made some major changes to her entourage this year.
Back in her corner is Australian golf star and boyfriend Adam Scott and she has enlisted British coach Nigel Sears as her mentor.
"I came to Australia straight from Bali, actually, and spent time with Adam at tournaments in Sydney and Melbourne," Ivanovic said.
"Nigel arrived about a month ago and I moved my focus from physical preparation to tennis.
"Nigel comes to the court with many clear ideas and we have a very similar opinion about how I should play.
"I think it has gone very well and I'm playing some very good tennis in practice."
Ivanovic has also split with Australian strength-and-conditioning trainer Scott Byrnes.
"I think I've got very good structure this year," she said.
"Although Scott and I stopped working together (this month), we had already completed the main fitness block and we were moving on to tennis."
Affectionately known as "Aussie Ana", Ivanovic feels at home in this country and wants nothing more than to improve on her past performances - runner-up at the 2008 Australian Open and semi-finalist at the 2010 Brisbane International.
"Oh, I love it here," she said.
"I definitely feel at home here. The 'Aussie Ana' thing is funny and good fun.
"I feel most pressure from myself because the Australian Open is probably the tournament I want to win the most."