Earlier this month Ana gave an interview to the newly redesigned WTA website, about her off-season training:
Hopefully you managed to take some time off and relax once the season ended. Where did you go for your holiday this year?
I was planning on going to New York with my brother Milos, Sorana Cirstea and a family friend of ours. Obviously the weather was catastrophic, so we cancelled that plan. Instead Sorana and I visited Milos in London for a few days. I also spent a lot of time visiting my parents’ in Belgrade. And prior to the Fed Cup Final I visited Milan.
Why is pre-season training so important for a tennis player?
Simply, it has the potential to set you up for the year ahead. When I look back at the most successful years of my career, they always followed a good preparation period. On the other hand, I’ve struggled a little bit when my off-season wasn’t so good.
What types of training have you been doing off the court? Anything new compared with previous years?
I have been working with a new fitness trainer, so his methods are a little bit different to those I’ve worked with in the past, and that’s a good thing because it makes things more interesting.
Tennis-wise, Nigel is such a knowledgeable coach and is all the time thinking of ways to improve my tennis, and to iron out the creases. Although we’ve worked a lot on my serve, it’s mainly small things that we’ve been looking at, rather than anything major. I feel like my tennis is there and I need to be more consistent and believe in myself more, and I can have a great year.
Are you working with the same coaching/fitness team next season or any changes?
I’ve been working with Nigel Sears for a year-and-half now. I started working with my fitness trainer earlier this year, but this was our first off-season together. I also have a new physio, who will come with me to Australia. I think it’s important to have someone who knows your body well, to travel to the major tournaments.
Joe Sirianni is a great hitting partner and he’s been working with us in Dubai. He will also come to Australia and hit with me in Perth and Melbourne.
The first Grand Slam of the year isn’t far away – do you have any special memories of Melbourne? Or is there anything you particularly look forward to about that time of year and the Australian Open?
For sure – it’s my favourite tournament really, along with the French Open. It’s always been a very special tournament for me, and a special place, because I have family in Melbourne. Now that I’m older my parents travel with me a little less, but they still come to Australia – they know the good tournaments! So I will have a lot of family around this year and I love that. We always have a traditional Serbian barbecue at my uncle’s house after the tournament.
I can’t think of a better place to be than Australia in January. It’s a beautiful part of the world, the people are wonderful, they’re on holiday and they love sport. It doesn’t get much better.