French Open Interview with Ana Ivanovic May 27th
A. IVANOVIC/T. Tanasugarn 6?1, 6?2
Q. Was that [match] a little bit easier than you expected?
ANA IVANOVIC: Well, it wasn’t an easy match. I mean, still, we had lots of close games. I think conditions today were a lot tougher than the first day.
It was much slower. It took some time for me to adjust, but I was in the moment and trying to play each point. But, you know, definitely there were some easier points than maybe I anticipated, but it’s always a bonus.
Q. You were up 40?Love in the second set in the third game and lost your serve, but you came back and broke. Can you just talk about that in terms of the match and getting your momentum back and keeping it going?
ANA IVANOVIC: Yeah, it was important moment, because I started second set really well. I was 2?Love up, and in that third game she was serving, and I think she won the game pretty comfortably. But I think in every point I had chances, and we tried to take and was a little bit too laid back and not as intense in those points.
So I was a little bit disappointed about that, and, then, you know, after I lost that game on 2?1, I really tried to forget about it and to stay in moment and play some good tennis after that, and my intensity came back up, which I was happy about.
Q. You seemed to be moving in more in the second set and you were taking more balls out of the air, swinging volleys. Is that the kind of aggressive play you need to do to really make an impact at this tournament?
ANA IVANOVIC: Yes, I think so. That’s something I’ve been working on the past few weeks. I feel more comfortable coming forward, and today I used my opportunities and hit quite a few smashes,which was good.
You just have to try to take time away from opponent, especially on clay. If you don’t come in, they can recover pretty fast, because it’s much slower, especially with the heavier conditions like it was today.
So I was very pleased I took some balls out of the air.
Q. Overall,how would you assess that match just in terms of the last few weeks? I mean…
ANA IVANOVIC: Yeah, like I was saying before, I just want to sort of get my way through the rounds and just feel more comfortable match after match.
Today I think I served some aces, which gave me some confidence in my serve, and that’s something I’ve been working on. And I think my serve is becoming more aggressive again, which I’m very happy about, just to work on some heavy, heavy balls today and coming forward and, you know, just trying to apply, you know, from practice session on to the match session. Today was a good match for me to try something solid and come forward.
Q. Do you feel a little bit under the radar even though you’re the defending champion here?
ANA IVANOVIC: No, you know, I just try not to think about it at all. I just try to do the things I always been doing and in the past has helped me achieve the things I did and just be in the moment.
I feel at ease and Ifeel good about my game and the physical state, as well. You know, whatever happens, I’m very happy and content about the moment I’m playing and about my mental state, swell.
Q. Deep down do you really feel like you can win this tournament?
ANA IVANOVIC: I do, and I worked very hard for it, and I know I have a game. And I really enjoy playing on clay and enjoy playing here in Paris.
You know, I just want to still focus on each match individually and work hard. You know, some days you don’t feel great, but you still have to sort of work through it. That’s what I did a little bit today and just, you know, try to enjoy it still.
Q. Benesova, I know you played her in the past but not in about three years.
ANA IVANOVIC: Yeah, I think the last time I played her might be even here in Paris.
Q. No, it was on grass.
ANA IVANOVIC: It was on grass?
Q. Yeah. It was 2006.
ANA IVANOVIC: Okay. Well, we had quite a few matches. I think in that ?? around that time we played quite a few times against each other. She’s plays a different kind of game.
I still have to do my game. I know she moves really well. Again, it will be important for me to step up.
Today I was a little bit more behind the baseline, which I was not too happy about at some points, so I have to step up and change and come more forward.
Q. What has Craig brought to you, and what is it like to have a full?time coach? Because you sort of had a part?time arrangement for a long time.
ANA IVANOVIC: Yeah, it’s great to have someone full?time. At the moment it works really well for me.
Craig understands my game, you know, and what I want to achieve, as well, and he has lots of experience. We’ve been working on certain areas and certain aspects in my game, you know, coming forward and playing some ?? you know, feeling more comfortable.
I’m just trying to apply that, but it’s great to have someone who can take care about practices so I don’t have to even think about it. I can just relax and switch off.
Q. What about this Serbian event you’re about to go to?
ANA IVANOVIC: Yeah, tonight? It’s great. I was really nervous, actually, seeing our president in the box today.
But it’s a great honor for me. I’m really looking forward to it. I think, you know, we, as athletes,many new doors open up for us. This is one of them. I feel very honored and blessed to have this opportunity.
Interview from RG
Photo Getty Images