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18/01/2011 13:31 CEST - AUSTRALIAN OPEN

Ana Ivanovic (18 Gennaio)

Ana Ivanovic

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Q. It looked like you had some problems with easy points, not with the hard ones.
ANA IVANOVIC: Well, I thought it was tough match. I mean, she played extremely well. She didn't give me much.
You know, I really try my best out there today. You know, a few points here and there decided. And I created enough of chances for myself in that second set in particular, but couldn't convert them.
But, yeah, you know, it was just a little bit of footwork lacking towards the end of that third and that was pretty much what decide it.
But I think she played really good match today.

Q. Were you disappointed with any part of your game?
ANA IVANOVIC: Uhm, well, I was really fighting hard. It was tough at moments. I think in the second set at one point I was a little bit too passive. But, you know, what really I think got to me in the end was fitness, you know, just not being able to stay with her in a longer rallies. That was really disappointing.

Q. Why is there a lack of fitness? Lack of match practice more than fitness?
ANA IVANOVIC: No, I mean, I was really unlucky. For the last 10 days I couldn't push hard in practice because of my abdominal strain. I had really Sunday and Monday that I could push a little bit more and the first couple days that I could actually serve. I think that at the end got to me. It's a 10 day strike before the slam.

Q. You're saying your legs weren't there at the end?
ANA IVANOVIC: Yeah, because, you know, energy wise I felt good, but it was just that few little extra steps that were lacking. It makes a big difference because it makes a difference whether you can put something on a ball or not.
And, you know, she stayed tough and she was hitting the ball really fast. I mean, I tried to step up still, but there were a few errors that creeped in. But still, uhm, yeah, I thought it was tough match.

Q. Do you feel you can push your way back up to the top of the rankings?
ANA IVANOVIC: Yeah, definitely. I'm certain about it. This match, this loss is tough. But I had a lot of positive things come out of this match. I really stay positive throughout the whole match. I gave my best. That's all I can ask for.
You know, today she was better. All credit to her. But, uhm, I still have lot of room to improve and lot of things to build on. And I certainly still believe I can get back to top 10, and I believe I can do it in this year.

Q. That last point of the second set, the easy smash into the net, it cost you the set. How do you get that out of your mind?
ANA IVANOVIC: Well, it was not that shot that cost me the set. It was the whole game that I played lousy. My serve didn't really have much on it in that game and I made few easy errors. I was not really thinking much about that smash. I mean, that smash was lack of footwork. It was not that point that cost me the set.

Q. Do you feel kind of mental pressure going back to the top 10?
ANA IVANOVIC: No, actually not. I mean, I think that's why this match today was really good because I really was not nervous and I managed to control it and managed to overcome that, you know, just play for each point and not, yeah, feel negative energy. And that's why I think I can learn a lot and take a lot of positives.

Q. But did you feel mental pressure when you were No. 1 in the world?
ANA IVANOVIC: You do feel pressure. But, you know, now actually this moment I want pressure because pressure actually makes you perform better I think. And also if you know how to deal with it, it can work for you instead of against you.
Also, when you have pressure, it means you're in a position to do something good. Actually in this moment, I didn't think I would be saying, but I do want pressure.

Q. Is your stomach okay now and are you going to be able to do the hard work?
ANA IVANOVIC: Yeah, I'm going to definitely still do the recovery work that I've been doing. You know, I have lots of tournaments coming up, lots of things to look forward to.
But, like I said, I really feel my game is coming together and, you know, lots of positives came out of this match today.

Q. When you came off court, were you thinking, Bad luck, I was in good form, started the year well, got the injury. Had it not happened, maybe I'd be walking out of Australia next week rather than today?
ANA IVANOVIC: Yeah, definitely, and that's what's hard.

Q. You played some wonderful defense. You stood off six match points. How do you feel about that?
ANA IVANOVIC: Yeah, maybe I should have played that kind of tennis when I had chance to go up and not when you are back against the wall.
Like I said, I really tried to hang in there and fight and try to look for opportunities. I didn't have too many of them, but I did have some even in that third set. Just disappointed I couldn't convert them.

Q. She looks better than her ranking, too. Assess her game a little bit.
ANA IVANOVIC: She played a lot better than she did in New York. She was very aggressive today. You know, throughout the match I felt like she was getting in a rhythm more and more and she was hardly making any errors. Her serve was at a really high percentage today.
She's definitely a tough, tough player. I mean, last year when she won Eastbourne, she beat a lot of good girls within the week, so she's definitely a dangerous player.
If she loses next round, I'll be really upset (laughter).

Q. She made you chase a lot of balls. She got a lot of balls back in return. Were there times when you thought you had a winner and you had to hit an extra shot?
ANA IVANOVIC: Yeah, definitely. Also sometimes was very low. I was really surprised that she could get to that ball and still put a lot of margin on it, a lot of power and bite on the ball. That was hard. Made me work for my points much harder.

Q. If you had to pick two players who could win the tournament, who would they be?
ANA IVANOVIC: Probably Kim and Venus.

Q. Venus?
ANA IVANOVIC: I haven't actually seen her play. But she's always a contender. And Sam has been playing some good tennis lately.

Q. Not Justine?
ANA IVANOVIC: Yeah, she's up there in the mix. But I think it's just, you know, players who can step up and be more aggressive when it matters.

Q. What do you think of Caroline Wozniacki?
ANA IVANOVIC: I think she's a great young player. Yeah, I mean, she can, you know, challenge any girl out there. Like I said, it really depends who can handle it the best and who can step up when it's the most important.

Q. Especially in the third set you had a lot of crowd support behind you. How do you feed off that energy in the stadium?
ANA IVANOVIC: That's very helpful. I mean, it was great to see lots of Serbians as well and lots of support, which is always nice. It really got me fired up and fighting in that third set. So I'm really thankful for that.

Q. You served second in the last set. Time after time you had to hold your serve to stay in the match. Is it fair to say 12 months ago the set wouldn't have lasted that long? Do you have more confidence this time this year compared to last year?
ANA IVANOVIC: It was hard, because towards the end of that third set I was lots of time facing 30 Love and 40 Love on my own serve. That's a little bit disappointing. I maybe shouldn't have played first few points of a game that loose.
Then again, I'm managing to save these, you know, breakpoints and match points, it does give you confidence. And then, you know, you're a little bit more relaxed after a tough game. It's hard to step it up again and threaten her service game. So I think that was the big issue.

Q. Are you definitely playing Fed Cup this year or one tie at a time?
ANA IVANOVIC: Yeah, I'm really not sure now about the upcoming one. I still didn't decide.

Q. Because of the abdominal?
ANA IVANOVIC: Yeah, because of that and also schedule. I have to talk also to my coach and see what's the best, yeah, schedule and preparation I can have.


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