PACIFIC LIFE OPEN
March 20, 2008
INDIAN WELLS, CALIFORNIA
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. Talk about that match a little.
ANA IVANOVIC: Yeah, I started really well. I thought I
played some best tennis since my matches here, so I was
really happy about that.
In the second set I had a break up and little bit lost
concentration in that game, and start to get a little bit
more, you know, emotional and trying to go for too much and
lost my rhythm a little bit.
But I was just happy that at the end of the second set I
managed to keep calm and play good.
Q. When you get up in the morning and you know you have
to play Vera, good veteran player but someone you're better
than, and then you see you have to play Jankovic or
Davenport, can you really avoid thinking about that?
ANA IVANOVIC: Yeah. I really try to take it match by match.
I haven't looked at the draw at all, so I didn't know each
match. After I played I was like with my coaches talking,
and then they ask who I play now, because I don't want to
look too far ahead. Obviously Vera is a tough opponent, we
had tough matches in the past.
She beat me few times quite easy, so obviously I knew I had
to be active and sharp from the first moment on to put
pressure on her. Because I think, you know, she's kind of
player who can play really well.
But if you get her little bit out of her zone she can make
some mistakes, so that was my goal today, and that's what I
tried to keep doing.
Q. Was it your best match of the tournament so far?
ANA IVANOVIC: Yeah, I think so, and also the third set
against Francesca was some great tennis, too.
Q. To look at a match like this, do you sometimes make
things a little bit hard for yourself? Looks like you were
starting to take charge in the second set.
ANA IVANOVIC: Obviously I was not happy with myself. I
couldn't keep that break early in that second set, and give
her hope that she can come back. Obviously it's always
different against these players, especially so far in the
Just learning experience, and then you have to deal with
these things during the matches and there will be many
matches. I'll be in the same situation so this was, yeah,
Q. You came into this tournaments as the top seed. Do you
feel like you're the favorite? You look around, and Mrs.
Maria is in the draw, and other people. Do you actually feel
like you're the favorite going into these tournaments, or do
you still feel like your ranking is up there, but really
you're not at the top top level of the game?
ANA IVANOVIC: Well, coming into this tournament obviously I
felt a little more pressure being top seed, but I just try
to not think about it. I know I have a game to beat anyone
if I play well and if I do what I supposed to do out there.
All these players that are in the draw, I beat them before,
so obviously that gives me lots of confidence.
But it's just different, different kind of pressure,
different experience. But I'm just happy I manage to fight
through my matches, and it wasn't easy against Francesca.
She was playing some great tennis, but I managed to go in
there and win that match. These kind of matches give you
And today the way I started, you know, I showed that, and I
was ready to compete for it and win a match.
Q. What did you call the trainer for?
ANA IVANOVIC: Just a breathing problem. It was -- just the
first day was quite hot and first match, so, yeah.
Q. You won the first four games in 10 minutes. Did it
occur to you you might be out of there in like 25 minutes?
ANA IVANOVIC: I try not to think about that, because
obviously I felt the ball great. You know, I was in a zone
and I didn't miss, I think. Obviously I knew that I probably
couldn't keep up during that whole match, and she would
raise her level and try to do something different.
I just tried, even if I made the mistake not to get upset
with myself, because that's part of the game. I think I did
that really well, so I was really proud of myself.
Q. How long did it take you to realize that you could win
matches not playing well?
ANA IVANOVIC: It took me a long time, actually. (laughter.)
But probably, you know, beginning of the year when I had
off-season and Sven was there preparing with me, helping me
out a lot, and we obviously spoke a lot and I learn new
He just made me realize some things, and one of his things
was that. I think it's such important thing, because I used
to put too much emotions and wanted, you know, to start in
fifth gear from first match on. I wanted to play perfect
But you just realize it's maybe not necessary and you can
save this energy that can maybe help you later in
tournament. That's something that I am now very comfortable
with, and obviously you can get very tough matches from the
first moment on. But it's important to fight through and to
realize what strengths and weaknesses you have and use it.
Q. So what gear were you in today?
ANA IVANOVIC: I started really, really high, and in probably
fifth gear. But then it's also different kind of pressure,
because if you started in the fifth gear you only can go
down a little bit. So my goal was not to go too down, just
to keep the level up.
And obviously there were a few games in that second set when
I lost my concentration for a bit, but I caught myself in
time and managed to finish the match.
Q. When I look at your team I see obviously Sven is very
involved in the tennis. What do you think goes on with your
mom watching match after match? She's pretty shy. How do you
think that is for her?
ANA IVANOVIC: I think emotionally it's very tough. Just
watching matches, you know, she can't do anything about it.
It's me on the court. I'm in control and she can only be
there and support me. But I like that she doesn't show too
many emotions while I'm playing, you know, because if I'm
nervous or I'm playing good, she's there always to support
me, but she never goes, Oh, I can't -- why did you miss?
That's something I really enjoy, and even if I don't play
good she's there to support me, and I think that's the
Q. Do you ever talk about the tennis with her?
ANA IVANOVIC: Not much, no. Obviously she says, Well done,
Good fight, or Great match. Why were you nervous or
something like that. But we never discuss anything about the
Q. Back even when you were a kid she was pretty quiet?
ANA IVANOVIC: Yeah, actually when I was a kid my mom didn't
travel so much. If I played tournaments within Serbia my dad
usually went with me, and he liked to talk to me about the
tennis. I spoke to him a lot, and he helped because he was
sportsman himself, so he knew little bit about how the mind
works when you're on the court and when you have to handle
pressure, different concentration. So with him I talk more
about tennis than with my mom.
Q. Have you seen a video of the final of the Australian
Open? And if you have, what do you think about it?
ANA IVANOVIC: No, no, I haven't. I haven't seen it yet.
Q. I was talking to some ball kids yesterday and asking
who the nice players are and the bad players are (laughter.)
You're one of the nice players by far.
ANA IVANOVIC: Thank you.
Q. So do you think about the ball kids when you're
playing and not being too nasty to them?
ANA IVANOVIC: Well, I saw in some matches players can be
really nasty to the ball kids and the towel or balls and get
upset. But, you know, at the end of the day they are just
kids and nervous too. Everybody's watching them, and maybe
saying, Please don't drop the balls.
You know, you have to realize that, so I really try to be
nice to them and not get upset.
Q. When you came into Sydney early in December and
started training over there, do you feel that a lot of that
work is paying dividends now, or is it going to be a little
further down the road this year?
ANA IVANOVIC: It's paying off now, definitely. And also in
Melbourne during Australian Open the work has paid off.
Obviously that's what you want to see when you put so much
effort worked really hard. You want to see the results.
And then I tried to make good play, but also in between
tournaments I have time to rest, recover, and then start
playing again. You have the basic preparation at the end of
the year, but you kind of have to top it off during the
year. It's important to have these -- I had one before Doha,
and so that's something that was good for me, obviously.
And, yeah, I feel now the work from there, it's also paying
Q. What was your experience playing Fed Cup with Jelena
for the first time?
ANA IVANOVIC: It was very different, because I played Fed
Cup two years ago, but I was still quite young, so I didn't
remember much. This time I felt completely different. It's
different kind of pressure. And playing for a team, I enjoy
playing for a team, and I always give maximum support.
But then also when you're on the court you're kind of
feeling little bit nervous or anxious because you're not
playing only for yourself. You also play for a team so you
have much more responsibilities, and, you know, everyone is
talking during the points or giving you advice.
I'm like, What's happening? Why you keep talking? Just be
calm for a while. Obviously it was a lot different. And
also, we were in a group, so we didn't feel, you know, like
really whole weekend was about the Fed Cup. Now when we
going to play in April it's going to be obviously the real
Q. What I meant was you were with Jelena and you've been
across the court from her five times. This is the first time
you two have been together in the same place. So did it
change your relationship at all?
ANA IVANOVIC: We played doubles together and we work well on
the court. We manage to win that match and we had fun out
there. But obviously we still have different interests and
So I can't say that make us become best friends, but, you
know, just -- we did the job like we had to, and we played
well in doubles.
Q. Can you talk about the next round playing either
Jelena or Lindsay?
ANA IVANOVIC: Yeah, it doesn't get, you know, easy from
here. It only gets tougher every match. They're both great
players, and I think it's going to be very interesting match
against Jelena. We play many times before and we always had
close matches and very good ones. It's going to be
Against Lindsay I never played before, so I would like to
have the challenge and the opportunity to play against her.
Q. Do you remember watching any of Lindsay's Grand Slam
finals? Any memory of, say, Wimbledon or the US Open,
ANA IVANOVIC: Not really, because I was thinking I watched a
lot of Monica Seles, but then I was thinking I haven't
watched the other matches much. I realized tennis wasn't
really popular back home and they wouldn't show the tennis
back home, so I didn't have opportunity to watch that much
Q. No more squeaky shoes?
ANA IVANOVIC: I think so, yeah.
End of FastScripts