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Roland Garros: Ana Ivanovic, May 25, 2008

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Roland Garros
Sunday, May 25, 2008

Interview with Ana Ivanovic

Q. So what can you say about your first match here, and more specifically about the second set? It was a little bit harder.

ANA IVANOVIC: Yes. First of all, I'm very happy with the victory. It was very nice to come back here to Paris and go out there and play again, you know.

It was the first match of the tournament, so it was the first time experience for me. But I really enjoyed it out there. She gave me a tough match, especially in the second set.

I let my intensity go down for a bit, dropped for a bit, and she used it and she started playing much better. But towards the end I'm happy that I found back my game and managed to break her back, and win the second set.

Q. Congratulations, first. Who do you see as your biggest rival to reach the final and win Roland Garros this year? And do you think you have a better chance to actually win the final when you compare to last year when you've lost to Justine Henin?

ANA IVANOVIC: It's very hard to talk about the rivals, because I know it sounds cliché, but it is like that. We take match by match. Every opponent can be dangerous if you let them play, so I really don't ‑‑ I didn't even see the draw, who I play against. So in the future just step by step, basically. That's what helps me to play my best and perform the best I can.

But your other question was about the final. In the case I play final again, for sure I will ‑‑ I think I will perform much, much better than I did last year.

But last year was a great experience, you know, and, yeah, don't regret it.

Q. This is the best time of your career, but you didn't play as well as last year on clay. Can you explain exactly why?

ANA IVANOVIC: Uhm, yeah. This year it's ‑‑ I'm in different position than I was last year. Last year I just broke into top 10, and, you know, I had much less pressure, honestly speaking.

Now I'm No. 2, and obviously I have more expectations for myself. So that's something I'm still learning how to deal with it. And this year, I had to play tournaments that I had to defend the title, so it was a new experience but, you know, I'm still learning.

I'm only 20, so I really tried to enjoy every match. I think I'm doing a good job. Obviously it was a little bit hard last few weeks, but now I feel I have my game back.

Q. The first set score looks pretty good, but of course it was not an easy first set, and it was difficult for you to put together a string of five or six really good points in a row. Is there any way you can come out of the chute faster, start faster?

ANA IVANOVIC: Today my goal was just to basically get rhythm, and I was really happy with my game in the first set. I thought I did pretty much everything. She wasn't playing really badly at all.

I was doing everything, you know, I spoke with my coaches before and we were practicing. And obviously I tried to set myself in a position to hit a good stroke and a winner. I wasn't overhitting and overpowering from the first shot on. That was my goal for today, so I'm happy about it.

Q. What do you think about your serve in the first set? It was not so good.

ANA IVANOVIC: I think percentage of my serve was a little bit low, and I had quite a few double faults.

But otherwise, yeah, I think it's something I've been working on in last couple days, and I've been practicing really well.

So little bit I was disappointed in my first serves, but still, you know, I got through today's match, and I get chance to work on it more.

Q. When you see someone like Justine retire at the top of the game, does it make you think you might want to take some breaks along the way in your career to lessen the intensity and the pressure?

ANA IVANOVIC: I think it's important through the year to get enough time also for rest and recovery, and then prepare again.

Because there is lots of tournaments, and if you play week after week you get burned ‑‑ you get burned out. Maybe you can last one or two years, but that's it.

I'm really lucky with my team around me, and we make quite good scheduling and smart scheduling, so I still have time to rest and get my mind off tennis.

And, you know, there is ‑‑ after Miami I had some break, and after Wimbledon again. So for me, personally, it's very important. And, yeah, I think it's good to try to work out the best for you.

Q. What do you think is a good number of tournaments for a top player to play?

ANA IVANOVIC: For a top player, I would say about 15, probably, yeah.

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