US Open Interview: Ana Ivanovic, after 2nd round loss

Q. Julie said that she felt out there today that she felt you almost seemed nervous. Some errors on the forehand, the double faults. She doesn’t know what’s in your head, but she said from her perspective it seemed that you were nervous. Maybe playing with the No. 1 ranking might have been a lot of pressure for you. Is that a fair assessment of the way you felt today?

ANA IVANOVIC: Maybe a little bit. I was nervous going onto the court because I never saw her play before so I didn’t know what to expect. I thought I can slowly, get into the match, and she played completely different than I expected. She was serving extremely well and hitting very powerful shots.

So I really struggled and made too many unforced errors and my serve was not working really well. Obviously, it’s very frustrating, because I know I can play so much better. This was very, very disappointing loss for me, but it’s something that I have to accept, you know, especially with everything that has happened in the past probably month or two months. I couldn’t expect myself to, you know, to maybe even play better.

Q. Since winning Roland Garros you had a tough Wimbledon and a tough tournament here, both at No. 1. I just wonder, do you feel the pressure of No. 1, or does that make you play a little different?

ANA IVANOVIC: No. I see that as reward because, you know, I think I deserve that position. You know, I won a Grand Slam and I was playing really well.

Obviously if you would ask me at the moment if I’m playing like No. 1 probably not, but I can’t judge too much on that because I really haven’t had chance to practice. This kind of loss I had today is just incentive to work harder, to go back on the court and to keep working hard and practicing and improving.

Because I think I have possibility to maintain No. 1 for a long time and to win a Grand Slam. So I just had a little, you know, unfortunate with injury, and I just have to go back on the court and keep working hard.

Q. You mentioned the thumb. How badly did the thumb bother you today?

ANA IVANOVIC: Today I didn’t feel it, and also last match was good. So, you know, I’m just happy to be back on track without pain. Now all I have to do is put some hard yards on the court and go back out there and work hard.

Because also today I had lots of misshits on my forehand. I think it’s also, you know, shows a little bit lack of practice and lack of maybe confidence in that area.

Q. I think you said the other day you went from Beijing to Australia for physio.


Q. And then obviously playing in the States prior. I mean, that’s a lot of travel. How much do you think that that factored in, having all that travel?

ANA IVANOVIC: Like I said, I had very tough last couple of months. It’s now behind me and, you know, I have to look at the positives. We struggled a lot to find what was wrong with my hand. I couldn’t actually practice, so that was obviously frustrating.

Obviously now we found solution for it and I feel better. For me, that’s really, really good, and that’s incentive to now go back on the court and keep working hard, and hopefully with a little bit less traveling.

Q. What about Julie’s game surprised you the most? Like you said earlier, you didn’t know what to expect.

ANA IVANOVIC: Her serve was very consistent and very, very strong. She’s not such a tall girl, and she was serving really strong and powerful serves. Yeah, had a lot of first serves in as well.

It was very hard to get rhythm because I tried couple times, you know, to make longer rally, to slowly get into the match, but she didn’t give me options. She was going for her shots and she was playing really well today.

And still, I think in the third set I created a lot of opportunities for myself. Just, yeah, didn’t quite use them. That was very, very frustrating.

Q. How hard was that for you? Because, I mean, obviously you’re used to being able to execute shots. You’re out there, No. 1 player in the world, and you can’t do what you want to do.

ANA IVANOVIC: It was very, very hard, probably the hardest thing about today’s match. Okay, if I didn’t create those opportunities she was just better. But I think I had lot of chances, and just not being able to use them was very frustrating. Maybe I was a little bit also too hard on myself at some moments.

But, you know, I just have to look positive, that I’m pain‑free and able to play, and to now go back on court and work hard.

Q. Which one has been your biggest opportunity you think you missed in the match?

ANA IVANOVIC: In the third set I had couple. At 2‑All, 40‑Love, three breakpoints. And also first game of the third set, I think I had breakpoint in that game, too. I had opportunity to step up and put pressure on her straight from the beginning in the third set but couldn’t quite use it.

Q. I know it’s not quite easy to ask because it’s just after the game, but do you have any specific plans to go back home and regroup and maybe get back to regain the No. 1 position, because you may lose it?

ANA IVANOVIC: Well, I have to speak with my team and make a plan. We didn’t have a chance to do that yet. Obviously, I’m very, very motivated to go straight back on the court. Honestly, I don’t need any time off, because I had plenty of it without tennis.

I’m ready to get back on the court and keep practicing. I don’t know, maybe even leave tomorrow already and get straight back into it.

Q. Who do you think will win this tournament, and why?

ANA IVANOVIC: It’s very hard. I think Williams sisters, I think they have a pretty good chance. Yeah, I think the top half of the draw, it’s quite strong.

Q. Julie said that happened when she was out there she didn’t feel nervous. It was just another game until it got to the match points. Were you surprised with the poise that she showed out there?

ANA IVANOVIC: Well, I think what I experienced so far is girls, when they play against higher‑ranked players, they have nothing to lose so they go for their shots. Many times they play matches of their life. Not only in women’s tennis, also in men’s.

When I watch Rafa or Roger or Nole, the players that come up with shots against them is just amazing. They feel no pressure and they’re so relaxed to play these kind of shots.

She managed, like she said, to stay calm and to play the same until the end.

Q. How do you see the chances for Caroline Wozniacki to win this tournament, or at least get into the final?

ANA IVANOVIC: I know she’s very good player and she’s very talented girl. But to tell you the truth, I don’t know much about the draw or any opponents or who she’s playing.

Yeah, she’s very young, and I’m sure she has good possibility.

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