Latest 31 Dec 2013

Ana Ivanovic's pre-tournament press conference

Ana Ivanovic's pre-tournament press conference

Earlier this week, we caught up with second seed, Ana Ivanovic, to check in on her game plan and see how she’s enjoying Auckland.


Ana, it’s your first time in New Zealand. How are you finding it so far?

I am really enjoying my time here. I had the chance to take a helicopter around Auckland City. I've loved it and I really hope I can stay the whole week, and even a couple of days extra”.


You’ve brought some family with you, that must be fantastic?

My parents are here this week but unfortunately my brother had to go back to school so he couldn’t join us. Also, my aunties from Melbourne are coming down for a couple of days. They all heard nice things, so they all wanted to come!


Are you the sort of player who sets goals? And are they long-term goals, or 12 month goals?

I have goals for the tour, as well as until the end of the season, and I have short term goals each week – little things that I want to improve, because obviously it’s hard to work on everything. I really want to get my best game to a higher level; this is something we work hard on during off-season. I also really want to play the Championships in Singapore – that will be something amazing to achieve this year.


Are you aiming for number one?

Yes, that's definitely a goal that I still have! Because I feel I have the potential to achieve it, but most importantly, I really want to focus on a Grand Slam. That will be my main focus.


How do you cope with pressure?

It’s something you have to get used to over the years in the tour. It’s actually scary to think that this year will be my 10th year as a professional! I've definitely learnt how to handle the pressure. You have the same emotions but it’s also fun because when you do feel pressure it means you are in the position to do something good.


Do you have big expectations for this week?

That’s another thing; I put a lot of pressure on myself. As I said, I do feel really comfortable here. I love this place so I want to do extremely well.


Is there anything specific in your game that you want to step up? 

I really feel my serve can become a weapon again and that's something I have put a lot of focus on, and also I've been working my volley. I did improve my net game; that's the future of tennis, I think. Tennis is becoming so powerful. You have to kind of be moving after good shots.

Who is the biggest threat for you in this draw?

Every girl here is tough. You never know. Some girls you like to play against more than others. Girls like Safarova, Venus and Roberta Vinci, they are all tough.


After playing in Grand Slams around the world, what do you think of the intimate nature of Auckland’s centre court?

It does feel cosy! I really like the centre court. It really has a nice vibe about it. I feel that people here are passionate about sports in general. That's always good. You want fans that are into it and you want to feel that they enjoy it as well.