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January 21, 2008

Ana Ivanovic


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. No time to dry your hair?
ANA IVANOVIC: No, I had to cool down. I had to do cool-down and stretching.

Q. Set point down in the second. What happened?
ANA IVANOVIC: Yeah, you know, she's a tough opponent. She had a good few matches, few wins. She had nothing to lose, so she was really dangerous in the second set. She started going for her shots. I started fighting a little bit more. So she used the opportunity well.
I'm really happy I managed to keep my composure in the end of that second set and be calm on those set points and still manage to win it. So that was an important step today.

Q. Did it happen that you walked on some sideline today? I heard that it's dangerous.
ANA IVANOVIC: I know. They can bite. I try to avoid them.

Q. You said on center court that you're not a morning person. That's why you went to sleep in the second set.
ANA IVANOVIC: Yeah, I had a little bit trouble waking up this morning. But, you know, that's part of the tournament. You know, you have to adjust.
At a Grand Slam, you know, you play every second day, and every day you play it's different conditions, you know. Last match I played, I played with a closed roof.
So today it was open and it was a little bit windy out there. So, you know, I tried to adjust. It's the same with whenever I play. You know, it's up to us to adjust to it and still perform the best we can.

Q. Just as well the finals are at night then.
ANA IVANOVIC: Yeah, I mean, it was fun playing in the evening. But, you know, I still managed to get enough sleep last night.

Q. Do you think you are in much better form now than earlier matches?
ANA IVANOVIC: Yeah, definitely. First matches are never easy. First round I played a little bit shaky, obviously. But, you know, you get through these matches. Not every day you can play great. That's something you have to accept and still work with it.
You know, I think -- except this last match, last two matches I played really well. Today obviously I didn't perform the best I could, I thought. But still very happy to use my opportunities and thrilled to be in the quarterfinals.

Q. I read that you are a columnists like me now. You do writing or by a machine?
ANA IVANOVIC: No, I prepare some lines for myself and then obviously I do it with Gavin, who works for my site, he helps me a lot with that to write so I don't make some spelling mistakes. But I got him under control.

Q. Have you thought about what, if you did win a Grand Slam, what it would mean to you off the court in terms of endorsements, the attention, the profiles? You look at what happened to Maria when she won Wimbledon.
ANA IVANOVIC: Yeah, I mean, that's definitely a different side of tennis. I have a great manager and I will trust him in that part, so I don't think too much about that.
I think when I'm on the court to perform the best I can because I work hard and I train hard. I train for winning Grand Slams. Obviously, that would be the biggest achievement I could do. Obviously it would mean a lot for my tennis, you know, achieving my goals.
In that term, it's obviously something that comes with it, but it's definitely not my main focus.

Q. Name of the great manager?
ANA IVANOVIC: Dan Holzman from Switzerland.

Q. Over the summer, what particular training did you do to make yourself stronger and tougher for this Grand Slam?
ANA IVANOVIC: I did a lot of variety. I started working with Scott Byrnes, my fitness coach, about 18 months ago. My fitness improved drastically from that point. It definitely needed improvement.
I wasn't a great mover and I had problems with injuries. So when I started working with him I got really fit. I lost some weight, and got really stronger, especially in my upper body. That's definitely prevented injuries.
You know, now I work, you know, all kinds of exercise: long running, sprints, in a gym we do some weights in off-season. So it's definitely also very interesting, because fitness can get really boring. He always has some, you know, new games or new exercise to keep it interesting.

Q. Is that increased fitness a reason for you being a top 10 player as opposed to a year ago?
ANA IVANOVIC: Yeah, it's definitely a big part of my game, because now I feel much stronger out there and I feel I can keep up with these girls for a longer period of time. Before I had to go for my shots earlier in the rally because I couldn't keep in the rally.
But, you know, it's definitely a big step and also a lot of experience that goes through the tough matches in Grand Slams.

Q. Venus Williams looks like she will come through. If she is your next opponent. Do you think she can beat her?
ANA IVANOVIC: She's definitely a tough opponent. Last two Grand Slams I lost to her. Exactly the time for some revenge.
You know, I think I'm a little bit different player than I was last time I played her. I got even fitter and stronger on the court. And also these courts are a little bit slower than US Open, so I think that's something that definitely suits me better because she's a big server and she likes to go for the big shots.
It's going to be important, whoever takes control over that first shot. It will be important for me to serve well, and, yeah, stay in the court and don't give her too much. Like if I would go back and give her too many chances to attack.

Q. I read in the Yellow Pages here you are very fond the Greek mythology. Is there some special divinity close to you that you worship especially?
ANA IVANOVIC: Well, I am really interested to read about mythology or history, psychology even. That's something that I want to read in the spare time.
When we were kids in school, we used to read Greek mythology. We had some of the subjects involved that. I thought it was interesting. I also, yeah, a little bit read The DaVinci Code.

Q. It's going to be difficult against Venus. She has something big on her side.
ANA IVANOVIC: Yeah, well, definitely. But, you know, I don't want to take that on the court, you know. It can stay mythology.

Q. Your thoughts on Caroline's game out there?
ANA IVANOVIC: As I said, she had a great tournament and she's a very dangerous opponent. I played her once a long time ago. Obviously I thought it would be a different match, so I didn't know what really to expect.
But she came out with some great shots in the second set. She's a young player and she has a good future in front of her.

Q. Playing Venus, is it more of a mental test than it is a physical and technical one?
ANA IVANOVIC: Yeah, definitely it is, because she's a big hitter and she likes to dominate the rallies. So it will be just important for me to stay there, stay there with her, and still try to get that first shot.
Because I also like to go for the big shots myself. I know I can do it, so it's just a matter of fact I'm staying there with her and who can last longer.

Q. Did you feel at the US Open that you did not play patiently enough?
ANA IVANOVIC: Yeah, definitely. And also she was serving extremely well, and it was very hard for me to break her. The courts there are really fast. I think here I got a little bit more chance than that.
But I improve my serve since then, too, so I really hope it can work well for me tomorrow.

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