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January 15, 2008

Ana Ivanovic



Q. 7-5, 6-3. Easy win, but wasn't that easy on the court.
ANA IVANOVIC: Yeah, definitely, you know, first round, it's never easy. She's a new, up-coming player. She was tough opponent. I think she has bright future in front of her.
You know, I didn't know what to expect in the beginning. But, you know, I'm really happy I managed to fight through that first set. It wasn't easy.
I was down a break. She was serving for a set. But, you know, I took my opportunities, took my time, and played some good points.
That obviously gave me confidence in the second set and I start playing better.

Q. Second set was close.
ANA IVANOVIC: 5-Love up, playing really well. It was a few tough calls, I thought. I know she had nothing to lose, so she went for more and she made some shots. But, you know, I was really happy I could serve it out in 5-3.

Q. Are you happy with your performance today?
ANA IVANOVIC: Well, you know, I think it wasn't one of my best matches. But it's important to get through these tough matches and tough days. You know, you can't play great every day.
So, you know, I'm just happy to be through and have the opportunity and that next round I play better.

Q. Who do you prefer in the next round?
ANA IVANOVIC: It really doesn't matter. I think it's most important to focus on what I have to improve from today's match, to go more around the ball, move my feet a little bit better.
You know, it's always going to be a tough one. No, I just want to take it step by step.

Q. How good are you prepared for this Grand Slam?
ANA IVANOVIC: I had really good preparation in off-season and I feel very fit, you know, ready to go some tough matches, you know, even tough conditions.
Last week I played some good tennis. Coming into this week feeling a little bit more confident. So, you know, I think I can perform better than I did today, and that's all I'm looking forward to.

Q. You use this racquet before, or is the first time?
ANA IVANOVIC: No, this is the first time I play with that. I changed it in off-season. You know, also it takes some time for me adjusting on it, but I feel good. I feel confident playing with those racquets.

Q. What is the difference in the racquet from the one you had before?
ANA IVANOVIC: This racquet gives me much more spin and to improve my backhand a lot. The ball is coming off much, much heavier. It just suits my game better.

Q. Are you using the same strings?
ANA IVANOVIC: Yes, still the same strings.

Q. You had a tough match, and yet Novak Djokovic said today you can say the top 5 or top 10 players are going to get through easy like in the women's draw.
ANA IVANOVIC: Well, you know, it's never easy. There are so many young, up-coming players who you will face for the first time. They come out, they have nothing to lose. They come up with some great shots and good tennis.
You have to be prepared for every match, you know, like it's going to be a tough three-set match. Then if you end up winning easy it's just a bonus, but I think it's important to don't underestimate anyone and just keep fighting.

Q. So you have to blame Novak for saying it?
ANA IVANOVIC: No, I think there are a few tough matches between the seededs and some younger players. But, as I said, it's just important to keep fighting and believe that you can do it.

Q. Has Novak ever tried to copy you and your moves on court?
ANA IVANOVIC: I don't know. Maybe ask him. I don't know. I really don't know. I think at one point I start bouncing ball as many times as he did. I watched so much his matches.

Q. What is the latest gossip?
ANA IVANOVIC: Yeah, how much you want to pay me for a week (laughter)?
No, you know, I can't say.

Q. Because you blame us for being too late with the gossip.
ANA IVANOVIC: You know, there is always something interesting happening in the locker room. You always hear something, but you have to hire me for that (laughter).

Q. How much pressure have you put on yourself for the next two weeks?
ANA IVANOVIC: Yeah, obviously that's one of the things I still learning how to deal because all the pressure I put on myself. Obviously coming into Australian Open I always want to do well here and I love coming here. Always a little bit extra pressure.
But, you know, I really try to work hard. Once I'm on the court not to think too much about it.
You know, today, it's no secret I was in the first set a little bit panicking and trying to find, you know, my game, you know. But, as I said, I'm really happy to be through. I can work on this for next matches.

Q. Does it feel like what happened in the first set, that was the case, you maybe put too much pressure on yourself?
ANA IVANOVIC: Yes, I think so. It's been the case in the past years here. But, you know, today I won the first game and I had 40-Love in the second game, I had 40-Love in the third game, and I lost those games.
Obviously, you know, stopped going for that much, trying more to put the ball in the game. She came up with some winners. And instead of that, you know, I should just keep playing my game and keep being aggressive, you know. If I lose then, it's just well done to other girl.

Q. How do you keep yourself focused when you're not at Melbourne Park?
ANA IVANOVIC: I like to just spend some time in the room, read a book or watch some movies. And it's always fun to watch tennis, too, because here they have late-night matches. So before I go to sleep, I watch some tennis.

End of FastScripts
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