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March 21, 2008

Ana Ivanovic


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. It was Serbian semifinal. It was not easy, obviously, to play a fellow countryman. What prevailed in that tiebreaker and ultimately the match?
ANA IVANOVIC: I think the first set we both were a little bit nervous, so I think the tennis wasn't that great. But I was just really happy that I kept my composure through all the match, actually.
Even when I had set points on 6-5 I didn't play really well, but still, you know, I stayed right there with her and I fought really hard for two points in the tiebreak. I was happy I could win it, and that gave me motivation to start better the second set.

Q. What are the stats on playing someone from your country?
ANA IVANOVIC: It is something I haven't experienced much, because we don't have that many players. So last year or the year before was probably the first time we both were really in that position to play against each other. Obviously it's not easy, because you know someone you know for so long and you obviously want to win.
You know, everyone back home is watching, and it's very exciting. But I think you just have to focus on the yellow ball and try to do the best you can, no matter who is on the other side of the net.

Q. You've known Jelena for a long time.
ANA IVANOVIC: I've known her for a long time. Even though she's two years older than me we still play couple tournaments at early age, 10 or so. Then she went to America and she was practicing here for a while. I haven't seen her much in that period, maybe from 10 to 14. But, yes, it is a long time.

Q. This is actually going to help you in the standings quite a bit, because you were in the round of 16 last year. Are you thinking of that?
ANA IVANOVIC: No, I really don't think much about that side. I just try to play my best tennis and try to win every match, because I just enjoy competition. I hate losing, so I want to win. I don't think much about points or defending points, because I don't believe in defending points.
I just believe in going there to win a tournament again, if you going.

Q. What do you think about competition tomorrow, then?
ANA IVANOVIC: Tomorrow I think I'm going to take it easy, I have day off.

Q. Sorry.
ANA IVANOVIC: Tomorrow may be no competition. But on Sunday definitely it's going to be hard match. We had many matches, and most of them in three sets. So it's going to be tough one. She played really well today.
But, you know, I really hope we can both play well and have a great match.

Q. Seems like you're having much better time playing in big tournaments than small like this year. You know, the Middle Eastern tournaments were not great, and then Australian Open was much better for you. That keeps repeating last year. Is it maybe lack of motivation or you're just like playing these tournaments better?
ANA IVANOVIC: Obviously you peak your form for the biggest tournaments of the year, and Grand Slams are obviously the priority, and Tier 1 is obviously the second priority. But Doha was really disappointing for me because I felt I was in great shape.
And then twisting my ankle at the end of that match and actually having to have break. Practice one day before my matches in Dubai, it was very tough for me. But, you know, I won that match in Dubai because I was just so happy to be on the court again.
It was good experience. I mean, it was something probably I haven't experienced much before. But, you know, just coming into this tournament, obviously haven't had that many match preparation as I hoped for.
But still, I tried to get into the matches, you know, just playing match by match.

Q. I was reading how your trainer was treating you when you were injured recently. And talk a little bit about your overall team. Sounds like you have a pretty well organized team from off the court and Sven and everyone.
ANA IVANOVIC: I must say I'm very, very lucky girl to have a great team around me. First of all, my parents and then my manager, my coaches. You know, there are really few good coaches out there. I'm happy I have Scott and Sven on my side and working with me. They're both working really hard.
You know, we just also have lot of fun working together, and it's important because if you would just think tennis and intensity, one day you just have enough and you just want to, you know, do something else. But with them, we worked really hard on the court, but then also outside of the court we have fun and we just, you know, joke around a lot.

Q. What do you guys do for fun as a team? Go to Disneyland or...
ANA IVANOVIC: No, but actually one year in Stuttgart I went to amusement park with Scott and my coach at that time, but I like amusement parks a lot.
No, we just go for dinners or sometimes the zoo or sightseeing, just different things.

Q. What's your favorite ride at amusement parks? What do you enjoy most at amusement parks?
ANA IVANOVIC: I like actually everything. I love roller coasters and I like the free fall. They were joking, because in Stuttgart we went to amusement park, and it was me and two coaches, and there were so many rides there and Scott got sick after second one. Then the other coach after fourth. I went on six rides in like two hours.
They were like, How can you do that? They just felt sick watching me, but I enjoy it.

Q. Is that why you got rid of the coach, you got a new coach?
ANA IVANOVIC: Yeah, he couldn't keep up with me. (laughter.)

Q. What did your coach tell you after the tiebreak after you won? What was the advice, what you talked about?
ANA IVANOVIC: Well, he obviously listened to what I had to say, and I was little bit -- little bit nervous. You know, just, yeah, anxious a bit, so he told me, basically not much.
Just one thing, to move little bit more forward on my return. We just spoke in general. He didn't say anything much, because obviously I was nervous and maybe too much information at that moment would be too much.

Q. What did you tell him?
ANA IVANOVIC: No, I just said, you know, that I'm a little bit nervous, and that I'm not finishing my shots. He agreed with that, so that was good.

Q. Jelena just mentioned how your style of game does not suit her, that she cannot read your forehands. And you obviously dominate her. I mean, in the last six matches you only lost once to her. What is the key? Do you adjust your game when you play her? Do you think that you're maybe mentally stronger when you play her?
ANA IVANOVIC: Well, it's very hard to say, because obviously it happens that, you know, some players adjust better to some type of games rather than others. But, you know, I just work on that. Big players cannot read my game.
Every match I play, I try to play well and also to know what they are doing good so I can maybe take that advantage from them.
Yeah, I just basically try to play my game as much as I can and move forward. I know she's a great defender and she likes to run, so if I can take that away from her, move forward and give her less time, that's definitely something that works well.

Q. What about about against Svetlana? You have a pretty good record against her. Why have you been so successful against her?
ANA IVANOVIC: She's a very powerful player, so I think it's important to stay right there with her and not give her many chances. I think we have little bit similar games. She likes her forehand, likes to run around her forehand. I'm not going to say now my tactics so she can read it tomorrow.
But, you know, definitely I know what I'm going to do, you know, once I get out there. But definitely I'm going to look to control the points.

Q. Are you excited about getting into the final, or do you feel you are already used to it?
ANA IVANOVIC: No, I'm very excited. Every final you make it's always very special. Exciting. This is a big tournament. I'm really proud the way I played this week, so that's -- I'm definitely very excited to be in final and looking forward to that match.

Q. Did you watch Monica Seles when you were growing up?

Q. How old would you have been?
ANA IVANOVIC: I started watching when I was four, four-and-a-half. And at the age of five, actually when I started playing, but before that, I watched her and, yeah, that's how old.

Q. So when did she stop playing? How old were you?
ANA IVANOVIC: When I started playing, she wasn't on the tour for a year or two. Yeah, I never got chance to play against her.

Q. I was just wondering, because you were talking about psychology this week, and maybe that was too young, but did you realize how mentally strong she was as a player at that age, or maybe you were too young?
ANA IVANOVIC: I didn't realize, but I remember she was a huge fighter, and that's what I liked. Yeah, but I think if I would have had to -- if I had to play her it would be quite tough for me, because playing against your idol. It's not really easy.

Q. In some of your earlier matches this week you said you got a little too emotional at times. Were you happy with your focus today?
ANA IVANOVIC: Yes, very happy. That was one of the things I knew I had to be strong today and not show any emotions, and I kept my composure really well. So that was a key today, I think.

Q. What have you been doing with your free time here? Svetlana kind and Novak said they're kind of bored around here.
ANA IVANOVIC: Well, it's different. It's definitely different. (laughter.)
We sort of had our routine on our days off. We usually go for lunch somewhere outside of the club, somewhere around. And then afterwards we go to Barnes & Noble and relax there for a bit. We kill some time there and maybe go back and watch some tennis if they are showing or just a movie or...

Q. Do you agree it's kind of boring here?
ANA IVANOVIC: It's different. It's not the place probably would live at, but it's -- for a tournament I think it's great, because you have to keep your energy and your focus for matches, and, yeah, for preparation.
So I think in that way it's perfect, because you don't lose much energy doing other stuff.

Q. Your team, you go to Barnes & Noble? You have coffee or look around?
ANA IVANOVIC: Yeah, we grab a few books and have a coffee and then read, yeah.

Q. Like being a student?
ANA IVANOVIC: Yeah, yeah. Almost like that. You know, you go, you pick some books, you put it under your arm. You see it and just read and exchange our thoughts. Oh, is that book good? The problem is that every time I go there I want to buy so many books, but then I can't carry them. I always have overweight when I'm traveling, so I really have to be selective.

Q. Did you buy any this week?
ANA IVANOVIC: Yeah, I bought actually two from Freud.

Q. More Freud?
ANA IVANOVIC: I was looking for couple more but they didn't have them in stock, so I'm waiting for Miami.

Q. If you were to say to the tournament, We would like this over here so we're not bored, what would it be? Roller coaster?
ANA IVANOVIC: Amusement park. (laughter.)
Couple of roller coasters.

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