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June 23, 2008

Ana Ivanovic


A. IVANOVIC/R. De Los Rios
6-1, 6-2

THE MODERATOR: Ana Ivanovic for you.

Q. Is it nice to get the first one out of the way?
ANA IVANOVIC: Yeah, definitely. Especially I think I played quite well today, you know, considering it's the first match. Especially first match on the grass. It's quite a big change, but I was very happy to be back on central court.

Q. Have you noticed a difference in the expectation levels now from a year ago?
ANA IVANOVIC: Yeah, I do actually. And at the same time, it's very challenging for me. That's, you know, something new and very exciting. So I'm very, very happy, you know, to be taking every challenge I get.

Q. What are those expectations?
ANA IVANOVIC: Well, obviously now coming especially as the top seed, lots of people, you know, just expect you to win. When you tell them, I still just want to play match by match they think it's such a cliché.
You have to work hard, especially on grass. Everything is happening so fast. A lot of players can be dangerous. You have to be alerted and focused from the first point on.

Q. What are some of the benefits of being No. 1?
ANA IVANOVIC: Confidence, you know, and also expectation of achieving one of your biggest dreams and goals. That's something that it's new for me, and I'm enjoying it.

Q. Is it something that you relish, being No. 1, the pressures that come with being No. 1? Is that something you enjoy?
ANA IVANOVIC: Obviously there are different ways of dealing with pressure. Becoming No. 1, it takes more pressure, but also you have to see, you know, pressure for what it is. It's a reflection of your own ambition. It's something, if you see it as a positive thing, it means that you put yourself in a position to do something memorable, that you feel pressure.
So if you look at it that way it can be very motivating, yeah.

Q. Being No. 1 suggests you are the best here. Do you feel like you are the best here?
ANA IVANOVIC: You know, obviously I focus on my game and, you know, to do the best I can once I go out there. You know, I like to watch also other girls, but still I focus on what I have to do.
Like I said, every opponent can be dangerous. You really have to make sure you still work hard. Obviously, you know, coming from winning Paris, it gives me confidence.

Q. How much does your game improve through the two weeks?
ANA IVANOVIC: You mean these two weeks now or the past?

Q. These two weeks to come how much are you going to be improving your game?
ANA IVANOVIC: I think it's something every player looks coming into the tournament, to play better each match, because the opponents are getting tougher and tougher. Many players said first week and second week it's two different tournaments. Kind of it is, and you have to really keep working hard. Because it's not so much physical as well as it's mental game, you know.
You do have, you know, the in between to get ready and to prepare. But it's important to in this day off work on some things you didn't do so well in your match, your previous match, and trying to improve.
Because, like I said, the opponents are getting tougher and tougher.

Q. How did you find Rossana as an opponent?
ANA IVANOVIC: Today's match was a tough one. She start hitting the ball really well from the beginning, so I had to, you know, stay focused. I served really well, and that's something that really help me. I was quite aggressive, so I was pleased with the way I played today.

Q. What parts of your grass court game are better this year than they were last year?
ANA IVANOVIC: I think I'm moving better and I have my center of gravity much lower, which definitely helps with the fast ball on the grass.
Also placing of my serve, it's something that I worked on and can be really important here.

Q. Do you have the time to look over the press here in England? Do you see all the pictures that are published about you, or you don't see them?
ANA IVANOVIC: You know, I leave that to my parents and my PR. They like to read about it. But I think every person doesn't like to read about themselves, so I don't like it either.

Q. Not even when they make compliments or put nice pictures?
ANA IVANOVIC: It's obviously very flattering. Sometimes I take a peek at the picture, but that's about it.

Q. Since winning Roland Garros and becoming No. 1, what is the one thing that has changed that surprised you the most?
ANA IVANOVIC: Well, I think I'm still basically the same person. The only thing that I feel changed a little bit, I have a little bit more confidence. Also winning Grand Slam, it's been my dream since I was a kid. I was in two finals before, so actually making one more step and winning it, that's something that, yeah, makes me very happy and gives me confidence. That's I think the only thing that change.

Q. When you were not No. 1, when you played against the No. 1 seed, how did you approach the game?
ANA IVANOVIC: Well, obviously when you play against No. 1 you have nothing to lose, so many times you actually play your best tennis. It's a big challenge for you, so you want to go out there and try and come up with the best shot you can. You put everything on the line for that match.
That's something how I approach, and I think many of the girls do the same.

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