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January 17, 2009

Ana Ivanovic


THE MODERATOR: Questions for Ana.

Q. Given your illness in Brisbane, are you on track to go one step further this tournament?
ANA IVANOVIC: Yes, I feel I am. After Brisbane, I had a couple days off to recover. I've been practicing really good since then, you know, enjoying Melbourne, hitting quite a few times on the center court, which is great to go out there and enjoy it.
I feel very good coming into the event.

Q. Does the lack of match practice worry you at all?
ANA IVANOVIC: I had couple matches, you know, in Brisbane, and I feel very confident. I feel very fit. I think actually it's the fittest I've been in my career so far.
Obviously, last couple days I tried to play lot of points and try to, you know, implement things I was working on in like match situations.
But it going to be different playing a real match again. But I'm sure, you know, I'll start well and try to work myself into the tournament.

Q. We saw in the second half of last season there was a lot of pressure and expectations. Is it nice to come to the Australian Open and not be one of the top seeds and have that intense pressure on your game?
ANA IVANOVIC: No, not really. You know, I still put expectations on myself and things I want to achieve. I learned a lot from last year. I feel like a girl who can actually win this Grand Slam.
Like I said, I want to enjoy tennis and work myself into playing and competing. But, you know, pressure is always there and it's also what I expect of myself and what I know I can achieve. You know, it's always there.

Q. Both Serena and Jelena were saying earlier today in their minds they both think they're No. 1. Do you also feel that you're No. 1?
ANA IVANOVIC: Well, you know, honestly I don't think about that. I just try to focus on things I have to do on the court in order to win matches and to improve. Playing good and winning tournaments, rankings take cares of themselves. I don't put too much hope or expectation on that part of, you know, the game, the rankings.
Yeah, like I said, just basically enjoying. But I think the race for No. 1 position, it's very close. There is lot of good players at the moment.

Q. Have you managed to go for a surf while you've been here?
ANA IVANOVIC: Not in Melbourne, unfortunately. I've heard about one, one and a half hours' drive to the beaches where you can actually surf. I would love to. Maybe after the tournament, if I have a chance before heading back for Fed Cup, if I have chance to go, I would love to.

Q. Might need a wet suit. The water is pretty cold.
ANA IVANOVIC: I know. All these shark attacks got me a little bit scared (laughter).

Q. You said you've been enjoying Melbourne. What else have you been doing apart from the tennis court? Have you been with your relatives?
ANA IVANOVIC: Yes, actually last night I spent the evening with my relatives, you know, just easy barbecue at home. I went to the cinema a couple of times. Just walked down to the city center, to the South Bank. It's very nice. I like to go for a walk there.

Q. Do you have difficulty having any sort of privacy when you're out, people coming up to you wanting autographs?
ANA IVANOVIC: Yeah, I did experience that. It was also kind of new experience because, you know, up until maybe the end of last year, it will always happen in Serbia, but never really when I was abroad. Now here people come up to me a lot. We always have breakfast in one restaurant next to our hotel. They always come up and ask for autographs. It's kind of new experience. It's kind of strange, but nice. I don't know how to explain it.

Q. Who do you think your biggest rival will be?
ANA IVANOVIC: Well, like I said, there is lots of girls playing very well at the moment. It's the first Grand Slam of the year so everyone is kind of trying to get their form and to feel good about their game. The Williams sisters, Jelena, Dinara, Dementieva, they're all playing well at the moment. It's going to be a very, very tough Grand Slam. I think it's what makes it interesting for us, as the players, also for spectators. They really can't pick a sure winner.

Q. You said you're probably the fittest you've been in your career. Have you seen the weather forecast the next week? Looks like a few 32 degree days. Pretty hot.
ANA IVANOVIC: Well, you know, I spent lot of time in (indiscernible). It's pretty hot there, too. Also quite humid. I actually enjoy playing in heat.
But here in Melbourne, the weather changes a lot. Over the last couple days, they were saying they expected high temperatures, then it was quite low. But, like I said, I really don't mind the heat.

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