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August 13, 2010

Ana Ivanovic


A. IVANOVIC/A. Amanmuradova
6-1, 6-3

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. What were your thoughts going into this match knowing that Akgul had served 12 aces in the last match?
ANA IVANOVIC: I expected a very tough match today. She is a player in a great form, and she won lots of matches here, so she for sure got some confidence, especially beating No. 1 seed yesterday.
I knew that my return games were gonna be crucial, and also if I managed to serve, which I did manage to do today. So I'm really pleased with the victory, because it definitely was a tough one, especially that she doesn't give you much rhythm.

Q. Were you playing with more emotion today? It seemed like you were more animated on court. Talk about that. You've had injuries recently. How big is this result to you?
ANA IVANOVIC: I tried to get moving a lot because I was a little nervous in the beginning. So I tried to sort of put that aside with lots of movement and lots of, you know, fast feet and so on.
But just this victory, it means a lot to me, you know, because I felt like I've been playing well for a while now. And I was always just losing, just losing. So to turn it around this week and to manage to get a few wins under my belt, it really feels good.

Q. You're back into the top 40 now. If you make it to the final, you could be seeded for the US Open. Talk about how improving this much so quickly is meaningful or makes you happy.
ANA IVANOVIC: Yeah, it definitely does. But obviously I never really looked in the ranking that far until I was out of the tournaments. (Smiling.)
But definitely it feels good to slowly crawl back up those rankings. And, you know, just actually winning match matches gives me more confidence. For me, it's goal to win tournament rather than improve my ranking for a certain a amount of spots.
But being seeded at the US Open, that would be huge. I haven't thought about it at all. It would mean a lot, because that means I don't get to play Serena first round. (Laughter.)

Q. Seems like you are managing your nerves better. Is it something that you've been consciously doing, or is it just everything else working out and it's helping that, too?
ANA IVANOVIC: I think it has to do with confidence. You know, once you feel confident that you got game out there and you got tools, you can fall back on those.
At the moment, I feel if my forehand is not working, I can fall back on something else; if that's not working, I can fall back on my movement and just trying to get to the ball and somehow get them back.
But that definitely has to do with confidence.

Q. Talk about your first serve. You won almost all the points on your first serve: 22 out of the 24. That's dominating.
ANA IVANOVIC: It is big. I didn't know it was that big today. But it was something that I tried to focus a lot in today's match and tried to mix up a lot. Because she is a big girl and has a big reach, so I tried to mix up and disguise it a little bit.
Obviously it worked well, so I'm very, very pleased with that.

Q. Are you having more fun now on the court than you did the last year or so? Has that changed at all?
ANA IVANOVIC: I do actually. It has to do with just being confident out there. And like I said, once I felt my fitness improve and my game was getting better, you feel more confident on the court and you can express yourself better. I think it has also to do with that.
But I do have a lot of the fun. I really enjoy competing. The crowd has been amazing, and it gives me so much energy, and it's great to see.

Q. When you talk about confidence, was there a time when the results weren't going your way when your confidence went really down? Can you think of a time when it was at its worst?
ANA IVANOVIC: I can sure think of a time. (Smiling.) It's been a lot of these moments. This time last year was really hard for me. Here I had a tough loss, and then US Open I lost first round after having match point. It hasn't really happened to me that I lose match when I have a match point, so that's been very hard part of the year.
And then also, French Open, Wimbledon this year wasn't easy losing first, second round is a Grand Slam.
But I think what really helped me too was just trying to really work even harder and try to still kind of switch on and off from tennis and not just think tennis 24/7.

Q. Talk a little bit about your return game. That was also really strong. Did you do anything different on your second returns? Because that was also really dominating: 69% of those points you won.
ANA IVANOVIC: I knew I had to be aggressive, because I saw her last match and saw she was kicking a lot. Here balls bounce high, so I knew I had to take it early. So tried to step in.
Actually, I had a little bit more time than I thought I would have on her service games. But I think in first set her second service game I returned really well to break her. Or actually it was her first service game. To get the first break I returned really well. I think that sort of set the pace a little bit for me and for her, too.

Q. As a follow up, why do you think you have more time on her returns than you thought?
ANA IVANOVIC: I thought her first serves would come a lot faster then they did. She's a big girl and has a really big reach, so I thought they would come a lot faster.
But, you know, maybe that's why, because I anticipated something like Karlovic serving at me. So it was a little bit different.

Q. Do you feel there's a correlation between a player's off-court personality and their playing style on court? So for example, if someone's laid back on court, are they less likely to be aggressive on court?
ANA IVANOVIC: Yeah, it actually works the other way. There are players who are really, yeah, laid back, and then very aggressive on the court. I think it's important to be aggressive once you're on the court. That's the only way you can actually win games and so on.
I think it's very important. That's something that struggled a lot with, you know, to get that mindset. You know, I'm actually gonna beat someone and win the match and just, you know, forget who is across from me. Sometimes you play your friends, and it's not easy. I have these emotions kind of interacting a little bit.
But, yeah, you have to kind of forget and try to focus on yourself. You can see a lot of personality changes when they get on court. (Smiling.)

Q. Did you change your racquet recently?
ANA IVANOVIC: Just before the tournament actually, yes.

Q. Talk about what made you change and if you like the new one.
ANA IVANOVIC: Yonex has a new racquet coming out and it's a new technology, and they brought it last week for me in San Diego. Actually, I tried them after Wimbledon a little bit, but they didn't have the right frames.
So they brought a similar one last week, and I tried it and I really like. So they allow know me to play, and I really like it. (Laughing.)

Q. As you're playing more matches, how are you holding up physically?
ANA IVANOVIC: Actually really good. I've been pulling up really well. After the first round I had a little bit of soreness in my legs, which was kind of normal.
Otherwise, it's been really good. I been trying to do a lot of ice massages and trying to cool off, because I think that is the most important thing: try to recover from the heat and stay hydrated.

Q. Talk a little bit about your breakpoints. You won 4 of 6 breakpoints. That's also dominating. Did you do anything different that you didn't do before?
ANA IVANOVIC: I think also it has to do with confidence, you know. Because in the past I felt like I was getting myself in a position where I could break or it was 30-All, and I could never take a charge and actually make a right shot decision and win these points.
And now, since I win more matches, I get more confidence in that area, too. I know there will be times I'm gonna be missing maybe or misshitting, but still, I believe I can make those. That's what makes a huge difference.
Because that second of doubt or not knowing, uncertainty, it makes a big difference whether you gonna hit a good shot or just gonna misshit.

Q. Considering your current form, do you almost wish you were playing Montreal, or are you glad for the week off?
ANA IVANOVIC: No, I actually feel like it would be good to have a week off. Because even though I didn't play as many matches in previous two tournaments, I really felt I was mentally there and I was working. I didn't have a days off. You know, I was constantly practicing and so on.
So I think it's the right decision for me. Because I think if I was gonna play, I think I would in some way also be a little bit tired mentally. So I think this works out really well.

Q. You've got a great shot to win to win the tournament. You're in the semifinals. What do you have to do to take away this title?
ANA IVANOVIC: I think I have to go out there like I play first round and just try not to think of the moment. Just basically try to swing as I was swinging before, and try to focus on that and stay in each point. Because it really makes a big difference for me to not try to get over excited like I tend to do.

Q. You play the winner of Clijsters and Pennetta. Thoughts about playing either of them.
ANA IVANOVIC: Yeah, it's gonna be tough match. I mean, they are both in great form. Pennetta played semifinal I think last week, and, again, playing really well against Kim at the moment.
Um, it's gonna be a very tough match, and it's gonna be a lot different than the one today. Because today was all about, you know, that first shot. There wasn't much rhythm out there. Tomorrow I expect much longer rallies and a lot tougher match in that sense.
So, yeah, but, you know, just if I manage to kind of play the way I played in my previous matches, it would be really good.

Q. Would it be better for you to play the afternoon semifinal tomorrow or the evening if the choice was up to you?
ANA IVANOVIC: If it was up to me, I would like to play, yeah, in the afternoon, because the balls do fly a lot more during the day and it is a big difference. So it would be nice to play then.

Q. You may play Kim tomorrow. Which of you do you think talks faster?
ANA IVANOVIC: (Laughing.) It's up to you guys, or for you. But I do get that a lot. I'm sorry. It I'll try to slow it down.

End of FastScripts

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