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March 25, 2012

Ana Ivanovic


A. IVANOVIC/D. Hantuchova
6‑2, 7‑6

THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

Q.  Interesting match.  She's the kind of player you have to beat all the time to get back to where you want to be.  Is that a difficult situation?  Does that make it a little tense out there?
ANA IVANOVIC:  Yeah, definitely.  It was a very tough match for me.
I knew from the beginning that it will be, you know, very tough third round I think for both of us.  We played a lot of times in the past.  We always have tough matches.  Even in practice, it's always, you know, tight.
So I really tried to stay calm and work and concentrate on what I was doing out there.  I played really well in the first set.
I think I started to rush a little more in the second and I created lots of opportunities, but I started to want to close out the match and wanted to rush and rush.  I was focused more on the end result rather than in the moment what I was doing and then I lost a bit of rhythm on my serve.
But I'm really happy that I managed to keep composed and then win the tiebreaker.  It was a very, very important win for me today.

Q.  She's a particularly dangerous player to play when she could hit 15 winners in a row and make a lot errors.  Does that make her difficult?
ANA IVANOVIC:  Yeah, she's tricky player.  She has improved her forehand.  I think she has more on it.  Her backhand has always been her better shot.
She definitely‑‑ if you feel her hit, she can hit very, very strong and deep.  This is what happens.  Sometimes I was a little bit too passive.
But, you know, I really tried to stay low and tried to, you know, be aggressive and do that, you know, first hit and put her under pressure.
So, yeah, I'm just really happy I hung in there and stayed calm in the tiebreak.

Q.  Things seem to be coming together for you now.  Any reason you think that things are starting to gel again?
ANA IVANOVIC:  I have been working really, really hard.  Ever since I started working with Nigel I felt like it was a good match.  We actually could see improvements straightaway, but it wasn't really coming in the matches.  It would come one and not the other.
I thought in the offseason we could put the good in and also focus on my body and getting it in the right shape.  Because I always had little pains and niggles, and I worked really, really hard and I'm really excited to see results.
Because, you know, you can play as well as you want in a practice court, but if you don't put it in a match, it's a different story.  You don't back yourself up.
This is something I'm very excited about and thrilled.

Q.  You get Venus Williams next.  Like I said before, you played a lot of times before.  What are your thoughts about her?  Have you seen any of her play this week?
ANA IVANOVIC:  Yeah, I've seen the match before mine.  You know, it's always tough playing both of them.  You know, it's good to see her back.  I think it's going to be an interesting match.
You know, I definitely saw a little bit of today's match, but once you step on the court and you can feel the ball and the speed of the ball, it's a little bit different story.
But, you know, still it's going to be very difficult to focus on what I have been doing and try to apply things I have been working on.  Me and Nigel are going to sit tomorrow and have a chat about the match and make a tactic, make a plan about the approach.

Q.  I know this happened before with you and Daniela when you're wearing the same outfit on court.  What are your thoughts on that happening or you know it's going to happen?
ANA IVANOVIC:  Yeah, it's pretty funny.  We were joking, at least one was blonde and one was brunette.  It would be problem if I played Sorana.
But, no, it is a little bit strange.  You look up and you see yourself (smiling).  It's like, Is that a mirror?
No, but I think it's a nice outfit.

Q.  Venus is admittedly obsessed with going to a fourth Olympics.  Obviously the Olympics didn't work out the way you would have preferred in Beijing.  Is that something that's a big focus for you this year?
ANA IVANOVIC:  Yeah, definitely.  I'm very thrilled, you know, to have opportunity to play in London.  It's exciting I think for every athlete.  Even though I didn't play in Beijing, still, to be part of it was very, very thrilling.
Um, I think this year with Olympics there it's that much harder.  It makes with so many big events.  We have French, Wimbledon, US Open, and then Olympics and US Open.  So it all feels kind of jammed together.
But it's very exciting.  I think everyone wants to peak their best.  I hope I can get a medal, any kind of medal.

Q.  Will you played in the mixed doubles?
ANA IVANOVIC:  I will play with Zimonjic.

Q.  Is it hard to keep your faith and optimism this year if you don't get back where you want to be right away?  You have to change coaches or you have injury and you slip back a little bit.  Is it day to day?  Is it difficult to force yourself?
ANA IVANOVIC:  It is difficult, and especially because I'm a perfectionist and I always want to do everything the right way and I always wanted to make everything perfect.
When it's not happening, you start to, you know, doubt and start to question so many things.  And to analyze.
Sometimes that's not good.  You try to make quick fixes and you try ‑‑ like I was expecting, you know, it to come back like so easy and so fast.
But unless you really put your head down and just take it day by day and actually enjoy the process and, you know, understand that it might not happen as fast as you hope for...
You know, once you accept it, hey it might take a year.  But I'm going to keep at it.  I'm going to be persistent as long as it takes, and that's when it start happening.

Q.  When did you and Nenad decide you were going to play together?
ANA IVANOVIC:  It was actually I think maybe two years ago.  In April he called me, and he's like‑‑ I was like, Okay, hi.  He said, Do you want to play mixed in Olympics?  I'm like, It's three years away.  He's like, Yeah.  Do you want to play?  I'm like, Okay.
So that's how it happened.

Q.  Before your serve was an issue.  Is it one of the areas you feel is coming back and that Nigel has really helped you with?
ANA IVANOVIC:  Yeah, definitely.  We worked a lot on my serve, and that's something that needed improvement.  You know, even now, every day I work on it and it's still not great, not where I want it to be.
But it's much, much better, and it helps me win more matches and helps me, you know, get out of trouble sometimes.
You know, I felt like that was a big part of my game, because I felt when I couldn't serve well my whole game was falling apart because I was a little bit stressed about it.
So now having confidence that I can serve well and win my service games, it takes lots of pressures off.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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