By Brodie Elgin
(August 6, 2013) TORONTO – It has never been easy to try and interpret the thoughts of Ana Ivanovic. A former world No. 1 and Roland Garros champion, her struggles after her meteoric rise were well documented. Ivanovic succumbed to the pressure during that time, and has even admitted to being trapped inside of her own head too often.
Now aged 25, the Serbian remains a recognizable name, perennial top 20 player, and with a career many players would envy. While the rapid fire nervousness may have disappeared from Ivanovic’s reaction when asked to talk about herself, she remains as thoughtful and honest as always.
“I do feel very fit physically and I don’t feel old. I’m really happy to be playing some good tennis again and to be enjoying the process, as well.” Ivanovic is coming off a semifinal appearance in the Southern California Open in Carlsbad, and today defeated Su-Wei Hsieh in her first round match in Toronto, 6-1, 6-2. “It’s good to be back here. I’m really looking forward to consistency and especially coming off how I played last week. I hope to keep that momentum going and to keep playing well here.”
Ivanovic parted ways with coach Nigel Sears following an early round exit in Wimbledon, but seemed positive about the team supporting her going forward. “I did make some changes after Wimbledon and took some time off and really set up a new team, a new plan, new goals and this is something that’s really helped me to be composed and calm.”
While Ivanovic did achieve some success under Sears, including winning the Commonwealth Bank Tournament of Champions in Bali in November of 2012, she sometimes had surprising, early round losses to opponents she might be expected to beat. Ivanovic emphasized consistency, and small but attainable goals moving forward without Sears. “I really now want to focus on getting more consistency and nothing thinking too much, you know, ahead of winning tournaments – just basically taking it one step at a time, being more in the present moment.”
Despite the inconsistency, Ivanovic is comfortable navigating the difficulties of the tour and enjoying her time on and off the court. “It’s not easy traveling all the time and everything. We get caught up in that kind of machine, and it’s very easy to get down on yourself. I have a good team around me now. It’s very important. There’s always some little thing you look forward to in events. We’re very fortunate to be doing what we love.”
Brodie Elgin is the writer of mindtheracket.com. You can also follow him on Twitter at @MindTheRacket. He is covering the Rogers Cup in Toronto for Tennis Panorama News, follow @TennisNewsTPN for updates.