Ana Ivanovic (born November 6, 1987 in Belgrade) is a Serbian women's professional tennis player. She is currently ranked World No. 2 and is the top ranked Serbian player, just in front of compatriot Jelena Jankovic. At the 2007 French Open, Ivanovic reached her first Grand Slam singles final, losing to Justine Henin. She also reached the semifinals of Wimbledon and the Women's Tennis Association Tour Championships in 2007. At the 2008 Australian Open final, she was defeated by Maria Sharapova.
Ana's parents support her career. Ana's mother, Dragana, a lawyer, attends her daughter's matches all season along with Ana's father, Miroslav, who is a self-employed businessman. Ana has a younger brother Milos, with whom she loves to play basketball. Other hobbies include shopping, watching movies and playing Su Do Ku. Ivanovic's uncle is a former footballer and now a coach. Her inspiration to begin playing was Monica Seles, and she also admires Roger Federer.
On September 8, 2007, Ivanovic has become a UNICEF National Ambassador for Serbia, along side Aleksandar Djordjevic and Emir Kusturica, and will take a special interest in the fields of education and child protection. Ivanovic, who is expected to visit schools in Serbia in the coming months, added: "I'm also looking forward to going into the classroom and meeting many kids."
Ivanovic started her promising career at the age of 5, after memorising the number of a local tennis clinic from an ad on TV. Ivanovic was inspired by the performances of Monica Seles, a fellow Yugoslavian/Serbian at Roland Garros. During her training she encountered the NATO bombings in 1999, where she would have to train in the morning to avoid them. Later on she admitted she would train in an abandoned swimming pool in the winter, as there were no other facilities. Martina Navrátilová revealed, Ana lost her first tournament and spent 4 hours in the locker room crying because she thought her agent was going to drop her because she felt that she wasn't good enough to become a professional tennis player.
Ivanovic is good friends with doubles partner Maria Kirilenko, as well as other professional tennis players Daniela Hantuchová, Svetlana Kuznetsova, Sanja Ancic and fellow Serbian Novak Djokovic.
Ivanovic is an offensive baseliner. She relies heavily on the power, depth, and placement of her forehand strokes, producing many winners through penetrating, flat shots with occasional topspin. Her net play has improved significantly, and her drop shots are generally well executed. Ivanovic's two-handed backhand is solid, but if she has time to get in the correct court position, she prefers to hit an inside-out forehand. She has a forceful but unreliable serve, although she occasionally hits aces on her second serve. She has occasionally won matches with a first serve percentage of below 40%.
Because of her height, Ivanovic spends much of her training time on improving her fitness and footwork.
Ivanovic often describes her own playing as "point by point," making it possible for her to win matches that seemed to have been lost. On the other hand, her quality of play can vary significantly from match to match. Ivanovic also has difficulty in adapting and changing her strategy when not in control of a match.
Her style is suitable for all surfaces; however, clay courts give her more time to reach shots from her opponent. Although it is generally more difficult to hit through opponents on a slow clay surface, Ivanovic has sufficiently powerful strokes to overcome much of this disadvantage.
Ivanovic was endorsed by Nike at the beginning of her professional career, but at the beginning of 2006 she switched to rival Adidas which is her current apparel and shoe endorser. She started with the Wilson HTour racquet, then upgraded to the nTour and to the nTour Two before switching to the nBlade. Since the beginning of 2008 Ivanovic is using the Yonex RQiS Tour 1.
Ivanovic picked up a racket at the age of 5 after watching Monica Seles, a fellow Yugoslavian/Serbian, at Roland Garros on television. She started her promising career at the age of 5, after memorizing the number of a local tennis clinic from an ad on TV. During her training she encountered the NATO bombings in 1999, where she would have to train in the morning to avoid them. Later on she admitted she would train in an abandoned swimming pool in the winter, as there were no other facilities. When she was 15, Ivanovic spent four hours in the locker room crying after a defeat - the first that her new manager had watched - because she thought that Dan Holzmann was going to drop her because she felt that she wasn't good enough to become a professional tennis player. He has stayed as her manager to this day.
2004: Professional debut
She first caught the eye of the tennis world when she reached the final of the Junior Wimbledon tournament in 2004, losing to Kateryna Bondarenko. In 2004 she also went 26-0 on the challenger circuit, and won all 4 events that she entered, two of them as a qualifier. Her first professional breakthrough occurred in October of 2004 when she took Venus Williams to two tie breaks before losing 7-6(11), 7-6(6) in the second round of the Zurich Open in Zurich, Switzerland, this was after a tremendous 3 set battle with then-ranked Number 27 Tatiana Golovin. She followed that up with a quarterfinal showing in Luxembourg the following week.
2005: Maiden title
In 2005 Ivanovic burst onto the scene by winning her first career singles titles, as a qualifier, in Canberra, Australia. Her ranking continued to rise after impressive wins over Svetlana Kuznetsova, Nadia Petrova, Vera Zvonareva, all (at the time) Top 10 players. Later on she scored her biggest win as she knocked out local favorite and 3rd seed Amélie Mauresmo in the 2005 French Open's third round, before her tournament came to an end in the Quarterfinals after an encounter with Russia's Nadia Petrova. Later on in the year, injury sidelined her from moving further up the rankings, but she showed signs of great form in the Zurich Open and Linz, by making the semi-finals in both. Her great year saw her end at Number 16 in the rankings. Ivanovic said that she "hope[s] to be in the Top 10 next year."
2006: Solid season
Ivanovic started off 2006 by playing at the Hopman Cup with fellow Serbian Novak Djokovic where the pair narrowly missed the final. To start off her WTA year she played at the Medibank International in Sydney where she once again defeated Amélie Mauresmo, this time in straight sets, before falling to Svetlana Kuznetsova in the quarterfinals.
At the Pacific Life Open in Indian Wells she defeated Anna Chakvetadze 6–3 6–3 before falling to Elena Dementieva in three sets. In the clay court season, she defeated Patty Schnyder in straight sets in at the J & S Cup in Warsaw before losing to Anna Chakvetadze after a three-set battle. Retiring against Na Li at the Qatar Telecom German Open in Berlin while leading a set, she was unable to reproduce her record from the previous year, falling to Anastasia Myskina in straight sets in the third round of Roland Garros. She progressed to the Round of 16 at Wimbledon but lost to eventual champion Amélie Mauresmo, 6–3 6–4.
She made her breakthrough in August when she defeated former world number one and comeback queen Martina Hingis in the final of the Canada Masters in Montreal, in which she won 6–2, 6–3. This ultimately led to her winning the United States Open Series ahead of Kim Clijsters and Maria Sharapova. At the US Open she lost to the resurgent Serena Williams. After some early round losses to Olga Poutchkova at the Wismilak International in Bali and Venus Williams at the FORTIS Championships in Luxembourg, Ivanovic took a few weeks off to tend to a recurring injury in her right shoulder. She made her return in Linz and made it to the quarterfinals of Generali Ladies, before losing to Maria Sharapova in two tight sets. To finish off her year she had a disappointing run at the Gaz de France Stars in Hasselt, Belgium, as she lost to Dutch player Michaëlla Krajicek.
Ivanovic also played 9 tournaments in doubles this year, teaming up with Maria Kirilenko and Sania Mirza. Ivanovic and Kirilenko made 2 semi-finals and a final; they ended the year at number 17 in the annual Race to the Championships.
Ivanovic finished off 2006 as the 14th best ranked woman in the world. In the doubles, she crept up to finish at number 51 in the world, an improvement of her Top 200 finish in 2005.
2007: Top 5 debut
Ivanovic's first tournament was the Mondial Hardcourts in Gold Coast, Australia, falling to Shahar Pe'er in the quarterfinals 5–7, 6–4, 6–4. Her next tournament was the Sydney Medibank International, where she again lost in the quarterfinals, this time to Nicole Vaidišová 6–4, 6–2.
Ivanovic was the thirteenth seed at the Australian Open. She defeated Polish player Agnieszka Radwanska in the second round but lost to World No. 22 Vera Zvonareva in the third round 6–1, 6–2. Immediately after the tournament, Ivanovic announced via her official website that she had terminated the services of her then-coach, David Taylor.
At the Tier I Toray Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo, Ivanovic reached her third career final, defeating Jelena Jankovic in the quarterfinals and Maria Sharapova in the semifinals. Ivanovic then lost to Martina Hingis 6–4, 6–2.
Ivanovic then left for Europe and played the tournament in Antwerp, where she lost in the quarterfinals to Kim Clijsters.
Her next two tournaments were Tier I events in the United States. At the Pacific Life Open in Indian Wells, California, Ivanovic was upset in the fourth round by Sybille Bammer. At the Sony Ericsson Open in Key Biscayne, Florida, Ivanovic was upset by Yaroslava Shvedova in the second round.
The following week, Ivanovic began her clay court season at the Bausch & Lomb Championships in Amelia Island, Florida. She defeated Jankovic in the quarterfinals before falling to Tatiana Golovin 6–4, 3–6, 6–4. In her first appearance at the Family Circle Cup in Charleston, South Carolina the following week, Ivanovic lost to Vera Zvonareva in the third round.
Ivanovic then returned to Europe to play two red clay court tournaments. In Berlin at the Qatar Telecom German Open, she won her first Tier I clay court title. She defeated Patty Schnyder in the quarterfinals and World No. 4 Svetlana Kuznetsova in the final. However, Ivanovic injured her ankle during the final, which forced her to withdraw from the Internazionali BNL d'Italia in Rome. The win in Berlin propelled her into the top ten of the WTA Rankings for the first time, at World No. 8.
Ivanovic then headed into the French Open on a six-match winning streak. She increased this streak to twelve by reaching the final. She won her first three matches with the loss of only nine games. In her second career quarterfinal at Roland Garros, Ivanovi? defeated World No. 3 Kuznetsova 6–0, 3–6, 6–1. She then beat World No. 2 Sharapova in the semifinals 6–2, 6–1. In the final, Ivanovic attempted to win her first Grand Slam singles title and complete a sweep of the top three players in the world. Three-time winner Justine Henin, however, won the error-strewn match 6–1, 6–2. Later on, Ivanovic admitted that the idea of being in the final of a Grand Slam tournament overwhelmed her.
With the clay court season over, Ivanovic played the Ordina Open on grass in 's-Hertogenbosch, Netherlands, losing in the quarterfinals to Daniela Hantuchová. At Wimbledon, Ivanovic defeated World No. 9 Nadia Petrova in the fourth round 6–1, 2–6, 6–4. In the quarterfinals, Ivanovic saved three match points to defeat Vaidišová 4–6, 6–2, 7–5. In the semifinals, three-time former Wimbledon champion Venus Williams defeated Ivanovic 6–2, 6–4.
A pestering knee injury, sustained at Wimbledon, required Ivanovic to withdraw from Serbian Fed Cup competition with Slovakia and two lead up events to the U.S. Open. Ivanovic returned to the tour at the East West Bank Classic in Carson, California. In the semifinals, Ivanovic played her country woman Jankovic for the third time that year. Ivanovic saved two match points before winning the match 4–6, 6–3, 7–5. In the final, Ivanovic defeated Petrova to win the fourth singles title of her career, which propelled her to a career high ranking of World No. 4.
Ivanovic next attempted to defend her title at the Tier I Rogers Cup in Toronto, Canada. However, her title defence lasted only 65 minutes as she lost to Chinese qualifier Yan Zi 6–3, 6–1.
In her first three matches at the U.S. Open, Ivanovic lost only ten games. Venus Williams then eliminated Ivanovic for the second consecutive time at a Grand Slam tournament, 6–4, 6–2.
Ivanovic then returned to Europe for three tournaments. At the Tier II (now changed to Tier III) Luxembourg Championships, Ivanovic qualified for the WTA Tour Championships as she reached the semifinals. In the final, Ivanovic rallied from 6–3, 3–0 down to defeat Hantuchová in two hours and 25 minutes. This was her fifth career title. At the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix in Stuttgart, Ivanovic lost to Ukrainian qualifier Kateryna Bondarenko in the second round 6–2, 1–6, 6–3. Playing at what Ivanovic considers her home event, the Tier I Zürich Open, she lost to Golovin in the second round 6–3, 6–1.
To end the year, Ivanovic played the WTA Tour Championships in Madrid, Spain. Seeded fourth and assigned to the Red Group during the round robin phase, she defeated World No. 2 Kuznetsova in a close three-set match and Hantuchová in straight sets. Sharapova then defeated Ivanovic in the final match of the round robin 6–1, 6–2. Because she finished second in her group, Ivanovic played World No. 1 Henin in the semifinals, which the Belgian won 6–4, 6–4.
Ivanovic finished the year with a career-high ranking of World No. 4, a mere 14 points behind Jankovic.
Ivanovic started the year by participating in an exhibition tournament in Hong Kong, where she was seeded first. She lost to Elena Dementieva in the quarterfinals 6–4, 1–6, 6–3. Ivanovic then entered the Silver Group, a competition among all first match losers. Based on her world ranking, she was favored to win that competition; however, she lost to World No. 45 Shuai Peng 6–1, 6–3.
Ivanovic's next tournament was the Tier II Medibank International in Sydney, which attracted 12 of the top 15 ranked women. After trailing 5–2 in the third set of her second round match, Ivanovic defeated Frenchwoman Virginie Razzano 6–1, 2–6, 7–5. In the quartefinals, Ivanovic defeated Slovenian Katarina Srebotnik but then lost to Justine Henin in the semifinals 6–2, 2–6, 6–4. This was the first time in four meetings Ivanovic took a set off Henin.
Ivanovic entered the Australian Open as the fourth seed and reached the quarterfinals for the first time. There, Ivanovic defeated Venus Williams for the first time 7–6, 6–4. In her semifinal against Daniela Hantuchova, Ivanovic prevailed 0–6, 6–3, 6–4 to reach her second career Grand Slam final, after having trailed 6–0, 2–0. She then lost to Maria Sharapova 7–5, 6–3. Because of her performance at this tournament, her ranking rose to World No. 2, the highest of her career.
In Serbia's Fed Cup Europe/Africa Zone Group I D round robin tie against Poland in Budapest, Ivanovic defeated World No. 215 Urszula Radwanska in straight sets. In Serbia's second round robin tie against Romania, Ivanovic defeated Monica Niculescu 5–7, 6–4, 7–5 and then teamed with Jelena Jankovi? to win the deciding doubles rubber against the Romanian team 2–6, 7–6(3), 7–6(2). In the promotion playoff, Ivanovic beat Renee Reinhard of the Netherlands 6–2, 3–6, 6–3 as Serbia advanced to the World Group II playoffs in April.
Ivanovic was the top-seeded player at the Qatar Total Open in Doha for the first time in a Tier I tournament. She defeated Olga Govortsova in the second round 6–3, 6–1 but subsequently withdrew from the tournament because of an ankle injury suffered during that match.
At the Barclays Dubai Tennis Championships, the third-seeded Ivanovic lost in the quarterfinals to the eighth-seeded Dementieva 5–7, 6–3, 6–3.
At the Tier I Pacific Life Open in Indian Wells, California, the top seeded Ivanovic defeated Jankovic in the semifinals 7–6(3), 6–3 before defeating Svetlana Kuznetsova in the final.
At the Tier I Sony Ericsson Open in Key Biscayne, Florida, Ivanovic was the second seeded player but lost to Lindsay Davenport in the third round in straight sets.
Ivanovic's next scheduled tournament is the Tier I Qatar Telecom German Open in Berlin, where she will be the defending champion.