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joyful rogger fedder

Monday, June 29, 2009

'I'm playing my best tennis ever,' says Ana

Photo Titled Ana cool under pressure
Ana Ivanovic glides into the second week with a straight sets victory over Samantha Stosur.

Having summarily dismissed her third round opponent, Samantha Stosur, 7-5, 6-2, the 13th seed Ana Ivanovic is oozing confidence, calm and poise and believes she is playing better now than when she was ranked world number one.

“I think my game is probably even better than it was," she said. "I feel also much more experienced and much more mature in some way. I went through a lot over the past year, being number one, having some disappointing losses and some tough times. That made me stronger and made me appreciate some things, not to take every match you win for granted, but just to appreciate the hard work that was put in.”

Talking of her victory over Stosur, she said: “I think my tactics and my game plan prevailed over my emotions. That's something I'm really happy about. I stuck with my plan and kept playing the best I can every point.”

Grass is also providing new-found pleasure for Ivanovic. She is enjoying playing on it, and says she’s been making changes in the way she approaches this very specific surface. “I worked a little bit on consistency in my game and just being more patient. That's what I try to apply in my matches this week. It's been working well. So I just want to stick with that and try to realise I have to hit few more shots in a rally, but I'm fine with it.”

Having taken a few tips from watching a certain Roger Federer, Ivanovic feels she’s beginning to get to grips with what is needed to do well. She said: “I think my game suits grass very well. This is the first year that I feel I'm starting to use grass for my advantage, and trying to work it”, adding: “Federer does that so good. So it was great to see, and it gave me encouragement.”

Ivanovic will now play defending champion and number three seed Venus Williams in the next round, having met her here previously in the semis two years ago. "I'm very excited” to play Venus, she said. “She plays really well here and the last two years here she's the champion.” She added: “I’ve felt like every match I was playing better and better, and that's what you want to feel going into the second week of a Grand Slam.”

Ivanovic will undoubtedly need to draw on that newly-found maturity if she wants to get past Venus, although she is optimistic. “She's a very dangerous opponent, but I think I have a great chance and I feel very comfortable going into that match.”

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