Under the Patronage of H.h. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. Nice to win a high quality match like that, wasn’t it?
ANA IVANOVIC: Yeah, definitely. Yeah, I think it was one of the highest quality matches I have had in maybe last year. I was very happy to get through, especially that I was down in that first set. I started a little bit anxious. I was rushing too much.
But I was really happy I managed to calm down and sort of raise my level and win. I lost a lot of close matches in the past, so it was nice to get this one done. I knew I had it in me, so I really believed throughout.
Q. There was also a day of delays and during the match there was an interruption. How were you able to stay focused?
ANA IVANOVIC: Well, honestly I was not expecting to get on court that early. It was 6:30, I was still in my hotel relaxing. Then it was like I got the message, “before 8:00.” I’m like, Oh, my God. I have to get ready? I have to get to the club?
So it was a little bit hectic, but I was really happy to sort of believe in myself and trusting the work I have done in the previous days.
Q. Your confidence grew dramatically at the start of the second set. Why was that?
ANA IVANOVIC: Well, I just knew I had to keep it on and I had to step up. Because she’s tough player. She has experience and she knew she had to.
So I knew if I wasn’t the first one to do that she would take opportunities, and I didn’t want to be in that situation to race back again.
I really stepped up, played really well the first game and sort of, yeah, set the tone a little bit.
Q. Your play was more consistent today, wasn’t it?
ANA IVANOVIC: Yeah. And honestly at some point I was really impressed with my movement. So thank you, Howard, for all the hard work we did in offseason. So obviously that paid off, especially against one of the best movers on tour.
Q. You had a bit of trouble with the ball toss, as well, today. Is that something you tried to focus on?
ANA IVANOVIC: Well, honestly I didn’t feel like I was rushing but the chair umpire said I was taking too long. So I was like, Oh, my God, now I have to rush?
I felt like I was rushing, anyway, so it was a little bit off, throwing me off. But I was really happy I managed to serve well, after getting broken early, to hold my serves.
Q. What work did you do? You say Hal.
ANA IVANOVIC: Howard. Howard Green.
Well, we did sort of lot of work all over. I needed improvement, especially ending last season with injury. We had to start slow, doing a lot of work in prevention area. Then slowly starting to build strength and then tried to built on the movement.
I was even not allowed to run for quite some time. I only started doing some work on the treadmill like intervals few weeks ago.
So, yeah, it was really a lot of hard work, a lot of hours in the gym, but it obviously paid off and I’m really happy.
Q. Is that all at Didsbury?
ANA IVANOVIC: No. I did some work in Manchester and some work in Switzerland.
Q. You have Barbora next?
ANA IVANOVIC: Yes. I didn’t honestly think about that. I really tried to focus — it was really a quick turnover also from St. Petersburg. I didn’t really look at the draw deep. I just tried to focus each match at a time.
It’s going to be a battle, for sure. She’s been obviously playing well. I followed a little bit the live score today. She came back strong in second and third set. Obviously she is also having confidence winning that match today, so we’ll see.
Q. Your career since 2008, many times you’ve threatened to come back really strong. How have you seen it? Has it been a struggle or…
ANA IVANOVIC: Well, the thing is that I feel like I have been at each point trying my best, you know. It was not always easy. Not always did I have the right team around me. Not always were the surroundings great.
There were a lot of things. Obviously the influence. Also I achieved everything so young. So it took time for me to mature.
Honestly I just try now to enjoy my game. I’m 28, this year 29. I just think about all the experiences I had, all the things I achieved. I know now it’s time to actually play the game.
That’s why I started tennis in the first place. Throughout the years there were so many pressures and so many expectations, but, you know, you just have to believe in yourself and try to find your own part and your own happiness.
There is no overachieving or underachieving. It’s what you make out of it. I know I have talent and possibility to do well. That’s what I want to try and do.