In Focus | Dubai Tennis Championships

Ana Ivanovic to fall back on new coaching team

Former world number one focused on continuing to improve after Dubai exit

  • By Alaric Gomes, Senior Reporter
  • Published: 15:36 February 20, 2014
  • Gulf News

Dubai: With a new coach as part of a revamped team around her, has left former world number one Ana Ivanovic raring to go for the remainder of the season.

After scaling the summit of women’s tennis in the middle of 2008, Ivanovic saw her form desert her in subsequent seasons.

However, the 26-year-old Serb has done well in recent times and made a strong start to this season, winning her 12th WTA title at the Auckland Open last month, when she beat Venus Williams in the final.

Ivanovic also made it to the quarter-finals at the Australian Open, where she lost to Canadian teen Eugenie Bouchard.

On Wednesday, she made a second round exit from the Dubai Duty Free Women’s Open after being blown away by Williams 6-2, 6-1, but she promised she will work hard to be at her best for the remainder of the year.

“It’s very hard, but this is a hard week. It’s still a matter of working and improving. I have a lot of work to do and there is a lot more weeks to come,” Ivanovic said.

“But I really want to focus on that, just backing up these victories and hopefully not [having too many] matches like this.”

Ivanovic announced at the end of last year that her new team consisted of Nemanja Kontic as coach and Zlatko Novkovic, who used to be her part-time fitness trainer, was given a full-time assignment.

Since then she has improved and has often described herself as “strong-willed, sensitive, determined and extremely competitive” — but that was not seen during her loss on Wednesday.

“If things are not going your way then sometimes I do get upset and I get wound up. But today [Wednesday] was just very hard because I really felt like I was trying to do the right things and it was not going my way and it’s sometimes very hard emotionally,” she said.

“There is no reason to really get upset when it’s just not working. So I just have to work harder.”

Gulf News