Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Ana Ivanovic

Born November 6, 1987 in Belgrade, Serbia, then Yugoslavia
Ana Ivanović (Serbian Cyrillic) , is a former World No. 1 Serbian tennis player. She is currently ranked World No. 8 by the Women's Tennis Association and is the reigning French Open singles champion. She was also the runner-up in singles at the 2007 French Open and the 2008 Australian Open

"I am pretty happy. But there are so many things I have to still improve."
- Ana Ivanovic

Ivanović picked up a racket at the age of 5 after watching Monica Seles, a fellow Yugoslavian, 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, Ivanović 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.

Ivanović 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 ITF circuit, and won all 5 events that she entered, two of them as a qualifier. Her first professional breakthrough occurred in October 2004 when she took Venus Williams to two tie breaks before losing 7–6(11), 7–6(6) in the second round of the Zürich Open in Zürich, Switzerland, in which she held several set points in both sets; this was after a 3-set battle with then-ranked Number 27 Tatiana Golovin. She followed that up with a quarterfinal showing in Luxembourg the following week.

Ivanović won her first career singles title, as a qualifier, in Canberra, Australia. Her ranking continued to rise after wins over Svetlana Kuznetsova, Nadia Petrova, and Vera Zvonareva, all of whom were top 10 players. Ivanović lost to Amélie Mauresmo at the Australian Open, Doha, and Key Biscayne, Florida. However, Ivanović defeated Mauresmo in the third round of the French Open. Ivanović eventually reached the quarterfinals of that tournament, where she lost to Petrova. Later in the year, Ivanović reached the semifinals of the Zurich Open and Generali Ladies Linz, losing in both tournaments to Patty Schnyder.

Ivanović endorsed Nike apparel and shoes at the beginning of her professional career, but at the beginning of 2006, she switched to rival Adidas. She started with the Wilson HTour racquet,[citation needed] then upgraded to the nCode nTour[citation needed] and to the nCode nTour Two[citation needed] before switching to the nCode nBlade. Since the beginning of 2008, Ivanović has been using the Yonex RQiS-1TOUR racquet. She has now begun using the RQiS 1 Tour XL racquet

As a testament to Ana Ivanovic's down-to-earth and giving personality, she was selected as a UNICEF National Ambassador in 2007 in her home country of Serbia. This gave her the chance to work on important issues like child protection and education by visiting local schools. Even though Ana's busy enough with her tennis duties, having a cause that is close to her heart makes her life that much more rewarding.

Ana Ivanovic doesn't just have a blooming tennis career, she's also a glorified sex symbol to men around the globe, and her position on AskMen.com's 2008 Top 99 at No. 73 was proof of that.

Ana Ivanovic is sexy, from her smile to her fun demeanor, and she says she can't wait to meet Mr. Right, even if her schedule is jam-packed. "When that happens, and if he feels the same way about me, I'm sure we can make it work," she says.

You could call Ana Ivanovic the Serbian girl-next-door. Just like many girls next door, she loves music, especially the R&B variety, and makes a point of attending concerts between matches. She even attended the Princess Diana Memorial Concert on a break from Wimbledon in July 2007.


Winner (8): 2008 - Indian Wells, Roland Garros, Linz;
2007 - Berlin, Los Angeles, Luxembourg;
2006 - Montreal;
2005 - Canberra;
2004 - ITF/Mallorca 2-ESP, ITF/Gifu-JPN, ITF/Fukuoka-JPN, ITF/Fano-ITA, ITF/Batumi-GEO.
Finalist (3): 2008 - Australian Open;
2007 - Tokyo [Pan Pacific],
Roland Garros 2007
Semifinalist: (8): 2008 - Sydney, Berlin;
2007 - Amelia Island, Wimbledon, Year-End Championships;
2005 - Warsaw, Zurich, Linz.
Quarterfinalist (15): 2008 - Dubai;

2007 - Gold Coast, Sydney, Antwerp, s‘Hertogenbosch
2006 - Sydney, Indian Wells, Warsaw, s'Hertogenbosch; Los Angeles; Linz, Hasselt
2005 - Miami, Roland Garros;

2004 - Luxembourg.


Finalist (1): 2006 - 's-Hertogenbosch (w/Kirilenko).
Semifinalist (2): 2006 - Tokyo [Pan Pacific], Warsaw (both w/Kirilenko).

Height 1.84 m (6 ft +1⁄2 in)
Weight 69 kg (150 lb)
Turned pro August 17, 2003
Plays Right; Double-handed backhand
Career prize money $6,290,137

Career record: 215–76
Career titles: 8 WTA, 5 ITF
Highest ranking: No. 1 (June 9, 2008)

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