August 20, 2015
A. IVANOVIC/S. Stephens
2 6, 6 4, 6 1
An interview with:
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. We have to ask about the eighth game in the second set. Don't go through all of it, but the highlights.
ANA IVANOVIC: If I wanted to, I wouldn't be able to. I mean, first, like I said on court, don't ask me how many break points I had in that game. But, I mean, it was very, very tough game.
To be honest, I felt like that game helped me a lot because I really struggled to get my rhythm. During the match she was very aggressive. In the second set I was trying to fight back and trying to change things, try to hang on whatever I got.
In that game I really thought we had some longer points. I was striking some of the best shots I had until that point in the match.
The important thing was that after I lost that game, in the next game I managed to stay calm and serve well and actually win that game and go 5 4 up.
I really felt like that was the turning point. No not the eighth game, but the ninth.
Q. With Sloane, she's incredibly fast and a good athlete, moves around the court, and has effortless power. How do you hurt her? How do you hurt her? What's the game plan against her?
ANA IVANOVIC: Well, she obviously showed that in the beginning. She was really making very few errors, and she constantly was putting me on the back foot. I was struggling to get the first shot in. Tried to get the rally on my side.
And after that I really tried to move her so that when she's on a stretch obviously it's not so easy for her to generate the power.
I really tried to look for my forehand, tried to be aggressive, to get even to the net in few occasions.
I was really pleased that that worked well.
Q. With you coaching the last couple of years, do you feel that much more settled now?
ANA IVANOVIC: I begging Nigel every day to come over (laughter.) He's coming on Sunday, so I really look forward to that. Obviously it's not easy, you know, being on my own. Even though we have we speak every day and everything, it still makes a difference. You know, especially these leadup tournaments, they are important, so many tough matches that we could see.
So it would be great to have him here, you know, by my side, but he will be there next week. Time flies, so he will come soon.
Q. After that game, do you really need him? You managed to find it from within.
ANA IVANOVIC: I mean, that's great for me to see that I do have it. In the past as well I showed many times that's actually within me. Still, it's nice to have positive energy and good team around you and good people.
Q. Serena next.
ANA IVANOVIC: Yeah, I mean, there is not much secret there. She's been playing really well. I watched some of her matches in Toronto, and I spoke to Petko after she played her. She just said she has such a big game.
For me at the moment it's recovery, and then, you know, try to do my things tomorrow. It will be very important to play well and to put pressure on her and try to also challenge myself and see where I'm at.
Q. Talking about Serena, people think she hits the ball harder than everybody else, but obviously you have played her many times and you know...
ANA IVANOVIC: Actually, many people don't give her credit for her movement. I think she also moves well. Serve is huge. You know when you have a break chance she's likely to come up with a big serve. She has faster serve than some of the guys. That's probably biggest part playing against her. Also during the rallies you feel she covers a lot of court.
But, you know, obviously I have beaten her once again and got her to three sets a few times. I look forward to that challenge. It will be a very tough match for me, but I'm excited about it.
Q. Obviously you are popular anywhere, but even though you played against an American today you got a lot of support here. Any thoughts on the support here?
ANA IVANOVIC: Yeah, it was very nice. I always feel like I have good support here. Fans are very excited about tennis, and to be honest, there are also a lot of Serbians. Probably some of the support was coming from their side, which obviously helps you through the tough moments, you know.
It was not easy. I was 4 Love down, nearly 5 Love. To come back, it was very important for me.
Q. This was your first match of the week. How difficult is it, you know, not playing until Thursday when everybody else is still playing?
ANA IVANOVIC: Yeah, and actually a lot of people were like, Well done. It's not easy. People don't understand how hard it is sometimes. Sometimes it's good to have matches. But on the other hand I was fresher, probably.
First few days of the week it was very hot and humid. Today the conditions were fun except some gusty winds.
Today's match sort of I went through everything. It helps me to get into tournament now.
Q. Speaking of Serbian fans, how do you compare how some of the fan support from your countrymen and countrywomen was back in 2006, 2007, 2008, compared to how it is now?
ANA IVANOVIC: I think it actually changed a little bit, because as we first started to do well, and back then, you know, they were not so knowledgeable about tennis, you know, so we had a lot of support even through the points, which was not fair to the opponents.
But I felt like through the years they really started to understand the game a little bit more and actually they started to be a little bit more judgmental, too. No, I'm kidding. They're great. (Laughter.) No, I'm just kidding. They're great.
It's always great to have support, and we have big Serbian community wherever we are. Last week in Toronto and Australia, also. It's always nice and to see familiar faces, as well.
Q. You always are very complimentary about Serena. You respect her quite a bit. Is there ever a concern that that respect is detrimental, having to take the court and playing against her and competing?
ANA IVANOVIC: Well, it's the same sort of like when you play against your friend. It's the same whenever you go through your personal life or whatever is happening in your game. When you step onto the court you have to forget who is on the other side of the net.
Of course you will think about weaknesses and strengths of the opponents, but you have to put that aside. You can respect someone. You should never underestimate anybody.
But even when you play against your friend it's hard to play. It's also hard to play against Serena because she's so good.
But you have to just keep at it and take each point as it comes.
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