August 21, 2015
S. WILLIAMS/A. Ivanovic
3 6, 6 4, 6 2
An interview with:
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. Talk about the match. How did it trend towards the end there?
ANA IVANOVIC: I thought it was really high quality match. I really started well, very aggressive. I think I did really well to come back in the second set and had a lot of opportunities. Got a little bit unlucky I felt when I was serving at 4 3.
Yeah, then after that I really felt like she started to get more confidence. In the third set I started well, but I just felt like I couldn't physically keep up that level. That made a difference at the end.
But I thought it was good quality.
Q. What do you think it is about your game that seems to trouble her and has troubled her the last couple of years? What do you do particularly well?
ANA IVANOVIC: Well, it's maybe the aggressiveness, you know. I felt like if I managed to have a little more strength on my serve towards the end of second and third set it could help me close out the match.
But that's something that I obviously have to improve in order to beat her and to score the victory against these kind of players.
But, yeah, I was really going after the returns, and I don't think she likes that.
Q. After you won the first set were you feeling, I'm almost there?
ANA IVANOVIC: No. You know, even when I was 4 3 up, you know, against these kind of players, against top players, it's not over until you shake the hand.
You have to fight for each point. Especially Serena, every time she was down and her back against the wall she came up with the best shots.
Q. Physically when did you start to feel it? It looked like you were kind of laboring through the third set.
ANA IVANOVIC: Yeah, exactly. Sort of when we had that long game in the third set on my serve. We had a few long rallies and that kind of took its toll.
And then I had a little dip and I started to feel better again at like 5 2, but it was kind of too late.
Q. Yesterday with that long match you had with Sloane, did that take anything out of you for today, do you think?
ANA IVANOVIC: Actually, to be honest, I was really happy the way I pulled out after that match. It was still two hour match and I felt fine today very fresh. I don't think that sort of affected today.
Q. Going into New York, how is your confidence right now?
ANA IVANOVIC: I mean, obviously I played some good tennis, you know, past two weeks. It was a little bit hard Nigel wasn't here. I think that's going to change when he comes.
I really look forward for a practice week, you know, with him so we can, you know, get few things also done and improved in my game that sort of I felt I need and that he saw.
That will be really good, and I look forward to the last Grand Slam of the year.
Q. On the subject of Nigel, obviously you have had some results with him and moved on to other coaches. What made you decide to come back to him?
ANA IVANOVIC: You know, we always kept in touch. He's really nice guy. We always said we had unfinished business.
That's something that, you know, we wanted to try and achieve. I think it's different situation now for both of us. You know, I think I'm more mature than I was then. It was also tough times for me when we work together.
So I think I have overcome that and I'm different player.
Q. Do you think in New York that women will have a feel of an added incentive to try to stop Serena?
ANA IVANOVIC: Probably, but it's always like this against the top players. You know, lower ranked players always peak. It goes with Serena, it goes with all I think top 10 probably. It is going to be a challenge, but I think she's up for it.
Q. Are you concerned at all about kind of the fading in the third set, the physicality issues?
ANA IVANOVIC: Well, I felt like it was a little bit story of the year for me. I have been always trying to catch up. Was really unfortunate with that broken toe; for two or three months I couldn't work at all.
I felt like I could never catch up because there are tournaments all the time, you know. It was always trying to do few days here and there. I was not getting enough match fitness, as well. It's been like a catchup.
It's much better now. You know, I'm still working hard on it. I think this week will help me to still improve. Yeah, and obviously offseason will be important.
Q. Is there a time between now and the offseason where you won't be able to have a training block, or are you already looking at the offseason like that's when it's going to happen?
ANA IVANOVIC: No, I try to do the best with the situation I'm in, and, you know, to work hard now for these 10 days or week that I have.
There is Asia coming up straight after US Open, so there is not much room.
Q. Are you managing expectations then for the rest of the year, or are your expectations and the pressure...
ANA IVANOVIC: You know, the only expectations I have is to give my best every time I step on court.
You know, it's not always going to be the result maybe I hope for. Maybe it will be better. But I can't see that. I can only do my best each day.
Such a good example for that is Rafa, I feel. Every time he gives his best. It's not always the result, but sometimes you have to go through that.
Q. Serena talked yesterday about not playing Stanford and was a little rusty in Canada, didn't have the matches, and then obviously coming here. You have played her a number of times, but were there areas of her game that maybe weren't working as well against you that really did in the past when you played her today?
ANA IVANOVIC: Well, I felt like she struggled a little bit on her first serve and probably it was also as I was putting a lot of pressure on it so she tried to maybe go for it more.
Overall I felt like her movement and her groundstrokes got a lot harder and deeper. She got fitter I felt compared to last few times we played.
Yeah, that was good.
Q. On the subject of your training block, IPTL coming in, how will you fit that in as well as prepare for the following season?
ANA IVANOVIC: I'm going to take few weeks off first and then sort of start the physical block. I think that's going to be the main focus, you know. And also IPTL try to work on that fitness and play a little, and afterwards put more emphasis on tennis.
Q. You brought a lot of power to the game when you started coming up. Is it hard to figure out how far to go trying to keep up with the Williams sisters, Serena in particular?
ANA IVANOVIC: Well, theres a lot of natural power. No matter how hard you work, you just can't get to that point. Some other people, you know, with the technique or talent you can have sort of natural power or movement with everything. It's always marginal what you can do in those areas.
For me, I feel like I do have a lot of natural power, as well, but sometimes not as much on the serve.
Q. Do you ever fight not getting too bulky?
ANA IVANOVIC: Yeah, you have to find balance, you know. Because you want to be fit, you want to be strong on court, but yet you want to feel so light that you can move.
And then again, you want to be a girl. You don't want to be, you know, masculine, as well. It is hard balance, I think.
Q. Your favorite memory of playing Fed Cup for Serbia?
ANA IVANOVIC: I mean, reaching final. When we beat Russia in the semifinal, that was really the most memorable moment for me.
Q. I never watched the IPTL, because it was like Pay Per View here, but understand that if you toss up the ball you have to hit it.
ANA IVANOVIC: Yes.
Q. Was that a problem?
ANA IVANOVIC: Not for me, but for Maria. (Laughter.) But it was fun. It's actually funny, because you have 20 seconds, and, yeah, if you toss and you drop it, you lose your serve.
Q. Did you get used to that shot clock thing and the countdown?
ANA IVANOVIC: You know, the thing is I naturally rush a lot, so it wasn't so much of an issue for me. But it sort of brought awareness to I should actually take more time, actually. I was too fast. Yeah.
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