With the 2016 Summer Olympic Games quickly approaching, many of the world’s top singles players are beginning to pick partners for the doubles competition in Rio. While, of course, the players can only compete with fellow countrymen/women, former French Open Champion and current world number 20 Ana Ivanovic was recently asked in an interview with Sportsnet Canada who her dream doubles partner would be. The Serbian number two made a pretty good choice, opting for 17-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer of Switzerland.
Ivanovic: “I’m Amazed by His Beautiful Style of Play”
While Roger Federer has already indicated that he will compete in the Rio mixed doubles competition alongside Martina Hingis, Ivanovic can only dream of playing doubles with the all-time great Swiss champion. “Roger is obviously one of the greatest players of all time, maybe the best ever,” Ivanovic said. “Like everyone else, I am amazed by his beautiful style of play, and he’s a great person, too, so it would be a big honor to play doubles with him."
Former World Number One Discusses Prior Struggles
After reaching the Australian Open finals before winning her first French Open title over Dinara Safina in 2008, the Serbian rose to the top-position in the rankings, becoming the world number one for the first time. After reaching the pinnacle of the sport, the Serbian fell off of her game. By the end of the 2008 season, she fell back down to the fifth spot in the rankings. By the end of the 2009 season, she fell outside of the top 20, finishing the year ranked 21st in the world. She attributes her struggles to her constant desire to rush, both changing her style of play and trying to maintain her ranking.
"It was hard not to panic,” Ivanovic said. “I so wanted to get back to the top. I was maybe rushing to do it and not realizing that it was going to be more of a process. I changed too many things when I should have been faithful to what got me to the top in the first place.”
She continued by describing how she lost confidence, both in her game and in herself. “And then the longer you go without showing your best form, the more confidence you lose,” Ivanovic added. “The way I was able to play my best tennis again was to be more relaxed and not put so much pressure on myself. I was able to stop thinking about the rankings."
Ivanovic is next scheduled to play in the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships, which begin on Monday, February 15th. Her dream doubles partner Federer continues to rehab from his recent knee surgery and hopes to return to the tour soon.