Ivanovic on learning curve to Grand Slam success

10th June 2007, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, June 10, 2007 (AFP) - Ana Ivanovic looked back on the wreckage of her first appearance in a Grand Slam final on Saturday and vowed she would learn a lesson.

PARIS, June 10, 2007 (AFP) - Ana Ivanovic looked back on the wreckage of her first appearance in a Grand Slam final on Saturday and vowed she would learn a lesson.

The 19-year-old Serb was a bag of nerves as she slumped to a disappointing 6-1, 6-2 defeat in just 65 minutes to the world's top player Justine Henin.

At one stage from 1-0 up in the opening set she lost eight games in a row struggling to control her service toss and splaying shots wide and long.

In the end it was another one-sided women's final at Roland Garros and it is now six years since the 2001 classic between Jennifer Capriati and Kim Clijsters that a championship match went the full distance.

Ivanovic, who has burst into the world top 10 this year and has been touted as the next big star of the women's game in the footsteps of Maria Sharapova, admitted freely that the big occasion had been too hot for her to handle.

"At the beginning of the match I felt okay. I was trying to put the nerves aside, the emotions aside," she said.

"But then, in my first service game, it just hit me and I had so much trouble with my ball toss and first serve. It was going everywhere and was very hard to control."

Ivanovic's sudden collapse shocked the centre-court as she had made a winning start to her debut Grand Slam final pinning back the top seed and defending champion and breaking her serve with ease.

She then moved to 40-0 up on her own serve before her stage fright struck.

But she insisted that rather than being despondent, she was determined to learn a lesson and be better prepared the next time.

"I was a little bit over-excited and maybe even trying to do too much she said. "But I can use this as experience and next time I am in that situation, I will probably know how to deal with it better."

Ivanovic admitted that she had missed the advice of coach Sven Groenefeld, who was unable to help her as he and both players are under contract to sportswear giant Adidas and part of the deal is that he cannot coach one company player against another.

"Maybe it would have been a little bit different if he could have given me some tactics or some headlines," she said.

"But at the end of the day we are alone on the court and we have to find a way to win on our own."

Ivanovic, who will rise to a career best sixth in the world on the back of her showing at Roland Garros, now turns het attentions to the buildup to Wimbledon where she reached the fourth round last year.

"I think my game can be really good on grass and especially as I try to come more often into the net, so hopefully that will be very good for Wimbledon."


Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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