Many consider Serbian tennis superstar Ana Ivanović’s breakthrough win to have come in August of 2006 when the then 19-year-old defeated former World No. 1 Martina Hingis in the final of the Rogers Cup in Montreal. She went on to win WTA Tour’s United States Open Series ahead of Kim Clijsters and Maria Sharapova.
In 2007, Ivanović had a six-match winning streak heading into the French Open and increased this streak to 12 by reaching the final. Had she won the final, she would have completed an impressive sweep of the top three players in the world at the time (Kuznetsova, Sharapova, and Henin), however Henin took the final in straight sets.
Following the loss, Ivanović admitted that the prospect of being in her first Grand Slam final had overwhelmed her.
Neverthless, she finished 2007 with a career-high ranking of No. 4.
As the fourth seed at the 2008 Australian Open, Ivanović defeated Venus Williams in the quarterfinals, 7–6(3), 6–4 for the first time in her career before losing to Maria Sharapova in straight sets in the final.
At the French Open in June, Ivanović was seeded No. 2 and after defeating Dinara Safina,6–4, 6–3 in the final, she not only had won her first Grand Slam singles title, but she had become No. 1 in the world.
The 2009 season has been a disappointment however, with zero titles and a record of 24-14, her worst since turning pro.
She heads into 2010 as the 22nd ranked player in the world, but perhaps she can take some solace in the fact that she’s No. 1 in the eyes of sportsnet.ca readers.
More on Ana:
- Studies finance and Spanish at a university in Belgrade in her spare time
- Her inspiration to begin playing was Monica Seles
- In 2007 she became a UNICEF National Ambassador for Serbia
- Currently dating Australian golfer Adam Scott
- Big fan of the television shows 24, Lost, and Prison Break
- As a child she encountered the NATO bombings in 1999, forcing her to train in an abandoned swimming pool in the winter.
- Superstitions are to not walk on lines of the court, and at some tournaments to eat at the same restaurant each night
- Self-described as strong-willed, sensitive, determined and extremely competitive
- Finished 11th on FHM’s 100 Sexiest Women in the World 2009 list
- Named the best-looking tennis player of all-time by The Age newspaper
- Has the most-visited website of any sportswoman (according to www.alexa.com)