Written by Peter Gehr Senior Tennis Editor
Ana Ivanovic Australian Open 2012 dressed to kill: Kim Clijsters prime target. With a fresh outlook and confidence, Ivanovic wants to be sure she makes amends for the loss against Clijsters in March 2011.
After coming so close to beating the Belgian, the ambitious Serb finally succumbed to defeat in Florida. However, almost a year later, the 24 year old promises not to repeat defeat, but to claim victory over Clijsters in the 2012 Australian Open.
That fighting spirit and inner confidence may very well be a good state of mind to boost her inner game of tennis, in order to prepare for the soon-coming performance on the hot summer Australian tournament.
Ana Ivanovic Australian Open 2012 Dressed to Kill: Kim Clijsters Prime Target
“I think it’s going to be great this time around.”
Clijsters will indeed need to be on her guard if Ivanovic begins pulling out the kind of shots she did against Paszek, the world No 42.
Twice in the first set Ivanovic hit an around-the-post running forehand, both times on to the corner baseline.
“It was kind of nice. Actually I didn’t even see the ball, I just felt it was going to go in,” she said.
“It’s good to hit shots like this, especially in the first match. You can push your body and go for these kinds of shots.
“It was fun — got me excited.”
The new coaching relationship with Briton Nigel Stears, which began after Wimbledon, seems to be suiting Ivanovic.
The forehand is as true as ever, marking a return to the heady days of May 2008, when she won the French Open, and the serve is vastly improved.
“Obviously there were some nerves, especially early on. But I really felt I played well and applied lots of things we’ve been working on,” Ivanovic said.
“Still, there is room to improve, but I’m happy to be through.”
She felt her forehand was working well, “but I need to step in more on my backhand, put a little more work on the ball. They are things to improve for the next match.”
Everyone is happy to see Ivanovic striking the ball like she used to. For others, injuries seem to jam transmission from their brains to their racquets, hindering them from returning to their best.
For Ivanovic the process seemed to be unprompted. She is a former world No 1 who finished 2007 and 2008 in the top five.
But by mid-2010 her ranking was in the 60s. She had gone through several coaches and still her serve seemed to be the main problem.
But Ivanovic has turned things around. She has won the end-of-season Bali championships two years in a row, reserved for the next eight players who miss out on the WTA championships.
She’s still wary of Clijsters, though, and takes no comfort from the fact that the defending Australian Open champion has played only one main draw match since retiring from the tour in August with a stomach muscle tear.
“She hasn’t played a lot over the past few years but when she came back, she won the (2009) US Open,” Ivanovic said. Click here to visit the original source of this post
Ana Ivanovic Australian Open 2012 dressed to kill: Kim Clijsters prime target. The world’s best women tennis players have gathered together in Brisbane, Australia, to battle for the prize of the much coveted Australian Open title—and a little prize money too.
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