A new era in women’s tennis could be dawning after the French Open welcomed a new name to its Roll of Honour, Ana Ivanovic.
Ivanovic had come close before, falling in the French Open finals last year to Justine Henin and in the finals at this year’s Australian Open to Maria Sharapova but on Saturday she kept her composure and slipped past Safina.
"I feel so happy, I have no words to describe that," she said. "Winning a grand slam title is something I dreamed of since I was a little kid, so achieving that goal, it's very thrilling. "You work so hard, off the court, on the court, and you put so much effort into it.
"I love the game and I enjoy playing, so this is the best reward I can get."
Ana Ivanovic made not only personal history on Saturday but history for her country as the Serb earned her first as well as her country’s first women’s Grand Slam singles title beating Dinara Safina 6-4, 6-3 at the French open finals.
The win by Ivanovic could herald the start of a new run by her at the top of women’s tennis world rankings. With Jelena Jankovic also knocking on the door, Serbia could be the new Belgium after that country saw Justine Henin and Kim Clijsters all but overwhelming women’s tennis for a number of years.
“Obviously, you know, being No.1 now holds more pressure. But you’re also a professional athlete, and if you want to achieve your goals you have to learn how to handle the pressure and realise that pressure is also kind of a reward, because you put yourself to in a position to doing something memorable.”
Ivanovic will take a week off, then play Eastbourne in the south of England before going to Wimbledon.
"For sure, I want to go to Wimbledon and win the title, because every tournament you play you want to win," Ivanovic said. "Obviously, now a lot of players will play their best tennis against me. But I still think I have a good chance. I've been working hard. So now I will relax a little bit, recover and also prepare on the grass before Eastbourne and Wimbledon."
"Celebrating the victory"
Ana celebrated with her family and her team, they went to one of her favourite restaurants in Paris and stayed there until around 1.30am, then they stopped at the Arc de Triomphe on the way home.
Shortly before the French Open began, Scott Byrnes (strength and conditioning coach), Sven Groeneveld (tennis advisor) and Marcin Rozpedski (hitting partner) all promised that they would do something outrageous if Ana won the tournament (Ana's brother Milos joined them)...they would run around the Arc de Triomphe while each wearing one of Ana's adidas dresses and they DID!
Well, not actually run around the Arc de Triomphe - the police stopped them before they had a chance to do that!!
They really had a great time that night!
(source National Post, Ana Ivanovic,
photo/THOMAS COEX/AFP/Getty Images via Yahoo Sports,