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Thousands welcome Roland Garros champion Ana Ivanovic in native Serbia

Thousands of people in downtown Belgrade on Tuesday welcomed home Serbian tennis queen Ana Ivanovic, French Open champion and number one in the WTA rankings.

"Ana we love you," and "Queen Ana!" thousands of fans gathered in front of the parliament building in the Serbian capital screamed.

"I celebrated the biggest success in my career in Paris, but no celebration can match what you prepared for me," Ivanović, who won her first Grand Slam at the French Open on Sunday told the crowd.

"The last days have been a dream. I will never forget Roland Garros. When I heard the national anthem (Boze Pravde) I couldn't hold back the tears," said the 20-year-old. It was a special moment for me."

Although dressed in an elegant white dress, Ivanovic served several tennis balls into the crowd.

After the celebration, Ivanovic met with Serbia's President Boris Tadic, his media office said.

Serbia in 2008 became the newest power nation in tennis. Ivanovic followed up compatriot Novak Djokovic with 2008 Grand Slam success after his Australian Open title in January.

Djokovic, Ivanovic and Jelena Jankovic all made the final weekend in Paris, with countryman Nenad Zimonjic reaching the men's doubles final and Dusan Vemic reaching men's doubles semis.

(source Blic, IHT, photo/B92)

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