Saturday January 19, 2013
Skinnier Ivanovic bids to recapture top form
TENNIS beauty Ana Ivanovic buried the rift with fierce rival Jelena Jankovic at the Open yesterday before revealing her quest to lose weight and build strength to return to the top of womenís tennis.
The former French Open champion defeated her fellow Serb 7-5, 6-3 to advance to round four, in a match that produced only shades of the animosity of past clashes between the pair.
At Madrid in 2010, Jankowicz complained about the constant fist pumps from Ivanovic, who in turn accused her fellow former world number one of lacking character.
Latent tension between the two was still evident as they exchanged baseline blows for one hour and 23 minutes, but Ivanovic claimed the intensity was to be expected at a Grand Slam.
ďI think itís competitiveness that you have with everyone you play, especially someone from your own country,Ē Ivanovic said.
ďOf course there is going to be rivalry but I think there is a healthy rivalry, too, because you push each other.
ďItís fine between us. We had a really good week together in Prague for the final of the Fed Cup. We were hanging out a lot, joking. Itís nice. We have known each other for a while.Ē
Ivanovic, who is listed at 69kg by the WTA, has visibly lost weight and she said she had purposefully trimmed down, while at the same time trying to increase her strength.
ďItís not so much about losing weight,Ē said Ivanovic.ďItís just about the muscle and getting the right balance, because you need to feel light on the court but you have to be powerful.
ďThis is my style of game. Iím a very powerful player, but I do still need to improve my upper-body strength. I had a tough match the other day but I was feeling fine and explosive today. Iím very pleased itís paying off.Ē
Serbiaís menís world No.1 Novak Djokovic credits a gluten-free diet for putting the final touch on what he thinks is the ideal physique for a tennis player. He believes it is best to be light, agile and explosive. ó AFP