Ivanovic in search of Paris magic

Updated: 21 May 2009 18:06 IST

Ana Ivanovic is hoping the City of Light will work its wonders on her over the next fortnight.

Ivanovic in search of Paris magic

Paris:

Paris has been the inspiration for many troubled souls over the years and Ana Ivanovic is hoping the City of Light will work its wonders on her over the next fortnight.

It was after last year's French Open at Roland Garros that the Belgrade beauty had the tennis world at her feet.

Winning her first Grand Slam title, and rising to the top of the world rankings at the age just 20, Ivanovic was touted as the next Maria Sharapova in terms of fan appeal, talent and commercial appeal.

But no sooner had she hit the heights than she started to suffer from a bad case of vertigo.

It started with a premature exit at Wimbledon two weeks later and continued into the US Open where she again went out early in the second round.

The Serb was struggling with injuries, low morale and a whole host of other distractions and it got little better for the rest of the year.

"It's true, just after Roland Garros I really lost my way," she said. "But it's in the past now and its all a good experience.

"Paris has always had a special place in my heart. Even when I was just a junior, but obviously all the more since it was where I reached my first Grand Slam quarter-final, then my first major final (against Justine Henin in 2007) and of course last year when I won my first Grand Slam title."

Part of the reason for this renewal of confidence in herself is the decision to part company with Sven Groeneveld, the Adidas coach who numbered her among his charges in favour of Craig Kardon who has worked with great names such as Martina Navratilova, Lindsay Davenport, Mary Pierce and Jennifer Capriati.

"It's really working between us," Ivanovic said. "We communicate really well, even if it's early days and we're still getting to know each other."

Their collaboration started in February and Ivanovic showed immediate signs that she would benefit from the change making it to the final in the top-tier tournament at Indian Wells before losing to Vera Zvonareva.

But she then went out early in Miami and Rome after which she revealed that she was in pain from an inflamed right knee.

That ruled her out of the Madrid Masters last week and she now faces going into her title defence short of match practice.

"It's a setback," she said in a recent interview. "I haven't had the preparation I wanted, but there's nothing I can do about it.

"Injuries are the most frustrating thing about being a professional tennis player, but you just have to accept that they are part of the game.

"But I have to stay positive. I didn't play many matches before the French Open last year either.

Topics : Tennis Andy Roddick Lukas Dlouhy Rohan Bopanna Leander Paes Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi Maria Sharapova
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