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The Sky's the limit for new tennis queen Ivanovic

Serbia's Ana Ivanovic displays her trophy after defeating Russia's Dinara Safina in their women's final at the French Open tennis tournament at Roland...

Serbia's Ana Ivanovic displays her trophy after defeating Russia's Dinara Safina in their women's final at the French Open tennis tournament at Roland...

Move over Maria, its Ana's time at the top.
Ana Ivanovic's breakthrough Grand Slam win in the French Open final on Saturday and her elevation to the world No.1 spot, dislodging Maria Sharapova, has set the stage for the Serbian to attain iconic status both within the sport and on the wider scene.
She has the talent, she has the looks, she is only 20 and she is almost too good to be true. She is an ad man's dream.
Ivanovic is also the perfect foil in the glamour girl stakes to Sharapova, currently the best-known and best paid sportswoman in the world.
They are set to forge a compelling rivalry that could bankroll the women's game for years to come.
The 21-year-old Sharapova is explosive, often moody at press conferences and dauntingly single-minded. Ivanovic is niceness personified, a beaming smile never far away and ever courteous to players and press alike.
It's an image she says she has no desire nor intention of ever changing.
"On and off the court, it's obviously different," she said of her persona.
"I still believe it's important to be a fair player and don't lose your appearance just because people might say you're too nice," she said after her 6-4, 6-3 win over Dinara Safina of Russia in the Roland Garros final.
Much has been made of her struggles to make it to the top in tennis.
Growing up in war-torn Yugoslavia in the late 1990's, Ivanovic had to practice in disused swimming pools in a country that reveres its footballers and basketballers but had, until now, no tradition in tennis.
But in fact she comes from a reasonably well-off and stable family background in Belgrade with mother Dragana a lawyer and father Miroslav an economist and businessman.
She did have to travel to Germany at a young age, leaving her parents, to further her budding career and she says that was a move that was key in forging her character and single-mindedness.
"Obviously it makes you stronger," she said. "My parents never forced me into anything. They always supported my decisions and I think that is important because when you're on the court, first of all, you have to make your own decisions.
"In some ways it made me much stronger. And also since I was very young, I started travelling and my mom came often with me which was great. She's like my best friend too."
Next up for Ivanovic will be the grass courts of Eastbourne and then her fourth Wimbledon campaign, having last to eventual winner Venus Williams in a closely-fought semi-final last year.
It's too early to properly quantify her own chanches, she said, minutes after her French Open triumph, but she has realistic ambitions in London.
"I think I have a good chance. I've been working hard and this hard work gives results," she said.
"Next week I have time to relax a little bit, recover and then prepare for Eastbourne and Wimbledon."


Updated : 2021-07-30 18:03 GMT+08:00