Former French Open Champion Ana Ivanovic Reveals Her Toughest Rival Ever

Published 01/04/2021, 6:00 AM EST
Ana Ivanovic of Serbia celebrates a point in the first set against Simona Halep of Romania in their round robin match during the BNP Paribas WTA Finals at Singapore Sports Hub on October 24, 2014 in Singapore. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)


Former Serbian tennis star Ana Ivanovic has revealed the toughest rival from her playing days.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

The 2008 French Open champion, who is married to retired German soccer superstar Bastian Schweinsteiger, said though she battled many top players in her time, none posed a stiffer challenge than Czech star Karolina PliskovaShe also picked former Swiss star Patty Schnyder as another player who she found tough to beat.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Ana Ivanovic shares why she found Patty Schnyder tough to beat

Ana Ivanovic, who announced her retirement from tennis in 2016, revealed that she could never quite adjust to Pliskova’s style of play. In an interview to a Serbian blog, Ivanovic said, “One of the most difficult for me was Karolina Pliskova. It was very difficult for me to read her style of play. I had a hard time adapting to her.”

The Serb said that she also enjoyed playing Schnyder and was particularly intrigued by the way she “twisted her left hand.” “I also remember Patty Schnyder, I don’t know if you remember her, but I enjoyed playing with her. How she twisted her left hand,” Ivanovic said.

Ivanovic said she is often reminded of showdowns with the Swiss star on clay and the long rallies they were involved in. “We had really long points on clay and I liked to compete with her,” the Serb said.

Ivanovic says she never felt at ease playing on grass

The former Australian Open semi-finalist conceded that she was never at ease playing on grass courts. “My hardest substrate is grass. It was always difficult for me to move on it, I never felt stable on it,” Ivanovic said.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Though the Serbian finished with 15 career WTA titles and was ranked World Number 1 on June 9, 2008, she couldn’t realize her true potential in terms of more Grand Slam titles.

The Serb, who had many trysts with injuries during her playing days, bid adieu to the game at the relatively young age of 29.

DIVE DEEPER

Coach Sascha Bajin Reveals What Surprised Him the Most About Karolina Pliskova

5 months ago

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

 

SHARE THIS ARTICLE :

Priyabrata Chowdhury

846 articles

Priyabrata Chowdhury is a tennis author for EssentiallySports. He has been a print journalist for a decade, producing news pages for leading national dailies such as the Hindustan Times and The New Indian Express. His passion for sports eventually drove him to tennis writing.

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT