Flushing Meadows, NY – It seems like a lifetime ago Ana Ivanovic was No. 1 in the world, but it was just five short years ago back in 2008.
But times sure have changed.
When Ivanovic was No. 1, George W. Bush was President, the world economy was on the verge of collapse, and the world just heard of Sara Palin.
But things have changed in five years and Ivanovic couldn’t handle the pressure, but she is still around, plowing through against Alexandra Dulgheru, 6-2 6-1 to make the third round.
“I think the whole US Open Series I have been playing quite well,” she said. “It was really unfortunate in a couple of matches I lost, and I felt like I had chances in all of them. It was sort of, you know, a buildup.
“Obviously Cincinnati it was very disappointing, but I really tried to put that aside and really focus on this week, because I feel I have been playing good tennis.
“I put a lot of hard work in all areas. So, you know, it’s important to try and keep that balance and continue the same manner.”
The 25 year-old feels she is in a better position now, not being No. 1, rather it’s easier to be in the pack since there is no “bulls-eye” on you and everyone is elevating their game against her.
But that doesn’t mean being in the middle of the pack is easy either.
“Well, I think I still have a lot of work to be done, in all honesty,” Ivanovic said. “I have been there so I know how it feels. It’s very tough competition out there.
“I have to be more consistent, you know, and on higher level. It’s no secret in that. I have to, you know, start winning the matches that I had against (Victoria) Azarenka and Li Na in last couple of tournaments, these are the matches I need to win in order to get back there. It’s still a long way.
“It’s still also to enjoy the process of getting back there. That’s what I’m realizing. I really put my head down and I want to achieve that.”
And that may be advice she should have given herself five years ago.
“Now looking back, I wish I just trusted myself,” she said. “But you get affected by certain things, and you know you’re a perfectionist and you try to improve that or get better or prove them wrong. So you get distracted, and that pressure builds up a little more. I just wish I had someone telling me to keep the same things that could help me get through that period, as well.”