Ana Ivanovic is a retired tennis player from Serbia, who achieved worldwide popularity with her win at the 2008 French Open.
Ivanovic remained at the top of the women's game for much of her career, regularly challenging for the big titles until her retirement. She was even ranked World No. 1 at one point of time, and was one of the three concurrent players (along with Novak Djokovic and Jelena Jankovic) who made Serbia a tennis powerhouse for a while.
Best finish at each of the four Grand Slams:
Australian Open: Runner-up (2008)
French Open: Champion (2008)
Wimbledon: Semifinalist (2007)
US Open: Quarterfinalist (2012)
Highest Ranking: No. 1
Weeks at No. 1: 12
Style of play
Ivanovic was an attacking player who hit the ball with pace and very little topspin. Her flat strikes aided her in her offensive play, but also put her at a disadvantage while defending.
The Serb used her serve and return to set up putaways for her groundstrokes, in particular her preferred forehand wing. She even approached the net on occasion to finish points, and she spent a considerable amount of time standing inside the court.
Strengths and weaknesses
Ivanovic's forehand was her most obvious strength; many considered it to be one of the best in history. She hit it flat and hard and in every direction possible, dictate most rallies with it.
Ivanovic's first serve could be a weapon, as she could generate a good amount of pace with it. Her second serve, however, was a major liability; her ball toss often went haywire, leading to untimely double faults or short deliveries.
Ivanovic's backhand was her weaker wing, and she mostly used it as a rally shot. She could, however, end points with the backhand too if she had enough time to set up for it.
The Serb's movement wasn't the greatest, and she often struggled when forced to defend.
Ivanovic was born in Belgrade, Yugoslavia, and started playing tennis at the age of five. She picked up the sport after watching Monica Seles play on TV; Seles remained Ivanovic's idol her entire career.
With Yugoslavia being subjected to NATO bombing in her growing years, Ivanovic often struggled to find a time or place to train. At one point the facilities available were so scarce that Ivanovic was forced to practise her tennis in an abandoned swimming pool.
At the age of 13 she moved with her mother Dragana to Basel, Switzerland, in order to make use of the superior training facilities there. A few years later she decided to stay there permanently.
Ivanovic earned success at a very early age as a pro, and by the time she was 20 she was already World No. 1 as well as a Grand Slam champion. That early success brought in too much pressure though, and as she struggled to handle all the attention suddenly focused on her, her results dipped drastically.
The Serb slipped out of Slam contention over the course of the next few years as the technical aspects of her game - in particular her ball toss on the serve - started to disintegrate. Although she made a brief comeback to the top 10 in 2014, Slam success continued to elude her.
Throughout this period of struggle though, she remained an extremely popular player with both fans and brands. Her good looks and charming personality ensured that she constantly received endorsement deals and sellout crowds wherever she went.
Ivanovic married famous German footballer Bastian Schweinsteiger in 2016. In March 2018 the couple announced the birth of their first child, a boy. Today, Ivanovic lives with her new family in Chicago, and continues to be extremely popular - especially on social media.
Social media presence:
Ana Ivanovic Instagram: @anaivanovic
Ana Ivanovic Twitter: @AnaIvanovic