PARIS. When Justin Henin decided to quit tennis in 2008, many were wondering who would take her place as the Clay Court Queen. No one more than Justine in her generation seemed able to dominate clay the way the Belgian would do with her shots.
Then Ana Ivanovic had her breakthrough. It was the passage of the baton. Justin who had beaten Ana in the final in 2007, handed the trophy to the Serb one year after. Surprisingly, that was also the last time Ana ever went so far into the main draw of Roland Garros.
At least until today. Beating Ekaterina Makarova in the fourth round on a windy and rainy Sunday in Paris, Ivanovic reached the last eight at the French Open for the first time in 7 years. For the first time since winning the title.
In her press conference Ana was smiley and happy, ready to answer all questions, happy to have her voice heard in the spacious main interview room in Court Philippe Chatrier. "It is amazing for me. I have to be honest I wasn't expecting to do so well at the start of the tournament.
My expectations weren't very high. But then I managed to focus day by day, seeing things match by match, and I made it. I am very happy and it means a lot to me" said Ana. To those saying she seemed more excited and emotional than usual, Ana said: "Am I too emotional? No, I am Serbian. You know, all of us Serbians tend to be very emotional.
But that's a part of who I am and I love it. There were times some people asked me to be less emotional on court, to control myself better. But you know in the end it took away from me more energy trying to hold it all in, rather than just letting it out and be the real me.
I love my country and I always try to give back some of the fortunes I had. You know, growing up during the war wasn't easy, especially under a financial perspective. But I made it, and I am very happy". Next opponent for Ana will be Elina Svitolina, who was very calm and relaxed in her press conference --->