By Neil-Monticelli Harley-Rudd
Ana Ivanovic will be aiming to get revenge over former Eastbourne champion Agniezka Radwanska at Devonshire Park if they meet in the 2013 AEGON International.
The Serbian star, a previous winner of the French Open that propelled her briefly to world no1 status, was surprisingly outwitted and outplayed by the Polish ace to fall 6-2 6-4 at Roland Garros. She had only dropped one set in the opening three rounds, but the 4th Round was a step too far.
World no14 Ivanovic, under the guidance of British coach Nigel Sears, explained:
“I actually think we were closer than maybe the score indicates, it was maybe my serve that let me down.
“If you lose your serve against her then you have to win points over and over again. There’s a point where it gets frustrating and you have to stick with it – at some moments I didn’t, which made a big difference today.
“But I’m definitely a more complete player than when I won the French in 2008. At the time I had probably more confidence at a higher level.
“That is something that I put myself in a position to play against these top players. I just have to break that through because I really want to make that step forward again to be in the top 10.”
Yet since claiming her Grand Slam crown in Paris, Ivanovic has struggled both on and off the court. And after she became single last year admitted that one day she would like to settle down and start a family.
Ivanovic has never got further than the 4th Round at Roland Garros since she was crowned champion, and the Serbian star has just one Grand Sam quarter-final berth (2012 US Open) in the past five years.
She has been ever improving since Sears tutored her, and her resilience is paying off. A top 10 hit once more is within her grasp, but whether she’s make it this year depends on her grass court performances in England at Birmingham, Eastbourne and then Wimbledon.