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All or nothing attitude key to win: Ivanovic
June 06, 2008 12:52 IST
Ana Ivanovic said her win or bust attitude saw her through to the final of the French Open in Paris on Thursday and secured her the world number one ranking for the first time.
Having squandered a set and 3-1 lead to fall 3-1 down in the deciding set against fellow Serbian Jelena Jankovic, she stormed back to win 6-4, 3-6, 6-4 thanks to a series of winners, putting her into the final against Russian Dinara Safina.
"Today I felt, especially in the second set when I had some break point chances, I started to be too defensive and not stepping up and being dominant," Ivanovic said.
"Obviously I had a great tournament and great preparation, so that gives me confidence in these key moments to believe and to step up.
"She's a player that if you give her chances she can use them. She loves to defend and to run, so you just have to take these kind of risks and believe. Sometimes it works; sometimes it doesn't."
Ivanovic was typically emotional in the semi-final, pumping her fist in delight at her winners and looking up to her support group in the stands after every mistake.
There were plenty of mistakes in the second set as Jankovic levelled the match and then moved ahead 3-1 in the decider, but Ivanovic pulled herself together in the nick of time before roaring back for victory.
"There was a little bit of anxiety built up, because I had my chances in the second set and didn't use them," she said.
"She started playing really well, and I was too passive at times. I tried to step up a little bit more and then made some unforced errors, so I had to go back to basics.
"I found it hard at the time, but towards the end of the set I managed to calm down and step up."
Ivanovic will replace Maria Sharapova [Images] at the top of the world rankings when the new list is issued on Monday, but the Serbian said she had not been aware, before starting her semi-final, that victory would take her to the top.
"I'm very, very thrilled," she said. "I didn't know going on to court today. Afterwards, in the locker room, the woman told me. I was obviously very excited.
"But still, on the other hand, the tournament hasn't ended and the rankings are coming after the tournament. Obviously every tournament you play you want to win, so that still hasn't changed."