Ana Ivanovic, one of Tennis Channel's Athlete Analysts, has been busy sharing content and giving inside looks into her life, 12 years removed from winning Roland Garros. Before wrapping up her two-week stint as an analyst, she answered a batch of interesting fan questions.
Here are just a few of the 2008 Roland Garros champion's responses:
Q: Which new major champion would you love to play against?
"To be honest, probably Swiatek because I think her style of the game is similar to mine. She loves to run around her forehand. So, I think it would be really interesting to see how that would match up."
Q: What is it like playing tennis with your husband—is he any good?
"He is really good, especially his forehand but I still don't let him win. It's a lot of fun because that is something we can do together, and we always have fun playing together and he's improving. He still dreams of beating me one day, but I don't think there is a chance."
Q: What is the best and the worst parts of being a pro tennis player?
"Well, the best part for me was doing something that I really love and also getting the chance to travel the world. It was amazing getting to meet so many different people and different cultures. It's been super, super fun, but the worst part is probably that as well. You travel so much you never get a chance to be home and you don't know what to call home anymore."
On Sunday, Ivanovic got to catch up with Kirsten Flipkens, who is still going strong on the WTA tour. The two spoke about their 20-year friendship, the latest Roland Garros and some of their most cherished moments on tour.
"She's 19 years old and we've known each other for 20 years, yeah, we are getting old Ana," Flipkens said.
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Flipkens and Ivanovic had always been close friends on tour and were always there for each other through the rollercoaster lifestyle of being a professional. The two friends chatted about how well Swiatek performed during her fortnight and how unusual the circumstances were. With hardly any fans in attendance, Flipkens said it felt as if she was playing a practice match.
"I know as tennis players we kind of live in a bubble anyway, but this is like even more controlled," Ivanovic said.
Flipkens said it's all about tennis, which can be a challenge. The world No. 84 misses being able to hang out with friends, explore cities and just navigate freely without thinking about the many restrictions in place.
"Every wrong step you are reminded of it, and as a tennis player you should focus on your game plan and you should focus on your rituals and rhythm," Ivanovic said. "But, sometimes you cannot because you're thinking where should I get my towel, where do I get my balls. For the normal events it's still but the Grand Slams, they are two-week events, and it's a long long time to be in that sort of bubble."
Before signing off, Ivanovic brought up their last dinner together in New York just before she announced her retirement in 2016. It was an emotional dinner and both ended up in tears because they felt as if they were saying goodbye forever.
"It was such a strange feeling because we've known each other for so long, we've been through so many ups and downs," Flipkens said. "I think there have been times on and off the court that I was the one that was down, you were the one talking to me like be positive and the other way around as well."
It certainly wasn't goodbye forever, and while they're sticking to Zoom for now, they will be planning a reunion trip soon enough.