Ivanovic delight at new coach
Sears is Serb's calming influence
Ana Ivanovic has paid tribute to coach Nigel Sears’ calming influence after her excellent victory over Svetlana Kuznetsova. The Serbian 13th seed looked like the player that won the 2008 French Open with an morale-boosting 6-4, 6-3 win over her Russian opponent which was the highlight of a top class opening day in the women’s main draw.
Ivanovic produced a series of spectacular winners in her win over Kuznetsova and also feels relaxed knowing she can call on Sears, her softly-spoken British coach, after the first set, whatever the outcome.
“I am happy with the coach I now have,” said Ivanovic. “I have been working consistently and careful on the physical side and avoided injury. That lets me play more consistent and gain the confidence from winning more matches.
“Nigel is very calm. Sometimes I tell him to get more fired up but he is very calm. I am a perfectionist and sometimes I try to do too much at the same time and so he is very reasonable when he comes on to the ourt and help me and so this helps me to calm down a lot.
“It is just superstition calling him after the first set regardless of whether I have won or not. Other times I will call him just for the sake of it. Most of the times when I am in trouble or when I am down and I know what to do to turn around the match I won't call him but when I am in doubt then I will call him.”
Ivanovic’s fine performance was all the more impressive given the strong wind at Foro Italico on Monday. Even the sun umbrellas started to blow away and the conditions were not conducive to tennis at its best.
“It was tough out there today but it was the same for both of us,” added Ivanovic. “I just tried to move and to adjust and really tried to look at the ball and move forward. It was difficult at times and the gusts of wind would come out of nowhere, but it was a good match.”