Ana Ivanovic, who made a shock early exit at Roland Garros, is kicking off her grass court season at Eastbourne’s Devonshire Park – and aiming for a decent run.
The Serbian star, who earlier this season became single after splitting up with her golfer boyfriend and then installed a new coach, will be entering the 2012 Aegon International and gain a Wimbledon seeding as the world #14.
Ivanovic has choosen not to defend her WTA Tour points at this week’s Birmingham’s Aegon Classic, having romped to the semi-finals last year with arguably some of best tennis on grass.
However, following a disappointing 2011 clay court season – especially the opening round exit at Roland Garros despite having been a previous French Open champion – Ivanovic turned on the style at Birmingham but was worn out when she came to Eastbourne, and then failed to make much of an impact at Wimbledon.
The former #1 is no longer lacking in confidence since pairing up with British coach Nigel Sears, and appears happier on the WTA Tour despite not capturing a clay court title.
With a new coach to advise her about exploits on and off the coach, Ivanovic is understandably picking and choosing her tournaments with the utmost care and consideration.
And the intimate Eastbourne event is going to be a chance for the darling of the court to hone her natural grass skills ahead of the back-to-back majors of Wimbledon and the Olympic Tennis Competitions – both hosted at SW19.
As usual the women’s event is littered with rising stars, former Grand Slam winners and ex-world #1 players – so Ivanovic has her work cut at Devonshire Park, but will find the Centre Court crowd very vocal towards supporting her.