Ivanovic and the 'granddad'
Ana Ivanovic of Serbia in action against Daria Gavrilova of Australia during day two of the WTA Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championship at the Dubai Duty Free Stadium on 16th Feb 2016 Photo By: Rahul Gajjar
After making shot-making look ridiculously easy under the Dubai sun, Serbian poster girl Ana Ivanovic couldn't stop smiling when someone asked about the 'granddad'.
"Like who? Of well, he is great. He's obviously feeling healthy. Yeah, everything is going well. Obviously it's great news for them, so I'm very happy," the former world number one replied.
Of course, the question was not on her granddad.
It was about her coach Nigel Sears, Andy Murray's father-in-law.
Sears - Ivanovic's coach -- collapsed during her third round match at the Australian Open. The Scotsman is now recovering in his hometown as well as enjoying becoming a grandparent after his daughter Kim gave birth to a baby girl few days back.
Sears believes Ivanovic is on her way to rediscovering the form that took her to the world number one spot and French Open title in 2008.
"Well, that was our goal when we first started to work together this time around. And since then -- obviously it was middle of the season, so it was tough to change some things straightaway. "But we did some big changes. I have a new fitness coach also with me, so kind of new, solid team I have behind me now. And all the hard work we have done in the offseason and also injury prevention and fitness work obviously give you confidence. We did a lot of work on court, as well. "Like I said, there are still some things to improve and to work on, but that's the beauty of tennis. You know, you always have to push yourself," said Ivanovic in the post-match Press conference after her 6-1 6-0 win over talented Australian youngster Daria Gavrilova in the first round of the Dubai Tennis Championships on Tuesday.
Ivanovic admits that she gives a lot of importance to the mental side of the game. "Yeah, definitely. But sometimes you wish you could switch it off, you know. But I really work hard in that part for myself. "I really enjoy that, that part of our game. I think our brains are amazing. I try to get as much information as I can, but sometimes it hinders myself. "Obviously I'm starting to understand myself better as well, and what works for me, what doesn't!"
Last week Ivanovic reached the semis at the St Petersburg tournament and here in Dubai her next opponent will be defending champion Simona Halep.
"I have put in a lot of hard work. It's nice to see that on the court, as well. I'm also not rushing to finish the points, because I'm confident I can stay in the rallies. That's what you need when you get deep into the tournament. "But you want to play against the best, and next match is going to be a tough one for me.
"Simona is a very tough, consistent player. She strikes the ball well, she moves well, so it's going to be a good challenge."