Twelve years after hoisting the Coupe Suzanne Lenglen in Paris, 2008 French Open champion Ana Ivanovic has debuted in a new role during this year's fortnight in Paris: tennis analyst.
The former World No. 1 has been working as an athlete analyst for Tennis Channel remotely over the course of the year's final Grand Slam, providing commentary on social media and television.
"It's good to... get in touch with tennis again. I've been missing it a little bit," Ivanovic told Tennis Channel's Jon Wertheim, Steve Weismann and former world No. 6 Chanda Rubin on Thursday's episode of Tennis Channel Live, joining the broadcast via video chat.
"It's hard to believe it's been 12 years because it almost feels like yesterday. It bring so many emotions every time that time of year comes around. Of course, it's October that Roland Garros is being played, but every time I see [Court] Philippe Chatrier or even Suzanne Lenglen, so many memories come through my head. This is one of the moments that I will never forget."
No one remembers a Grand Slam like the champions themselves.🏆🎾🇫🇷— Tennis Channel (@TennisChannel) October 4, 2020
We prepared some 2008 @rolandgarros trivia for @AnaIvanovic to see if she recalls her journey to the trophy.
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On Thursday, Ivanovic not only gave her insight on the French Open tournament, but some of the larger themes of the WTA season, including the successes of Serena Williams and the myriad of other mothers on tour.
"There are so many amazing things about Serena. First of all, I think she changed women's tennis in a way and what she's achieved is amazing. I do think she will get the 24 that she wants," Ivanovic said.
"It's amazing that she's 39 and still playing at such a high level. I saw a little bit of her matches at the US Open, and I was really amazed to see how well she was moving and hitting the ball. It was very clean and very powerful."
Now 32 and a mother of two boys, having given birth to her second child last August, the Serb added: "To be honest, I think once you become a mother, your perspective changes. Something that was so important to you becomes less important, and you have someone else to take care of and worry about. All this pressure that you put on yourself to win each match, [the] value on what other people think, or sponsors — I think that shifts once you become a mom, because you know that there is something more precious."
Though it's been just four years since she stepped away from the game, Ivanovic says her desire to get involved with the sport again lies strictly in an off-court role. When asked by Rubin if she's ever thought about making a comeback, the former World No.1 laughed: "Probably not!"
"I do love watching tennis and I really do miss the competition sometimes, especially when the big events are on, but to be honest, I really am immersed in their lives and spending time with them," Ivanovic continued.
"I'm really lucky to have had my career before. Of course, I still work and have other projects that I'm working on, but I think coming back would require too much of my time and commitment."
Having reached her first French Open final at the age of 19 in 2007 before winning it all the next year, Ivanovic was full of praise for another 19-year-old in Iga Swiatek, who matched the feat by surrendering just three games against Argentine Nadia Podoroska in the semifinals — and when asked to put it all out there and pick a winner, she went for the teenager.
"Iga is... not afraid to take risks. She plays important points very, very solid and it's great to see. It brings excitement to the game," she said.
"Iga is a newcomer and I feel like, in the past few years, lots of youngsters have been winning the French Open, so maybe that system will continue!"