Ivanovic says she can revisit highs of old
Ana Ivanovic is yet to revisit the highs of 2008 when she won the French Open and made the Australian Open final, but the Serb feels her game is close to a level where she can challenge again.
The world number 13 was beaten 6-2, 6-4 Sunday by fourth seed Agnieszka Radwanska to miss out on a quarterfinal berth at Melbourne Park, creating chances but missing the killer instinct of old.
Yet Ivanovic, who worked hard in the off season to lose weight and boost her strength, is confident her time will come again.
"Definitely, definitely," she said.
"That's what still drives me, to play and compete. I want to compete for big titles in big tournaments because I feel my game is still there. You know, I have strength to do so."
Her form has been patchy since Roland Garros in 2008, but she reached last year's US Open quarterfinals – her best Grand Slam since the Paris victory.
"It is frustrating because I feel like I create chances for myself again," she said.
"I feel a few years back when I was losing in the second and third rounds of Grand Slams, that was the level then. And yet I cannot sort of make that step, that sort of breakthrough.
"I guess sometimes results don't come as early as you expect them.
"Sometimes it takes time for a few things to fall in place. I definitely feel my game is in a higher level than it was over the last few years."
Beating Radwanska was always going to be a high hurdle to cross with the Pole on a 13-match win streak this year without dropping a set.
The pair had played each other seven times before with Radwanska winning their four previous meetings, most recently in Beijing in 2011, and she once again proved far too powerful and consistent.
Ivanovic admits Radwanska was too good on the day, but drew confidence from the match.
"I really felt like I could challenge her, and it was really frustrating in the second set. I had so many chances," she said.
"Even in the beginning of the first, I thought some of the games in the beginning could have gone either way.
"That's the frustrating thing. But she's that kind player that makes you work. She doesn't give you much.
"I feel I'm on a high level. I just have to prove that and make that step of beating top players."