Home»Sports»Other Sports»News» A Birthday Special On How 11 Times WTA Winner 26-Year-Old Ana Ivanovic Rose To The Top Of The Tennis World Being Raised Amidst Bomb Scares And Wars.
Tennis Star Ana Ivanovic’s struggle to the top through bomb scares
Nov 07, 2013, 10:02 AM IST
Sports Desk:Glamour has become synonymous with modern day women’s tennis. Women’s tennis today is treated more as a glamorous event rather than a sporting one. Even in a tournament as big as a Grand Slam, the media has more concentration on eye-catching facts other than game play. This is a phenomenon that can be attributed to the fact that a lot of pretty ladies have made it to the top.
While men catch all the attention on their play, struggle and rise, women fall prey to the aforementioned discrepancies. A story of struggle, turmoil around a women’s journey to the top is unheard of. One such story is that of the Serbian Ana Ivanovic, who celebrates her 26th birthday today.
Born and brought up amidst wars and bomb scares, Ivanovic’s journey to the top tier of world tennis has been overshadowed by her good looks. Despite drawing attention for breaking the hotness meter, the birthday girl’s success story has often taken the backseat.
On the occasion of the star’s birthday, we take you through her struggle and rise.
To know more about how a shy, girl nextdoor, living in utmost fear made it big, please click through.
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The 6 feet 1 inch tall Ana made foray into the tennis world possessing mirror cracking looks and an aggressive intent to boast of.
The Serb drew comparisons with fellow tennis players Ana Kournikova and Maria Sharapova.
Now whether she takes the route of the other Ana and end up as a mere model or the Russian Sharapova and be equally challenging at both was the big question.
Credit to the hardwork, she ended up in the latter category.
On 6th November 1987, Ana was born in Belgrade in Yugoslavia.
Ana was a tennis lover since birth. Ironically to the routine, she was a topper in maths and the tennis aficianado she was, she preferred Tennis to Gymnastics, contrary to the fellow Serbs.
Despite Williams sisters grabbing all the headlines in the tennis world, Ana's story is more sensational.
During her childhood, Ana couldn't manage enough time to practice the sport. This boiled down not to the fact that her parents were against her or was slammed in the kitchen like many of her age group, but because of prevelance of war in Belgrade.
Owing to the fact that Belgrade was marred by constant bomb blasts, Ana used to practice her trade in a hard morning routine.
Once while at her paternam grandmom's place, Ana eye-witnessed a bomb blast in the neighbourhood. Going through the turmoil, Ana developed an introvert nature.
During winters, Ana used to head to the Olympic swimming pool for practice.
Contrasting to the chores of fellow teenage girls, Ana had her sight set on making it big in tennis and had all her concentration there.
Serbia was far from being a rich country then. Despite Ana's parents being in the middle income group bracket, they could not afford heavy spendings that go into making a world class player and failed to get her all the equipments she needed.
Her father Miroslav was a businessman, while mother Dragana was a lawyer. Despite honourable professions, the family needed 35,000 pounds to fulfill Ana's sporting needs.
Just when Ana had given up hope on tennis, she had an encounter with a delivery boy turned Management professional Holzman.
Holzman had witnessed Ana's game and the spark in her eyes made him believe she could be the next big thing.
Being adamant on seeing ana grow into a superstar, he decided to bear all her costs.
Holzman propelled Ana and her familty to shift base to Basel, Switzerland. He then sponsoredthe initital four years of Ana in professional tennis.
15-year-old Ana had her dream in sight now, which she had formulated watching Monica Seles play.
Monika Seleš is the former Yugoslav world no. 1 professional tennis player and a member of the International Tennis Hall of Fame.
To be at the level her idol was once, Ana used to practice six hours a day.
Once after going down in a match, Ana locked herself in closed doors for near four hours, crying continuously.
She was living with the fear of the possibility of Holzman withdrawing his support.
But a semi-final berth in Wibledon in 2007, followed by a finalist position in Australian Open the following year made her a star.
2008 went as the most remarkable year in Ana's career.
Ana got past French star Dinara Safina in staright sets in the 2008 French Open final.
Soon after, on June 9, 2008, Ana jumped to no.1 in workd rankings. This was also her dream. A poster in Ana's locker room read about her dream to be no.1.
Rising through testing times, Ana is now a proud owner of 10.3 million dollars to go with a mention in Times Magazine in the 2011 edition, contemplating 30 legendary women tennis players.