- On Court
- About Ana
- Club Ana
Ana takes on world No.114 Akgul Amanmuradova of Uzbekistan in the quarter-finals of the Western & Southern Financial Group Women’s Open in Cincinnati on Friday.
In their only previous meeting, Ana emerged victorious by a 7-6, 6-2 scoreline in Berlin two years ago. That match was on clay, with Ana confessing that she struggled to read the six foot-three-inch woman’s serve. Indeed the 26-year-old hit an impressive 12 aces during her 7-6, 6-4 win over former world No.1 Jelena Jankovic in the third round on Thursday.
Ana’s confidence is rising following wins this week over ninth seed Victoria Azarenka, world No.32 Yaroslava Shvedova and yesterday’s 6-0, 6-3 dismantling of Elena Vesnina.
Asked to comment on her eye-catching form, Ana pinpointed her improved fitness levels. “I think I’m much better physically at the moment, and I feel stronger on the court,” she said.
“So that puts me in a better position to hit the ball, which I can then generate more power and hurt opponents more. So it’s kind of a circle. It’s all kind of connected.
“That’s what I’ve been saying in the past few months. It was always this balance: my tennis, fitness. It was always playing catch up in some ways. But now I feel it’s sort of all marrying together, and it’s starting to work and click really well.”
Ana also revealed that she has been having more fun off the court during tournaments in recent weeks, which has led to a more relaxed frame of mind. She has been enjoying her spare time with new fitness trainer Marija Lojanica, whom she has known since she was a child, and is the first female member of Ana’s coaching staff.
“She’s a girl, so we can go shopping together, watch movies, do our nails,” said Ana, laughing as she answered a journalist’s question about her new trainer.
“It just keeps your mind off tennis. Because in the past, you’re with male coaches, and you do a job and go back to the room. I really like to read. It was sort of relaxing. But then after all, you spent all day in a room, and it gets kind of depressing. So it’s good to go out and just do fun girly stuff.
The 22-year-old revealed that she has watched Salt and The Other Guys at nearby cinemas this week.
The match is scheduled to take place sometime after 1pm local time (7pm Centreal European Time). Click here for live point-by-point scoring from the Lindner Family TennisCenter.