20 Mar 2012

ITF Pro Circuit meets... Ana Savic

Text Interview

Ana Savic and her coach Niksa Djurovic

After three years away from professional tennis, Croatia's Ana Savic made her return recently and in spectacular fashion by winning her first three tournaments - all in Antalya, Turkey - and we were fortunate enough to be able to catch up with her as she embarks on a quest for a fourth consecutive title.


ITF Pro Circuit: First of all, welcome back to the ITF Pro Circuit. You’ve been away now for almost three years what can you tell us about this period?

Ana Savic: Thank you. Most of the time I spent travelling with my twin sister who's modelling and doing some fashion photography in Milan and Barcelona. It's quite a different world compared to tennis and I enjoyed it but after three years of not playing I started getting back motivation and wanted to try one more time, and this time more seriously. I always had the feeling that there's some unfinished business for me here


ITF Pro Circuit: You’ve made a hugely impressive return, winning your first three tournaments in successive weeks, did you ever imagine that you could get back to winning ways so quickly?

Ana Savic: To be honest yes I did! (smiles)  It took around three months of full-time commitment and serious training. I knew what to expect on these tournaments. I'm physically prepared and have strong self belief which I think had played  the most important role in my comeback.


ITF Pro Circuit: Going back to the very beginning now, how did you first get started in tennis? How old were you?  Where did you first play?

Ana Savic: I was born in small city called Pozega where we lived close to the tennis club, so one day my mother took me and my brother and sister and signed us to the tennis school. I was about six years old then.


ITF Pro Circuit: Do any other members of your family play sport?

Ana Savic: Not anymore, but my parents are both talented for different sports. My mother used to be a great handball and bowling player. My brother was training with me for a long time but he's more oriented to fitness now.


ITF Pro Circuit: What can you tell us about your current coach?

Ana Savic: My current coach is Niksa Djurovic. We've been working together for around three months now and it can't go any better. What I like about Niksa is his professionalism and his scientific approach. He has a clear vision of  what my game should be like and I believe he knows right ways to make me play on the edge of my potential.

I'm also grateful to Zeljko Tarabaric with whom I worked for last eight years and who thought me so much when it comes to technical aspects.


ITF Pro Circuit: Who were/are your tennis idols?

Ana Savic: It used to be Venus Williams and lately I like to watch [Maria] Sharapova


ITF Pro Circuit: Away from the tennis court do you have any other interests?

Ana Savic: Photography, cooking, horseback riding, reading ...


ITF Pro Circuit: If you had not become a tennis player what career path would you have liked to have followed?

Ana Savic: I would probably become a professional food taster!


ITF Pro Circuit: In your opinion, what would you say are the best and worst aspects of being a professional tennis player?

Ana Savic: The best aspects are seeing the world, meeting new people and cultures and of course winning the tournaments! Bad aspects are being away from home, missing your friends your family and your dog!


ITF Pro Circuit: So far in your career, what has been the nicest venue that you played at?

Ana Savic: I enjoyed playing in Gifu, Japan


ITF Pro Circuit: Life as a pro player involves a lot of travelling and time spent at tournaments obviously varies depending on how successful each player is in any given week, does this make it difficult to form friendships with other players?

Ana Savic: Well I haven't been regular at tournaments lately and didn't have time to make deep friendships but I met some wonderful people so far and I'm looking forward to playing more venues in the future


ITF Pro Circuit: How has playing on the ITF Pro Circuit helped you as a player?

Ana Savic:  Each tournament  brought me some new experiences, good or bad it helped me for the future


ITF Pro Circuit: Speaking of other players (past & present), whose attributes would you take to create your own female super player?



My own

Return of serve

Victoria Azarenka


My own


Maria Sharapova


Roger Federer (smiles)

Speed on court

Francesca Schiavone


Justine Henin

Fighting spirit

Serena Williams



ITF Pro Circuit: If you could only have one Grand Slam title, which would you choose?

Ana Savic: Roland Garros


ITF Pro Circuit: Do you have a favourite holiday destination?

Ana Savic: Bol, on island of Brac


ITF Pro Circuit: Finally, what has been the best piece of advice you have been given?

Ana Savic:   You should stop crying and start sweating!


ITF Pro Circuit: Thanks for your time Ana and all the best as you look to make it four-in-a-row in Antalya.