Ivanovic pays tribute to the recently retired Mauresmo.

“I’ll miss seeing Amelie around,” said Ana. “She was always one of the friendliest of the top players, and she was very popular with fans and deservedly so – she was a great player. We also had some great matches against each other. I wish her all the best for the future.”

 Ana faced the former world No.1 eight times, with her first victory coming in a memorable match at the 2005 French Open when she was just 17.

The first of those memorable encounters came at the 2005 Australian Open, which was Ana’s very first Grand Slam. On that occasion Mauresmo won in straight sets, as Ana made her debut on Rod Laver Arena, the main stadium court at Melbourne Park.

The Frenchwoman would go on to score two more victories against Ana in spring of that year, before they met in round three at Roland Garros. In only her second major tournament, Ana defeated the home favourite 6-4, 3-6, 6-4 in a highly charged encounter on Court Philippe Chatrier, which in many ways announced her arrival on the global stage.

“Obviously it’s a match I will never forget,” said Ana. “She was under a lot of pressure, playing at home, and the crowd was amazing that day. Actually, we had to stop the match for a minute or two because they were standing up and making so much noise during a changeover. That’s probably what I will remember most about playing Amelie. Unfortunately she beat me more times than I beat her!”

Ana would score her second and last win over the 30-year-old in their next encounter in Sydney in January 2006, in what she later described as one of the best performances of her career up to that point.


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