World No.4 Ana Ivanovic spent 10 days in London preparing for the 2008 season and some critics of the Britain’s Lawn Tennis Association said that the £40 million ($92.8m) spent on the state-of-the-art National Tennis Centre at Roehampton wasn’t intended to help Serbia’s Ana Ivanovic in her preparation.
However, Carl Maes, the LTA’s head of women’s tennis, believes that the presence of one of the world’s leading players could only be a motivational and educational factor for British players.
“We can only gain from having somebody like Ana around,” said Maes.
“She is such an open girl who loves to talk, but she also has that fierce determination to become the best in the world and the Eastern European work ethic.
“It was the perfect experience for our kids to interact and learn from one of the top players. The policy at the National Training Centre is to welcome top-flight players from other countries because of the beneficial effect it can have on our players.”
Ana Ivanovic, who will become world No.3 in the second week of January as fellow Serb Jelena Jankovic has opted to play for her country in the Hopman Cup rather than the year-opening tournaments on the Gold Coast and in Auckland, even considers moving to London since she loves being in a city that offers so many possibilities. London is perfect for a tennis player because it has amazing training facilities, while transport connections are good to anywhere in the world.