In an interview before the BGL BNP Paribas Luxembourg Open, the tournament where Ana Ivanovic reached the second round with a 7-6(2) 6-4 win over Virginie Razzano, but lost her following match to Anne Keothavong 6-3 6-2, the 23-year-old said that she was still troubled by the back injury which started bothering her in Beijing, but she would not skip the tournaments finishing the season, including the Tournament of Champions in Bali where she’s a wildcard entry and defending champion.
In the mentioned interview Ivanovic stated she would continue to play despite the inflammation in her back, which had probably been present for some time but became evident during the China Open. The Serb said she would exercise caution with the injury and we can assume she didn't change her mind about traveling to Bali after today's loss to the 93rd-ranked Keothavong.
Britain's Keothavong recorded her biggest victory in terms of opponent's ranking by beating the former world No.1 Ivanovic, currently world No.23. The peculiarity of their encounter, their first career meeting, was also that Ivanovic's new coach, Nigel Sears, used to coach Keothavong. The Brit was open about the situation:
It felt a little weird too seeing someone who has helped me so much with my tennis over the years sitting in the opposition's box.
Sears was also discussed in the mentioned interview. Ivanovic has been satisfied with their collaboration, and they are working on improving her game with more structure and consistence. Her goal in 2012 will be to get back to Top 10 and win another Grand Slam. (via Beyond the Baseline, photo: © Neal Trousdale)