Optimistic Ana is still smilling

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One could be forgiven for thinking rising Serbian star Ana Ivanovic had actually won the Australian Open women’s title on Saturday, such was her refreshingly positive attitude following her straight-sets defeat to Maria Sharapova.

Midway through last year Ivanovic made it through to her first Grand Slam final at the French Open but later conceded that her emotions had got the better of her as she was handed a lesson by Belgian Justine Henin.

Ivanovic may have kept her emotions in check better in the battle for the Daphne Akhurst Memorial Cup as the mercury headed towards 35 degrees on Day 13, but the end result was the same as Sharapova won her first Australian Open.

But Ivanovic, who was planning to catch up with her relatives in suburban Melbourne for a barbecue on what is Australia Day once she had completed her Open commitments, remained buoyant afterwards with the belief her career is only just beginning.

“It was definitely a better experience (compared to Roland Garros 2007),” Ivanovic said. “I won more games. It’s a little bit disappointing because I thought I had a lot of chances in that first set but didn’t use them.”

“But … still, it’s a learning experience for me. I fought hard. I just felt a little bit let down with my forehand, made some big mistakes in crucial moments. That wasn’t something I was hoping for. But, still, she played well and she had a great tournament.”

“It’s definitely a great experience for me. This position I was in, you know, it was my second final, Grand Slam final. So it’s something, you know, I can learn from, and this experience helped me. She was in this situation more times than I was.”

Not only does Ivanovic believe she will contest many more major deciders in her career, but the 20-year-old is also confident that she will get the chance for some Grand Slam final revenge against Sharapova at some point in the future.

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