Published on Friday, February 13th 2015 - 10:52:38 in Sports by Neswek

2004: Rising star
Ivanovic reached the final of the Junior Wimbledon tournament in 2004, losing to Kateryna Bondarenko. In 2004, she went 26-0 on the ITF circuit, and won all five events that she entered, two of them as a qualifier. As a qualifier in Zürich, she overcame a 5-1 third set deficit along with two match points to defeat world No. 29 Tatiana Golovin. She then debuted in the qualifying draw of a Major at the US Open, where she was defeated by Lioudmila Skavronskaia after winning the first set 6-1 and having two match points in the 3rd set. Her first notable breakthrough occurred in the next tournament, when she took Venus Williams to two tiebreaks, before losing in straight sets in the second round of the Zürich Open. She had held several set points in both sets. She followed up her run in Zürich with a quarterfinal showing at Luxembourg the next week.

2005: First WTA title
Ivanovic won her first career singles title early in the year at the Canberra International, after defeating Melinda Czink in the final. Her ranking continued to rise after wins over Svetlana Kuznetsova in Miami, Nadia Petrova also in Miami, and Vera Zvonareva in Warsaw, all of whom were top 10 players. Ivanovic lost to Amlie Mauresmo at the Australian Open in the third round, at Doha in the third round after holding a 6-2, 2-0 lead, and at the Miami Masters in the quarter finals. However, Ivanovic's biggest win to date then came over Mauresmo in the third round of the French Open. Ivanovic advanced to the quarter-finals of only her second Grand Slam tournament by defeating future French Open champion Francesca Schiavone in the fourth round. Later in the year, Ivanovic reached the semifinals of the Zurich Open and Generali Ladies Linz, losing to Patty Schnyder in both tournaments. Ivanovic finished the year ranked No. 16.

2006: Big breakthrough
Ivanovic started the season at the Hopman Cup in Perth, Australia with fellow Serbian Novak Djokovic, where the pair narrowly missed the final. To start off her WTA year, she played at the Medibank International in Sydney where she once again defeated Amlie Mauresmo, this time in straight sets, before falling to Svetlana Kuznetsova in the quarterfinals. A week later, she lost to Samantha Stosur in the second round of the Australian Open.

Ivanovic made it to the third round of the French Open, before losing to Anastasia Myskina. She progressed to the fourth round at Wimbledon, but lost to eventual champion and world No. 1 Amlie Mauresmo in straight sets after beating No. 14 seed Dinara Safina.

Ivanovic made her breakthrough in August 2006 by defeating a formerly ranked No. 1 Martina Hingis in the final of the Rogers Cup in Montreal before beating Jelena Janković, No. 14 seed Katarina Srebotnik and top 10 player Dinara Safina. This ultimately led to her winning the United States Open Series, ahead of Kim Clijsters and Maria Sharapova. At the US Open, she lost to Serena Williams.

2007: First Grand Slam final and entering the top 10
Ivanovic started the season in Gold Coast and Sydney where she reached quarterfinals. Seeded 13th at the Australian Open, Ivanovic defeated Agnieszka Radwańska in the second round, but lost in the third round to Vera Zvonareva. Immediately after this tournament, she announced that she had split with her coach David Taylor. Ivanovic then played in the 2007 Toray Pan Pacific Open. In the quarterfinals she beat No. 10 Jelena Janković, and in the semifinals she beat No. 1 Maria Sharapova when Sharapova was forced to retire but after Ivanovic won first set, but she lost in the final to Martina Hingis.

On American hard court season, Ivanovic lost in early rounds. But on clay, Ivanovic first went on to semifinal of Amelia Island and then managed to win her first Tier I clay court title in Berlin, defeating No. 4 Svetlana Kuznetsova in the final in three sets. Ivanovic needed a tie-break to finally finish the match. The win in Berlin propelled her into the top ten of the WTA Rankings for the first time, at world No. 8.

Ivanovic had a six-match winning streak heading into the French Open and increased this streak to twelve by reaching the final. She won her first three matches with the loss of only nine games. In her second career quarterfinal at Roland Garros, Ivanovic defeated world No. 3 Kuznetsova, and she then beat world No. 2 Sharapova in less than one hour in the semifinals. In the final, Ivanovic attempted to win her first Major singles title and complete a sweep of the top three players in the world. However, world No. 1 and two-time defending champion Justine Henin won the match in straight sets.

A persistent knee injury sustained at Wimbledon caused Ivanovic to withdraw from Serbian Fed Cup competition against Slovakia and two lead-up events to the US Open. She returned to the tour at the East West Bank Classic in Carson, California, saving two match points in the semifinals with huge winner before defeating No. 3 Janković in three sets. In the final, Ivanovic defeated top 10 player Petrova to win the fourth singles title of her career, which raised her ranking to a career-high of world No. 4.

Ivanovic finished the year with a career-high ranking of world No. 4.

2008: French Open champion and world No. 1
In Serbia's Fed Cup Europe/Africa Zone Group I D round-robin tie against Poland, Romania and Netherlands Ivanovic won all of her matches, as Serbia advanced to the World Group II playoffs in April. And soon Serbia qualified for World Group II, after beating neighboring country Croatia.

At Wimbledon, Ivanovic saved match points against Nathalie Dechy, but fell against unseeded wildcard Zheng Jie of China in straight sets in third round.

In her first match after the US Open, at the Tier I Toray Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo, Ivanovic was defeated by Nadia Petrova in three sets, bringing her win-loss record since the French Open to 4-4. Ivanovic later told the press that she was "just happy to be back injury-free" and that she needed to "play more matches get back into rhythm." Ivanovic then played in Beijing, and after two great results, she lost to Zheng Jie in three sets despite winning 16 more points than her opponent.

Then she came back to Europe to play three more tournaments, first in Moscow where she lost to Dominika Cibulkova after having two match points. In the Zurich Open, she lost in the semifinals to Venus Williams after leading 3-1 in the third set. Ivanovic played in Linz and won the tournament as a top seed by crushing top-10 players Agnieszka Radwańska and Vera Zvonareva in the final.

At the year-end Sony Ericsson Championships in Doha, Qatar, Ivanovic was seeded fourth. In her first round-robin match, she was defeated by world No. 1 Janković after she won the best point of the year.[citation needed] Her next match was against Zvonareva, to whom she also lost in three exciting sets. She withdrew from her final match against Kuznetsova because of a virus.

2009: Out of the top 20
At the Australian Open, Ivanovic was seeded fifth and won her first two matches in straight sets before losing to 29th seed Russian Alisa Kleybanova in the third round.

At the 2009 French Open, Ivanovic won her first three matches in straight sets, before losing to Victoria Azarenka in the fourth round. This early loss caused Ivanovic to fall out of the top ten for the first time since May 2007. After the loss, Ivanovic announced that she would cease working with Craig Kardon, and would be participating in the adidas Player Development Program, where she would be coached by Sven Groeneveld, Darren Cahill, Mats Merkel and Gil Reyes.

At Wimbledon, Ivanovic was seeded 13th. She faced two match points against Lucie Hradecke, before prevailing. She then took down Sara Errani and 18th seed Samantha Stosur in the second and third rounds in straight sets, before retiring against third seed and eventual finalist Venus Williams.

At the US Open, Ivanovic lost in the first round of a Grand Slam for the first time in her career by succumbing to Kateryna Bondarenko. After the match, former Wimbledon champion Pat Cash criticized Ivanovic's new service motion, stating that watching it was a "painful experience" and that it "weakened her threat." He also felt that Ivanovic was "over-analysing" her game and that her main problem was "her lack of confidence."

She finished the year with a 24-14 match record, her worst since she turned pro, and did not win any titles. Ivanovic only reached three quarterfinals, one semifinal, and one final, and only won back-to-back matches six times. Ivanovic ended the year ranked 22, the first time she had been ranked outside the top 20 since July 2005.

2010: Return to the top 20
Ivanovic started the year in Brisbane. Seeded third, Ivanovic reached her first semifinal since Indian Wells in 2009. She eventually bowed out to wildcard Justine Henin in Henin's first tournament since her return from retirement. Ivanovic was seeded 20th at the 2010 Australian Open, but lost to Gisela Dulko in the second round in three sets.

Despite her improvements, Ivanovic lost her opening match in Indian Wells, suffering four consecutive losses for the first time. By also losing a huge number of ranking points, Ivanovic dropped out of the top 50 for the first time since March 2005. Seeded 25th in Miami, Ivanovic won her first match since the Australian Open, but then lost to Agnieszka Radwańska in the third round.

Ivanovic lost again to Radwanska at the 2010 Porsche Tennis Grand Prix. But unseeded in Rome, Ivanovic had her best week of tennis in nearly two years. She stunned top-10 players Victoria Azarenka and Elena Dementieva, and top-20 player Nadia Petrova, all in straight sets, before losing to eventual champion Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez in the semifinals. She was granted a wildcard into the Madrid Open, and received a bye in the first round due to her semifinal appearance at the Italian Open. She was the first unseeded wildcard to receive a first-round bye in the history of the WTA Tour. She lost in the second round to Jelena Janković, despite leading by a set and a break. Ivanovic entered the 2010 French Open unseeded at a Grand Slam for the first time since 2005. She fell to Alisa Kleybanova in the second round.

In the opening round of the Stanford, Ivanovic avenged her 2009 Australian Open and 2010 French Open defeats by beating Alisa Kleybanova, before losing in the next round to Marion Bartoli in straight sets. In Cincinnati, she rallied from a set and a break down to beat Victoria Azarenka in three sets. Ivanovic retired against Kim Clijsters in the semifinals due to a foot injury. Her ranking dramatically improved to world No. 39. The injury caused her to withdraw from New Haven. Unseeded at the US Open, Ivanovic breezed into the fourth round with straight-set victories, before losing to defending and eventual champion Kim Clijsters.

Entering the Linz Open as a wildcard, Ivanovic defeated Patty Schnyder in the finals in straight sets, in just 47 minutes of play. Ivanovic headed to the 2010 BGL Luxembourg Open as the fourth seed, where she reached the quarterfinals, before falling to eighth seed Julia Görges.

By virtue of her title in Linz, Ivanovic qualified for the last tournament of the season, the Tournament of Champions. She made it to the finals, where she defeated Russian Alisa Kleybanova for her tenth career title and her second of the year. She won ten of her last thirteen matches. With her title in Bali, Ivanovic achieved a year-end ranking of No. 17, her fifth finish in the top 20.

2011: Inconsistent form
Ivanovic started the year with the Hopman Cup in Perth, Australia. She competed along with Novak Djokovic and they qualified for the final, but due to an injury sustained during Ivanovic's match against Justine Henin, Serbia was forced to withdraw. Along with the Hopman Cup, Ivanovic also withdrew from Sydney. Seeded 19th at the Australian Open she lost to Ekaterina Makarova in the first round in 2 hours and 47 minutes.

Ivanovic lost to Bethanie Mattek-Sands in first round of Madrid, after winning first set with bagel. Ivanovic headed to Rome and was up nine games to love after Nadia Petrova retired. Ivanovic lost in next round to Yanina Wickmayer in three sets. Ivanovic again lost after first set at love, to Johanna Larsson in first round at the French Open. Ivanovic had a slight resurgence in Birmingham, reaching the semifinals, but lost to Daniela Hantuchova in three sets. Ivanovic lost to Venus Williams in the second round at Eastbourne.

During Tokyo Ivanovic recorded victories in straight sets over Anastasia Rodionova and wildcard Laura Robson, before losing to Maria Kirilenko. At the China Open Ivanovic beat Kimiko Date-Krumm, Svetlana Kuznetsova and world No. 3 Vera Zvonareva, losing total of ten games. But she then retired in second set against Agnieszka Radwańska in the quarter-finals due to a back injury.

Ivanovic received a wild card to play the Tournament of Champions, which she defended, beating Roberta Vinci, Nadia Petrova and Anabel Medina Garrigues in the final, capturing her 11th WTA. This is the first time she had ever defended her title in a tournament.

2012: US Open quarter-final and Fed Cup final
Ivanovic began her season in Brisbane where she was defeated in the second round by fifth seed Kim Clijsters in three sets, despite leading 3-0 in the final set. Ivanovic's next event was in Sydney and she was sent out in the first round by Lucie afřov in straight sets. Ivanovic then headed over to the Australian Open where she reached fourth round as a 21st seed. She beat three players outside the top 50, dropping no set, but there she met No. 2 Petra Kvitova and lost in two sets. She cracked the Top 20 after her Round of 16 run.

Ivanovic next played in Doha. She fell in the second round to Petra Cetkovska in straight sets. Ivanovic then went on unseeded in Dubai, where she upset Francesca Schiavone and beat Maria Kirilenko, before falling to 3rd seed Caroline Wozniacki. Ivanovic went over to Indian Wells as the 15th seed. She was able to make a run all the way to the semifinals, posting victories over Caroline Wozniacki and Marion Bartoli, who were both in the Top 8. She retired against Maria Sharapova after losing the first set. In Miami she beat Daniela Hantuchova before losing to Venus Williams in fourth round, despite holding a one set lead. She still cracked the Top 15 for the first time since 2009 and became Serbian No. 1 for the first time since 2008, this time placing 14th after Miami.

Ivanovic then headed to Moscow for the 2012 Fed Cup semifinals, where after losing to Svetlana Kuznetsova in three tight sets, recovered, and beat Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova to put Serbia ahead, 2-1. Fellow countrywoman Jelena Janković then closed out the tie for Serbia (3-2), sending the country into the Fed Cup finals for the first time in history.

Seeded 14th at the 2012 Wimbledon Championships, she worked for victories over Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez, Kateryna Bondarenko and 22nd seed Julia Görges to reach fourth round, her best result there since 2009. She then suffered a bad loss to 2nd seed Victoria Azarenka in the fourth round; winning only one game. Despite the loss, her run caused her ranking to rise to No. 12 in the WTA rankings the following week.

Ivanovic did not qualify to defend her title in Bali, and did not receive a wild card entry due to her participation at the 2012 Fed Cup. Serbia took on the defending champions, Czech Republic. Ivanovic lost her first rubber against Lucie, but won her second against Petra Kvitova. Which meant Jelena Janković had to win her rubber to take it to a tie, and go to a decider. Janković eventually lost her rubber against Lucie. However, she finished 2012 as the world No. 13, her best finish since 2008.

2013: Without a trophy
At the Australian Open, she successfully reached the 4th round of the tournament, progressing past Melinda Czink, Yung-Jan Chen and Jelena Janković. She eventually lost to Agnieszka Radwańska in two sets. Ivanovic played in Pattaya City as the No. 1 seed but lost in the first round to Ayumi Morita. Ivanovic was then scheduled to play at the 2013 Fed Cup but withdrew due to shoulder injuries. Ivanovic competed at the 2013 Qatar Total Open as the 12th seed. She made a run to the third round, but lost to Agnieszka Radwańska, despite breaking Radwańska in the 12th game and having the chance to serve out for the second set. She then reached the second round of the 2013 Dubai Tennis Championships, before losing narrowly to Petra Kvitova.

Despite a slow start to the 2013 season, Ivanovic made good progress in the clay season. Notably, she defeated upcoming players Mona Barthel (who she lost to at Indian Wells) and Laura Robson, as well as higher-seeded players Nadia Petrova at Stuttgart and Angelique Kerber twice at the Fed Cup Week 2 Playoffs and at the Mutua Madrid Open. As a result of Ivanovic's more consistent tennis in the clay season, she reached the quarterfinals in Stuttgart despite not being seeded, and managed to reach the semifinals of the WTA Premier Mandatory Mutua Madrid Open for the first time in her career. In both Stuttgart and Madrid, her runs were routed by 2012 French Open champion Maria Sharapova. Unfortunately, after good runs at two clay court tournaments, she dropped her opener in Rome against Urszula Radwańska. At the French Open she stormed past 3 opponents to the fourth round, only to fall in straight sets to Agnieszka Radwańska for the third time in the year.

At the 2013 Wimbledon Championships, she won her first round match-up against Virginie Razzano, but in the second round Ivanovic would be knocked out of the tournament by Eugenie Bouchard.

At the Tournament of Champions, Ivanovic was allocated into the Sredets Group alongside Samantha Stosur, Elena Vesnina and Tsvetana Pironkova. In her first round robin match, Ivanovic captured a two set victory over Pironkova. She then went on to defeat Stosur . She needed one more victory to come first in her group. However, Ivanovic lost to Vesnina for the second time this year despite leading 5-2 in 3rd set and serving two times for a match. But despite losing, she still qualified for the semi-finals by winning a set, therefore coming second in her group (after Stosur). In her semi-final match, she lost to eventual champion Simona Halep despite leading 3-0 in 3rd set with 2 breaks in her own.

Ivanovic ended the 2013 season with a rank of 16.

2014: Resurgence and return to the Top 5
Ivanovic started the 2014 season by winning title in Auckland, defeating Venus Williams in the final in three sets, for her 12th title and her first since November 2011. At the Australian Open, she defeated No. 1 ranked Serena Williams in the 4th round for her first win over Serena, after battling past Samantha Stosur in three sets. She lost to 30th seed Canadian Eugenie Bouchard in the quarterfinals in three sets. On set point for Bouchard, Ivanovic double-faulted.

At next four tournaments of Asian and American series, Ivanovic failed to make quarterfinals at all of them. She beat some top players like Angelique Kerber (saving match point) in Dubai and Flavia Pennetta in Miami. But there were some big outages like double bagel against Petra Kvitova after Ivanovic won first set. In Monterrey, Ivanovic was the 2nd seed and went on to win her 2nd title of the year, by defeating 3rd seed and former world No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki in the semifinals and Jovana Jakaić in the WTA's first-ever all-Serbian final, putting bad results behind her.

Ivanovic then participated in Stuttgart where she made it all the way to the final, achieving back-to-back finals for the first time in her career. It was also the first time in 5 years, since the 2009 BNP Paribas Open, that Ivanovic had reached a premier level final. En route she achieved other career milestones, defeating Julia Goerges for her 400th career win and world No. 6 Jelena Jankovic for her 40th career top 10 win. She eventually lost to 2-time defending champion Maria Sharapova in the final.

At Roland Garros Ivanovic was the 11th seed. This was her best Grand Slam seeding since 2009 US Open where she was the same seed. In first two rounds, she defeated rising stars, Caroline Garcia and Elina Svitolina, before falling to 23rd seed Lucie Safarova in straight sets. This marked Safarova winning the last 5 meetings between the two in straight sets.

At the US Open in August, Ivanovic was seeded eighth, her highest grand slam seeding since the 2009 French Open. In the first round she beat American Alison Riske in straight sets only allowing her opponent to win three games, but was upset by unseeded Czech Karolina Pliskova in the second round in two close sets.

Having qualified for the WTA Tour Championships, Ivanovic was drawn into the Red Group alongside Serena Williams, Simona Halep and Eugenie Bouchard. The odds were against Ivanovic for her first match of the tournament against top-seed Serena Williams and she went on to lose to in straight sets. However, Ivanovic clinched victory in her second match against Canadian Eugenie Bouchard. Despite defeating Simona Halep in her final Round Robin match, Ivanovic was unable to progress since she dropped a set in the process. In doing so, she became the first player since Lindsay Davenport in 2004 to not progress to the semifinals with a 2-1 record in RR play. However, Ivanovic did finished the year ranked world No. 5, her second best year-end ranking since turning pro.

2015: Not starting well
Ivanovic entered the Australian Open as the fifth seed, but lost in the opening round in three sets to qualifier Lucie Hradecka, losing for the third time to a Czech player in her last four major appearances.

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