Ana Ivanovic

Globetrotting star Ana Ivanovic is a record-breaking, Grand-Slam-Winning tennis player, who also happens to be UNICEF’s National Ambassador for Serbia and ambassador of the Quercus Biasi Foundation. that’s a lot of balls to juggle. She tells Conrad how it’s done.
Where’s home and how much of the year are you there?
I am based in Bern, Switzerland, but I also have an apartment in Belgrade, where I’m originally from, and a summer house in Mallorca. Unfortunately, as a professional tennis player I don’t get to enjoy my home very much. We constantly travel the world with the tennis tour and home is only a stopover.

You arrive at a place you’ve never been before. What’s the first thing you do?
It depends. If I am there professionally to play a tournament, I would normally recharge my batteries then hit the court the same day. It’s very important for me to get used to the new court and the new conditions as soon as possible to be match-ready. If I am visiting a new city for [a] holiday, which is rare, then I like to just get lost in it and see where the roads take me.

What has been the Proudest moment of your career?
Winning the French Open in 2008 and becoming a Grand Slam Champion was definitely my proudest moment that will stay with me forever and [it was] 
a dream come true. It was also when I became a new World Number 1 too.

Can you tell us about your work as UNICEF National Ambassador for Serbia?
It was a great honor for me to become UNICEF’s National Ambassador. I take the role very seriously. I am concerned mainly with the ‘School Without Violence’ program. It’s an awareness program: we tackle the problem of violence and bullying in schools. Whenever I visit Serbia I try to make time to take part in events with UNICEF. Usually we hold workshops in school classrooms, or just meetings outside of school, with me and a group of kids in the program. This is a cause that is very close to my heart and I know only too well from my own experience as a child growing up in Serbia how important it is for children to feel safe, comfortable and to have a dream. I had a dream which I held on to and now that I have the power to inspire, 
it is my turn to help pave the way for these children, for a better future.

How do you keep entertained on a long-haul flight?
I am a huge book lover. I normally just enjoy the new read and take advantage of the downtime. Long flights are actually quite relaxing for me. As a professional athlete, I never stop, so it’s nice to slow down from time to time when flying.

How do you stay inspired on the road?
I always have the latest issue 
of Vogue with me. I like to visit art galleries around the world and I am a huge fan of Instagram.

If time isn’t a factor, what is your favorite way to travel?
Lately, I have been enjoying road trips a lot. Packing up the car for the weekend, driving around and exploring new locations. Turning up the volume on the radio and singing along to my favorite tunes. Priceless!

You travel so much for work, and always have to be at peak performance. Any tips for combating jet lag?
Being fit is to me the best solution to jet lag. I run three to four times a week early in the morning for a few kilometers and I try to do this as soon as I’ve landed in a new destination. This, together with a healthy green juice normally does the trick!

Lastly, what are you most looking forward to in 2017?
I am looking forward to coming back on court fit and healthy and taking part in my third Approach Global event. It’s such a unique and fun experience where we get the chance to interact and play tennis against our biggest fans. I am also developing some exciting projects off the court, so really excited about those finally being launched.


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