Clijsters will have it tough - but Serena may have it tougher, says Ivanovic

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Ana Ivanovic

Image credit: Getty Images

ByCarrie Dunn
03/06/2020 at 17:15 | Updated 03/06/2020 at 17:23

Former world number one Ana Ivanovic told Eurosport's Barbara Schett that she thinks Kim Clijsters will struggle on her return to the tour - and that Serena Williams needs to adjust her mindset to win another Grand Slam.

In a Eurosport Instagram Live, 'Hanging out with Babsi', Ivanovic shared her thoughts on the state of the women's competition at the moment - and revealed her admiration for Clijsters.

"Kim has been such a mentor to me because when I first started on tour, I spent a lot of time talking to her," said the Serbian. "She helped me settle in on the tour. We became friends, she then had Jada, she came back and won a Grand Slam. It’s amazing what she achieved.


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I still respect her so much, it’s just difficult to imagine now after having three kids and being out for so long to make a comeback – not because she’s not fit, but because your body just reacts differently.

"When you are out of competition you realise how much fine-tuning is necessary and she has been out for a while. I have been watching some of ​ her matches and she has been striking the ball amazingly well, but I really hope she can get back to that level to play like she used to.

"Personally, I don’t think it’ll be easy after being out for so many years."

And Ivanovic added that she thought Serena Williams was more than capable of winning a 24th Grand Slam - and it was an emotional barrier she needed to overcome.

"I think with Serena it’s more the thought of winning that extra Grand Slam rather than if she is able to," she said. "With Serena she has made so many Grand Slam finals since giving birth - it’s just the emotional side of making that step and actually winning the title."

Ivanovic, now 37, said that she did not envy the players of her generation - like 38-year-old Williams - returning to competition after such a long break already this year.

"I think it is very challenging," she admitted. "I wouldn’t want to go through that.

"I was out injured for two months and it was hard enough. Some players find it easier to get used to. Some players get injured for a few months, come back and they are as strong as before.

"It is very individual but you would think it would favour the younger players because it would be easier to get match fit and into match rhythm."

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