Ivanovic defeated red hot Dinara Safina of Russia 6-4, 6-3 in the French Open final. Then she suffered a surprising
third round exit at Wimbledon. The Serb also withdrew from the Beijing Olympics while at Beijing after making the long
trip and discovering a lingering thumb injury.
More early round losses would follow during the summer as Ivanovic lost in Canada in the third round and at her last tournament, the US Open in the second round to little known Julie Coin 6-3, 4-6, 6-3. The defeat was one of the largest upsets ever at the US Open as Ivanovic had been seeded number one for the tournament.
Having fallen to three in the WTA Tour rankings, Ivanovic seeks this week to return to the winners' circle at Tokyo and is scheduled to play her first match Thursday at the Toray Pan Pacific Open.
“Finally, for the last two weeks I have no pain,” Ivanovic said Monday. “It was very tough (losing the number one ranking) so quickly. I really struggled to accept it because that was my dream for a long time and just as I achieved it this thing happened.”
“I have been number one so I believe I can be there again. Being number one is a great reward but if you asked me at this moment what I would rather do, it's win another grand slam before I become number one again.”
Ivanovic is seeded number two this week behind top seeded Jelena Jankovic also of Serbia. Ivanovic said their rivalry could be good for women's tennis but admitted the two countrywomen were not close comrades.
“I can’t say we are friends,” Ivanovic said. “Girls in general don’t become very close on
the tour but we motivate each other. If you see the other one winning you want to win too.”