Ana Ivanovic has been nominated as a potential inductee for the 2022 International Tennis Hall of Fame but does the Serbian star deserve to be held in the same regard as the rest of the sports’ iconic names?
The 34-year-old did not break many records during her career, nor was she particularly consistent on the WTA tour.
But nonetheless, Ivanovic still enjoyed a 15-year-career packed with successful moments. In total, the Serbian made three Grand Slam finals, won 15 titles and earned more than $15 million in prize money.
The height of her success came in 2008 when she won the French Open and became the world number one shortly after.
Following her Roland-Garros triumph, however, Ivanovic struggled to maintain her form. She was swarmed by media attention and the spotlight had a negative impact on her performances on court.
Indeed, with the famed Anna Kournikova having been long retired by this point, Ivanovic was seen by many as tennis’ new poster-girl.
In 17 subsequent Slams after her French Open win, the Serbian failed to reach a quarter-final and dropped as low as 65th in the world rankings.
And despite a resurgence back up to the top 10 in 2014, Ivanovic retired in 2016 –– citing an inability to compete for titles anymore as the primary reason.
Regardless, the 34-year-old will be remembered as one of the finest players of the late 2000s.
To this day, her forehand is considered one of the most powerful of all time and the media attention that surrounded Ivanovic made her a household name during her prime.
Her friendship with compatriot Novak Djokovic has also been well documented over the years. The two are the same age, turned professional during the same year and are childhood friends.
Speaking about the pair’s relationship, Djokovic said: “Yeah, we played, we practice together, we played in a lot of tournaments together. We grew up together playing tennis in Serbia.
“Our families are very good friends, and so we [have known] each other since we were five or six years old.”
Since retiring from tennis, Ivanovic has started a family with former German footballer Bastian Schweinsteiger, to whom she is married, with two children.
Last week, the Serbian posted a photo to her 1.5 million Instagram followers, showing herself with Schweinsteiger and telling how she felt “thankful, grateful and blessed.”
She remains a spokeswoman for Adidas and an ambassador for Unicef and Rolex.
Ultimately, while there are other tennis stars who may have enjoyed more success throughout their careers, Ivanovic would still be a worthy entry into the Hall of Fame.