Tues., Feb. 9 – While supermodel Brooklyn Decker (aka: Mrs. Andy Roddick) has garnered most of the attention for having been chosen as the cover model for this year’s Sports Illustrated Swimsuit edition, a look further into the magazine reveals that former women’s tennis player #1 Ana Ivanovic also graces the iconic issue, which hit newsstands today.
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- Watch video of Ana behind the scenes of her photoshoot at bottom of article
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Appearing far more comfortable in a bikini while on a closed set than she has on a tennis court in recent months, the photogenic Serbian – who admitted struggling mentally following a dismal showing at this past weekend’s Fed Cup quarterfinal encounter with Russia (losing both singles as well as the deciding doubles match), Ana seems to be in much higher spirits when asked about her involvement with Sports Illustrated, saying “I’m very flattered to have the opportunity to be featured in such a magazine”.
The popular Ivanovic, who claimed that she did not tell anyone in advance of her plans to participate in the 46th Swimsuit edition in hopes of garnering a surprise reaction, follows in the footsteps of several other tennis stars who came before her – the most notable of which being Anna Kournikova, who made a far better living posing for the photographers than she ever did on a tennis court, world #1 Serena Williams, who posed strategically nude for this past year’s inaugural ESPN Body Issue, and second tier star Ashley Harkleroad who posed entirely nude for Playboy in 2008.
Where Ana goes from here however is the big question mark.
Since having claimed the 2008 French Open title and ascending to the top spot in the world rankings shortly afterwards, a career that seemed headed for greatness has since gone off the rails. After a first round upset at this past year’s US Open, Ivanovic abruptly ended her season in hopes of recuperating both physically as well as mentally, hired a new coach, and began the new season with a promising semifinal showing in Brisbane before an ugly second round loss to Gisela Dulko at the Australian Open during which she seemed to be chasing her service toss into the locker room throughout the brutal three set affair. As a result, her world ranking has since gone into free fall and currently sits at 23rd.
Visit Ana Ivanovic at her official website
Still however, at 22 years of age, time is still on Ivanovic’s side and there is hope that while continuing to work with her new coach and with the support of her boyfriend (professional golfer Adam Scott), she will find her championship form once again. While her fans and fans of tennis throughout the world will no doubt appreciate seeing the one time world #1 looking fit and fabulous in a bikini, it is also no doubt their hope that this photo spread becomes more the exception than the norm as far as what we can expect to see from Ana in the months and years which lay ahead.