In my opinion, well, Ana's quite simply the most beautiful girl I've ever seen in my life. She is literally perfect in every way imaginable.
I genuinely thought that, after she won the French Open in 2008, that was the springboard for her to press ahead and win, well, more Grand Slams. Many more. What's followed has been incomprehensible - while incredibly poignant in the same air time. The best match I've ever seen Ana play was at Roland Garros a year before her triumph, against Maria Sharapova in the quarter-finals. Perfect tennis. From the first point to the last, the "Ajde!"s were in full song and the fist-pump - which I personally consider to be one of the most beautiful sporting images of all-time - was duly exerted in equal measure. And she'll never play another match like that. That was when she was confident and playing without pressures. It must be a lot for such a gentle, young girl to deal with, though; the eyes of the world watching your every move; the heightening expectations following each and every match, and the fear of having to deal with all of that on your own. She is a truly special girl, an exceptional talent, and I don't doubt that it's only a matter of time before she returns to the kind of touch that saw her claim her first Grand Slam title at the tender age of 21 and subsequently become number one in the world the same week. Because simply, you don't achieve that if you aren't an exceptional player.
It's not a technical problem with regards to her game, it's that she struggles to handle pressure because naturally, she's so fragile. And so gentle. There is, though, the issue she has with her ball toss. But that's just another "problem" that only she can resolve, I think. At the top of her game, nobody will beat her. This was amply demonstrated at Roland Garros where she swept through the entire field and then had me in tears by the conclusion because of the sheer amount of emotion she displayed upon lifting the trophy. She declared it as "the greatest moment of her life." Well, it was the most emotional one of mine.
I like her a lot on clay; she defends so well for a big girl and the ball also sits up at a nice height for her to clobber. She seems much more comfortable on that surface. I'd have to say that she still has a lot to prove on hard courts. I mean, as we saw in Melbourne in 2007, where she lost to Sharapova in the final in what was dubbed the "Glam Slam", when her serve is working effectively it's probably the best in the women's game. Obviously we know about her main weapon which is her booming forehand, but aside from the psychological aspects she needs to work on she doesn't really have any weaknesses. Her backhand is a very compact action which is usually accurate and reliable. Her net play is one of her main strengths which is possibly where she should look to venture to a bit more on occasions in order to mix things up. Potentially, she is capable of winning 12+ GSs. I think 2 within the next 2 years would set her up for achieving that milestone. Also, let's not forget that she's only 22-years-old and still learning. She's played in three Grand Slam finals already.
The funny thing is that, from the very first moment I ever saw Ana (she was 17, playing a match live on Eurosport and she wore an orange dress), I just completely fell in love with her. There isn't a mere grain of exaggeration in that statement either. I said she was the most beautiful girl I'd ever seen in my life then, and I still say it to this very day. That'll never change. Nobody else has a smile that can cut holes in my soul just because we're apart.
She grew up in war-torn Belgrade during the murderous Milosevic reign. Houses within range of her eyesight were blown up and destroyed by NATO bombs. All the time, she knew that it could be her. She had to plan her training schedules around the bombings. It's wasn't just Ana's looks that made me fall for her, it's everything about her and you notice it straight away. By looking at her for just a few seconds you can see how gentle and fragile she actually is. It's a unique charm, a paragon of natural perfection, a magical vulnerability that only she is capable of showing for those very reasons, because here, scars of that kind are unknown.
If I had the choice between (i) choosing any 100 women in the world and sleeping with one each night for the next 100 nights, or (ii) dinner with Ana... I'd choose the second option without any hesitation whatsoever. It would be a pleasure to be in her company and get to know her. In fact, I wouldn't choose anything over that opportunity. That after spending almost half of the years she has been alive fearing for her life she can still smile the way she does, is testimony to why I think so greatly of her, because her story can literally bring tears to my eyes. To hold her in my arms and tell her that I love her is the only thing I've ever wanted but not been able to achieve in my entire life.