Pre Indian Wells Roundup.

I never got an opportunity to write up a post on Ana’s lost to Caroline Wozniacki in the Dubai quarterfinals, but I think most of you already know or have an idea of what went down. Plus, those kind of matches are never fun to write about.  So we’ll just skip over that and pretend it never happened. Rather than lamenting over that match, we will instead look forward to much happier thoughts. Indian Wells is just a week away! Yes, Indian Wells, one of Ana’s and my favorite tournaments is just around the corner. It is what Ana has referred to in the past as her ‘happy place’, and for good reason. Indian Wells is one of those tournaments where Ana always seems to do really well in and it presents an atmosphere that is suitable and comfortable to a player with Ana’s personality. A year ago, she reached the quarterfinals, defeating Jelena Jankovic in the the 4th round. She was a finalist in 2009 and the champion in 2008. She’ll be seeded 15th this year, due to Serena and Petkovic not playing (Ana is currently #17th in WTA rankings). The women’s draw will take place on Monday at 3:00 PM local time. Stay tuned for how things shake up.

In the meantime, there are other news to get to, before Indian Wells arrives. Ana’s on-court results in Dubai has already been covered, but there was plenty of stuff that went on off the court. Here’s a roundup:

  • Ana along with Caroline Wozniacki were named global brand ambassadors for Dubai Duty Free. You can read more about it here. Ana’s thoughts on the new agreement:

“I am really flattered that Dubai Duty Free asked me to become its brand ambassador. It is a great company that has also been extremely supportive of women’s tennis. I always get excited about traveling to Dubai as it is one of the most exciting cities in the world.”

Soon after, Ana did a promo shoot at the Dubai International airport for Dubai Duty Free, in which the WTA facebook page posted numerous photos. There is also video of the shooting, which you can view below.

  • Ana revealed in a interview with website politika.rs that she applied for wild card to play in Stuttgart in April. She also says she’s still undecided on playing Fed Cup in Moscow, as Serbia takes on Russia. Ana will talk to Nigel before deciding, but does want to play. Meanwhile, she congratulated the Serbian Fed Cup team on their victory over Belgium a month ago. I love that she is adding to her schedule. Except for 2nd round points in Rome, Ana has nothing else to defend. That’s nothing in Stuttgart, Madrid and Roland Garros, and just one round in Rome.
  • Check out this fantastic in-depth interview Ana did with the gulfnews.com, where she talks about her life both on and off the court. It’s pretty lengthy, but well worth your time. Here’s a little snidbit:

“It’s one thing to achieve big things in your career and it’s another to be the kind of person that you are, because in the end that’s what you are left with,” she stated. “Fame and success and titles stay with you, but they wear out eventually. In the end all that you are left with is your character.

  • Finally, I highly recommend you to listen to this new weekly podcast called ‘No Challenges Remaining‘ featuring Courtney Nguyen (of Forty Deuce and SI’s Beyond the Baseline) and Ben Rothenberg (of the NYTimes). Great stuff as always. They even discuss Ana/JJ near the end of this weeks podcast, so check it out every Tuesday.
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