Noosa is Ana's secret to success
LONG runs through Noosa National Park, lunches on Hastings St and lazy days on the beach at Little Cove are key parts of the formula which Ana Ivanovic hopes will launch her into a memorable 2012.
The Serbian tennis beauty dubbed "Aussie Ana" spent much of December based in Noosa with coach Nigel Sears and said the Coast's laid back lifestyle had done wonders for her preparation.
After winning her final 2011 tournament in Bali, the 1.86m-tall former world No.1 spent time with her partner, Australian golfer Adam Scott, at tournaments in Sydney and Melbourne before heading for the tranquillity of the Sunshine Coast.
"We really took advantage of the beautiful surroundings - that was a big reason for me to train here," the 24-year-old said as she prepared for the Brisbane International, which starts today.
"I did a lot of running through Noosa National Park, swimming and many other outdoor activities. I can't think of a more beautiful place to train and it definitely helps keep you motivated.
"One of my favourite things to do here is to have lunch on Hastings St, especially Italian.
"I've been getting up early every day and often I go to the beach in the mornings.
"It's amazing to see how busy it can be, with people working out before work.
"I love the way of life here.
"Another of my favourite things to do is to go to Little Cove or Tea Tree Bay for a swim, or if it's my day off I can spend most of the day there, relaxing.
"It is so laid back, peaceful and really beautiful, and everyone is very friendly and fun."
Voted the tennisreporters.net Sexiest Female Player of the Year for five straight years (2005-2009) and ranking 11th on FHM magazine's 100 Sexiest Women in the World in 2009, Anna has struggled on the court since her breakout year in 2008 when she won the French Open and claimed the World No.1 spot.
Now ranked No.22, she is hoping her time in Noosa will provide the perfect start for her climb back up the rankings.
While the Noosa lifestyle suited her perfectly, there was plenty of hard work for the young woman who first picked up a racquet at the age of five after watching a Monica Seles match on TV.
"During my physical preparation period we didn't spend too much time in the gym; instead we were outdoors as much as we could be," she said.
"I love to go running through Noosa National Park.
"We really took advantage of the amazing scenery and used it in our training a little bit. I ran along the coast and did some stair climbing to the top of beautiful views. We also did some stand-up paddling in the rivers, circuit-training in the park and surf life-saving activities at the beach."
Birthday: November 6, 1987
Height: 1.86 m
Weight: 69 kg
Favourite food: Sushi
Speaks: Fluent English, Serbian and some Spanish.