If you followed along with us on Snapchat and Instagram last week then we don’t need to tell you that we had a great time on the court with Ana Ivanovic. We were in Chicago (Ana’s new hometown, as her husband Bastian plays for the Major League Soccer’s Chicago Fire) at the prestigious Midtown Athletic Club shooting some footage with her on one of their SmartCourts. Although she has retired from the pro tour, Ana put our system to the test and had a great time using the gamified drills and serve modes. For someone who claimed not to be very tech savvy, Ana was quickly using the SmartCourt kiosk and app like a pro.
Not only is she still an incredible tennis player, but Ana is a great person and we are very lucky to have her as a brand ambassador. She shares our vision of connecting the next generation of tennis players and looks to remain involved in the sport. We got some great video footage and talked to her about her life in tennis and post retirement, and we can’t wait to share with you all so stay tuned! In case you missed our behind the scenes footage from the shoot, you can check out some photos below.
Ana and hitting partner Nemo, having some fun working on their forehand crosscourt depth.
In this drill, Ana and Nemo select the target area on the kiosk that they want to achieve hitting, and PlaySight keeps track of the forehand cross-courts that they make in the target area (with our camera-based tracking algorithms).
Ana ran the competitive drill several times, taking the victory in each contest. Sorry Nemo! Maybe next time… We will make Ana’s drill video available in an upcoming video so you can get out to your local SmartCourt and try it for yourself.
During the interview, we learned that Ana’s idol growing up was Monica Seles. Ana says that Seles was one of the reasons she started playing. “Seles was my idol because she was from Serbia and they were showing lots of her matches, which they didn’t with other athletes so that’s why I really admire her, and that’s actually how I started playing. She always had a powerful game and that’s what I tried to copy when I was young.”
We learned a lot while interviewing Ana and talking about her playing days. Fun fact, did you know Ana won the French Open and became #1 in the world all in the same week? And on top of it all of she was only 20 years old at the time.
Ana even took sometime out of the busy schedule to hit with some of the top juniors from Midtown (“they don’t miss” – she remarked after about 20 minutes of consecutive rallying).
And that’s a wrap!