Impossible is Nothing for French Open Finalists Ana Ivanovic and Dinara Safina
Herzogenaurach/Paris, June 6th, 2008 — adidas Tennis congratulates Ana Ivanovic and Dinara Safina on reaching the French Open final at Roland Garros, proving Impossible is Nothing.
With the victory Ana Ivanovic becomes the new world No. 1 while Dinara Safina reaches her very first Grand Slam final. Equipped by adidas Tennis both players have achieved career milestones overcoming huge odds and saving match points on the way to the final of the only clay court Grand Slam.
Ana Ivanovic of Serbia and Russian Dinara Safina are both participants in the adidas Player Development Program, an adidas Tennis initiative created to inspire and enable athletes to achieve their Impossible.
Offering a unique mix of advice and support, from coaching tips and hitting partners through nutritional and career management plans, the adidas Player Development started in 2006 to address the individual needs of both junior and senior players.
Ana Ivanovic currently uses the adidas Player Development Program and before French Open spoke openly to adidas about the program coach Sven Groeneveld and her career goals; “Having Sven and adidas in my corner as advisors has been very important to my progress. Together with my trainer, management and family, I feel that I have found the right team structure to get me to the next step, which is winning Grand Slams and reaching No.1”.
Ana Ivanovic has now achieved one Impossible but another awaits in Saturday’s final. Dinara Safina, who breaks into the world top 10 with her stunning French Open performance, goes on to say, “The adidas program and its advisors have provided a valuable anchor for me and complements the efforts of my full time coach and trainer in a collaborative manner.”
Saturday’s French Open women’s final involves two adidas players the adidas Player Development Program coach Sven Groeneveld, nor any other member of the team, will advise on how to beat the other player. No member of the team will frequent either player box as neutrality in head-to head matches is a key principle of the adidas Player Development Program.
The adidas Player Development Program is overseen by a five-person management team which brings together diverse experiences from the tennis world, ranging from technical, training and nutritional advice to career planning and marketing. Jim Latham, Head of adidas Global Sports Marketing Tennis, oversees the program with well known tennis coaches and fitness trainers providing the hands-on expertise.
Jim Latham explains, “This program was created with the spirit and vision of Adi Dassler in mind - helping athletes reach their full potential via a collaborative effort and true teamwork. In modern day sport, it is unlikely that any one coach or mentor can provide all the expertise and insights that are required to become world class. This program strives to complement the player’s own team with additional
advice and motivation.”
Sven Groeneveld is regarded as one of the most successful coaches on both the ATP and WTA Tours having worked with such names as Michael Stich, Greg Rusedski, Mary Pierce and Mario Ancic. Sven Groeneveld is the leading on-court training advisor and is complemented by off-court fitness trainer Gil Reyes. Gil Reyes worked with the eight-time Grand Slam Champion Andre Agassi for nearly two decades and is uniquely positioned to pass on his experience to the current generation of players.
The junior element of this program is overseen by Reinhard Eichler. A two time senior German Champion, Reinhard Eichler is a well recognized teaching and coaching expert. He understands what extra help juniors need to launch a promising career. Mats Merkel provides support to the players through his role as hitting partner and direct link to the players on product testing.
Along with Ana Ivanovic and Dinara Safina, Sania Mirza, Sam Querry, Evgeny Korolev, Raluca Olaru and Sorana Cirstea are some of the players participating in the program, which does not replace their own personal trainers but instead gives them an extra helping hand to build a career. Over 20 additional players have used this free service at various stages in the past two years.
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