My long-time blogging friend David Fearnhead, a sportswriter and author who always makes sure to mention Women’s Tennis Blog during his tennis talks on BBC Radio, caught up with successful, approachable and beautiful Bojana Jovanovski to discuss on-court fashion, the origins of unquestionable success of Serbian tennis, pros and cons of being a professional tennis player, and more. Thanks, David, for providing me with this exclusive! Now I’m giving the word to you.
I first spoke with Bojana Jovanovski when she was just an up-and-coming teenager playing on the ITF circuit. She already had a great game and I was convinced she would be a WTA professional one day, joining the likes of fellow Serbs Ana Ivanovic and Jelena Jankovic. She’s since become hot property and frequents as many lists for her looks as for her game. Though, she remains just as friendly, as modest, and as determined for success as she did when we first spoke.
DAVID: How important is fashion in your life?
BOJANA: When I’m on the tennis court, fashion is not so important to me, but off court I’m like other girls of my age. I like a nice wardrobe, I follow trends and I adore shopping. Every woman feels much happier when she is taking care of herself and when she is well dressed. I don’t see any reason for me to be different.
DAVID: Which designers do you favour?
BOJANA: I don’t have favourites. Most important to me is that my wardrobe is on trend, high-quality, comfortable, and that it looks good on me. When I have those things I don’t look who is designer, and luckily I can afford what I like.
DAVID: Are you interested in modelling? Do you enjoy photoshoots?
BOJANA: For the time being I don’t think about modelling. All my thoughts are on tennis. I’m yet to achieve everything that I want in my career, but I don’t mind to try myself in the modelling world. Anyway, I wouldn’t be the first or the last tennis player who tried modelling. I must say that I’m flattered with this question. As you can see, off the court I’m just like all the girls my age.
DAVID: What about on-court fashion, does feeling like you look good on court help your confidence and your game?
BOJANA: Other things are of crucial importance in tennis, but the wardrobe isn’t. Maybe to some the wardrobe provides some security, but personally I don’t belong to this category.
DAVID: Do you have a favourite or “lucky” colour to wear?
BOJANA: My favourite colour is purple. Also, I like white because it reminds me of tennis, red of love, and orange of the sun.
DAVID: Who do you think are the best dressed girls on tour?
BOJANA: Can I have some easier question? In the tennis world there are so many pretty girls who very well dressed. I don’t want to point out anyone. I would rather comment on their game than their fashion. This is very delicate and sensitive topic for girls.
DAVID: Would you wish to design your own outfits like the Williams sisters have done? Or have input like Caroline Wozniacki has with Adidas/Stella McCartney?
BOJANA: I like what the Williams sisters are doing. Also, I like what Stella McCartney is designing for Caroline Wozniacki. Fashion found its place in tennis a long ago. Personally, I don’t see myself as designer, but I wouldn’t mind to wear some designs of the Williams sisters or Stella McCartney.
DAVID: Your father was a professional footballer, have you taken an interest in that sport?
BOJANA: My father was a professional footballer, but he introduced me into the world of tennis. Today he is one of my trainers. He dedicated his life, profession and career to me and for that I’m endlessly grateful to him. Beside football he loved tennis too, but contrary to him I’ve never had great sympathy for football.
DAVID: What makes Serbia such a strong nation in tennis, producing so many good players especially in the women’s game?
BOJANA: Food, climate, water, music…Of course I’m just kidding. Each of us invested many years of hard work, effort and sacrifice. Almost as a rule, we were supported only by our parents who have invested everything they had so that we could go towards our goals and achieve our tennis dream.
DAVID: Your strongest result in a grand slam was in Australia, would you say it was your favourite major? Or do you just start the year well?
BOJANA: I hope that I will achieve much better results this season in the Australian Open and that it will be a good start to a successful year.
DAVID: Do you have any superstitions?
BOJANA: No superstition is stronger than self-confidence.
DAVID: Which Serbian players do you most admire, and have you modelled your own game on any other professionals?
BOJANA: Every one of them are great athletes and even better people. It’s really very hard to set aside someone specifically because whoever accomplishes significant results or wins great tournaments deserves all the compliments. There were a lot of tennis aces that have marked this sport, but Serbs somehow always play with their hearts. I think that dedication, work, and love is the only formula for the success of Serbian tennis players. I’m learning from all of them and also trying not to fall far behind them.
DAVID: What’s the worst thing about being a professional?
BOJANA: The injury of the wrist. For all athletes even for tennis players, injuries are a really big problem because they slow us down and even stop our career. Physical pain is not the only problem, you must be mentally very strong to return to the game after the injury and to have even more energy and enthusiasm to get out in front of your opponents.
DAVID: And the best?
BOJANA: I believe that my best moment is yet to come.
DAVID: Finally, is there something about you that people would be surprised to learn?
BOJANA: I hope that I will study psychology after my tennis career. Tennis is my profession and my passion, but psychology attracts me. Our mental stability is a key thing in the difficult and crucial moments of a match and it can either help us or it can hold back as athletes.
At the upcoming Australian Open, Bojana faces a tough task in her first-round match against Italy’s Roberta Vinci, but 2015 could well prove to be the breakthrough year for the Serbian who turned 23 on New Year’s Eve.