The pro shares her favorite head-clearing workout, what she eats before a match, and the snack she always carries in her bag.

By Lisa DeSantis
September 01, 2016
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Credit: Shisheido

With the U.S. Open in full swing (pun intended), I had a chance to sit down with world-ranked tennis pro Ana Ivanovic. (The 28-year-old star suffered a disappointing loss to Denisa Allertova earlier this week.) We talked about everything from her fitness routine to the burger she enjoys after a grueling workout. Spoiler alert: She hates strength training, but lives for running.

A typical meal...

“I don’t really eat fried food,” was the first thing Ivanovic said when I asked about her diet. “It’s definitely a no go for me.” On a day she's scheduled to play, she'll have fish and vegetables. Simple meals are key: no sauces, added sugar, or salt. But she does work in healthy fats like avocado and nuts.

When it comes to carb-loading, rather than reaching for bread or pasta, she sticks to rice, risotto, and paella. And when she's in Italy, she doesn’t hold back—because after all, who could?

What she carries at all times...

Ivanovic is “hooked to healthy snacks,” as she puts it, and always has a stash at the ready. Her unpredictable schedule has taught her to plan ahead, especially when she’s headed to the airport. Her favorite snacks are bananas and raw energy bars—preferably the savory varieties from brands like Larabar and Trek. “I joke that I could feed a small family with the bars in my bag,” she said.

Her favorite workouts...

Because a tennis match can last two to three hours, Ivanovic noted the importance of building endurance, and being able to keep her mind in the game for an extended period of time. Running helps her train for that. “I love to run,” she said. “It’s how I clear my head.” Even when her schedule is packed with other workouts, she’ll still go for a 30-40 minute jog in the morning to start the day fresh. She’s also a fan of yoga and tries to squeeze in at least 15 minutes a day.

Jams that get her in the zone...

If she’s at the gym, Ivanovic listens to Serbian radio, which reminds her of home. But when she’s exercising or practicing outdoors, it’s a different story. She plays pop music by artists like Justin Bieber, Ariana Grande, and Beyoncé. Those tunes also help her get pumped up before a match.

The beauty routine that keeps her looking fresh...

I was prepared to see a beautiful tennis player when I met Ivanovic, but I was taken aback by how stunning she looked, without a stitch of makeup! Her beauty philosophy? “Less is more.” Before a match, she uses hairspray to keep hair out of her face; and on her face, a cleanser followed by Shiseido’s Ultimate Sun Protection Cream Broad Spectrum SPF50+ ($35, That’s it. She says she likes Shiseido because the formula is designed to work better when she sweats.

At the end of the day, she enjoys her downtime...

When she’s not working out or competing, Ivanovic catches up on reading and her current obsession: the legal drama series "Suits." (“I can’t stop watching!”) She also loves to enjoy good meals with friends, and breaks her strict diet on occasion—especially for pizza and burgers. But she says they taste even better when she earns them, by working hard and rewarding herself after.