Mustafa Yalcin/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images
Marianne Mychaskiw
Aug 26, 2015 @ 5:30 pm

With the U.S. Open officially kicking off on Monday, tennis superstar Ana Ivanovic is certainly than prepared for the big event. "It's always been my dream to compete," the star told us at a press event for Shiseido's Wet Force Suncare range, of which she is the face. "When I started playing tennis, I just loved the game, so it wasn't about fame or money or anything like this. I didn't realize that came with the role, but I'm really looking forward for Monday to start." Of course, she also has the beauty bases covered—next to the brand's sweat-resistant sunscreen, Ivanovic credits an ample amount of hairspray, a reliable ponytail, and her plaiting skills as essentials to her game. Considering that she's able to move quickly as her updo stays intact, we figure she has the method down. "I have to braid my hair, because when I'm jumping and hitting, it gets really tied up and I can't brush it out afterwards. It also prevents my hair from going into my eyes," says the athlete. "You'd be surprised at how many times I'd hit the ball, and the hair would go straight into my eyes. That's why even when I play indoors, I wear a visor, because it stops that, and I'll apply a lot of gel and hairspray to keep it tight." If only the technique scored as well for our own (less-intense) workouts...

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Hair and skin care aside, a strict fitness regimen is obviously a key element. "I warm up on the treadmill for about 5 minutes in bursts of intervals for 5 to 10 seconds at a time just to get my body moving, then I'll stretch," she says of her pre-game warm-up routine. "Maybe 5 or 10 minutes before going on the court, I'll do some fast feet movements or sprint, but the only problem with that is sometimes after you finish warming up, you wait to get on the court and you end up cooling down a little. It's not always ideal, but that's why I wait until the very last moment to do all of this." Though she'll indulge in the occasional burger or pizza in her downtime, her off-season training does more than make up for it. "This is where people get it all wrong! They're like, this is your off-season, now this is where you can relax, but it's the worst time to do that," she adds. "All we see is gym, tennis court, and bed. It's the most intense because after you have two weeks off, you have to slowly start building all of it back, so I do lots of weights, long and short distance sprinting and running, then lots of tennis and drilling."

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