"Dragon Tattoo" girl Ivanovic gunning for Clijsters

Fri Sep 3, 2010 10:00pm EDT
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By Matt Majendie

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Former world number one Ana Ivanovic has likened herself to a striking character from the books of best-selling crime fiction author Stieg Larsson that refuses to accept authority.

Lisbeth Salander is one of the main figures in the Swedish author's Millennium trilogy that has sold 27 million copies in 40 countries and served as reading material for the Serbian in recent weeks.

Salander is a stubborn individual with little respect for authority and Ivanovic admits she sees a likeness with some of the character's subversive traits.

The world number 40 may need to exhibit some of those qualities in her fourth-round match at Flushing Meadows where she will try to knock off reigning champion Kim Clijsters.

"I do recognize myself in some of her," Ivanovic told reporters on Friday after her 7-5 6-0 third-round win over Italy's Virginie Razzano. "I do get very stubborn sometimes - that's a little bit annoying to my coach but, hey, you have to take the bad too."

Ivanovic's preparations for the U.S. Open have curtailed her summer reading to the extent that she has leafed through just 50 pages of the final book in the series, The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets' Nest, in the past few weeks.

Instead, her focus has been on regaining her best form and fitness after slipping to world number 65 in July, which marked her lowest ranking in five years.

A strong run to the semi-finals in Cincinnati last month helped boost her up 25 spots for the last grand slam of the season in New York,   Continued...

<p>Ana Ivanovic of Serbia hits a return to Virginie Razzano of France during the U.S. Open tennis tournament in New York, September 3, 2010. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque</p>