Ivanovic and friends paint the town pink after first flush of Grand Slam triumph

Like in any major city, the Parisian police are prepared for most eventualities late on a Saturday night. It can be safely assumed, however, that they experienced a first in the small hours of yesterday morning when they stopped four men attired in salmon-pink dresses under the Arc de Triomphe. Among the witnesses to the incident was Ana Ivanovic, who had been celebrating her first Grand Slam in a nearby restaurant.

The four men were Scott Byrnes, her fitness trainer, Sven Groeneveld, her coach, Marcin Rozpedski, her hitting partner, and Milos, her brother. They had promised the 20-year-old Serb a fortnight earlier that if she won the French Open they would run round the Arc de Triomphe wearing her tennis outfit.

From the moment Ivanovic won her first-round match here her entourage must have started to wonder what they were letting themselves in for. She dropped only one set in the whole tournament, against her compatriot Jelena Jankovic in the semi-finals, and has proved over the last two weeks that she is a worthy holder of the world No 1 ranking which she will inherit today.

Saturday's 6-4, 6-3 victory over Dinara Safina was a logical conclusion to 12 months of progress. Having frozen so badly in last year's final against the now retired Justine Henin, who presented her with the Suzanne Lenglen Trophy on Saturday, Ivanovic showed with her much-improved display against Maria Sharapova in the Australian Open final in January that she had the mental strength to claim the game's biggest prizes.

Another key difference this year has been her fitness. The 2008 Ivanovic is a sleeker version of last year's model and her improved mobility has strengthened her defensive game. Nowhere was this more evident than on what proved to be a crucial point in the second set, with Safina serving at 1-1 and 40-30. In one of the best rallies of the match Ivanovic defended deep behind the baseline to return two smashes and then raced to the net to chase down a drop shot before hitting a clever backhand winner.

Ivanovic went on to win the game with a huge forehand return. There were no more breaks until Safina, at 3-5, finally wilted under the pressure of Ivanovic's forehand returns and dropped her serve to love. There is no more effective shot in the women's game than Ivanovic's majestic forehand. The inside-out version, struck flat and hard across court, is a fearsome weapon that frequently felled Safina. The Russian, playing in her first Grand Slam final, gave a decent account of herself, but in a showdown between two players who like to go for their shots the world No 14 always looked the more likely to make mistakes.

After some retail therapy at Louis Vuitton and Chanel this morning, Ivanovic flies home to Belgrade, where there are likely to be more celebrations. Serbia's first female Grand Slam champion is due to play at Eastbourne next week, though it would be no surprise if she decided to rest instead in preparation for the start of Wimbledon in a fortnight's time.

Completing the French-Wimbledon double is one of the tallest orders in the game, but Ivanovic proved with her run to last year's semi-finals at the All England Club that she can play on grass. While her volleys can be suspect and she rarely goes to the net out of choice, Ivanovic's booming forehand and improved athleticism make her a threat on any surface. For the last two years she has lost at Wimbledon to the eventual champions, Amélie Mauresmo and Venus Williams.

"To tell the truth, I'm still trying to enjoy this victory and not thinking about grass," Ivanovic said when asked about her chances of winning at Wimbledon. "A lot of players will now play their best tennis against me, but I still think I have a good chance. I've been working really hard and that has brought results."

Voices
There will be a chance to bid for a rare example of the SAS Diary, collated by a former member of the regiment in the aftermath of World War II but only published – in a limited run of just 5,000 – in 2011
charity appealTime is running out to secure your favourite lot as our auction closes at 2pm tomorrow
Arts and Entertainment
James May, Jeremy Clarkson and Richard Hammond in the Top Gear Patagonia Special
tv
News
Claudia Winkleman and co-host Tess Daly at the Strictly Come Dancing final
people
Arts and Entertainment
Caroline Flack became the tenth winner of Strictly Come Dancing
tvReview: 'Absolutely phenomenal' Xtra Factor presenter wins Strictly Come Dancing final
PROMOTED VIDEO
News
Elton John and David Furnish will marry on 21 December 2014
people
Sport
SPORT
News
people
Life and Style
A still from the 1939 film version of Margaret Mitchell's 'Gone with the Wind'
life
Arts and Entertainment
J Jefferson Farjeon at home in 1953
booksBooksellers say readers are turning away from modern thrillers and back to golden age of crime writing
Sport
Amir Khan is engaged in a broader battle than attempting to win a fight with Floyd Mayweather
boxing Exclusive: Amir Khan reveals plans to travel to Pakistan
News
Stacey Dooley was the only woman to be nominated in last month’s Grierson awards
mediaClare Balding and Davina McCall among those overlooked for Grierson awards
News
Twitchers see things differently, depending on their gender
scienceNew study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Arts and Entertainment
British actor Idris Elba is also a DJ and rapper who played Ibiza last summer
film
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Christopher Biggins as Mrs Smee in Peter Pan
theatreHow do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
News
i100
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'
Marian Keyes: The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment

Marian Keyes

The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef creates an Italian-inspired fish feast for Christmas Eve

Bill Granger's Christmas Eve fish feast

Bill's Italian friends introduced him to the Roman Catholic custom of a lavish fish supper on Christmas Eve. Here, he gives the tradition his own spin…
Liverpool vs Arsenal: Brendan Rodgers is fighting for his reputation

Rodgers fights for his reputation

Liverpool manager tries to stay on his feet despite waves of criticism
Amir Khan: 'The Taliban can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'

Amir Khan attacks the Taliban

'They can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'
Michael Calvin: Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick