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Ana Ivanovic named Humanitarian of the Year

© UNICEF Serbia / Zoran Jovanovic Maccak
Ana Ivanovic, UNICEF National Ambassador for Serbia

Ana Ivanovic was named Humanitarian of the Year during the 2008 Sony Ericsson WTA Tour Player Awards ceremony in Miami. The 21-year-old is recognised for her charitable efforts as a UNICEF National Ambassador for Serbia, as well as her generous personality.

“Ana Ivanovic is a fantastic ambassador for our sport, both on and off the court," said Sony Ericsson WTA Tour Chief Executive and Chairman Larry Scott. "Her willingness to give back to the communities in which she plays and in particular her commitment to helping children in need in her native Serbia is a testament to Ana’s character.”

"Wow!" said Ana. "This is such a nice honour. I'm not sure if I deserve it. I enjoy working with UNICEF and trying to help kids in some small ways. I love spending time with children, so it's my pleasure to take part in these kind of activities."

As well as donating significant sums of money and visiting schools in Serbia, Ana has taken several opportunities to raise awareness about UNICEF and its "School Without Violence" programme: since being inaugurated in September 2007 she has written over 12,000 words of copy for newspapers such as The Sunday Telegraph, The Age and The Sunday Herald Sun – her columns benefiting UNICEF charities.

Earlier this week Ana announced plans to launch a special adidas t-shirt that will benefit UNICEF charities.

The award is the latest in a long line of accolades Ana has received for her achievements on and off the court: at the corresponding awards last year she was named Most Improved Player and she also received the Karen Krantzcke Sportmanship Award 2007.

Two years ago she was nominated for the U.S. Secretary of State's International Women of Courage Award and last year she was named Women's Tennis Player of the Year 2008 by the International Press Association (AIPS).

Ana also won the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour Diamond ACES Award for 2008, in recognition of her commitment to promoting the sport and devoting her time to worthwhile causes.

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