( dpa )- "Squeaky" Serb Ana Ivanovic says that the sharp sound of her shoes on the new Plexicushion court at the Australian Open is not meant to distract.
The fourth seed, who faces Maria Sharapova in Saturday's final, copped criticism from defeated semi-final opponent Daniele Hantuchova for the apparently off-putting sound.
"I just tried to move my feet, to return the ball, so it really was not intentional," said the Swiss-based Serb, the picture of good manners on and off the court.
"In the other matches I was doing exactly the same thing. It's just the way these courts play. And if you listen to the guys, I think they're doing the same thing."
Part of Hantuchova's annoyance might have stemmed from the dramatic Ivanovic reversal of a 6-2, 2-0 deficit in a comeback win. But the Slovak insists that the squeaking got on her nerves.
"That's ridiculous. I was really surprised with that. I think it's unfair," Hantuchova said. "It's a distraction to the server."
Said Ivanovic : "I don't pay attention to the squeaking of my shoes make. There was nothing I could do, because if I want to move my feet to return a ball, this was the sound I was producing."