Wednesday, October 08, 2008

One-hit wonder?

I remember watching Anastasia Myskina win the French Open in 2004, and thinking right away, "Now here's someone who'll never win a Grand Slam again." And where's Myskina now? Burping her 5-month-old.
It took a little longer, but I'm starting to have that one-hit wonder feeling about Ana Ivanovic. She lost today in the second round in Moscow -- against a talent, Dominika Cibulkova, but for those counting, she has played eleven matches since she won the French Open. She has lost six of them. To lesser players -- at bigger events. Let's not forget Julie Coin, who took her out at the U.S. Open. Or Nathalie Dechy at Wimbledon, which Ivanovic won, after about a year and a half.
I know, I know, she's just a kid. And, yes, she's been dealing with injury. Now that she's better, what's the problem? Tennis is 99.234% mental. Clearly, this is Ivanovic's hang-up right now. But why? Is it a lack of confidence? (After winning a Grand Slam? She must be hanging out with Amelie Mauresmo, also a loser today in Moscow ...) And if so, how do you get that back without winning matches? How do you win matches if you aren't mentally tough?
Ivanovic's got the game, there's no question. Lord knows she's no pusher like Myskina was. But where's her head at?
Anyone else wondering if Ivanovic's a one-Slam wonder? Or is she having a tough time handling the pressure?

5 comments:

TopSpin said...

I actually think she can win more slams - she's clearly having issues right now, but she will emerge eventually. Her groundstrokes are too good for that not to happen.

The thing is the womens' tennis landscape isn't looking that great right now. Henins gone and Sharapova seems to have real issues with her shoulder. Nobody else is really dominating the game - its a good time for players like Ivanovic, Jankovic, Safina and Dementieva (heck even Kuznetsova) to step up...

van said...

Hey Naf, what's up? You know, I didn't even consider the idea of her being a one-hit wonder, but looking at the way things are going now, you really have to wonder. Granted, she's got game, but not enough to hold off a whole gang of challengers. The way tennis is now, you miss your moment or fall back to the pack, it only gets harder.

Naf said...

Hi, Van and Topspin!
What makes Ivanovic's slide look bad to me is the fact that women's tennis is weak. This is a great time to take advantage, and she's not doing it. She's losing to everyone, which makes me think she's not quite ready for prime time.

Jodi said...

Ivanovic has totally got the game to win more Slams - it's just a matter of her head. If she can get that under control, she's capable of getting back to #1 and staying there. If she doesn't... well, she doesn't deserve to be in the top echelons of women's tennis.

That's what been so great about Dinara Safina this year - she's got her head in the game. If she loses, it's in a semi, or a final. If you want to get through Dinara, you have to earn it. Ivanovic is just giving in to everybody - I mean, Julie Coin? Sorry, who?

Naf said...

Yeah, Jodi, but if you can't make a move now in women's tennis, I'd argue you don't have what it takes. If Ivanovic can't dominate now, she ain't gonna do it when Sharapova gets back. So we'll see about her. Same with Venus Williams. If she loses to Flavia Pennetta one more time ...