Google Down the Line!: Ana Ivanovic squeaks out win, reaches first Aussie Open final

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Ana Ivanovic squeaks out win, reaches first Aussie Open final

Getting through: Ana Ivanovic overcame a 0-6, 0-2 hole to defeat Daniela Hantuchova and reach her first Australian Open final. The win did not come without a little controversy, however. Our pick for the final, who will face Maria "Shriek"apova for the title, was accused of possible gamemanship by the slender Slovak for the constant squeaking of her tennis shoes while Dani was about to serve.

The World No. 9 was asked about the squeaking during her press conference after the loss:

Q. What about the way she squeaks her feet when she returns?
A. Yeah, that's ridiculous, I think. I was really surprised with that. I think it's unfair. It's a distraction to the server. Yeah, we played before and she never did it.

Q. Did you say anything to the umpire?
A. Yeah, in the first or second service game, but she didn't do anything about it. I don't think that was very nice.

Q. Is that something you've come across anyone else doing, or that's the first time that's happened?
A. Yeah.

Ana was asked about Dani's above comments during her post-match press conference:

Q. Daniela was very upset with the amount of noise your shoes were making on the court. She thought the squeakiness of your shoes, particularly when you're returning serve, is a form of gamesmanship, and you're deliberately making a lot of noise with your shoes on the court.
A. Well, I don't think so. If you see 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.
You know, I just tried to move my feet, to return the ball, so it really was not intentional.

Q. Are you a natural squeaker, or are these courts squeakier than other courts?
A. This ‑‑ I don't know, really. I just try to move my feet, and I don't pay attention to the squeaking of my shoes make.

Q. Could you sense it was annoying her at the time?
A. Once I saw she was complaining to the referee, you know. But there was nothing I could do, because if I want to move my feet to return a ball, you know, this was the sound I was producing. And, also, during the point, if I want to run with small steps around the ball, it was exactly the same thing. So, you know, maybe she was just trying to pick on something, to get upset.

We don't think it was gamesmanship, though the squeaking is probably annoying and distracting to hear right before serving. But what could be done?

(image via Rob Griffith/AP)


  1. I think squeaking her shoes during the serve is definitely gamesmanship - there were a few times during the Hantuchova match when she was moving her feet waiting to return a serve and there was only a slight shuffling sound, no loud squeaks. If it was something she can't control and she was just moving her feet that same noise would happen every time.

    What I'm wondering is whose gamesmanship will get out of control or end up bothering the opponent more in the finals tonight? Ana's squeaking shoes or Maria's screeches . . .


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