Google Down the Line!: Ana's coach-for-a-day: what would you do?

Monday, June 15, 2009

Ana's coach-for-a-day: what would you do?

Oh, Ana.

The former top lady baller's Serbian Slide has officially become a Serbian Slump with her latest loss. Leading 4-1 in the decider to mental midget Nadia Petrova, Ana managed to lose the final 5 games and was booted from Eastbourne's first round 6-1, 4-6, 6-4. Ouch.

Last week the 21-year old fired coach Craig Kardon after losing in the fourth round at Roland Garros and dropping out of the Top 10 (she currently sits at No. 13). If there's a bright side, it would be the fact that she doesn't have tons of points to defend for the rest of the year after a disappointing second half to 2008. She can make up ground. That being said, if she can't even get out of opening rounds then she's toast.

Ana's troubles have been well documented (especially here) so we don't need to rub sea salt in the wounds. But question: if you could be the Serb's coach for a day, what would be the one thing you would focus on with her and why?


PS - Here's the look Ana will be working at The All England Club called the adidas Adilibria Ivanovic Wimbledon dress. WARNING: grab a look now because you may not see much of it later on...

(image via getty,


  1. Welcome back. Hopefully family crisis has been dealt with in an effective manner and all is right with the word. If I were Ana's coach for a day, I would first of all sit down with her and give her a pep talk. Not one of those pep talks where it is all sweetness and light, I would first of all point out to her how successful she has been and how successful she can be if she does the following: work on her ball toss (and I mean work on it - every single freaking day). For every bad ball toss, you hit absolutely no forehands. If it takes 6 months you will get 10 consecutive ball tosses right. 2, once we have the ball tosses out of the way, we will work on your backhand. You will extend your elbow away from your elbow. The racquet is not a part of your hand, it is an extension - extend your damn hands so you can hit a backhand. I think once those 2 aspects of her game are dealt with, then she may have problem in dealing with the last aspect of her game: lack of confidence. The girl has absolutely no confidence in her game and until she fixes those things that are wrong, I unfortunately see this slump continuing. In today's match, even though I did not see it, you could tell at 4-2 up that she was already feeling the pressure. She tried so many times to break Nadia in that game, in order to keep the double break, and when she could not, that was it for her.

  2. Welcome back dear Rich.

    Cant said anything else about Anita, just to look to her innerself.
    If I was a coach for one day I will like to see doing back again her forehand cross court that got her to the top. She doesnt do that as much as it use to be 2 years ago...that was her weapon.

    And in a silly thought, the thought of changing racquets and string was risky.

  3. The WTA is full of mental midgets. Ivanović was just lucky last year to meet another midget in the RG final.

  4. Yes Tennis Observer, I read your comment in Forty Deuce and I have to agree with you is mental madness in the WTA.

  5. Welcome back Rich, we're so glad to see your return.

    Sending a hug,

  6. Simple: forget about all the sponsorships and photo shoots and magazine covers and remember why you started playing this sport in the first place.

    Anna Kournikova has shown when you get sucked into the glamour it's hard to concentrate on anything else.

    I would argue that really there are only 2 women who can do this (Serena and Maria), and unfortunately Ana, you are neither of those two.

    Get your priorities straight and you will get back on track in no time.

  7. i think we all have to be realistic and see that there are only two things that are clear about the WTA. 1 - yup, 99% of them are headcases. and 2 - ivanovic does not have the game to go to the top right now. that is clear. my opinion is that she never really did, and i agree that rg was a lucky break. things really went her way last year. the same way they have been going for safina this year until she went crazy at the RG final. at the end of the day u have the two sisters that reign the tennis world no matter how u spin it. sharapova was up there, but i guess the injuries and spotlight got to her too. the rest of them...well, whoever is not a complete mess on a given day wins.

  8. Learning how to toss a ball straight would be a good start...

  9. Maybe she should have a sit down with Roger like the one Sveta had that did her wonders. Anyway, i think a quick fix will be simply stop hitting the bad ball tosses during a match(still see her chasing her ball toss time and time again). Then work in practice on the ball toss and second serve (more spin more kick maybe). Also, now is the time to really practice knifing the slice backhand and use it more often in matches. Also maybe she could hit with more topspin to allow more margin for error instead of hitting so flat all the time. Volleys are another area to work on. It amazes me how some women at the top of the game are really bad at volleys. (case in point: Jankovic). In essence, give yourself more margin for error and add more variety.
    On another note, glad to see the stupid band across her previous dresses gone!

  10. Ana has the game, her problems are ALL mental. I am an Ana fan but she is a mental midget right now and I can easily see her losing early at Wimbledon again this year.

    She is too impatient and when she's close to the finish line or close to breakingher opponent she has been freezing. She needs a sports psychologist or something along those lines pronto.

    No reason she can't get back to the Top 10 if she gets her head right.

  11. Yeah, to me she plays not to lose when she really should focus on winning, even if it's "ugly". Plus, she's very much a perfectionist to the point where one error can snowball and cause her to focus on the mistakes and not on what is working.

    The ball toss is def a problem but that backhand looks all kinds of awkward. It's very stiff and she pulls up on it too much. Karen (1st comment) had a good analysis on that stroke.

  12. Richie, you're back!!!
    *pops champagne*
    *licks it off Rafa*
    Well...someone had to keep him occupied in your absence...;)

    "if you could be the Serb's coach for a day, what would be the one thing you would focus on with her and why?"
    I would focus on drop kicking her across the court. Then I would b!tch slap her ten times.

  13. No comments on the dress yet??

    I'll go first and say I luv it...or I heart it...whatever. But very feminine, and lovely design.

  14. Its quite plain but MUCH better than the petaled disaster of yesteryear.

  15. I saw her practise at Eastbourne on Sunday and she did seem to have a coach with her. He was videoing her serve and getting her to turn her left shoulder slightly on the toss.

    She was on court for almost 2 hours and seemed very happy..lots of smiles, and signing autographs as she left.

    Also watched Kuznetsova and Janovic practice Must be the kiss of death for them as they ALL lost.

    Loving Eastbourne and grass XX

  16. Here is an article about ana's change of coach with her saying she's on her way back before promptly losing to petrova.


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