Google Down the Line!: (UPDATED) NaturAna withdraws from Beijing, calls it quits on 2009

Saturday, October 3, 2009

(UPDATED) NaturAna withdraws from Beijing, calls it quits on 2009

Ana Ivanovic's "disappointing" 2009 season came to an abrupt end when she was forced to pull out of Beijing with illness today.

The Serb discussed her feelings about the season in her latest diary entry and also revealed some little known information about her physical health:

I guess having to withdraw from Beijing is an appropriate ending to a very disappointing season. This trip to Asia has been a big disappointment and I have struggled with my health pretty much since I arrived. I am sorry to my supporters who were hoping to see me play here in Beijing. It's very disappointing for me as well, to come here, see the amazing facility they have and not have the energy to be able to step onto court. I can only look forward to coming back here next year.

It's especially disappointing because I was hoping to be able to see some improvements before the season ended. I have gone through a lot of training and physical changes over the past few months, which have mostly remained private until now... My body is quite fragile at the moment, because I over-trained during the first part of the year. This was, I think, what caused me to have many small injuries this season.

Instead of being patient and accepting that my best form was almost impossible due to physical limitations, I was always over-thinking things, and I never dealt with it very well. The season was a continuation of going from one disappointment to another. If I had dealt better with these setbacks, I would have had a lot more success.
The former top lady baller also revealed the addition of a new member to the Team Ana fold:
I have appointed a new fitness coach, whom I will tell you more about later. Over the next month or so I can have a great break. I can rest without thinking about any future tournaments, then train and practise hard for the new season.
She and former strength + conditioning coach Scott Byrnes parted ways back in July.

NaturAna sounds like a big mess right now. That being said, I think a nice break from tennis will do her a world of good. But she'll need to learn to keep things in perspective and realize that wanting it "so badly" is a quick path to disappointment.

UPDATE: Speaking of "NaturAna", guess who just jumped on THAT bandwagon? ROFL - love it.

UPDATE #2: Peter Bodo sees a "lack of nerve" as a major cause for her troubles and thinks NaturAna needs to get more real about her struggles - most importantly, with herself.

(Photo: Junko Kimura/Getty Images)


  1. Bless her, she's impossible to dislike. Her retiring at Wimbledon was clearly heartbreaking and it would have been best if she sorted her fitness issues out at that point. Hindsight, eh.

    Hope she has a better season next year.

  2. That was me, t, above, why won't it let me comment without an account! The button for a name is there but it won't work. Technology, grr.

  3. sounds more of a psychological thing for Ana.

  4. t: sorry about that! not sure why it won't let you comment by giving your name. has it happened before?

    anon: def psycho issues involved. she's still too much of a perfectionist which kills any clear thinking and creativity on court IMO.

  5. Why do people make so many excuses for Ana? According to Cahill she doesn't like the pressure and spotlight of people watching her practice at slams. Well, that's a funny thing to dislike. Why even bother being a tennis player then?

    She can't handle the pressure and expectations of being a top player? What? She won her slam was 20. She wasn't some awestruck teenager. I'd hate to see what would've happened to Ana if she'd won Wimbledon at 17 and all the craziness that came with that. She'd be in the nuthouse by now...

    I'm glad she took this break; maybe she can pull herself together. During her match in Tokyo it didn't even look like she wanted to be out there. Every loss was just further destroying her already fragile mental state and hard writing "loser" into her psyche. I just worry about what happens when she comes back. What happens if she starts losing again? Then what? Where do you go if this doesn't work?

  6. Part of me is very sad, and part of me is relieved to see this nightmare season finally come to an end. She needs a long rest mentally and get things back on track again. Probably shouldn't of have played in Tokyo.

    Hopefully she will find a new coach soon and see a sports psychologist.

    Ana for 2010 WTA comeback player of the year!

  7. I think calling it quits for the year is the best thing she can do! As mentally drained and physically exhausted as she is a break is definitely what she needs right now.
    I'm looking forward to 2010. With the newest addition to her team, maybe she'll get some new impulses and hopefully she'll consider speaking to a sports-psychologist!

    And wow Rich! You're getting famous!

  8. How do you get "physically exhausted" when you always lose by the 2nd round?

  9. ^From being over trained. I personally believe she's mentally exhausted.

  10. She probably travelled to Tokyo only cuz its mandatory by her contract with Yonex.

  11. Why do people fall all over themselves to make excuses for Ana? I get that you're a fan Curtis, but this "over training" business is nonsense. Over trained? She trains more than the rest of the tour? She works harder than the rest of the tour? She trains harder than Justine, Kim, Sam, Jill, or Venus? I doubt that.

    And as to the "mental exhaustion"... I'm not sure what is so mentally exhausting about her situation.

    Ana doesn't seem to have the mental gifts that go along with being a great champion. Some players like the extra pressure, the spotlight, the target on their backs... they expand in those situations. (Williams, Henin, Sharapova) While other players recede and become less. They don't like the extra eyes on them. They have rabbit ears. They complain about the jealously. Unfortunately, Ana is the latter type of player. She's hyper-analytical, insecure and wants everyone to like her. It's a toxic combination for any athlete.

    She's very fortunate her third slam final was against a similarly mentally limited player in Dinara otherwise it would be Amelie all over again. Then again she's even more fortunate that she didn't win a slam as teen... she would never have been able to handle what Serena, Martina, Maria and Monica went through as teen champions. The media, other players and tennis fans especially were overtly hostile with those players. In contrast Ana 21 year old has been treated with kid gloves; not only by the media, but especially by her own fans and also apparently by the people around her.

    Like I said, I hope this break works for her. She needs some perspective and deep breath. Losing can snowball. But I can’t help thinking that the pressure will REALLY be on when she returns. For her sake this break HAS to work.

  12. She has mental problem.
    She has the gift, but she doesn't have that mental toughness.

    Shrieka, she won Wimbledon at 17. She got massive media exposure, and she eventually reached number 1. What next? She kept winning and upping her game, 2 more Grand Slams after that.

    Ana on the other hand, kept crumbling after that. She doesn't have the mind set and mental toughness to fight all of the media exposure and pressure from everyone, especially when she was at the top spot.

  13. ^^Anon, Ana trains as hard as anybody. The problem is that she wants to win so badly and is such a perfectionist, that she puts too much pressure on herself. She said so in her recent diary. Her coaches and people around her say that. After her loss to Szavay in Miami, she talked about how she couldn't sleep the night before because she couldn't stop thinking about tennis. The problem for Ana is that she focuses on her game too much and is too analytical.The pressure, the early round loses, the constant thinking about hyer game = mental exhaustion.

    Her mental toughness issues is what will prevent her from ever being a dominating player. But she is one of the most dedicated, hardest working girls on the WTA Tour. I think it's good that she is getting away from the game a little bit. She needs the break.

  14. Rich - you need to copyright NaturAna asap. :)


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