Quotable Quotes: Perfectionist.
It’s no longer news, nor is it considered an upset these days. A.Rad took out Ana Ivanovic 7-6(4) 6-4. Considering A.Rad is ranked 8 in the world, and Ana – 58, the score line actually looks semi-respectable. And as usual, we had a blast of Ivanovic’s self-help optimism.
“It was a tough loss but what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. I have to be positive. I’m trying to make every shot perfect and it’s just not coming every time. I just need to relax more. A few mistakes here and there are costing me matches. I just have to be patient.”
What I don’t understand is why she’s still pursuing this much perfection in her game. Seems to me like she could do well with a bit of Brad Gilbert-styled “winning ugly and proud of it”.
Moreover, as a 58th ranked player, it’s time for Ana to start assessing the sort of tournaments she chooses to play. While Stuttgart has the attraction of a spiffing Porsche and a stellar field, it’s the sort of tournament that does nothing for Ivanovic’s desperate need for wins. So why play? Especially when there’s another tournament on in Fes where she could be bagelling Katie O’Brien first round?
Is it pride? Perfectionism? Or just a blind optimism? Most likely a combination of all 3. But unless she gets some mickey mouse wins under her belt before Roland Garros, the free fall ain’t gonna stop there.
The troubles for Ivanovic doesn’t stop there. Sneki, the grand dame of the Jankovic family, blasted Ana for hanging JJ out to dry in last weekend’s Fed Cup tie.
“Jelena missed only one match for Serbia in the last 10 years. This time she flew 48 hours across half the world to play here, despite a serious wrist injury,” Jankovic’s mother said.
“At the same time, somebody else had coffee somewhere while my child played hurting for her country.”
Mee-oww. Yer don’t mess with Sneki. We all know how much she mollycoddles her daughter.
Not satisfied with just pointing the finger at Ana, Mama Jaja went on to blame Serbian organisers and politicians for showing no interest in Fed Cup.
“I think the organisation failed this time and marketing flopped,” she said, referring to the miserable visit which has left 18,000 out of the 20,000 seats in the Belgrade Arena empty. The VIP seats, packed by politicians at any high-profile event, were also empty.
“Why were our political elite and tennis officials absent,” Snezana Jankovic asked. “Those in charge should think: Does anybody care about women’s tennis? Do we need a Fed Cup team at all?”
“I will not let my child play injured again, especially if people who want to see her play cannot get into the empty arena because they cannot afford the tickets.”
She has a point – on the one hand, the tennis media routinely criticises top players for bailing out on Fed Cup; on the other, when a player makes time in her schedule to play, only to be confronted with an empty stadium and a solitary effort, you have to wonder where the ITF expects her to find the inspiration to win.
Because ultimately, that’s what the Fed and Davis Cups are about – a little inspiration, a little camaraderie.
Over the weekend, JJ got none.