Ana Ivanovic puts an end to 2009 tennis season


Ana IvanovicFormer world No.1 Ana Ivanovic has ended her unsuccessful 2009 season, withdrawing from the China Open due to an upper respiratory tract infection. Ana talks about the season behind her and here are some parts of her latest diary entry.

I guess having to withdraw from Beijing is an appropriate ending to a very disappointing season.

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.

On the positive side, I am still No.11 in the world. I have no clue how I am ranked so highly, but to look on the bright side, I can’t play any worse than I did this year and I’m still in the top 20!

Despite my disappointments there is not a single doubt in my mind that I will reach the top again and win Grand Slams.

(photo: Ralf Reinecke)


  1. 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!

  2. At least she’s [very] honest:

    “On the positive side, I am still No.11 in the world. I have no clue how I am ranked so highly, but to look on the bright side, I can’t play any worse than I did this year and I’m still in the top 20!”

    You just keep telling yourself that hun.

  3. Curtis, I’m relieved that Ana’s season is over, too. It should be. And she should take a long rest.

    Marine, I also believe Ana will shine again, it’s just a matter of time.

    Zuleika, yeah, it’s funny. That’s why highlighted that part.

  4. I guess it was kind a expected to happen…I just hope she’ll use this break on a right way: rest first, then finally finding a right full-time couch, cause she desperately need one…hope to see the old Ana in 2010:-)

  5. I think this is the right decision to make. however, i disagree in saying that this season has been a “nightmare” – that i find pretty insulting. I also believe that this is exactly the reason as to why she is having an off past few months – the commentators and public have been far to harsh. I’ve read comments such as “she doesnt deserve to be even on the court” which is total disrespectful. I think her issues lie far to deep, and it doesnt just take a few weeks to get back to top. Look at Serena, when her sister died she didnt play for months and when she did she was totally dominated. Obviously her sister or someone close did die in Ana’s case, but something is going on, and i hope her summer she can ment her wounds. She is an amazing player, and the last thing she needs is harsh comments.
    Good luck to you Ana!

  6. Tennis fanatic, I hope the same. She should use the break constructively, and plan the next season well, but without pressure.

    Jacob, I think I haven’t been harsh on Ana on this blog. She had a very disappointing season, that’s a fact, but I’ve always believed she’ll return to her old ways. I agree, to say “she doesn’t deserve to be even on the court” is pathetic.

  7. I think media are being far too harsh on Ana. She is having a hard time, I agree but I would not call it a meltdown. Every player has ups and downs which does not mean they have lost all their talent. Journalists and “tennis experts” forgot too quickly about her amazing talent which lead to the grand slam triumph. Or is it just because she is not an American player? Hmmmm….who knows…

  8. Jacob, how is saying it has been a nightmare season is insulting? I think Ana would say it has been a nightmare season. It certainly wasn’t a dream season. But yes, some of the media, especially the Serbian press have been way to harsh on her,

  9. Don’t mean to put a dampener on things as they are already, but from what I’ve worked out, Ana might drop out of the top 20 by the end of the season. I’m basing this on the assumption that at the end of the season, your number of ranking points is the same of the number of points earned during the ‘race to the championship’ points. At the moment, Ivanovic has 3075 ranking points, but has only earned 2066 points this season. I’m guessing that the difference is the points from Zurich and Linz tournaments last year, which she can’t defend as those tournaments are no longer on the calendar, and from playing in the end of season championships, which she won’t qualify for this year. Based on the fact that she’ll finish at 2066 points, that would give her a ranking of 21/22. I might be wrong of course, but that would really be a true reflection of how poor her season has been compared to the heights of the first half of last year.

  10. Marine, talent is something that can’t disappear, that’s for sure. I would say it’s been a meltdown, but that doesn’t mean that Ana’s career is over. Far from that.

    Small Observer, thanks for the calculations, I’m always bad at those, so I find your little research interesting. Well, even 21/22 is not that bad, provided Ana brings back her old form in the end. Look how fast Clijsters propelled into the Top 20.

  11. last year, after Tokyo, Ana played Beijing, Moscow, Zurich, Linz (won)and Doha and (on those tournaments) won 1152 points. Now she has 3075 and at the end of the year she’ll have 1923 points. On this list she would be 25th with that number of points, but of course it depends on results of the other players, as well….

  12. i didnt mean it, as though it was coming from this blog. but i have heard commentry and people and other blogs say this, and curtis i was just using this as an example, i wouldnt call it a nightmare myself, but an off season i would agree. Although, the start of the season was looking okay, semi’s at queensland etc

  13. Finally Ana has verbalized her disappointment with 2009 results. What troubles me though is she continues to focus on what she thinks is the cause of her poor results- injuries. She’s a professional athlete, playing injured is part of the game. Most of Ana’s injuries were small this year, (nothing like Zvonereva’s ankle sprain) AGAIN to our knowledge she has failed to address her major problem, her psyche! And until that is addressed, we can look forward to a similar season in 2010!

  14. I’m sorry, but I’m not buying it. Ana got very lucky last year when Henin retired and her draw for RG got even easier than it might’ve been. She ran away with that slam and hasn’t been able to handle the pressure of being a player with “talent” since. Okay, yes, she has a good forehand, but come on, she’s no Graf, and when you have easy draw after easy draw full of teenagers and players barely over 5’6″ when you’re far over 6′, you begin to look more and more talented than you really are (this is the foundation of Sharapova’s career by the way).

    If Ana would stop bitching about little injuries and find herself a coach/support team that wants her to be a top player and not a brunette Sharapova then maybe, just maybe, she’ll be able to fulfill her true potential.

    Please don’t think I’m trying to be malicious against Ivanovic, I just call it as I see it. Just because she won a slam doesn’t mean she’s one of the best players in the world. If you can’t keep it together and push the adversities aside when it really matters (grinding it out tourney after tourney against the top players), then, how can you expect us fans to think you’re not a fluke?

  15. Ella, that slam was no fluke. She made it to the RG final a year earlier, knocking off Sharapova and the AO final in 2008. She also made it to the Wimbledon semi’s in 2007. Thats a stretch of making it to either the semi’s or finals in 4 out of 5 slams.

    And Ana has never bitched about her injuries. Show me one press conference or interview where she was bitching about her injuries? She has never used it as an excuse. If anything, she gives her opponent too much credit after a loss. Her website may of have used it as an excuse, but Ana has never personally did. I know, I am a KAD who follows everything involving Ana.

  16. I also agree with you Curtis.

    I’m kind of mixed up about the whole situation. I dont think it her title was a Fluke. Like Curtis said, she is amazing on Clay and has gotton far in the Australian Open. I just hope her the best!

  17. I agree with cptmal. Ivanovic hasn’t addressed the real problem. Look at her statement; she’s overanalysed everything again, but she’s saying that’s what contributed to her poor season! She seems to do that naturally, so it’ll be hard for her to combat that problem, I think. She seems to be a perfectionist, and whilst there’s nothing wrong with that – you can always improve – but in the end, perfect is unattainable, so maybe she should relax her standards slightly and just enjoy playing.

    I think Ella was a tad harsh, but I agree with the last points made that a lot of the top players grind out results. This is what Safina and Jankovic have done (although not so lately from Safina). It’s true that Ivanovic’s first grand slam was on the horizon for a while, but who’s to say that she won’t be a one-slam wonder like Iva Majoli?

    Also, who’s said that “she doesn’t deserve to be on the court”? That’s just nasty. I’m not a fan of Ivanovic (mainly because I don’t like her constant fist-pumping, and her ‘bish-bash hit a forehand winner’ tennis, although the latter I can’t complain about so much now as she does come to the net) but you can see she cares about the sport. What on earth makes someone ‘deserve’ to be on the court anyway?

    Good point about Clijsters, but you need consistency to do that, and Ivanovic isn’t consistent. Even at her best she’d win a tournament and then go out early in the next (e.g.2008 won Indian Wells, went out 3R Miami)

  18. Jacob, I knew you didn’t have me in mind, I was just rethinking it, for myself.

    Cptmal, “we can look forward to a similar season in 2010” – noooo, you’re pessimistic, but that’s been crossing my mind too. :/

    Ella, I see Ana as one of the best players in the world. I mean, she may not be the best, but one of the best she certainly is. One of the best ever – well, there’s a long road ahead of her.

    Small Observer, you made a great “small observation” that “she’s overanalysed everything again, but she’s saying that’s what contributed to her poor season”. That part’s not promising.

  19. I’m sorry if I was too harsh to Ivanovic or her fans on here. I don’t know how European media portrays Ana, but in the West, when she wins, they applaud her “huge Graf forehand” and “mental toughness” for her victories-but when she loses, it’s not “oh she sucks, fluke!!” it’s more like “poor sweet Ana, she’s just so damn nice. That’s why she can’t be number 1 for too long. She’s too nice to be tough and fight it out, it’s not in her nature! She’s so sweet yay!!” I’m sorry, but I’m not impressed by her game nor her personality (fist pumping the first point of the match is beyond annoying), but at least she makes an effort to approach the net, I’ll give her that. I guess that’s why it’s easy for me to forget about her (sometimes I seriously forget she won RG).

    Hopefully Ana proves me wrong and makes a strong comeback. I do wish her the best as I do all the players because I don’t have favourites-I just don’t want to waste my money on mediocre players who are over-hyped and can’t deliver. Winning small tournies won’t do it for me, though. I want to see her beat the Williamses, Dementieva, Kuznetsova, Clijsters, not teenagers and top 200 players…then maybe I can get behind her and root for her because I’m willing to give any player that plays at the net a chance (which is why I scream at the top of my lungs rooting for Stosur, but she’s a whole ‘nother story).

  20. I liked your point Ella, about grinding out matches…. I miss the days of Monica, Steffi, Jennifer C…. who would do anything just to win a point and left their hearts out on court. Not sure too many of the women players do that these days, apart from Serena and maybe Maria. It’s time for Ana to get back to basics- develop a sturdy game plan, toughen up and get on with it. Now, all I see from her is a whole lot of unnecessary fist pumping and woeful looks to her supporter’s box after every point…

  21. I watch EVERY Ana match and some of you are exaggerating the fist pumping. There have been a few matches in the past where she may got a little carried away with it, but for the most part, she only fist pumps on big points. By fist pumping, I mean “real” fist pumps, not those very mini ones where she barely raises her fist. BIG DEAL! I cant even remember the last time she fist pumped more than 5-10 times in a match.

    Maybe it’s because I am a KAD and I don’t see the big deal in it. Meh

  22. Curtis, man…. what matches have you been watching??? Try against Kleybanova at this year’s Aus Open…. talk about overkill. I watched the highlights against Stosur at this year’s Wimby…after she hit a drop shot, the story goes like this…fist bump, squeal, knee raised and a 360 pirouette!! All for a drop shot. There is a vid on youtube where Sven tells her to stop trying to get in her oppponent’s face and just concentrate on her game. My thoughts exactly!!!

  23. Fist pumps are still fist pumps, no matter how vigourous, or not, they are. The point iluvlucie mentioned was a complete overreaction as Stosur was not even that near to the ball. Any kind of winner would probably have done, as good a drop shot as it was. It was a short point and Ivanovic was always in control. No need for it really.

    Well, the point is that not many other players do seem to do it, and certainly not to the same extent. I know Justine Henin used to say ‘Allez!’ quite often, but she did seem to pick her moments to do it better. Sorry, but that’s what I think.

    I guess the problem with fist-pumping is that unlike shrieking, there’s nothing you can do to stop it annoying you – there’s no fast-forward button.

  24. I don’t mind fist pumps,I hate shrieking. In my opinion Ana is no fluke at all, she is a talent and she’ll prove it in the future. People are way too hard on her, she is still very young. She needs time to develop her game , I think she her prime is yet to come. I feel sorry for her as she has got soo much criticism which is I think one of the reasons of her mental fragility. The same goes for players such as Safina who has been bombarded with negativity all throughout the season and as a result she crumbles at the most important tournaments. I think what they both need is to learn to zone out the critics and stay positive otherwise they more or less defeat themselves.

  25. Marine, I don’t think the criticism is the cause of Ana’s and Dinara’s troubles, but it certainly didn’t help.

  26. Ana is now ranked 23, a far cry from 11. She is a talented player who has turned out to be a flash in the pan. I think she can come back somewhat, but she will be lucky to get back into the top 10.

  27. I just reread all the comments. I have never understood all the criticism about the fist pumps, which look like nothing more than shaking a salt shaker. They don’t make noise, and if it makes her feel better, so what?! The men look like they are in a boxing ring when they do it. And no one criticizes them. It’s really petty to pick on Ana for this.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here