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Ana, Please

Ana Ivanovic needs to take the rest of the season off. She’s won five matches since May. Five. She lost today to Dominka Cibulkova, 6-3, 2-6, 6-7, wasting two match points. If Ana goes to Doha, she’s just going to get embarrassed playing like this. Unless, she seriously thinks she can play through this slump, she needs to call it a season.

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An Open Letter to Ana Ivanovic

Alright, Ana, how do I put this lightly? Get your shit together. Just a few months ago you were on top of the world, hot off your first grand slam victory. You’ve gone 4-4 since. Yes, I know you’ve had some injuries, but they’re not entirely to blame. Losing to Headcase of the World, Nadia Petrova, is inexcusable for a top rranked player. Right now your game is wreck. And your new racquet is ugly. Do us all a favor and take some time off, okay? The last thing the WTA needs right now is another hot mess.

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Grand Slams 2008: A Look Back

What a year it was for grand slam tennis. With the last major of the year drawing to a close in New York, I think this is the perfect time to look back at the year that was. Let’s begin after the cut, shall we? Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: A Look Back, Australian Open, Djokovic, Federer, Ivanovic, Nadal, Roland Garros, Serena, Sharapova, U.S. Open, Venus, Wimbledon, , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Quick Hits: U.S. Open Day 4

  • Ana Ivanovic suffered a shock defeat to Julie Coin, 3-6, 6-4, 3-6.
  • Serena and Venus Williams destroyed their respective opponents.
  • Amelie Mauresmo dished out a third set bagel to overcome Kaia Kanepi.
  • Anna Lena Groenefeld hit a 128 mph serve in her win over Jessica Moore.
  • Nicole Vaidisova went out to wildcard Severine Bremond.
  • Juan Martin del Potro won his 21st consecutive match over Tomaz Bellucci.
  • Andy Murray overcame a stern test from Michael Llodra, winning 7-6 in the 4th.
  • Retirements sent Victor Troicki, Kei Nishikori and James Blake into the third round.

Matches to watch on Day 5:

Jie Zheng v. [2] Jelena Jankovic – An upset could be brewing.

[23] Lindsay Davenport v. [12] Marion Bartoli – Should be a hard-hitting poweful match-up.

[8] Andy Roddick v. Ernest Gulbis – Gulbis has the goods to take out Roddick under the lights.

[14] Victoria Azarenka v. [21] Caroline Wozniacki -Two rising stars, might as well get used to them now.

[15] Tommy Robredo v. Marat Safin – Marat is always one to watch.

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Stunner: Ivanovic Goes Down

This may be one of the biggest in tennis history and is certainly one of the biggest in U.S. Open history. 1967 was the last time the number one ranked woman lost in the second round of the Open. 188th ranked Julie Coin of France defeated top seed and world number one, Ana Ivanovic, 6-3, 4-6, 6-3, today in Arthur Ashe Stadium. Women’s tennis is in pretty sad shape right now. A world number one really shouldn’t have a loss like this. Ana really needs to get her act together. Some time off might be in AI’s future.

Filed under: Ivanovic, U.S. Open, , , , ,

U.S. Open 2008: Women’s Draw Predictions and Previews

The last grand slam of the year is set to start on Monday and the women’s champion is usually someone who has managed to stay relatively healthy through the year.

Quarter One:

The whole top half of this draw is loaded so whoever is going to come through is really gonna have to duke it out. Top seed, Ana Ivanovic, is in this quarter, but is still recovering from an ailing thumb. However, she did not play in Beijing so it just makes her that much fresher. Daniela Hantuchova, Amelie Mauresmo and Nadia Petrova could cause some damage, but you never know what you’re going to get with them. 17 seed, Alize Cornet, is always a tricky opponent. Dinara Safina rounds out the quarter and we’ll see if her meltdown in Beijing affects her play. I’m betting it does.

Semifinalist: Ana Ivanovic

Quarter Two:

This quarter houses both the Williams sisters and most likely they will meet in the quarterfinals. Nicole Vaidisova could make some noise if she somehow manages to find her form, but I wouldn’t count on it. Agniezska Radwanska is the potential fourth rounder for Venus and is probably has the best shot at stopping an all-Sister quarter. I still think Venus and Serena are going to fight it out for a place in the semis. I’d go with Serena, who’s bound to hungry for a major, her last win was at the Aussie Open in ’07.

Semifinalist: Serena Williams

Quarter Three

This quarter is home to three Russian head cases, Svetlana Kuznetsova, Elena Dementieva and Anna Chakvetadze. Dementieva is hot off a gold medal, but I just don’t see her ever seriously contending for a major and don’t get why people suddenly think she’s going to start winning some now. Crafty Swiss veteran, Patty Schnyder could cause trouble for the fragile Russians if she’s on her game. Somehow, I see Kuz finding herself in the semis again.

Quarter Four:

World number 2, Jelena Jankovic’s quarter could have some interesting match ups, but should be an easy through for JJ, if she’s healthy. Bronze medalist, Vera Zvonareva, is the next highest seed, but she is very streaky. Lindsay Davenport is in this quarter, but she hasn’t played a singles match since Wimbledon due to a knee injury and I wouldn’t be surprised if she withdrew. The two youngsters, Caroline Wozniacki and Victoria Azarenka are my dark horse picks for this section and if Jelena isn’t in the semis one of these two will be.

Semifinalist: Jelena Jankovic

Semifinals: Serena def. Ivanovic, Jankovic def. Kuznetsova

Final: Serena def. Jankovic

Filed under: Predictions/Previews, U.S. Open, , , , , , ,

Ivanovic Out, Disaster Continues for Olympic Tennis

With all the smog, heat, rain and withdrawls already in the women’s Olympic tennis event, you would think it couldn’t possibly get worse. Well, the tournament just lost its top seed and one of its biggest attractions, Ana Ivanovic. She has had pain in the joint between her fore finger and thumb since after Wimbledon. Her doctor says this could mean a plaster cast which would also mean a withdrawl from the U.S. Open, but its too early to tell.

“It’s one of the hardest moments in my career,” Ivanovic said. “I’m very, very disappointed.”

And with rain forcasted for the next three days, this is going to be a big ole mess.

Filed under: Ivanovic, Olympics, , , , ,

Photo Op: Beijing Practice Courts

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Does Anyone Want the #1 Ranking?

I mean seriously. Ana Ivanovic, Jelena Jankovic and Maria Sharapova have all had plenty of chances to step it up.

Ana has the number one spot right now, but it really doesn’t look like she’s too interested in keeping it. The only reason she has it at the moment is because JJ couldn’t get it done in L.A. Her effort to get to the top at the French was good but has done nothing since then. The last time I checked, chasing Rafa around Mallorca doesn’t get you ranking points.

Jelena has had three chances to take the number one ranking and failed to get it done three times. The first time she had Ana down in the French Open semis and didn’t get it done. Second, she lost to Tanasugarn in the 4th round of Wimbledon. And lastly, she lost to Safina in L.A., where she would have got the ranking with a title. (All credit to Safina though, who played incredibly.) Who knows if she will ever get another shot?

Maria had the top spot gift wrapped to her by Justine Henin when she retired last May. At the time it felt right because Maria was having an unbelievable year and was clearly the best player of ’08. She kept number one for a grand total of two weeks. Now it seems like Maria is more concerned about her (rumored) girlfriend/shoulder injury/new racquets/European adventures/Nike’s latest fashion escapade/Tiffany earrings/executive producing a T.V. show/acquiring a new Ed Moses for her collection/her bangs than her tennis right now.

P.S.- No hate on any of these ladies, I just think they need to step it up big time. I mean, look at Rafa working so hard to get to number one and these girls almost seem like they’re taking it for granted.

Filed under: Ivanovic, Jankovic, Sharapova, , , , ,

Nadal Helps Ivanovic House Hunt in Mallorca

Ana Ivanovic has been enjoying a summer vacation in Mallorca, Spain for the last two weeks. The rumor is that she wants to invest in some real estate on the island. Oh and her tour guide for the trip? None other than Rafa Nadal. Me thinks something is going on between these two. Rafa gave Ms. Ivanovic a ride on his private plane after Indian Wells and now this. And I know Rafa has a girlfriend, but what man can resist Ana?

Filed under: Ivanovic, Nadal, , , , ,