Ana Ivanovic’s Play Sure Has Dropped Off
For all the time I spent pumping up Ana Ivanovic last year following her win at the French Open, I have to be fair by mentioning how much of a downturn her career has taken since. Since winning at Roland Garros, Ivanovic hasn’t advanced past the 4th round of any major, including a first-round exit this week at the U.S. Open. She battled a thumb injury last year and has endured bouts with a virus and a knee injury this year. Still, even with the typical type of wear and tear most players go through, you figure she would make at least a quarterfinal appearance or two. Her record this year is a miserable 22-13 and she has routinely exited tournaments by midweek. It’s not even about the competition getting better — most of these ladies are players Ivanovic should rip through but ones she’s losing to.
Whether it’s injuries, coaching changes, or a struggle playing with the bulls eye on her back, Ivanovic hasn’t responded well to her success last year. At this point she’s fallen so far and she’s so far removed from her Grand Slam win that the bulls eye excuse no longer applies. I don’t know if she grew complacent with her win, focusing on her vacationing and her new boyfriend because she was pleased she reached the mountaintop, but she needs to regain focus before she becomes a one-hit wonder. This awful streak of constant underachievement is simply disappointing. She needs to turn it around.