Cool feature/interview with Coach Craig. Thanks to Curtis for posting.
As he recalls his initial conversations with Ivanovic after they started working together, Kardon made certain that she realized precisely how he felt about the state of her game. As he puts it, “Basically the first thing I told her was that her game is fine. It does not need to be fixed. What she needs is confidence. She needs to believe that what she has is good enough. She just has to make the weapons she has better. I told her she needed to trust her game.”
Having said that, Kardon knew he could also encourage her to add some elements to the already advanced structure of her game to more thoroughly exploit her considerable strengths. “I tried to change a few things,” he clarifies. “I wanted her to come to the net more to recognize the opportunities she creates for herself with her big forehand. Ana has got one of the best inside-out forehands in the game. It is a bit of a flat shot and a lot of coaches and critics argue that she basically hits the ball too flat. I don’t think so. Every professional athlete has a style of their own. You can criticize that style or you can shape it to make it a little better. I am just trying to shape it to make it better.”
Coach Kardon has also been grooming Ivanovic to make her superior at the net. As he explains, “I have tried to solidify her volleys a bit more. We have worked on her volley technique to make her backhand volley more solid and to help Ana get more under the ball on her forehand volley. She has pretty good technique already, but I wanted to make her even more solid to where she is hitting crisp volleys and not just kind of carving the ball so much.”
And of course, there's the little part that has Ana fans frazzling:
No argument from me on that last part. And for the record I have no doubt that Ana will play RG. If you can walk on it, you ain't withdrawing from a Grand Slam, especially where you're the defending champion.
Besides, if she withdraws then she won't do the draw ceremony with Rafa. So you *know* she'll be there.