Another great piece on Ana by Matt Cronin. And I 100% agree with this:
However, we need to get one thing clear here: anyone who thinks that Ivanovic’s runs to the French Open title, or the Aussie Open final, or to the Wimbledon semis were a fluke, does not pay attention to women’s tennis. Yes, it can be argued that she might not have achieved No. 1 had Justine Henin not retired back in May of 2008, but the mentally toasted Henin wasn’t going to win that Roland Garros anyway, otherwise she would have played. The youthful and carefree Ivanovic that won the crown came back from a break down in third set in the semifinals to best her ultimate in-country rival Jelena Jankovic for the No. 1 ranking, and then beat the skirt off Dinara Safina in the final. Both those foes were playing standout ball at the time. Ivanovic could have folded at the tournament, but she didn’t, because deep down inside, she’s a tigress and she does the weapons to play with anyone when she’s in a good headspace.
However, she hasn’t been right since the 2008 US Open, which is two years and four months ago. She’s a smart and delightful person to be around, perhaps one of the most naturally intelligent players I’ve ever met, which is saying something given what great minds Steffi Graf, Martina Hingis and Sveta Kuznetsova have. Thinking is not her problem, playing without fear and trusting her shots is.
She needs to relax more and find a peaceful place she can go to when chaos rains down on court. I’m not convinced she’ll get there before she retires, but I’m not counting her out either.
For better and for worse, WORD.