Ana Ivanovic has officially withdrawn from Montreal citing the article below as part of the reason. Personally I don't have any problem with the premise of the article but that could be because being female she does nothing for me.
The vast majority of media and fans seem squarely on the Serbian cutie's side.
Ana Ivanovic, in the qualifying? How disrespectful, given her track record, the fact she won here four years ago -and mostly, how cute she is.
Ivanovic is cute, and really nice, and everyone wants her to get back on track.
But in the particular context of the Rogers Cup in Montreal, she's not necessarily added value. And that made the decision a little easier for tournament director Eugene Lapierre.
But unlike the three U.S. tournaments (San Diego, Stanford, Cincinnati) that did give her wild cards, Lapierre did not consider Ivanovic an "incontournable" -a player you couldn't pass up like, say, if Steffi Graf decided she wanted to play.
Beyond all that, you have to wonder if they're really helping Ivanovic, long term.
When you're struggling with your confidence as much as she is, the best cure is to win tennis matches. Unseeded, the 22-year-old Serb could very easily run into a top player in the first round, lose, and be no further ahead.
"If I were her coach, I'd force her to play qualies," Lapierre said.
Ivanovic seems to be running her career as if she were still on top, or as if all it's going to take is one good win -and she'll be right back there. During a training week last week, she wrote on Facebook that she had her entire family with her.
How can that be anything but pressure, a group of well-meaning people Ivanovic -who is a people-pleaser above all -has bearing down on her at all times as a reminder of what she no longer is?
The entire article is HERE
What gets me is that no one is clamoring for Dinara Safina to be given wild cards and she was ranked number one for more weeks that Ivanovic. Double standard much?
Both women are where they are because of the decline in their level of play. Dinara does have a back problem she says she is free from now but Ana has never to my knowledge cited injury as her problem.
I guess the boys want to be able to continue their visual masturbation and they're going to keep the pressure on. Will the US Open grant her a Wild Card into the Main Draw? I guess we'll know soon enough.
Tennis Channel Commentators
Robbie Koenig, Doug Adler and Jason Goodall are fonts of knowledge when the commentate a match and I mean that in a good way. During Andy Murray's match yesterday the subject of his not having a coach naturally came up. It started calmly enough and the obligatory picture of Judy Murray flashed on screen. Then the comment was passed that Murray is a very head strong individual and that if a person is hired as a coach he needs to be in charge of the players professional life and the player must listen to him. Hmmm Andy. I guess you know best what's good for you huh?
But back to the announcers mentioned above. During last night's match there were times when they knew to keep their mouths shut and let the tennis speak for itself. That doubled the enjoyment of one of the best tiebreaks played in a long time. It ended with a 14-12 score. It was so nice not to have to hear a discussion of Isner/Mahut while it took place. Or the Monogram. I wish the ESPN announcers would learn that sometimes silence is indeed golden
I should mention in passing that Jamie Murray comes across as much more likeable than his brother in his bag check spot on Tennis TV. I'm just saying.
The WTA Follies
The WTA never ceases to amaze. The Premier event in Cincinnati had some dynamite first round and potential second round matches lined up. As @olerafa put it on Twitter here were the big matches. Emphasis is by @olerafa.
KUZNETSOVA vs SHARAPOVA FIRST ROUND!!!Azarenka - Ivanovic first roundClijsters-Safina potential second round.Jankovic's section is Rezai and 5 qualifiers
Unless you were on site you didn't see any of the first round matches because the WTA, in its infinite wisdom, made sure the cameras were off so that fans and potential fans of its product were unable to see how play went.
Coverage starts today on TennisTV.com where a paid subscription is required. That means there will be live streams since the cameras will now be turned on.
Meanwhile a shout out has to be given to the men and women who got press credentials or who attended as civilians for keeping the tennis public updated on Cincinnati via Twitter. The tournament's official Tweeter has also done a magnificent job at keeping the public updated and informed during rain delays and reporting play by play. Thanks people!
The Rogers Cup official Tweeter has also done a great job but we the public have been able to see the men play.
Is it time to start worrying about Elena Dementieva?
Note to fans of Novak Djokovic: When a commentator asks on air if your fave is playing possum there is no need to get upset. The commentator is not the one who looks ready to be carried off on a stretcher one minute and is running like a gazelle the next.
Feliciano Lopez has really been great. So has Fernando Verdasco. They're reaching Andy Roddick and Serena Williams levels in terms of personality and tid bits about what they're up to. Without Feli's tweets how would we know he and David Ferrer visited Niagara Falls? Now if someone would just provide translations of Gustavo Kuerten's Tweets...
It also seems that some former players are upset about Paul Annacone's new gig with Roger Federer. Greg Rusedski was named on Twitter yesterday as being among those who ridicule the choice saying that Annacone was not much more than a water boy for Pete Sampras. That makes him a perfect fit for Federer if you ask me. Towards the end of his tenure with The Monogram Tony Roche(?) was reduced to picking up the balls that had been used in practice by the Monogram and his hitting partner. Not much difference in temperament between him and Murray is there?
A well known online tennis source hinted that Andy Roddick's medical issues may be chronic. I haven't seen this repeated anywhere else and I'm sure something would've been said by Andy's publicists if there was any firm information ready to be released to the public. I won't repeat what they said here because it hasn't been confirmed. And it's not Tennis.com. Hey I did my first blind, well semi blind item! I'm so happy. Cheap thrills.
Has David Nalbandian stopped with the cerveza and gotten himself ready to do battle during the outdoor season? He's looking fit and ready to go. Ask any of his recent opponents.
Andrea Petkovic of Germany has also become a Twitter favorite.
Best comeback of the day was made by Vera Zvonareva. She was down and seemingly out in her match against Maria Kirilenko but after a long rain delay she sucked it up and won.
Nicolas Almagro won the Fernando Gonzalez Award for best racquet destruction in Toronto. Didn't get to see this melt down but from what I hear it was spectacular.
Yanina Wickmayer continues her charm offensive, emphasis on offensive. She spent most of her match yesterday berating a ball kid. Way to go hon.