Monday, February 22, 2010

Miscellany

Serena Williams has withdrawn from the Billie Jean King Cup event, which will be played on March 1. Williams, the defending champion, has withdrawn because of her leg injury. Ana Ivanovic has taken her place in the draw.

The Sony Ericsson WTA Tour's "Looking Back at a Legend" series continues with a piece on Martina Navratilova.

And if you've ever wanted to know more about Jans and Rosolska (I know I have), here is a feature on them.

Sania Mirza reports that treatment for her wrist is going well, but we've heard that before, so it's hard to get one's hopes up about the healing of that on-going injury.

If you've been watching the Olympic Games in Vancouver, then you've witnessed absolute confirmation of why women, including sportswoman, are considered "mean" and "catty." The backbiting, the fake compliments, the hypocritical congratulatory statements, the vicious statements to the press...oh, wait...those are all men.

Update (see comments): Ana Ivanovic has hired Heinz Gunthardt, who coached Steffi Graf, to be her new coach.

13 comments:

Paulina said...

Also, Ana Ivanovic has changed her coach yet again. According to her website she started working with Heinz Gunthardt, the former coach of Steffi Graf.

Diane said...

I saw something about Ivanovic changing coaches, and haven't really looked into it. I guess I better get on it before she changes again!

Karen said...

Hmm all over the internet everyone is rejoicing over this choice. Ooh Steffi Graf's coach. People are now comparing Ana's forehand to Steffi's. Clearly everyone forgot the oohs and aaahs when she got MartinaN's coach. Then, we were all told how good it would be for her game and her confidence. After getting to the Wimbledon semi and then losing second round in the USO she fired him and went back to Sven and to Adidas. Now we are supposed to be rejoicing because she has a svengali type coach. The difference between Ana and Steffi are too numerous to mention but I only have one word to compare those 2 - mentality. Steffi was mentally tough. Ana is not. As a fan of Ana I am hopeful that she will put away all she knows about tennis and try and learn something from her coach. I get the feeling that one of the reasons why she cannot toss the ball in the proper place in order to hit it is because she does not have the proper mechanics on the toss. In that regard, I am hopeful that the coach can help.

Diane said...

Remember when Nadia kept firing coaches? Now it's Ivanovic. I can understand leaving a coach because you have gone as far as you can go with him, or because there is no chemistry at all between you. But to constantly change coaches smacks of indecisiveness and desperation. There is no "magic coach" who is going to propel a player back into the top 10.

As for Ana's ball toss, it was fine before. I think this is all mental on her part. She isn't alone with the ball toss issue, either.

Karen said...

That is true. Venus does it quite frequently as well, but I think Venus stopping her ball toss or catching it has more to do with rhythm rather than timing issues. Ana's seems to be timing issues. I dont know how many people here play tennis but if you notice when Serena gets up to serve, she bounces the ball 4 times on first serve and either 3 or 4 times on the second serve, then she throws the ball up and hits it - that is rhythm. Venus on the other hand, she goes over, gets the ball, bounces it a couple of times, rocks back and forth, throws it up, catches it, goes through the same routine again, and then hits it - that is rhythm. Ana on the other hand has both rhythm and timing issues. When she gets the ball she shuffles around a bit at first, then she proceeds to try and bounce the ball, she sort of staggers even while bouncing the ball, that means no rhythm, then she attempts to toss it. She wants to toss it in the right direction but her timing is off. From the time when she finishes her bounce to the time when she starts her right arm action to toss the ball in the air her timing goes off. It is like dancing. If you do not have the right rhythm, then your timing goes off, timing goes off, ball toss goes off, ball toss goes off, serve ends up in the bottom of the net.

Karen said...

I should switch that post around and say Venus has timing issues, rather than rhythm issues in the first part of my post.

Karen said...

Ugh that should be her left arm action to toss the ball in the air. I am just out of rhythm today with my thoughts. Ugh

Sunny said...

I don't mean to be negative. I like Ana and her forearm and her desire to make every point as indicated by her first pump. I agree with Diane that constantly changing coaches smacks of "indecisiveness and desperation." But sometimes players lose it. It is like in baseball. All of a sudden a pitcher just can't get it over the plate anymore. I don't want it to be the end of Ana's career because despite all her off-court endorsements and modeling, I think she wants to known for being a great tennis player, but it could be the end. HOPEFULLY NOT. Has there ever been talk of a sports psychologist. Kuznetsova could use one too.

Diane said...

Karen, I think you make a very good point about both timing and rhythm coming into play with the ball toss.

Sunny, I think you make a good point, too. I think all of the good players who suddenly have difficulties with basics could benefit from sports psychology, and specifically from hypnotherapy. There is a hypnotherapist who has been working all year with the U.S. Olympic Team, and that is the way to go.

Karen said...

You know Diane it was when I watched this year's Australian Open that I made the connection between those players who serve well and those who struggle and realise that it all had to do with the 2 basics of tennis: Rhythm and timing. The first time I had a tennis lesson and I was learning to hit a forehand, my coach spoke to me about timing the ball and finding a rhythm. If you want to get your strokes just right you have to have both of those 2 things working in tandem. When I watched Serena especially in her match against Azarenka her whole rhythm on her serve was just not there. She was just taking the balls and setting up to serve. As a result the speed, placement and power on her serve was severely diminished because she was not hitting that sweet spot on the racquet. Her timing was off. In addition, whenever she hit a serve which was not being hit at full force it allowed Azarenka to tee off on the serve and gain control of the points. As soon as she found her rhythm and timing it was all over. That came the minute she spread her fingers and asked herself what is going on? One of the more under rated aspects of Serena's game and I think a lot of players could stand to learn that is that no matter how bad things look you should always try and exercise self control. This is where the sports psychologist would help. The sports pscyhologist should be able to impress upon the player how important it is to remain focused and stop replaying lost points.

tennischick said...

nice analysis Karen.

U said...

Diane, I bet Your favourite Winter Olypics event is "Women's TWO-MAN BobSleigh". :)

Diane said...

If only the men were called "brakewomen" and "defensewomen"...then it would very suddenly cease to be "trivial" and "traditional."