Blog: The fall of Ivanovic

Al Jazeera's Chris Tortise on the demise of the former No1 Serbian star.


    Ivanovic walks off Margaret Court Arena after her disappointing loss [GALLO/GETTY]
    In 2008, Ana Ivanovic was on top of the women's game.

    She followed in the footsteps of fellow Serbian Novak Djokovic and won the French Open, eventually rising to number one in the world.

    But now, languishing outside the top 20 and having been put out of the Australian Open in just the second round, form seems to have deserted the tennis star.

    It's difficult to know where she is going wrong, but it's very easy to draw parallels with one Nicole Vaidišová.

    As a teenager, the Czech player was touted as the next big thing.

    But a loss of confidence has resulted in the former world No7 dropping to 188 in the world.

    And Ivanovic could be following in the same direction.

    It's not as though the talent has deserted her. She is still capable of reaching the business end of the championships - as she proved in her semi-final appearance of Brisbane - yet falling so early in a Grand Slam is worrying.

    It would almost be worth her taking some time out from the tour, and rediscovering her love of the game a la Belgian comeback queens Justine Henin and Kim Clijsters.

    Henin herself was involved in an epic second round encounter against an unlucky Elena Dementieva.

    Such was the quality of tennis it was slightly difficult to believe it was so early in the tournament.

    And it was the former world number one who squeezed through, increasing the likelihood of an all Belgian fourth round, as well as an all Belgian quarter final.

    All eyes are in that part of the draw, and in the meantime, Serena and Venus Williams are slipping under the radar. With a potential semi-final meeting, there are very few players standing in their way.

    Also moving through quietly are Russian star Svetlana Kuznetsova and Denmark's Caroline Wozniacki. The third and fourth seeds have difficult draws though, and will have to play very well to make it through to the latter stages of the tournament.

    But concerns have to be voiced about the Serbian number two.

    It is possible that she won a Slam too early, as she has clearly suffered with her form since then.

    Is it pressure?

    Either way, it's clear she needs a break.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera


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