It’s been tough for Ana Ivanovic. The former World No. 1 and the top seed in the Open back in 2008 exited the hard courts today after her second consecutive first round loss in Flushing Meadows. This time the No. 29 seed lost to Czech national Denisa Allertova, 7-6 6-1.
“It’s a lot of things,” Ivanovic said. “Also, my wrist inflamed again. Confidence in these important moments throughout the matches. I feel like I put myself in a position to close out the set or a break, and then I don’t.
“This is what has been really frustrating, so this is something that I really have to reassess and work on.”
You have to feel for the 28 year-old Serb, who once had the world in her hand. Injuries and other factors factored in her fall from grace. She was once the next beauty to take the world by storm and now, she is a pretty face that has become a tennis symbol of fleeting stardom.
Maybe, some of younger players can look at Ivanovic’s career and see what can happen and how their success can easily be taken away. She had a lot of bad luck over the years and had her highs and lows, but just when you think she turned everything around, something else happens.
And some of this could be considered a mental thing as well, since Ivanovic seems to be experiencing this year a crisis of confidence.
“It’s been very frustrating that throughout the year I felt like my forehand has actually been letting me down, and that’s something that’s my biggest strength,” she said. “I really feel like I have to, yeah, reassess, because like I said, I have been putting so many hours on court and in the gym in particular trying to get my body healthy.”
She didn’t sound today like a person who thinks she’s going to bounce back. And remember few players have success into their 30s, so you have to wonder how much time she has left.
But, Ivanovic is not going to retire; at least not yet. She thinks she can bounce back after her disastrous 2016.
“I just need to really see why is this happening, you know,” she said. “Because, I mean, I had struggles throughout my career; I had some tough times. This is not the first time I’m going through this.
“It just hurts because I know what I invested.”
That’s the lesson other players can take from this. Sometimes sports isn’t fair and sometimes hard work doesn’t pay off.
Just ask Ana Ivanovic. She can tell you first hand.