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Indian Wells: Are You Being Serb’d?

Posted by gauloises1 on March 16, 2011

(My thanks to ShankTennis for the title.)

A very Serbian day in Indian Wells today. First of all, we had Novak Djokovic crushing Ernests Gulbis with the ridiculous score of 60 61. Ernie threatened to break in the first game and then did nothing for the rest of the match. I didn’t see it, but one feels I didn’t miss very much.

Djokovic will face compatriot Viktor Troicki after the latter defeated Michael Llodra 63 63. And then we had these two.

Ana Ivanovic beat defending champion Jelena Jankovic 64 62, and she did it by looking to dominate the points whenever she could and not getting down on herself when she missed. Simple, right? You’d think so, but the time it’s taken for her to get back playing this way suggests that’s not the case, despite the fact that she makes it look so natural when she plays as well as she did today. Ivanovic is still too tense and desperate to be relaxing to watch, but there was a real sense of joy in her tennis today. The fact that she managed to win the first set despite only breaking serve once speaks volumes.

JJ … JJ, in a familiar refrain, was disappointing. She had so much success moving Ana from side to side that it was infuriating to watch her squandering the opportunities she got to put width on her shots, she didn’t return at all well and some of her net approaches were frankly baffling. There was simply no spring in her step or, apparently, in her brain.

But the way Ana played today, JJ would have had to be near her best to beat her. The openings to rattle her were there, but she came up with big serves at important moments and went for her shots at the right moments and with conviction. Again, it sounds simple but she has a simple game – simple, but terribly effective when it’s on. Her entire problem is overthinking and she kept that in check today. If she can repeat that against Bartoli, she’ll be in the semi-finals and there will be no repining.

Well, maybe a little bit.

Sssshhhh … JJ 4EVA.

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