When Anna K wins her first title, how will it affect her? - TennisForum.com
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post #1 of 29 (permalink) Old Feb 19th, 2002, 06:08 PM Thread Starter
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When Anna K wins her first title, how will it affect her?

You'll notice I put 'when', not 'if'.

Anyway, it seems to be widely acknowledged that Anna K's relative lack of success tennis-wise (relative to that which everyone predicted for her five years ago) is, at least in part, due to a lack of confidence. What started out as a minor thing - she virtually began her career in top tournaments which she wasn't likely to win straight away - has become a monkey on her back, which makes her a laughing-stock amongst those too ill-informed about tennis to appreciate her talent as well as a media keen to present her as a mere bimbo. She's played well this year, but has insisted on playing events where she has to face players that, right now, she CANNOT beat. Sooner or later she'll realise this, trot off to Bogota or Sopot or somewhere and pick up a title.

With this monkey off her back, will she regain the confidence she had in '97/'98? She DOES have the talent to be a TOP player; with her potential game (not current game) she can win Wimbledon. So will she finally blossom?

Or will she think to herself: I've won a tournament now. No need to work on my game any more; I'm a legitimate top 20 player who'll win 2 or 3 tournaments in my career (see: Schett, Testud) and spring the odd upset; I'll continue to stagnate?
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post #2 of 29 (permalink) Old Feb 19th, 2002, 06:13 PM
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I think it's a kinda mental block for her. Once she wins one tournament, she'll win more I think.

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post #3 of 29 (permalink) Old Feb 19th, 2002, 06:16 PM
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It's anyone's guess how her first title will affect her play and attitude. It's all up to Anna. I'm seriously hoping it will boost her confidence but I won't hold my breath.
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post #4 of 29 (permalink) Old Feb 19th, 2002, 08:26 PM
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I wouldn't say it's a matter of confidence since she seems to prefer the challenge of top players over the less talented. I think it will remove the anxiety she feels when facing critical moments of a given match - particularly the final.
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post #5 of 29 (permalink) Old Feb 19th, 2002, 08:45 PM
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I agree with Bright Red. When is that not a occurence!

I would also like to add that it will hopefully embolden her to continue to win. Besides confidence, another problem Anna seems to have is giving up in a particularly tight match. While that may work against a lower ranked player, it will cost her the match against a top ranked player.

I would like to see her get a couple of good wins under her belt. Even an odd slam final would be nice, especially at Wimbledon since that was her first real success and her game suits grass so well.
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post #6 of 29 (permalink) Old Feb 20th, 2002, 12:21 AM
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When Anna wins her first title, I think it will boost her confidence tremendously.

She'll play with more confidence and win even more tournaments.

Kinda like an exponential graph.
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post #7 of 29 (permalink) Old Feb 20th, 2002, 12:24 AM
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She'll say something rash. "Winning this Tier V proves I'm a top player on tour."
It will help her confidence.
Every player currently in the top ten, when healthy, is better than they were the last time Anna was a top ten player.
Anna's work ethic will not be adversely affected by success.

Here's Anna's record since she began 2001 ranked #8. After a shaky start, we results we'd expect of the #8 players. Semis and quarters.

2r 2001 Sydney ....... - Corina MORARIU (USA) 2-6 1-6
QF 2001 OZ ........... - Lindsay DAVENPORT (USA) 4-6 2-6
SF 2001 Tokyo ........ - Lindsay DAVENPORT (USA) 1-6 7-6(5) 0-6
QF 2001 Paris ........ - Amelie MAURESMO (FRA) 6-2 6-7(4) 1-6

Then she gets hurt. DNP 13 Feb - 29 Jul

Perhaps she returns too soon.

2r 2001 San Diego .... - Nicole PRATT (AUS) 7-6(1) 1-6 3-6

And misses six more weeks. DNP 06 Aug - 23 Sept

But since then she's played in ELEVEN tournaments. That's a whole year for Serena. I think Anna's displaying the form she has now.

2r 2001 Leipzig ...... - Anastasia MYSKINA (RUS) 4-6 6-3 3-6
1r 2001 Moscow ....... - Galina FOKINA (RUS) 2-6 6-1 2-6
1r 2001 Stuttgart .... - Anne KREMER (LUX) 6-4 2-6 5-7
1r 2001 Zurich ....... - Amanda COETZER (RSA) 0-6 6-4 3-6
QF 2001 Luxembourg ... - Kim CLIJSTERS (BEL) 5-7 6-7(2)

***
YEAR END BREAK
***

SF 2002 Auckland ..... - Anna SMASHNOVA (ISR) 1-6 4-6
2r 2002 Sydney ....... - Serena WILLIAMS (USA) 2-6 6-4 3-6
1r 2002 OZ ........... - Justine HENIN (BEL) 2-6 5-7
2r 2002 Tokyo WIN .... - Elena DEMENTIEVA (RUS) 7-6(4) 7-6(5)
SF 2002 Tokyo ........ - Monica SELES (USA) 3-6 6-3 3-6
2r 2002 Paris ........ - Amelie MAURESMO (FRA) 3-6 5-7
2r 2002 Antwerp ...... - Venus WILLIAMS (USA) 5-7 0-6

ONE 'quality' win. Over Demetieva in Tokyo 2002.
Four 1st round losses, four 2nd round losses since her return last September. And two of those 2nd round losses were her last two tournaments.
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post #8 of 29 (permalink) Old Feb 20th, 2002, 12:32 AM
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If you look at the players who have beaten Anna in her last 5 tournaments, the list is remarkably devoid of slouches.
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post #9 of 29 (permalink) Old Feb 20th, 2002, 12:33 AM
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Quote:
Sooner or later she'll realise this, trot off to Bogota or Sopot or somewhere and pick up a title.
She doesn't seem to want to "trot off to Bogota" to pick up a title. My question is: Why is she in Dubai preparing to play Venus in the second round for the third straight week when she could be in Memphis where the top seed is Amanda Coetzer? I'm not saying she could beat Amanda but she might have gotten past the second round.

Anna is around #89 in the world. She's going to meet the #1 or #2 player in the first or second round of EVERY tournament she enters. She's got to improve that ranking and the only way to do that is to play in smaller tournaments. I don't understand why her advisors aren't telling her that.

But, to answer your original question . . . I have no idea what will happen to Anna should she win a tournament. It might give her confidence but, on the other hand, the uproar in the media would be so enormous it might scare the poor thing and put even more pressure on her.
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post #10 of 29 (permalink) Old Feb 20th, 2002, 01:47 AM
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Personally, I feel, you'll see the Anna Kournikova we all wanted to see emerge from her 1997 rise to fame. Anna does have the game inside her, youcan see it, but you can also see that lack of confidence. I think that a title behind her will build up mental resillence, something which she lacks at the moment in agreat way. I really hope Anna can prove her critics wrong, in an unbelievably weird way it is a shame she is one of the most beautiful women in the world because underneath there is a damn good player who just has to come to the fore again. I agree with adnil and destucto_girl, it's a block, once she overcomes it she can go far...
post #11 of 29 (permalink) Old Feb 20th, 2002, 02:03 AM
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Gotta agree with essielewis. Playing the top payers every week is not smart unless you are one of them. If you beleive she has the abiity to win Wimbledon, you're basically saying she has the ability of Serena Williams. Enough to be a top ten player and win a GS.

Anna ended 2000 ranked #8. Serena is currently #9. This week, Anna's ranking is #83. She has 399 points in 12 tournaments. Serena has 2875 points in 9 tournaments. Other players get injured and have long layoffs and losses of confidence. Venus, Serena, Amelie, Monica and Lindsay have all lost a lot of time the last 2 years to injuries. But they came back competitive. For some reason, Anna has not.

Anna is averaging 33.25 points per tournament in her last 12 tournaments. This is not good. By comparison, Venus Williams, (A player whom Anna was compare favorably to four years) averages 335 point per tournament. The worst ppt in the top ten is Amelie Mauresmo at 148 ppt. Anna's healthy, and has all the weapons she had in 2002. Her confidence can't be that much worse. She hadn't won anything before she got hurt last year. She's not gonna suddenly conclude that NOW she can't win.

Anna peer group is 7 other players in the top ten.

Venus, Serena, Kim, Justine, Amelie, Jelena, Martina. All have at least been in a GS final, except Jelena, who's won a couple Tier I's. Short of stealing Martina's or Venus's brain, I don't see how Anna can compete with them. She's athletic enough, but I can't name one mental or emotional trait Anna has that's an advantage for a tennis player during a match.
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post #12 of 29 (permalink) Old Feb 20th, 2002, 04:18 AM
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When the likes of Lindsay, Serena, Venus or Seles have a long layoff, they all still remain in the top 10. Anna dropped down almost out of the top 100, meaning every week she tries to comeback, she's unseeded and trying to beat a top 10 player 1st or 2nd round. Her losses this year have certainly not been bad (Smashnova wasn't good, but at least she went and won that title + another one the next week). I don't see how it's fair to compare her results with the others who got injured and stayed top 10 with the long layoffs, because I don't see them having to play other top 10 players right off the bat. Who knows how they'd do under those circumstances. I think Anna's had a goo start to the year, she's losing to the top 10 players right now, but she has given them all decent matches and I think that's a good sign for someone who seems to be "fragile" in confidence as it is, according to some.
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post #13 of 29 (permalink) Old Feb 20th, 2002, 12:00 PM
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Quote:
but she has given them all decent matches
Venus gave her a bagel last week and Anna barely got by a Tunisian qualifier yesterday. I don't really call that playing well.

Quote:
Playing the top payers every week is not smart unless you are one of them
Absolutely! And your statistics were very revealing. There is no way Anna will get back into the top 10 unless she picks up points in smaller tournaments. All of the other girls have become very, very good. Anna got to the top 10 before, without winning a tournament, because she could beat her peers. Her peers have gotten better and Anna hasn't. Besides, none of them want to lose to Anna so they raised their game when they play her.

I feel sorry for Anna. She's obviously receiving very bad advice.
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post #14 of 29 (permalink) Old Feb 21st, 2002, 03:49 AM
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I don't think she'll be able to achieve that. We'll see...
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post #15 of 29 (permalink) Old Feb 21st, 2002, 05:09 AM
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It's easy to be fooled by the quality of Anna's opponents. However, I view this year as an extension of Anna's post USOpen 2001. The results are the same. 1st and 2nd round losses with an ocassional semi. If I remove the names of her 2002 conquerers ....

2r 09-24-01 Leipzig - Anastasia MYSKINA (RUS) 4-6 6-3 3-6
1r 10-01-01 Moscow - Galina FOKINA (RUS) 2-6 6-1 2-6
1r 10-08-01 Stuttgart - Anne KREMER (LUX) 6-4 2-6 5-7
1r 10-15-01 Zurich - Amanda COETZER (RSA) 0-6 6-4 3-6
QF 10-22-01 Luxembourg - Kim CLIJSTERS (BEL) 5-7 6-7(2)

SF 12-31-01 Auckland
2r 01-07-02 Sydney
1r 01-15-02 OZ
SF 01-29-02 Tokyo
2r 02-04-02 Paris
2r 02-11-02 Antwerp
2r 02-18-02 Dubai

Anna have been in Memphis this week. She didn't HAVE to choose a tournament she knew would have 3 or 4 elite players in it. It's NOT inevitable she face a top ten player inthe 2nd round every week.
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