Originally Posted by switz
I see her career following a similar path to Davenports.
Okay I hope I don't come across as mean here, but I have to address this: Ivanovic plays NOTHING like Davenport. There are just so many differences.
1. Ivanovic's forehand is semi-open. When she gets a chance she steps into the ball. Davenport's forehand is completely open.
2. Davenport loops her backhand stroke. Ivanovic's takeback is completely straight.
3. Davenport's right foot is always across her left foot when she hits her backhand (if she has time.) Ivanovic's right foot stays to the right of her left foot.
4. Davenport takes small steps when running to the ball. Ivanovic's steps are much longer.
5. Davenport's arm is in constant motion when serving. Ivanovic's toss is higher, leading to a pause in her motion before she hits the ball.
6. Ana's forehand is a simple low takeback followed by a straight follow through over her left shoulder. Davenport has the old school "C" forehand swing (she takes the racket up to her shoulder, loops it down and then swings through) and often finishes above her right shoulder.
1. Ivanovic runs around her backhand. Lindsay never runs around any shot.
2. Ivanovic goes for outright winners early in points. Lindsay, for all her power, plays high percentage ball to set up points for easy winners.
3. Davenport goes for the slice serve (out wide on deuce, down the tee on ad) when she gets nervous. Ivanovic goes for a flat serve (down the tee on deuce, out wide on ad.)
4. Ivanovic moves more quickly than Davenport, and is willing to move more often (Davenport is a selective mover, whereas Ivanovic scrambles for everything.)
5. Ivanovic prefers to hit her forehand inside out, from the middle or the backhand side. Lindsay loves hitting her forehand crosscourt or down the line, from the forehand corner. Lindsay never hits inside out forehands. If she does step around her backhand (and she only does when the ball is in the middle of the court,) she smacks it to her opponent's forehand (assuming a right hander.)
6. Ivanvoic cannot produce crosscourt angles on her strokes (she has an off angle inside out, but none crosscourt.) She hits too flat. Davenport has the ability to add topspin and hit really nice angles.
7. Ivanovic uses dropshots and volleys far more often than Davenport does.
8. Davenport almost never double faults. Ivanovic's second serve is improving, but she still double faults frequently for a top player.
9. Ivanovic's forehand is clearly better than her backhand, whereas Lindsay's groundstrokes are pretty equal.
1. Lindsay is famous for her negative body language. When Ivanovic was getting crushed by Petrova at the French last year, I still saw that she thought she could win. She stayed positive until the last point. Ivanovic is so much more positive.
2. Ivanovic's game is high risk. When she's off, she can't find ways to win. Davenport's game is deceptively high percentage. She hits flat, but she hits with enough spin to keep the ball in court, and she goes for high percentage shots (as opposed to outright winners,) so she has far fewer bad days than Ana does. Also, when Lindsay is not playing well, she tones it down and reels herself in, whereas Ana keeps going for it.
I think the only reason people compare the two is that they both hit hard and flat, and move relatively slowly, or are thought to. However, even here, Ivanovic hits harder and flatter, and Davenport moves more slowly. Almost everything about their games is different. Ivanovic doesn't really remind me of any previous player...A little bit of Capriati...a little bit of Graf with the poise of Mary Pierce, but really she is different from most tennis players.