Anna is most certainly a good player. She's no grand slam contender, but she is a shot-maker, along with being incredibly consistent and incredibly fast. If you've ever played against a good counterpuncher, you know they do more than just get the ball back. They put a lot of spin on the ball, different spins often, and frustrate players who like to hit the ball flat and hard. Anna has a great backhand with a lot of range and variety. And at every level of tennis consistency is just a huge virtue. She makes some incredible gets and almost never misses a ball, and I'd imagine it's very exhausting to play her.
She has wins over Dokic (when she was ok), Clijsters, Henin, all the top Russian players and many other good players, so it's not just a question of winning lower-tiered tournaments.
Also the "tenacity" you mention -- that is the key for any player. There are many talented and fit players in the WTA, but mental toughness is what distinguishes a top 20 player from the rest.
Having said that, a top player who can really control the point off her serve or return should beat Pistolesi fairly easily on a fast surface.
p.s. you say that she "focuses her energy" on Tier III and IV tournaments. In fact, she's only played 5 tier 3-5 tournaments this year out of 24 total tournaments. Compared to others in the 10-20 range? petrova played 3 so far, Vera Z. played 6, Conchita 4, Suarez 6, Schnyder 4. So Anna's scheduling is not so different.
Last edited by mishar; Oct 3rd, 2003 at 07:33 PM.