PDA

View Full Version : The return of Anna is most welcome here


Bonnard
Jul 24th, 2002, 10:21 AM
by Scott Ostler
San Francisco Chronicle
Posted by WTAFANS TEAM

WHEN DID Anna Kournikova, tomato, become a tomato can?

When did the women's tour become Everyone Beats Anna?

Going into her Tuesday night opening match of the Bank of the West Classic at Stanford, Kournikova had lost in the first round at four consecutive tournaments, and nine of her past 11.

Never before has someone so beautiful and so famous and so seemingly talented lost so often and so early.

Is Anna kaput at 21? Gradually becoming nothing more than a hood ornament for the women's tour?

No! Good news for those of you whose Gregorian calendars are graced with color photographs of Ms. Kournikova: She's back.

Or at least she's on her way.

Kournikova upset Anna Smashnova 6-3, 6-2.

Anna K wins a match! Anna K wins a match!

"I think that losing so many matches in a row, I tried to learn from them," Kournikova said.

It was the college of hard knocks. Tuesday was a graduation of sorts.

Kournikova looked great. I'm referring to her tennis. Her outfit looked good, too, if you're into that kind of midriff-bearing, white-yellow-blue pastel tennis togs.

She overpowered Smashnova, went to the net often and effectively and didn't lapse into her old nervous habit of double-faulting (a record 31 DFs in a '99 match that she won).

Old Kournikova looked like the old Kournikova.

Remember that younger Anna, who rose to No. 8 in the world two years ago, and if she didn't win tournaments, at least she was becoming an occasional visitor in the finals?

Then, injuries. And maybe a loss of focus.

Too many distractions? Too many hockey boyfriends? Too many endorsement deals? Whatever the reasons, she sank in the rankings like a cheap donut in your coffee mug.

Now: She has a new coach, she dumped her mom (as coach), she has a new 'tude, is healthy. Who knows? Anna someday might win a tournament.gone through a lot of changes, in my game and my life," Kournikova said. "I'm starting to feel really comfortable. Today's match, that's a great step forward."

But still a ways to go. If you're keeping score at home, this is Kournikova's 112th pro tour event. That's a seven-season oh-fer. Winner of $3. 3 million and zero tournaments.

That streak likely will continue here, because Kournikova is one win away from facing Venus Williams, who ousted Anna from this tourney in '99 and 2000.

Still, this match was big. Huge.

"I've lost a lot of matches, but I was working on certain things," Kournikova said. "Now it looks like it's coming together. We knew it wouldn't happen overnight."

Did any fans give up on her?

"It's too bad for the people that gave up on me," she said with a laugh, "but I've always felt great support from my family, my friends and the fans."

No. 1 in Kournikova's support group right now is her new coach, Harold Solomon. He said before the match that this would be a great test. "Smashnova is very tough, very quick," Solomon said.

And has two tour wins this year.

Solomon came on board two months ago. He's making changes. "I'm putting my game back together," Kournikova said.

Reworking everything. Footwork. Serve. Grip. And especially, back to more classic serve-and-volley tennis.

"I don't have the patience (to stay on the baseline)," Kournikova said. "It's not my style of game."

Sounds great, but the public still might be skeptical. Is Anna K working hard, or hardly working?

"She's totally committed," Solomon said. "She's as committed as anyone. Tennis is way more important to her than the rest of the stuff."

She's working out five to six hours a day, 6 1/2 days a week. It's paying off. I'm no expert, but I'd say Kournikova looks really really fit.

She's always had the tennis skills.

"She has some of the best hands of anybody, and she's quick," Solomon said. "She can play shots only a couple of other girls can play. She has as much talent as anybody."

Talent-schmalent. The question is, is Anna K ready to play?

"I've gone though a lot of changes in my game and my life," she said. "I'm starting to feel really comfortable, after today's match. That's a great step forward."

Mark that day on your calendar, fans. Groovy Tuesday.

Crazy Canuck
Jul 24th, 2002, 10:52 AM
I don't really like how they can't talk about Anna's downfall without bringing up her outside interests...

She was injured and out the better part of a year - her outside interests had nothing to do with it.

Monica_Rules
Jul 24th, 2002, 11:00 AM
Good to see her winning again:D

tennischick
Jul 24th, 2002, 11:06 AM
congrats to Harold Solomon! :eek: :p

TatiAnnahølic
Jul 24th, 2002, 11:07 AM
yes thanks Harold :D

-Sonic-
Jul 24th, 2002, 11:27 AM
Important thing

"Old Kournikova looked like the old Kournikova"

jomar
Jul 24th, 2002, 11:29 AM
keep improving Anna:bounce:

Daniel
Jul 24th, 2002, 02:19 PM
Good job girl!!!!!!

:D :D :D

VenusSerena
Jul 24th, 2002, 03:26 PM
where did she return from?

villa
Jul 24th, 2002, 03:28 PM
Originally posted by Rebecca
I don't really like how they can't talk about Anna's downfall without bringing up her outside interests...

She was injured and out the better part of a year - her outside interests had nothing to do with it.

i disagree, many players have been injured for months on end, however bad the injury was it shouldn't have taken a year or so to win matches she should be winning. Mary pierce was out for the far longer, she reached the quater finals of a grandslam this year. Her outside intrests didtracted her from concentrating on the work she needs to do to win, this soemthing solomen has been working on.

endiadjendiadj
Jul 24th, 2002, 03:43 PM
Can someone please name ALL of Anna's 'outside interests' that keeps distracting her from her tennis? I'm tired of hearing this.:rolleyes:

I know she did the video w/ Enrique but that was a 'two day' shoot in Dec. of last year. She did the calendar shoot, which is, at the most, a day or two. She did the Omega thing w/ Martina, Cindy, etc., again a day. Don't all the players have to do their sponsor events? Anna's no different. She has what 5 or 6 sponsors. That's not a whole lot. Feel free to name everything else.

People talk as though she has some 'outside' venture going on everyday!

eshell
Jul 24th, 2002, 07:19 PM
It's great for the tour to have Anna do well. I'm glad to see her win a match again.

villa
Jul 24th, 2002, 07:36 PM
All the things you mentioned endia contributed to her comeback being sooo difficult, anne was injured and her ranking was way low, however the fact that she was still getting paid millions for a couple of photos and appearances distracted her from her working hard to comeback. I think her view was why should i have to work so hard to make a comeback when iam still getting paid millions to do some photo shoot, she didn't have the 100% committment required.

MinskLynx
Jul 25th, 2002, 12:44 AM
I liked the article but found the repition of this information to be subpar: "I've gone though a lot of changes in my game and my life," she said. "I'm starting to feel really comfortable, after today's match. That's a great step forward."

MinskLynx
Jul 25th, 2002, 12:48 AM
I would like to note that this makes two mental and emotional victories on the year. In Japan her defeat of "Russian Rival" Dementieva 7-6 7-6, and now a conquest of the woman who haulted her run in Auckland. Desperate for wins, she not only got one against a now top20 player, but it was against someone that needed to pay for an earlier loss and a style of player Kournikova has struggled with in the past.
Anna may indeed be correct when she says that she has done a lot of growing up recently evident by these personal victories.

Hulet
Jul 25th, 2002, 12:49 AM
uhh... what's all the hoopla just because she won a match? Wake me up when she bags a title.

Crazy Canuck
Jul 25th, 2002, 12:49 AM
villa, I don't agree with you on the matter.

I fail to see why Anna should be held to a higher standard than anyone else..

If Martina takes a day off, no one used to rag on her for it.

Anna does it, and all of a sudden it is the blame for all the problems with her game?

Anna had/has very low confident on court, which is why she lost those matches.

She has a weak pysch, that is nothing new. Not everyone comes back at the same speed. She came back to early recall, reinjured herself and was off again for a while.

It makes sense her game wasn't all there.

COmparing her to Pierce isn't really fair, when you consider the last time Pierce was 100% before the injury lay off was when she won a slam.

Crazy Canuck
Jul 25th, 2002, 12:50 AM
eta psi, do you really need to write that in every Anna thread?

I've seen it al least twice now :rolleyes:

If it is that boring then don't read it :rolleyes:

endiadjendiadj
Jul 25th, 2002, 01:29 AM
in an interiew at Wimbledon, 'if i wasn't 100% committed to tennis i wouldn't be putting myself through this.' (all the 1st round loses and the criticism)

like i said, these outside things added together, take up maybe a couple of weeks of Anna's time per year. That's not making her play bad. it wasn't making her play bad when she was ranked #8 in the world.

villa
Jul 25th, 2002, 02:03 PM
i don't think off court activites are all that are to blame for annes diificult comeback, i think they contributed to it by affecting her attitude when on court. And iam not talking about when she was losing in the first round of wimbledon and other tournaments this year, that was due to lack of confidence but when she was recouperating from her injury last year.

villa
Jul 25th, 2002, 02:03 PM
i don't think off court activites are all that are to blame for annes diificult comeback, i think they contributed to it by affecting her attitude when on court. And iam not talking about when she was losing in the first round of wimbledon and other tournaments this year, that was due to lack of confidence but when she was recouperating from her injury last year.

MinskLynx
Jul 25th, 2002, 07:52 PM
endiadjendiadj - Very well said.

marshmellow
Jul 25th, 2002, 10:45 PM
i think the only way anna's 'offcourt activities' may have affected her attitude about coming back last year was that it only drove her to try to come back faster than she should have. that's why she re-injured herself. some say her sponsors wanted her to play as soon as possible again. so no, i don't think getting paid millions made anna slack off.

THE NET
Jul 26th, 2002, 04:07 AM
GO ANNA!!!

Keep it going...I support you in whatever you do. Just do your best!

:bounce:

typh00nz
Jul 26th, 2002, 04:18 AM
Originally posted by Monica_Rules
Good to see her winning again:D Yes, hopefully, Anna is on a roll! :D :p ;)

tennischick
Jul 26th, 2002, 11:43 AM
i think it was all that screaming in the hotel room that finally cleared her head. go Anna! :eek:

monicain
Jul 26th, 2002, 06:35 PM
And especially, back to more classic serve-and-volley tennis.



I prayed for that stuff for years...
Up up up to the net, Anna, you got a great hands there.Remember the way Tauziat was back in Top ten.Play it at net.;)