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View Full Version : When Anna K wins her first title, how will it affect her?


sartrista7
Feb 19th, 2002, 06:08 PM
You'll notice I put 'when', not 'if'. :p

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?

Zamboni
Feb 19th, 2002, 06:13 PM
I think it's a kinda mental block for her. Once she wins one tournament, she'll win more I think.

Beige
Feb 19th, 2002, 06:16 PM
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.

Bright Red
Feb 19th, 2002, 08:26 PM
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.

apoet29
Feb 19th, 2002, 08:45 PM
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.

destructo_girl
Feb 20th, 2002, 12:21 AM
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.

Volcana
Feb 20th, 2002, 12:24 AM
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.

disposablehero
Feb 20th, 2002, 12:32 AM
If you look at the players who have beaten Anna in her last 5 tournaments, the list is remarkably devoid of slouches.

essielewis
Feb 20th, 2002, 12:33 AM
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?:confused: I'm not saying she could beat Amanda but she might have gotten past the second round.:rolleyes:

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.:)

MartianJoeyWinson
Feb 20th, 2002, 01:47 AM
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...

Volcana
Feb 20th, 2002, 02:03 AM
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.

Randy H
Feb 20th, 2002, 04:18 AM
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.

essielewis
Feb 20th, 2002, 12:00 PM
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.

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.:sad:

Lola
Feb 21st, 2002, 03:49 AM
I don't think she'll be able to achieve that. We'll see...:)

Volcana
Feb 21st, 2002, 05:09 AM
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.

ajayares
Feb 21st, 2002, 05:19 AM
Originally posted by Volcana
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 ....



Yeah makes real sense.. Results are the same.. so I suppose you have come to the conclusion that she is playing at the same level at the end of last year to this year..
The opponent does not make any difference does it???

:rolleyes: :rolleyes:

Dawn Marie
Feb 21st, 2002, 05:28 AM
Anna will gain confidence hopefully. Personally I think Alexandra right now is playing better then Anna is right now. I mean yeah Anna is a good player but imho she lacks that fire in her belly. ALex imho has that fire. ALex beat Jennifer and played Seles tough. I guess I am comparing Anna to ALex becasue they imho are both on an even keel sorda. Alot of people are stuck in this 97 version of Anna K. Just maybe she is the best player that she can possibly be. .. at the moment. maybe 97 was a fluke and this is the true Anna K.

Rollo
Feb 21st, 2002, 12:10 PM
Sooner or later she'll realise this, trot off to Bogota or Sopot or somewhere and pick up a title.

I'm still getting a chuckle out of that one:) I hope you're right. She's "trotting off" to a tier 3 (Mexico) in a few weeks.


Btw, how do like her new hairstyle? I think a bun looks good on her.
http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/020220/168/14sv9.html

Amanda
Feb 21st, 2002, 02:45 PM
There is no shame in playing lower tier events. Heck, if it will help your game, even challenger events should be an option. It appears that Anna thinks that she is too good to enter those tournaments. I believe that she should reconsider!:sad:

sartrista7
Feb 21st, 2002, 03:31 PM
She's going to Acapulco? Excellent. I think Elena D will be there too... ooh, if we get an Anna v Elena final one of them will HAVE to win it.

auntie janie
Feb 21st, 2002, 04:08 PM
I like the new hairdo. Everyone needs a new hairdo every 7 or 8 years.

Rollo
Feb 21st, 2002, 08:11 PM
Hi Sartrista:)
I'd forgotten Dementieva hasn't won a title yet either. BTW, after I read your post on the AER issue in another thread you made me see it more your way.

P.S. Janie- Anna would look good to me in ANY hair style-even bald:eek:

c2
Feb 21st, 2002, 08:31 PM
Volcana, I'm curious -- why did you leave Lindsay out of the list of Anna's peers?

Also, winning is a drug. Jenn has talked about how winning AO last year was just a huge boost to her energy level, making her want to win more and more. If Anna can get that first major win, I predict she will come on much stronger.

Volcana
Feb 21st, 2002, 08:54 PM
c2AKAcmglenn - Lindsay's 26. That's a whole different tennis generation.

28 12-02-73 Monica Seles
27 01-15-75 Mary Pierce
26 03-29-76 Jennifer Capriati
26 06-08-76 Lindsay Daavnport

vs

21 06-17-80 Venus Williams
21 09-30-80 Martina Hingis
20 06-07-81 Anna Koournikova
20 09-26-81 Serena Williams

leeann
Feb 21st, 2002, 09:10 PM
I'm beginning to think Anna will never win a tournament. Perhaps she can't get any better. Maybe she's at the top level for her. I know she played well in 1997 but any player with some talent can play well for a bit and then revert to the level they belong. Maybe that's the case with Anna. Not only Anna, but a lot of the younger players who made a mark and never quite got beyond that (Dementieva for instance).

Anna should have won at least ONE tour event by this time. She's been playing as long as Martina has been playing. The only excuse is that she's just not very talented.

Rollo
Feb 21st, 2002, 09:50 PM
Either she has "no talent" as you put it Leeann, or she wastes it. IMHO she's very talented but needs to shake something up, a new coach, forehand, or stop the mery-go round circus of endorsements.

Winning a tier 3 or 4 would at least get that "never won" tag off her back. Anna did win a $75,000 ITF event, Midland in 1976:)

How true about the trend of showing great promise and never following through. Why do you think it happens? My theory is the veterans quickly come up with a "book" (or strategy) on how to play a rookie. If the rookie can't adjust or improve, her edge(being an unknown) wears off. The "book' on Anna seems to be play her forehand in tight situations. It's a great shot when on but crumbles when she gets tight, as she almost always does.

essielewis
Feb 22nd, 2002, 12:49 AM
? My theory is the veterans quickly come up with a "book" (or strategy) on how to play a rookie.

A new player always has an advantage because nobody has seen her before. It's the same for a pitcher in baseball. He can fire away on his first rotation through the league but on his second go round the veterans figure out a way to get him. If he's very good, he will raise his game, if not, he will sink.

Same with tennis players. I agree with leeann, maybe Anna is at her top level and can't go any further. This has happen to a lot of players, both men and women. :sad: They blast through with a big serve that throws an opponent off their game. But, next time around that same opponent reads the serve better and realizes you have no groundies. That's why Taylor Dent is still down in the 100s. He hasn't figured out that he has to raise his game above more than a serve.

All of the women have a book on Anna K. and, because she is who she is, they are delighted to show the world that Anna is all air and no substance. That injury really did more damage to Anna than anything else, dropping her into the 80s. I just don't see her pulling herself out and getting back to the top 10. I don't even know if a new coach would help. It couldn't hurt but Anna would have to really dedicate herself to the sport and give up something in order to get that first win. I just don't know if she's (or her "people") are willing to do that.:rolleyes:

Cassius
Feb 22nd, 2002, 02:15 AM
I think that once Anna wins her first tourny she'll win others only spareingly. (Much the same as Elena Dementiva). On her day (Anna and Elena) they can beat the best, but they both have this mental problem, they just don't seem to be able to do it in the final. They are both in Mexico next. I predict Elena to win the title. Purely because she is the first seed. (She never been top seed before) I think it will be the confidence boost she needs. Elena will win, unless she meets Anna in the final. Anna seems to have the mental edge over Elena.
Still, I am a bigger fan of Elena than of Anna, so I hope Elena wins, but good luck to both of them!!!(they'll both need it)!!!!!!!!

Oizo
Feb 22nd, 2002, 11:28 PM
I know she has the potential to win. She beat almost all top players. It`s a question of time. She will cry for sure!!! But time is ticking away....LOL !!!:wavey: :bounce: :wavey: :cool: ;) :D