View Full Version : Auckland 2006: Andrew's tournament-review / Canberra withdrawal

Jan 8th, 2006, 04:57 AM
ASB CLASSIC (Auckland, New Zealand; hard outdoors; WTA Tier IV)
=========== http://www.asbclassic.co.nz/ (http://www.asbclassic.co.nz/)

My tournament-preview:
http://www.wtaworld.com/showpost.php?p=6955992 (http://www.wtaworld.com/showpost.php?p=6955992)

http://www.wtaworld.com/showpost.php?p=6977212 (http://www.wtaworld.com/showpost.php?p=6977212)

First round (Tuesday)

- Jelena Dokic [WC] lt. Julia Schruff, 5-7 7-6 (7-3) 6-1

After her fairy-tale return to Australia last month, culminating in her winning the Australian Open wild-card play-off, this match was a harsh reality-check for Jelena.

Beating four Australians with rankings in triple figures in an informal competition was one thing, but against the world #81 on the stadium-court of a WTA tournament, Jelena looked "sluggish and unfit", "flustered" and "emotionally unsettled", and played "predictable and one-dimensional tennis".

Jelena served 28 double faults (and almost as many aces), made over 20 additional unforced errors with her "powerful but often wayward groundstrokes", and blamed her loss on an attack of nerves.

Jelena led 4-1 in the first set, wasted 3 set-points on Schruff's serve at 4-5, and ultimately won the first set 7-5 despite 10 double faults.

In the second set, Jelena recovered from 2-4 to 4-4, had Schruff serving to stay in the match at 4-5 and 5-6, but Jelena lost the set on a tiebreak, and with her confidence shaken, it was all downhill from there as she surrendered the third set in 20 minutes.

Apparently Jelena was sobbing into a towel during the second set-break, and was in tears again as she left the court after losing in 1h55m.

She has also sacked her coach Lesley Bowrey, and pulled out of next week's Canberra tournament citing a groin-injury (more on which below).

http://tennisrulz.com/forum/showthread.php?t=3452 (http://tennisrulz.com/forum/showthread.php?t=3452)

Let's be positive

After reading so many negative things about Jelena this week, I wish to take a positive outlook at this stage. It's been just a couple of months since Jelena was apparently at rock-bottom, but her return to Australia seems to have turned that situation on its head.

We can't expect miracles after just one month of serious practising and fitness-training, and her chances at the Australian Open are better left unspoken of (at least until the draw comes out).

But if Jelena maintains her positive commitment, there's no reason why her fitness and confidence shouldn't improve dramatically by the end of the year - and she was very close to winning this match as it was.

Jelena quotes

"I was very scared of playing again, because I haven't been in this position for a long time. If I could get the nerves away, I could have won today, and there's nothing to be disappointed about.

"I wasn't even supposed to - from where I am at the moment - even play close to a girl that was ranked 80 in the world.

"I was very nervous and I was very tight, and I think that contributed mainly to the loss today. I didn't play too badly in the first set, but as I got close to winning in the second, I just got really nervous. I think that's a lack of matches.

"I am disappointed because I think I could have won that match. I haven't played many matches, but I can only get better.

"I'm happy I had a match. It was a tight one, but it can only get better."

Re. 28 double faults:
"I can only laugh at that. I am getting close to Kournikova!"

Schruff quotes

"It was really hard out there, because I think we both didn't play our best tennis today. After the first set, it could only get better because that was not good.

"I didn't think she would hit that many double faults. Her second serve was like her first - not a lot of spin. Maybe she doesn't have much confidence. It must be."

Jelena sacks Lesley Bowrey

Lesley Bowrey's appointment to coach Jelena was supposed to last at least through the Australian Open, but Jelena has sacked her already - apparently for financial reasons.

Quotes from Lesley Bowrey:
Tennis Australia and Jelena and myself tried to work out some terms, because I think TA's policy is that the players have to have a commitment themselves, they have to contribute, and it was all finalised, and then Jelena decided that she really couldn't afford it.

She just said that she's not in a position to contribute at this point, so she's gone over to New Zealand with her boyfriend. And that's fine. It just didn't work out. My situation is that she asked me to help and I went down to Melbourne and I did that, but she has just decided that she will go on her own.

I don't know what her financial position is, so I don't know what's happened there. That's just how it is. And that's fine. That's her decision, so I'm just going to do some work with Tennis Australia.

I find it difficult to believe that Jelena can't afford it - she has made a total of US $3,748,632 official prizemoney in her career so far, to say nothing of her lucrative endorsement-deals! Rather than believe that she has foolishly squandered this vast fortune, I think she must have declined as a matter of principle.

Jelena: "I haven't found the right person who could do everything I need."


Jelena pulled out of this tournament on Thursday, citing a recurrence of an injury to the left abductor muscle in her groin, which she aggravated in her match at Auckland.

Tournament-director Gerard Corradini:
When we spoke today, Jelena was clearly disappointed that she wouldn't be able to play in Canberra. She told me that she had been over the moon when she first heard she had a wildcard to this event, which made having to pull out today all the harder for her.

She's now planning to get further treatment for the injury and is still optimistic of being fit to play in the Australian Open. With the right treatment, she is quite confident she will be right for the Australian Open, which starts in 11 days' time and is her focus.

Legitimate injury, or cold feet about playing in front of an Australian crowd?

I guess we'll know for sure when she plays - or doesn't play - the Australian Open for the first time since 2001. But we know that she had a groin-injury during the Australian Open wild-card play-off, and how could she waste that wild card after winning four matches to earn it?

Dr. Andrew Broad
http://www.geocities.com/andrewbroad/ (http://www.geocities.com/andrewbroad/)
http://www.geocities.com/andrewbroad/tennis/ (http://www.geocities.com/andrewbroad/tennis/)
http://www.geocities.com/andrewbroad/tennis/dokic/ (http://www.geocities.com/andrewbroad/tennis/dokic/)

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Jelena_Dokic_Players_Lounge/ (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Jelena_Dokic_Players_Lounge/)
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Jelena_Dokic_Players_Lounge_II/ (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Jelena_Dokic_Players_Lounge_II/)
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/jeldani/ (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/jeldani/)