Wednesday, 11 February 2009

Proof That Ana Ivanovic follows 'Tennis is Served...'

I'm only kidding of course; but you have to admit it's just a little eerie that this 'ere report appeared just two days after I made the quite casual and off-handed observation that her journey out of the mire might be aided by the addition of a proper full time coach. That hot-desking arrangement she had with Groeneveld was getting her nowhere fast. That's why he's described somewhat euphemistically as 'her former mentor'.

In case you missed it, I take very strong exception with a set up that permits a Team Adidas 'mentor' to hop from player to player. I favour the modern trend of appointing not one coach but a team of specialists - it's not the right fit for everyone but can prove (as Team Murray has shown) to be an extremely successful arrangement, finances permitting.

But it seems to me that what's made that set up work for Murray is the good relationship he has with Maclagan and the rest of his team - something that would be undermined by Miles bench hopping between a team of Fred Perry players - not that there's that many of them.

But this is a classic case of modernity gone mad. It's not as if 'The Floating Mentor' hasn't been rightly lambasted already; the usual criticism is it has the potential to bring about the ridiculous prospect of seeing two Adidas players going head to head with no coach on either bench (Groeneveld is not allowed to act as coach for one Adidasette against another...apparently).

But I actually feel Ivanovic is particularly ill-suited to this kind of arrangement. She needs IMO someone who can get to know her (and her game) well, and more importantly someone who can then use that to inspire her to believe in her abilities again. Both problematic if you're dividing your time between working on Safina's movement or Wozniacki's abilities at the net.

So I welcome this announcement from Ana (even if she did read it here first!); and the fact that this chap Kardon has worked with some of the more illustrious personages of the game bodes very well for her. The Floating Mentor can go float somewhere else - and good riddance.

Ivanovic image by tripletrouble under licence

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