Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Oz: On the nature of Despair


I don’t know which I find worse: the judgmental, reactionary tut-tutting over Ana “choking” being emitted from the direction of people that didn’t even see the match.


Or those that are (still now) continuing to pretend that Ana’s loss is wholly inexplicable.





Makarova d. Ivanovic 3-6 6-4 10-8


First the good part: we got one heck of a match from both women.


Ana came into this on the back of some sound, genuine, tactile form. This was not one of the very many false-starts we’ve seen from her that usually begin and end in a rash of corrupt ball tosses.


We always knew she had some of the most technically-sound, incendiary stroke production this side of Li Na – today we saw her gutsily serve her way out of the agonising despair of being 3 MPs down.




That she ended up on the losing end of the best match she’s played in over two years – one in which she saved a whopping 5 MPs – is of course gut-wrenching for her fans, but also speaks to the most encouraging, unmistakably healthy signs of life since her turnaround began.


I get that her fans will find little comfort in this, but that’s no reason to pretend that she had no business losing to “a mere top 50 player” that left a trail of top ten wreckage in Eastbourne last year.


Ana simply got a rough draw. That is all.


Heartbreaking? Yes. “Inexplicable”, No.


I get that personalities, work-ethic and the exhaustive, organic buzz of following your favourite player through their best and darkest moments all year long very often transcends all of that. The trouble is, it's no different for other players  who, by the way, go through all the same struggles, week-in week out,  sometimes with not even a fraction of the fanbase, limelight or lucrative endorsements at their disposal.


Irrespective of whether you’re a fan or not, it’s completely outrageous not to give a player as unassuming as Makarova her due when they come through on the back of their undeniable talent, as she did in Eastbourne last year, or here this time round.

And if it’s still all too much, then spare a though for Dinara.




However bad things might get, there’s always someone who’s had a shitter night than you or your player have.


I don't know. I didn't know how to win a point. Basically came to this thing. I didn't know. I was sitting in the changeover and I was like, okay, at least how can I get a chance to hurt her? There was nothing that I could hurt her.


I had the same feeling last week when I won one game. This week I didn't win not even one game.

No, I mean, of course I have motivation. I've been doing two months of pre season. I'm fully motivated. I practiced hard. I cannot say that I didn't practice hard.

But I guess something was not right. I don't know. I have to figure out the answers.…to lose two tournaments in a row 6 Love, 6 1, 6 Love, 6 Love. It's really to scratch the head and to think what the hell I'm doing. It's not that I don't want. I want. There's no doubt about. I want to come back and I want to play better. But now to find answers how I can come back.

-- Dinara Safina


And of course someone thought it would be "funny" to ask her whether or not she even remembers last time she played well


I don’t wanna hate you Kim, but for now I'm proposing you be exiled to a Siberian gulag or whatever it is they do with REMORSELESS BULLIES these days.

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