With Christmas being this Sunday, I decided to write this Christmas wish list for what Ana fans want in 2012. Now I could get straight to the point, and state the obvious by saying, I want to see Ana win a slam in 2012 and become #1 in the world again. But that’s too obvious, and pretty much every tennis fan would say the same thing about their own favorite player. I wanted to keep this reasonable and list things that I believe are more realistic of happening next year. That’s not to say I don’t think Ana can win another slam again. I’m just not expecting it in the time frame we’re discussing, which is 2012. So with that said, here are a few things I would like to see happen in the new season.
- Stay Healthy: My first wish on this list is we get a healthy Ana Ivanovic throughout the 2012 season. Injuries have plagued Ana the past 3 years and is part of the reason why she hasn’t been able to find that old form that got her to #1 in the world back in 2008. While Ana hasn’t suffered any major injuries that has sidelined her for a considerable amount of time (knock on wood), she has had her share of nagging injuries that has not only effected her preparation for tournaments, but her ability to consistently be able to perform well on a week in, week out basis. Almost every player is going to have some sort of health issue at some point during the season. Tennis is a grueling sport and it’s difficult to remain 100% healthy for a whole season. But it would be nice to see Ana healthy for a long period of time and not have a health related issue at the most inopportune time, such as an abdominal injury, back injury, wrist, etc forcing her out of tournaments just when she is playing well.
- Reach the top 10: Ivanovic hasn’t been inside the top ten since the summer of 2009 and has even seen her ranking drop to as low as #65 in the world in the summer of 2010. Ana will enter the new season ranked #22, and as I pointed out in the previous post, she doesn’t have a whole lot to defend during the first half of the season. Ana was in a similar position a year ago, entering the 2011 season ranked #17 with few points to defend in the first half of this season. However, she got off to a slow start and wasn’t able to take advantage. By the time Ana started to put up good results this year, she was merely defending points rather than gaining points. Will it be different this year? If Ana is able to start the year on a high, unlike last season, look for her to move up the rankings. One good run at a slam or premier level tournament will put Ana in prime position to make a move back towards the top 10 again.
- Win a Premier Title: Since winning the French Open in June, 2008, Ana has won four titles. All four were International level events, two being Linz (2008, 2010) and the other two titles coming in Bali (2010, 2011). The last time Ana made a final at a premier level tournament was at Indian Wells in 2009 where she lost to Vera Zvonareva in straight sets. The last time Ana won a event that is now considered premier, it was Indian Wells 2008. Winning a premier event would be a great confidence boost, ranking boost and would be a big statement made by Ana.
- Reach the quarters of the Australian Open: Or any slam for that matter. Ana hasn’t made it past the 4th round of a major since her French Open triumph in 2008. That’s 14 straight slams where she has failed to reach the quarter finals. She’s had four 1st round exits in her last 9 slams, one at each. Making noise in the 2nd week of a major is one of Ana’s top priorities and it would be welcoming site for her fans who have waited more than 3 years to see Ana be a major player in one of the sports biggest events.
- Medal at the Olympics: Ana will be in London this July competing in the 2012 Summer Olympic games for Serbia. There, she will play singles and mixed doubles with Nenad Zimonjic. Ivanovic wasn’t able to participate in the 2008 Olympics in Beijing due to a thumb injury. She exited the tournament with a tearful press conference. This will be Ana’s first opportunity to play in the Olympics and it would be nice to see her medal in either singles or mixed doubles. It will be a very tough task given the competition, but hey, anything is possible.
- More Ivanorazzi: Finally, my last wish on this years Christmas wish list would be to see more of our favorite doubles pair of Ana Ivanovic and Andrea Petkovic. Now, they may not be the best doubles team when it comes to results on the scoreboard, but for entertainment purposes and sheer awesomeness, they’re #1. Lets hope we get to see more dancing in 2012.
So there’s my list for what I want to see from Ana in 2012. Will the new year be full of gifts and presents or will we get coal? Stay tuned.
(Pic via perthnow)