Yes, it has been a while since I last posted here, and a lot has happened in the meantime. Most of which, wasn’t good. This summer has not been the best of times for Ana, who was on the receiving end of a double bagel in Montreal by Roberta Vinci and was forced to pull out of Cincinnati due to a right foot injury. Instead of dwelling on all that though, lets look forward to the US Open and the off-season. Yes, the off-season. I bring that up because over the past week, it has been learned that Ana will be playing in a couple exhibition events this December.
Today, it was announced on her official website that Ana will be taking part in an exhibition event on December 1st in Milan, Italy. Ivanovic will play a one-set singles match and a one-set doubles match as part of her participation. In singles, Ana will face off against Roberta Vinci. The same Roberta Vinci who double bageled her two weeks ago. This time in Italy. Lets hope things go better this time around. The more intriguing news however, was the announcement of Ana teaming up with Maria Sharapova for doubles, as the duo will take on the Italian team of Roberta Vinci and Sara Errani. It’s a glamorous pairing, though I’m not sure if the tennis itself will be glamorous. It’s all in good fun though and should be entertaining to watch, in one way or another.
Milan however, may not be the only exhibition event Ana intends on playing this December. It has also been reported by Chilean websites Latercera and lun.com that Ana will be in Chile for an exhibition match on December 6th, and then fly to Qatar the following day for another exho in Doha. Her opponent for this exho has yet to be determined, though Agnieszka Radwanska and Petra Kvitova have been mentioned as possibilities. This has not been confirmed by her official website yet, but it does seem legit. Thanks to (@Isabsan) on twitter for the heads up and translation of this news. All credit goes to her.
Aside from these events, Ana and Novak Djokovic will also be teaming up again to play in the Hopman Cup this upcoming January to kick off the 2013 season. The two have played in the Hopman Cup twice before back in 2006 and 2011. They reached the final last year, before having to withdraw due to an abdominal injury Ana suffered during the event. I was of course ecstatic to hear the news, knowing we will get more of this, this, this and this. Honestly, I could go on and on posting links to pics and videos of Ana and Novak together, but I would need a whole separate post for that. Just the fact that Serbian Ken and Barbie are reuniting makes me giddy, and I cant wait to see what they have in stored for us next year.
While Ana has participated in exhibition events in the past, such as the Hopman Cup and the BNP Paribas Showdown in New York, it’s been a long time since she has done so in the off-season, and unusual for her to play in this many. You have to go back to 2007 when Ana last played an exhibition event during the months of November and December. Then, she played a charity exhibition doubles match with Novak Djokovic, Janko Tipsarevic and Jelena Jankovic in her hometown of Belgrade. She would later play in exho in Hong Kong at the beginning of January (2008). Whatever is Ana’s reasoning for playing as many of these exhibitions this upcoming off-season, I am all for it. For one, getting some match play in can never hurt, even if it is just an exhibition. Secondly, it gives us something to look forward to in the doldrums of the tennis off-season. Until then, we need a strong finish the 2012 campaign and get things back on track for 2013.