Well, that didn’t take long – we had hardly finished lunch when the first major shock of the Australian Open had everyone rushing for the TV monitors. Ana Ivanovic, the No.5 seed, dumped out of the first round by a qualifier? No, surely not. Oh, but yes: Ivanovic lasted just 86 minutes before Lucie Hradecka sent her on her way, 1-6 6-3 6-2.
stats sheet did not make for easy reading: 10 double faults, a very
ordinary 55 per cent accuracy rating on her first serve, 30 unforced
errors and only 19 outright winners. This was not the way a girl was
going to launch a challenge for a major title.
“I think, the whole match, I didn't really feel like myself out there,” Ivanovic sighed. “It was really
ough for me to find rhythm a little bit. In the third set it really
felt like she raised her level. I really today struggled to find rhythm.
Just a little bit lost.
“It was really, I think, all around the
game. That made a big difference. I really felt like I couldn't really
put so much power on my serve or the groundstrokes. So many times my
forehand was finishing short as well, and that was very disappointing.
In Brisbane my serve was on such a good level. I really felt like I
improved in the off-season. Obviously today was really not working.”
“I think it’s just mentally how you approach each match,” she said,
sadly. “I really felt good before the tournament started. I had a great
week in Brisbane. The level was really high. But you just have to accept
that you're going to have tough days and you got to go through the
tough days to improve. I'm such a perfectionist and sometimes I judge
myself too much.”
With a lot of unexpected free time on her hands
this week, she has plenty of opportunities to judge exactly where she
goes from here.