Simon Reed

Ivanovic is right to pull out of Fed Cup

Simon Reed

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It will be tough for Serbia in their Fed Cup play-off against Slovakia now that Ana Ivanovic has withdrawn from the squad over form concerns.

I remember when the first signs of what was happening with Ana started and Sven Groeneveld, who was working with her then, kept telling her: "There's nothing wrong with your tennis."

I still don't think there is anything wrong with her tennis, fundamentally.

Yes, she's a little one-dimensional and yes, it would be good to have things added to her game, but she has got immense weapons. She didn't get to number one in the world and win the French Open by accident.

So it is there - but what's happening is so many other things are masking it. It is all between the ears really.

Can she get that sorted? Very likely, yes. It could be as dramatic a comeback as it has been a fall.

It may not happen; she may never get rid of the doubts that are in her head now. But I am optimistic that she can. It may take another year, it may take two years. But there's no reason it shouldn't happen.

She certainly looks shot to pieces at the moment but she is a cracking girl, good for tennis and exciting to watch. Some of the shots she hits are amazing.

I wouldn't be surprised if she came back. In fact I would be more surprised if she doesn't make it back into the top 10 at some point.

It will be tough to take for Serbia, definitely. Has she done them a favour? No.

Has she done herself a favour? I think she probably has.

It's got to the time now when she needs to do that. It's one crushing blow after another at the moment.

She tried taking a break at the end of last year, talking about having a holiday and how much she was looking forward to it.

But maybe it wasn't enough; maybe she does need a longer time away. It is all confidence and form and they are intertwined, sometimes in a nasty way which is what's happened to Ana.

Women's tennis has dramatic rises and falls and I wouldn't rule out another rise for her.


I can't quite work out what's happening with Kim Clijsters at the moment.

I don't know what happened last week in Indian Wells or what happened in Australia; it's very odd.

This week she has looked the best player in the world, maybe Serena excepting, although she's not playing.

But a couple of times now we've seen almost a no-show from Kim. What happens there?

She plays at such a fast pace that sometimes, and you used to see this with Andre Agassi, it would take a while for everything to catch up with the way his mind was working.

And I think with Kim, because she does hit so hard and is so quickly into attack mode, sometimes it takes a while for her game to catch up with her.

I think that's the key with Kim. And if she's only playing sporadically then she's asking even more of herself, and I think that's why the blips happen.

But if we discard the blips then she's the best player in the world at the moment.

She destroyed Victoria Azarenka in the Miami fourth round. Four and love. No one beats Azarenka to love!

I haven't seen Kim's schedule for the spring, but I hope she's playing a fair amount. However I'm not sure she's playing a lot.

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