One tournament does not a comeback make. One string of wins does not equal a Renaissance.
But when you've been winning as few matches as Ana Ivanovic - when those wins have come so few and far between - then a tournament like Rome can herald the beginning of a whole new player. Of course, it can also be an enormous fluke, so here's hoping that's not the case - for Ana's sake.
But I like the way she's playing. I know Vesnina was, well, Vesnina, and Azarenka was injured, and Dementieva didn't turn up, and now Petrova went all shank-happy, but still Ana hasn't cracked. I wouldn't be prepared to say that she's been undoubtedly 'winning' her matches, but she hasn't been handed them on a silver platter, and, most importantly, she hasn't lost them. The WTA can be, and has often been of late, a game not of who wins but of who loses first. And Ana - well, Ana is great at losing first.
But this week? Not so much.
I don't really like her chances of coming through Maria Jose Martinez Sanches, but I wouldn't rule it out, either, and a week ago, I would have ruled it out for sure. So this is a good thing. This is progress. And progress is good. Progress is how you get to a Renaissance.
It's been a merry day for the Serbs, with Djokovic progressing in Belgrade and Jankovic going absolutely mental on Venus, hammering her into the ground. This is the best she's played in a long, long time. But I want to reserve my final praise today for another Serb - young Filip Krajinovic. He's had his first ATP wins this week and he deserves it roundly - he has some excellent, excellent game going on!
Roger: older and not quite out
6 months ago