Enthusiasm vs. Indifference

Toray Pan Pacific Open, Japan

Women’s Semifinal: [CR8] Angelique Kerber (GER) vs. [CR10] Ana Ivanovic (SRB)

Kerber gives the impression of indifference in her matches, yet you know she wants to win as badly as her opponent.  She is unable to play from a winning platform; her forehand goes astray, her serve becomes predictably attackable, she forgets to swing with authority and her shots lack depth.

Kerber can play with pace and her ability to change the pace on her shots is what makes her difficult to play; however, she has to adjust her game according to her opponent.  Her unwillingness to play power tennis consistently against a hard hitter like Ivanovic resulted in her shots being punished.  She spent most of the match stranded, mid-court or behind the baseline, and watching the balls fly by.

Ivanovic leaves the spectator with no doubt that she wants to win and she will throw everything she has at her opponent to make that a reality.  It is sometimes her undoing, her intensity, the amount of nervous energy she expends in her matches.  You admire the competitive nature of Ivanovic and her obsessive compulsive foot antics aside, you enjoy watching her take the ball early and her ferocious groundstrokes.

Kerber lost the match the minute she failed to serve out the first set and her lack of desire to fight for the match was apparent.  Ivanovic took full advantage of this and made no mistakes about closing out the match, 7-5, 6-3.

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