I am so excited about the Fed Cup Final this weekend. I mean, just look at this line-up…
Let’s look at the head-to-heads:
Ivanovic-Safarova: 2-3; Jankovic-Kvitova: 0-1; Ivanovic-Kvitova: 3-1; Jankovic-Safarova: 5-1
Intriguing. All of these girls are awesome in their own unique and special ways. I mean, what could possibly go wrong?
Okay, so the truth is that a lot could go wrong. And I mean A LOT.
As awesome as all these girls are, they’re not exactly always known as being the most consistently awesome. So I’d like to give them some tips of What Not To Do this weekend.
Let’s start with Lucie. I *LOVE* Lucie Safarova. Currently ranked No. 17 (her career high!), she has a 32-22 record on the year– including 7 quarterfinals, 3 semis, and a final in Charleston. She’s sweet, she’s innocent, and when she plays well she is a blast to watch. She moves extremely well, she has variety, and she makes it look easy.
Then, sometimes, she does this thing where she starts to think. Lucie, DO.NOT.THINK.
Lucie was playing so well in Montreal this year. She made it to the semifinals by beating Stosur and Vinci (and Karatancheva, but that might be better left unsaid). She played superbly to take the first set against Li Na, then lost the 2nd set. However in the third set she went up 5-1. She lost the next 6 games.
Lucie: DO NOT DO THAT.
Lucie’s opponent in the first match will be Ana Ivanovic. Lucie leads the h2h 3-2, and Ivanovic hasn’t beaten her since 2008. However, Ana Ivanovic is a former top player and certainly can be dangerous. She has had a solid year, getting close to the top 10 for the first time in three years. She is currently No. 12, and has a 36-20 record on the year. At the US Open she made her first major Quarterfinal since she won the French Open in 2008, and she has 2 top 10 wins– both coming in her semifinal run at Indian Wells.
But sometimes she does this thing where she just does not show up for the matches. Like, at all. Case in point, in Montreal this year (sticking with the theme), Ivanovic was double bageled by Roberta Vinci. That’s right. She. was. double. bageled. by. Roberta. Vinci.
Ana: DO NOT DO THAT. Please. I want this to be an exciting final. I want there to be drama and intrigue and I want it to come down to the last possible point. That will not happen if you get double bageled. Don’t get overwhelmed by the moment. Show up. It’ll be fun, I swear.
Petra Kvitova is just a blast to watch. Currently ranked No. 8, however, she is finishing this year a far cry away from where she was last year when she won the WTA Championships and was points away from the top spot. The 2011 Wimbledon Champion is 45-16 on the year. She is 4-0 in Fed Cup play, has made five semifinals, and won two titles. She made the semifinals of the French Open and Australian Open, but did not have a top 20 win at a Grand Slam all year. She’s suffered from a viral illness on and off all year it seems, and just last week had to w/d from the WTA Championships.
Still, she’s the best player in this tie by far and as long as she’s healthy, both of her matches will be on her racket.
Sometimes, however, that’s a bad thing.
When Kvitova is good she’s really, really good. And when she’s bad she’s awful. Watching her matches can be a bit like riding a rollercoaster. It’s best to just hold your breath and scream really loudly and enjoy the ride.
At the US Open this year she seemed in complete control of her 4th round match against Marion Bartoli, taking the first set 6-1. And then, well, Marion happened. Petra happened. Something happened. She lost the match 1-6, 6-2, 6-0.
Petra: DO NOT DO THAT.
Finally, JJ. Jelena Jankovic. Where to even begin? JJ, who just won the Fed Cup Heart Award, had four separate four-match losing streaks this year, and one three-match losing streak. She also made six quarterfinals and five semifinals and two finals. She’s ranked No. 22 and it has now been four years since she finished the year ranked No. 1.
And then there’s this:
#randomstats Since the Fed Cup is upon us, Jankovic has lost five matches this year in which she has had a combined 11 match points.
— unseeded & looming (@unseededlooming) October 31, 2012
That’s right, she’s lost 5 matches this year where she’s had MPs. She’s also been bageled 5 times.
Please, JJ, DO NOT DO THAT.
I think this could be an awesome, drama-filled, terrific weekend of tennis. Or it could be a bit of a nightmare. It’s up to you, ladies.