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Ana Ivanovic to replace Serena Williams at Madison Square Garden

Serena WilliamsWorld No.1 Serena Williams will not take part in the BNP Paribas Showdown for the Billie Jean King Cup on March 1 because of a left leg injury and will be replaced by Ana Ivanovic.

We were having a discussion here on Women’s Tennis Blog as to how they chose players for the one-night exhibition event at the Madison Square Garden in New York and now we can safely say that tennis results are not in the first place. Former world No.1 Ana Ivanovic didn’t win single WTA title in 2009, and not to mention a Grand Slam one. In addition, last year she had her first non-Top 20 season in five years.

The leg injury has forced 12-time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams to miss tournaments in Paris and Dubai. (source: ESPN, photo: paddynapper)

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32 thoughts on “Ana Ivanovic to replace Serena Williams at Madison Square Garden

  1. Dajana

    They choose players who won last Grand Slams :) Kim won US Open , Kuzzie won the French Open , Serena Aussie and Wimbledon , and Venus won last year's Wimbledon… So , now , with Serena's withdrawal , last Grand Slam winner is Ana :D

  2. Curtis

    Very odd choice in my opinion in choosing Ana. I thought they would of had gone with someone like Wozniacki instead and to be honest, Caroline and some other players are more deserving of the offer than Ana is. I say that as a die-hard Ana fan. Or maybe they were offered and they turned it down. On the flip side, I can understand why they chose Ana. She still is very popular despite the struggles and has a huge following.

    I been reading comments elsewhere from others fans saying it would have been wiser if Ana actually played in a real tournament like Monterrey instead which would be much more valuable to her as she tried to rebuild her form. After thinking about it for a while, I think they have a good point. Still, I am happy to see Ana at least play something before IW. Ana vs KIM should be really fun since they're my two favorite WTA players. :) I hope Ana enjoys herself and plays well. But I do hope she adds more events to her schedule after Miami though. She needs too.

  3. LuLinQa

    Dajana is right, I mean it is logical for me the way she wrote it. :)
    I am really interested in AnaKim match cause Ana wanted to play Kim. :P

  4. Marija Post author

    Dajana and LuLinQa, but JJ has never won a Slam and last year she played the exhibition. How do you explain that?

    Curtis, I agree, choosing Ana is reasonable in a sense that she still attracts audience and is very popular despite her poor results.

  5. jacob

    i'm worried about serena now. this is her 4th tournament shes missed, i hope she doesnt need surgery, if she does, i doubt she will come back on the tour, she is alot older than maria.. this saddens me, i hope hope hope hope hope hope that its nothing major.

  6. LuLinQa

    Marija I think that last year exibithion was for teams Serbia vs USA or they took JJ because Serena won US Open, Vee Wimbledon, Anci RG and Masha AO but she was unable to play so then again GS winners were W sisters and then Justine won RG but she was already retired.

  7. Dajana

    Here is the extract from Ana's official website :
    "..The event at the storied Madison Square Garden, which was inaugurated last year, is designed to showcase the previous season's Grand Slam champions."
    And I agree with LuLinQa – MaSha couldn't play in March 2009 , and JJ was the best Grand Slam player of the rest.. She played US Open final , AO semifinal and RG semifinal , and maybe they wanted Serbia vs. USA tie :D

  8. Kiaha

    I think they choose Jelena for the 2008 one
    because she played will that year in 2008
    making it to alot of finals and making the
    grandslam final at the U.S. open. I personally
    think they should have choosen Azarenka, or
    Wozniacki before Anna, but her selling power
    is still there. Hell atleast they didn't ask
    Maria!? lol

  9. LuLinQa

    You are Serbian right ? :) We will play next fed cup against you lol :) I heard some rumors that JJ won´t come is that true ?

  10. Marija Post author

    Great. I think everything is settled now as to how they choose participants. I just couldn't believe that Ana was the most recent Grand Slammer of all the WTA players, her RG title seems so long ago. :P

    LuLinQa, haven't heard those. Where did you read that, what was stated as the reason? The tie is in the end of April so there is still plenty of time left.

  11. LuLinQa

    I read it on Domča Cibulkova´s unofficial forum, some girl wrote it to the shoutbox like "oh i heard JJ won´t come to Fed Cup…blablabla" but I was confused because it´s crazy to say in february that she won´t compete in April and without any reason. I hope she will play cause even though I am Slovakian I will cheer for her lol :P

  12. Marija Post author

    LuLinQa, then it's really unofficial and it's very early, I bet even JJ doesn't know what she'll do for sure in two months.

  13. Marija Post author

    LuLinQa, of course! :) You're right, maybe somebody else could have more official details about it.

  14. LuLinQa

    BTW, as we are talking about JJ, what is her racket sponsor ? I know she had Prince but now she doesn´t carry Prince bag so…?

  15. Bróna

    LuLinQa, yes I'm pretty sure that JJ is still with Prince for racquets. I think the bag she carries now may be from her own collection, but to be honest I can't say for certain.

  16. LuLinQa

    Yeah Bróna, probably it´s from her own collection :)It´s cute :) The thing that confuses me is that she has no logo printed on her Prince racket. :) Obviously, I can´t see any reason why they wouldn´t want to sponsor such a star :)

  17. marine

    I think they chose Ana because of her past success and her popularity. But using the same criteria I see much more logical choice: Sharapova. Maybe she was their first pick but turned them down… well, she has her own career to get back on track, doesn't she? ;-)

  18. Marija Post author

    LuLinQa, it's Prince, that's what they say on the WTA Tour website as well.

    Marine, actually Ana was more logical choice cause Maria won her last Slam in the beginning of 2008.

  19. marine

    Well,Marija, from that point of view I could agree. However, Maria won 3 slams and her 2009 was better than Ana's although by no means ideal. Anyway, hope this will boost Ana's confidence.

  20. Marija Post author

    Marine, Maria is definitely greater champion than Ana, but we have settled it on this blog that the principle is exclusively the latest Grand Slam winners. Their choice of players really raises a lot of questions.

  21. Bróna

    I heard it was a choice between grand slam champions and year-end number ones, which would explain Jelena Jankovic's participation last year and obviously as someone mentioned above Ana is the most recent grand slam winner that is not already in the field so that is why she replaces Serena.

  22. Marija Post author

    Guys, I should have an interview with Lindsay Davenport tomorrow, and the topic will be the Tennis Night in America, so I will ask her the question about the selection of the players for the BNP Paribas Showdown. At least it's on my list of questions…

  23. Marija Post author

    It will actually be a video interview. They will call me on the phone, Lindsay will talk in the camera, and my picture will be shown. We'll see how it will go. Wish me luck. :)

  24. Bróna

    Wow Marija that is great news! You're so lucky :) I like Davenport, she seems like a really nice person. I hope it went well for you.

  25. Phaura Reinz

    good luck marija…

    and pls tell lindsay im a fan… from the philippines…

    good luck marija…

  26. Marija Post author

    Bróna, it was ok, at least for my first such interview. :) It was relaxed…

    Phaura, the interview was on Thursday. :) But anyway, it was just five minutes long, I had time to ask her just three questions.

  27. Pingback: Venus Williams wins Billie Jean King Cup and $400,000 | Ana Ivanovic

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