Ivanovic Wins the 2008 French Open

Ivanovitch Holds 2008 French Open Trophy In a more competitive match than the 6-4, 6-3 score would suggest, Ana Ivanovic defeated the terrific Dinara Safina to win her first grand-slam title. Two days earlier she had become the world’s number 1 women’s tennis player after beating her fellow Serbian countrywoman Jelena Jankovic in the semi-finals.

Safina sticks out her tongue at 2008 French Open Safina played well, but not well enough. Not unlike her brother, her emotions too often got in the way. In her round of 16 and quarterfinal matches against Dementieva and Kuznetsova, she had come back from being a set and match-point down to prevail. Ivanovic was too good for this to work a third time.

Ivanovitch Kisses 2008 French Open TrophyIvanovic’s shots were strong and accurate. She played one of her best-ever matches, convincingly solid and steady throughout. She didn’t show any of the nervousness that kept her from winning the final against Sharapova at the 2008 Aussie Open and the final against Henin at the 2007 French Open. She’s come a long way from learning tennis in a war-torn Belgrade swimming pool.

Safina and Ivanovitch hold their 2008 French Open trophies This makes the seventh straight women’s French Open final that was won in straight sets. The last three-set women’s final was at the 2001 French Open – where Jennifer Capriati defeated Kim Clijsters.

Gone Too Soon

Justine Henin sat in the audience and watched the final. She surprised everyone by announcing her early retirement just two weeks before the start of the 2008 French Open.

Henin in the stands at 2008 French Open Henin watches Ivanovich in 2008 French Open

Henin won 4 of the last 5 French Opens. Five years ago both she and fellow Belgian Kim Clijsters were playing in this final. Now they are both retired. As Tim Robinson aptly asked, can you imagine seeing Nadal just sitting there and watching next year?

Nonetheless, it was touching to see her congratulating the winners and handing out the trophies – particularly since Safina beat Henin in her final professional match just a few weeks ago in Berlin.

Safina Holds Runner-up Trophy as Henin looks on at 2008 French Open Henin hands Ivanovic Trophy at 2008 French Open

Fitness Making the Difference

One of my complaints about the women’s game is that too few women’s players take fitness and conditioning as serious as the men’s field. As you can see from the photos below, this was not the case for either of Ivanovic or Safina today. No doubt their fitness played a significant part in their getting so far.

Ivanovitc's shoulder muscles at 2008 French Open Sadina's shoulder muscles at 2008 French Open

These pictures aptly demonstrate that women can be fit and feminine at the same time. I hope more of the women follow this lead. The women’s game needs to be elevated with better fitness, conditioning and stamina in order to be as compelling to watch as the men’s game. Ivanovic and Safina have proven it can be done.



3 Replies to “Ivanovic Wins the 2008 French Open”

  1. Despite the straight sets win, Safina gave it a good shot. But every time it seemed like a turning point was imminent, Ivanovic’s superb defense pulled her through. She displayed her complete game and was a very deserved and gracious winner. It sure is easy to like her.

    As for Safina, you are correct that she needs to control her emotions. She had a defeated look several times too. And what’s with the “annoying” comment about Ivanovic’s group? She may feel warranted in making those comments, but it was not the time and place. She needs to enrol in RFed’s Class 101 program.


  2. I didn’t notice any comment about the Ivanovic team. My TiVo fast-forward saves me from most of that stuff. But I was amused by the stop in play due to the crying baby 🙂


  3. Safina made the “annoying” comment right up on stage during the trophy presentations. Rather annoying in itself.

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