Clay season review

Clay season review

Ana made several positive strides during the clay court season, but the injury she sustained in Berlin meant that it was a largely frustrating seven weeks.

Summarising the period, Ana said: “Warsaw was okay. In Berlin I played really good for that set. I was a little bit unlucky with the injury because I was starting to feel really good on clay. I can move around and run very well.”

Ana played 11 singles matches on clay this season and won seven of them. One of her four defeats occurred when she injured her thigh while leading Na Li 6-1 in Berlin. Her last match on the surface was a straight sets defeat to tenth seed Anastasia Myskina at the French Open on Sunday.

“I played only three tournaments and I could not practice much before Roland Garros,” said Ana. “I think one week of preparation for this Grand Slam wasn’t enough, even though the practice went well. This is the top level and you cannot go with just one week of practice.”

Results-wise, the highlight of Ana’s clay court season was undoubtedly her 6-3, 6-2 demolition of second seed Patty Schnyder in Warsaw. Previously Ana had not won a set against the Swiss in four matches.

Ana, who also reached the doubles semi-final of the Polish event, was able to score that victory thanks in part to her improved footwork. The 18-year-old worked very hard on this aspect of her game with fitness coach Pierre Paganini, especially at the beginning of April before Ana competed in the Fed Cup.

“I improved a lot on my movement,” Ana said. “I can run a lot better. It was not the case against Myskina though, because I was a little bit tense.

“It’s something to learn from. I am pleased with the opportunity to play in Paris. I’m going to analyse it and make sure that I have a good preparation for Wimbledon.”

Ana’s next tournament is the Ordina Open in s’Hertogenbosch, which begins on 19 June.

By Gavin Versi