The supremely talented tennis player Ana Ivanović left many of her fans and some tennis observers mystified at the 2015 Australian Open after the number 5 seed lost in the first round to Lucie Hradecka after having reached the finals of the Brisbane tournament only two weeks earlier.
Rumours were flying about why she lost and she was criticized by some observers about her lack of focus and to her credit she only stated that she played poorly even though some tennis observers quietly believed that there might be something more to the explanation as to why she lost and seemed to miss shots that only two weeks earlier she would have crushed for winners.
The suspicions of these tennis observers that something was 'wrong' was confirmed when the Serbian beauty disclosed in recent interviews that she was playing the first round match with a broken toe (Tennis Magazine - February 10).
Her willingness to compete with a 'broken toe' shows her competitive mindset and toughness is 'off the charts', especially when one considers that to play tennis one must run much of the time on the balls of their feet for between one to two hours and to do so in pain must have made trying to focus on hitting shots a challenge that the average person cannot even comprehend.
Her revelation explains why sometimes, an elite motivated athlete such as Ana Ivanović can be a detriment to themselves in that they believe they can overcome anything and win even when they are injured.
However, one good thing that has emerged from this disclosure and that is she has become even more respected by tennis fans and insiders. The Serbian tennis star often is in the spotlight for her model looks but what is overlooked is her competitive drive and toughness which she displayed in the opening round of the 2015 Australian Open.
It would have been very easy for her to not even play the match and completely understandable but she played while injured, something that has provided fans an insight to her competitiveness and toughness which are now being talked about within athletic circles more than her model looks.
Ana Ivanović lost in the first round of the 2015 Australian Open but she won something that every athlete values: fans and respect for playing while injured and then not disclosing the injury immediately afterward and thus providing her competitor the opportunity to shine.