Apr/19

2

Greta Arn Comeback Thrives in Monterrey

 

You may or may not remember Greta Arn of Germany. The 39 year old was a WTA tour journeywoman type player, reaching a career high of 40 at age 32.

She stopped playing pro tennis at 34 but after a four year hiatus decided to give her career another go, returning in July 2017 at 38.

She reached the finals at an ITF in Hungary and gradually climbed up the ranks to this week at the WTA event in Monterrey, Mexico. As a Lucky Loser ranked in the 300s, Arn got into the main draw and won her first rounder vs Lara Arrabuena 75 36 75. Arn is ten days away from her 40th birthday.

Arn is another example of a veteran WTA player making a unlikely successful return to pro tennis after reaching her mid 30s, just like Vera Zvonareva, Kimiko Date and Patty Schnyder.

Arn won two WTA singles titles – in 2007 she won in Estoril and in 2011 she triumphed in Auckland. She holds career wins over Maria Sharapova and Mary Pierce.

Her best Grand Slam results were third round at Australian Open and Wimbledon.

Arn initially retired in January 2014 after losing in the first round of AO qualifying.

 

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27 comments

  • Scoop Malinowski · April 2, 2019 at 10:17 pm

    Emma Navarro the 17 or 18 year old American who just won Easter Bowl 18s on hard court in Indian Wells in singles and doubles just barely lost to veteran Laura Siegemund in Charleston 75 64. But what a match! Navarro was far more impressive in defeat, mature, poised, clam, easy power, so cool and relaxed all match, like a veteran, it was Siegemund who was distressed and ornery and in disbelief she was losing to a kid. I see very big future for Emma Navarro. She just won Easter Bowl singles and doubles and made AO doubles finals in juniors.

  • catherine · April 3, 2019 at 2:15 am

    More from Monterrey – Kerber takes 90 mins to bt 28 yr old 291 ranked Kristina Kucova 7-6 6-4. Angie playing passively with little sparks of a more positive approach which may not be enough to take her past Muchova in the next round. She isn’t looking comfortable. A little like Sloane Stephens in Charleston – Sloane wins but it’s a struggle. She’s far below her best. Something missing – coach ? Personal problems ? Just looks glum.

    Interesting interview with Petko on WTA site – in which she explains what she gets out of tennis these days and why Tom Brady is an inspiration. Andrea has said she doesn’t want to be involved in tennis when she retires but I can see her being a good coach.

  • Scoop Malinowski · April 3, 2019 at 8:41 am

    I would think a top player like Kerber would have some trouble getting fully motivated to play a 291 player in Mexico. While on the flip side of the coin, it’s tbe biggest match of Kucova’s career probably. Still marvel at how Lleyton hewitt could get himself fired up as the underdog when he was no. 1 playing in Japan against a Japanese wildcard unknown. A player told me for my book Facing Hewitt that Hewitt was playing with the intensity that he was the 400 ranked player and the Japanese was the world no. 1. Hewitt was a unique animal.

  • Scoop Malinowski · April 3, 2019 at 8:44 am

    Navarro stole the show last night, she was so impressive in not only how she played but how she handled her pro debut. She played with more calm and had more power than Seigemund but the German was craftier and had more variety. Navarro could have easily won that match though and with more experience she will be winning in the WTA ver soon. Now it’s back to ITFs where she will have a big X on her back. That will be a challenge for her to be mentally ready for now suddenly being the star player everyone is shooting for.

  • Hartt · April 3, 2019 at 8:55 am

    Catherine, thanks for mentioning the Petko interview, she is always very interesting. Those Insider reports are the only thing I enjoy on the WTA site, but I go there so rarely I tend to miss the good pieces.

  • catherine · April 3, 2019 at 9:25 am

    Hartt – I rarely go to the WTA site either, just a lot of puffballs, but I got the link from tennis now.

  • catherine · April 3, 2019 at 9:37 am

    Scoop – the last time Kerber played Monterrey she was ranked No 1 and she ended that year out of the Top 20 – I hope she’s not superstitious. The court seems slow so maybe she’s thinking of her clay game.

    Re Petko’s comments – I remembered the story you told earlier about Andrea persuading Angie not to give up years ago. She has a lot to offer on the mental side of competing as a pro so it would be a shame if she does leave the game after retiring.

  • Scoop Malinowski · April 3, 2019 at 10:35 am

    Catherine, some WTA players just cut off totally from the sport – Seles, Capriati, Jaeger, Graf, Sabatini, Coetzer, sure there plenty more. But then there are the opposites like Venus and Serena who said they would be done playing before age 30. Even Serena said at age 28 on the record that if she was still playing at 38, she hoped someone would drag her off the court. Petkodance has a lot of interests outside tennis, I can see her getting involved in something different. But can also see her being a coach or Fed Cup captain or TV commentator, she is well liked and has a very interesting intelligent personality.

  • catherine · April 3, 2019 at 11:51 am

    I think Andrea would be a great Fed Cup captain if she stays around the game. In a few years time maybe. And if she’s able to put up with the politics of the sport 🙂

  • Scoop Malinowski · April 3, 2019 at 9:00 pm

    Petko will be a success in anything she attempts, whether it’s art, TV, writing books, captain, coach, business, whatever.

  • catherine · April 4, 2019 at 4:57 am

    Is Sabalenka the most erratic player ever to the grace the the WTA rankings ? In her first match in Charleston she lost the opening set committing 37 UEs and no fewer than 11 dfs. Then she apparently inspected the tiger tattoo on her arm, gathered strength therefrom and ran out the match 6-3 6-3. Next up is Puig and I expect this will be a 3 setter too. Aryna needs to get a kick-start from losing a set. I think her coach deserves a medal.

    Pavs will win Monterrey. It’s her personal property.

    BTW Greta Arn is entered as Hungarian, not German.

  • catherine · April 4, 2019 at 3:31 pm

    Oh dear. Sabalenka loses to Puig in SS. I must stop puffing up the NBTs in WTA. Aryna is definitely not the coming Queen of Clay. She’s too impatient. Nice chat on WTA site.

  • Dan Markowitz · April 4, 2019 at 9:25 pm

    Sabalenka definitely disappointing so far this year. I thought she was going to be a world-beater. Had Tursunov going down as the greatest player-turned-immediate-coach since Brad Gilbert. That’s an interesting topic, how many players who come right off the tour to coach are successful? I can’t think of many. Doesn’t seem like any of these coaches for the women were once tour players themselves of note except for Tursunov. Lendl and Becker obviously were retired for a while before they turned to coaching and had success.

    I admit I don’t watch too many women’s matches, but it always surprises me when I see a player like today, Wozniaki’s opponent, who I’ve basically never heard of. Michaela Buzarnescu?! It’s seems almost a requisite that if you’re a top women’s player your last name has to end with a vowel. That’s why I like seeing Williams, Keys, Stephens, Halep and Kerber doing well.

  • Scoop Malinowski · April 4, 2019 at 9:41 pm

    Sabalenka has went backwards since US Open. Not sure what’s going on there. Some players get so close to the big time then they fall away. Fear of success? Had a great day at the ITF $80,000 womens event in Inverness by Tampa FL with the McEnroe Courier Blake Fish senior event. Got Biofiles with Barbara Krejcikova, Whitney Osuigwe and Kurumi Nara who all won today, Nara beat Osaka. Got a lot of interesting scoops too.

  • catherine · April 5, 2019 at 2:19 am

    Kerber’s coach Rainer Schuettler was a player who seemed to turn to coaching soon after he retired – there’s a video of Angie at his coaching centre about 5 or 6 years ago. Don’t know if he’s coached other pro players.

    Angie beat Muchova SS and gets Flipkens next – she should get through that then it’s Pavs or Azarenka. Azarenka would be fun because Fisette will be in Vika’s box.

    Sabalenka is temperamental and in too much of a hurry. She’s going for power at present and it’s not getting her anywhere. Last year she was playing with more variety. Grass could be her best surface ? Relationship with Tursunov is edging towards Muguruza/Symyck 🙂

    Schiavone is out there helping Wozniaki.

  • Hartt · April 5, 2019 at 6:53 am

    Dan, Buzarnescu is “Dr. Buz” to us mere mortals, she has her PhD.

  • Dan Markowitz · April 5, 2019 at 10:51 am

    A tennis player with a PhD? In what? The aerodynamics of a forehand? Best quote, I really liked it. Sloane Stephens after winning yesterday said something like. “I’m glad I won. Losing sucks!”

    Geez, that Naomi Osaka, she fires her coach because he ostensibly asked for more money (I know she didn’t like him either) and then stories come out about how her father stiffed teaching pros in Florida who worked with the Osaka girls for free and now she signs a big contract with Nike. How come these stories come out about women, Osaka and Giorgi, and never about men? You never heard Mike Agassi stiffed Bollettieri.

    Could it be these teaching pros are more apt to help out young junior female players than male?

  • catherine · April 5, 2019 at 11:24 am

    We may hear more about the female players because certain teaching pros see them as future money-pots with rich endorsements etc and also more vulnerable than boys who often don’t develop until a little later and can’t be marketed in the same way.
    Sexist ? Definitely.

    Some talented girls get really spoilt especially if they are nice looking. One top player was known in her youth for going through coaches like a mincing machine – none presumably came up to her high standards or advanced her career fast enough for her liking. Traces of this behaviour are visible now.

    I think Buzarnescu’s Ph D was something to do with physiology. Hartt would probably know.

    Like, I really like Sloane’s comments, like, she really tells it how it is, like. Not sure about her game.

  • Hartt · April 5, 2019 at 12:54 pm

    Buzarnescu’s degree is in sports science. She had a long hiatus from the tour because of injuries, including 2 surgeries, and got her PhD then. The big surprise was that she returned to the pro tour after so many years away.

  • Hartt · April 5, 2019 at 12:58 pm

    Milos Raonic’s childhood coach, Casey Curtis, who was with Milos until about the time Milos turned pro, has said he donated considerable coaching time because he wanted the opportunity to develop a top player. I have often wondered if Milos reimbursed Curtis for some of that time after he started to make serious money.

  • catherine · April 5, 2019 at 1:22 pm

    Osaka leading a flight from adidas ? After Simona switched she won RG but hasn’t done much since. Naomi is getting an enormous amount of publicity at the moment, not all of it tennis related.

    I suppose Kerber would now be adidas’ top player – can’t see her dumping them unless she wants to be the most unpopular woman in Germany. I prefer adidas’ outfits to Nike in general.

  • Scoop Malinowski · April 5, 2019 at 6:49 pm

    Long breaks seem to help players like Barty, Capriati, Buzarnescu, Date, Baczinsky. But breaks don’t work for men players, can’t think of any examples.

  • Scoop Malinowski · April 5, 2019 at 6:51 pm

    Takes a very generous coach to donate for free his wisdom and knowledge to a young player, hope Raonic showed gratitude. I like the story of Scott Lipsky getting advices from legend Rick Leach one off season and then he won AO mixed doubles with that advice, then he gave Leach I think it was $5000 as a showing of appreciation.

  • Scoop Malinowski · April 5, 2019 at 6:54 pm

    Osaka is exploding into a major major superstar icon. She may become the face of the sport. Nike may cut ties to Serena and Rafa next. Those contracts may be nearing end of term if I remember correctly. If Nike can cut loose Roger Federer, Rafa and Serena better be making back up plans.

  • catherine · April 6, 2019 at 1:21 am

    http://www.tennispanorama.com/archives/65937

    Scoop – we mentioned Sabatini the other day – I was interested and pleased to read this link. Gabriela has become somewhat the forgotten star of tennis because she retired early but she’s certainly been giving back to the sport.

  • catherine · April 6, 2019 at 1:51 am

    Monterrey – I was wrong about Pavs – she’s soundly beaten by Azarenka who now moves into sf v Kerber. Angie swept aside Flipkens as was to be expected so now it’s a replay of Kerber/Azarenka matches of the past with Angie’s former coach v her new one. Intriguing. Angie to win and into the final.

  • Hartt · April 6, 2019 at 8:28 am

    Catherine, thanks for the link to the article about Sabatini. It was a pleasure to see such positive news.

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