June 7, 2008

Ana Ivanovic: The Match is Burning

Posted in Ana Ivanovic, christian tennis, ICTA, ICTA Women's Christian Pro Tennis Team, International Christian Tennis Association, scott paschal, Sexual Abuse Tennis, WTA CEO Larry Scott, WTA Tennis tagged , , , , , , , , , , at 12:27 pm by Scott Paschal

Congrats go out to Ana Ivanovic for winning the 2008 French Open!

In straight sets Ana Ivanovic crushed Dinara Safina 6-4, 6-3 to not only claim her first Grand Slam title, but also establish herself as the #1 WTA player.

A couple years ago my friend, Gene Scott, the now deceased founder of Tennis Week Magazine, once mentioned he believes he found the next big thing in women’s tennis.

He described the potential of Ana Ivanovic to dominate the sport.

As Gene was among the most influential men in the global tennis industry, people took note of what he said.

For me, since Gene was a member of the International Christian Tennis Association, and we were hanging out together in the Bahamas talking about how to make my seemingly impossible dreams for ICTA come true, I also listened to what Gene had to say.

Gene was right. Ana Ivanovic is unbelievable…

Yet, can I say something here? Though I think Ana Ivanovic is amazing, I’m really concerned for her.

Justine Henin just quit. She walked away from the sport as WTA #1. Her mind, body, and spirit were broken down. Now, a new player takes her spot.

The pressure now goes on a young, unsuspecting Ana Ivanovic.

And I can’t help but think about how poorly Serena Williams has handled the pressure as she has aged, even recently posing nude for a Jane Magazine photo shoot… which ended up in your child’s Tennis Week Magazine.

Hopefully, a nude Ana Ivanovic isn’t part of the mix, though many provocative pictures of Ana Ivanovic half-naked have surfaced recently as the global tennis industry, WTA, and Ana Ivanovic’s sponsors seek $ from using her body to promote agendas, such as making tennis sexy.

Let’s make it a point to keep Ana Ivanovic in our prayers. As her fame grows beyond her wildest dreams, she’s going to need people in her corner in prayer. I’d like to ask for our ICTA membership, which encompasses over 1800 cities in 65 countries worldwide, to come together in prayer…

And let’s pray not just for Ana Ivanovic, but the entire WTA Tour.

Pray for the people who work in the WTA Tour offices, pray for the coaches, pray for the nearly 1900 WTA players…

My dream is for WTA to become a beacon for all that is positive in women’s sports.

Currently, unfortunately, WTA is known as a beacon for “sexual preference.” As WTA follows in the footsteps of its founder, Billy Jean King, I can see how and why this has happened.

I’d like to see a day when “sexual preference” in WTA is replaced with Godly principles and Kingdom minded actions. Plenty of people within WTA are Christian and are International Christian Tennis Association members. Each can have a direct impact for Christian equality in WTA, even if some of their influential co-workers seem to be God-a-phobic.

Listen, if a person is allowed to stand up and openly discuss how she prefers to have sex with other women, then you darn sure had better be allowed to stand up and openly discuss your love of Jesus!

If not, call me! We have plenty of friends who are Christian attorneys who will use their expertise to protect your rights, often at no financial cost to you.

And FYI, one of my friends and mentors in tennis back in the mid ’90s was a lesbian… and I have a ministry to homosexuals… so you God-a-phobes and heter-a-phobes out there don’t even think about bashing me and playing the “are intolerant” card!

YOU are intolerant… and I have EVERY right to my opinions and preferences.

And, I don’t want to here from the self-righteous “Christians” out there, either, who can’t the the logs in their own eyes…

I’m simply stating that I’d like to see Jesus be the famous one in the sport.

Two wrap this up, International Christian Tennis Association has reached well over 20% of the top 200 WTA players. A strong Christian base is being created and gathered and motivated for positive change in women’s tennis.

Players are unhappy with the WTA status quo. ICTA seeks to bring the religious faith of WTA players, even if different from Christianity, to the forefront.

Players want Chaplains at WTA events. Players want to be protected from bully tactics by “sexual preference” people in positions of power within WTA and the ITF Pro Circuit. Players want change.

WTA players, their coaches, their families, their sponsors, and their friends are beginning to rise up and pray.

In my eyes, Justine Henin has been a beacon for all that is right and all that is wrong with the Women’s Tennis Association.

To Ana Ivanovic I’d like to ask her to focus on learning all she can about Jesus Christ, the Savior of mankind.

Now that she is at the top, the match is burning.

My prayer is she doesn’t get burned.

God bless,

Scott Paschal

International Christian Tennis Association

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10 Comments »

  1. Ana truly deserves the title she played fantastic tennis

  2. hey there!

    thanks for your comment. what an amazing display of world class tennis, huh!?

    will be interesting to see the ripple effects within the game globally. each new top player brings in a new type of audience and a new type of focus on different values and trends.

    will be fun to watch the new rivalry between her and sharapova!

    God bless,

    scott paschal
    international christian tennis association
    http://www.christiantennis.net
    ballboy4jesus@yahoo.com

  3. Joshua Dykstra said,

    I’m not sure about this, but could it be that the WTA officials are afraid of what might happen if people are allowed to have chaplains in the players areas, as if they know that with God helping the players that it might give someone a competitive edge?…Like the Philistines thought would happen during the battle where the Israelites brought the ark of the covenant onto the battle field? Just a little bit of pondering going on…

    I also don’t see how these girls can keep playing with a schedule this hard. As with many sports, fatigue is a leading cause of injuries. If the WTA keeps the schedule the same, they will be risking a loss of more money, due to many of their top athletes being injured.

    My personal favourite, Andy Roddick is also out with an injury, which is part of the reason why i have not been watching as much tennis as normal. But unless I am the only one that does this when my favourite player is injured, there could be a major portion of the tennis fan-base that is not watching as often as usual, and it will only get worse with time.

    May God bless Ana…

    Josh

  4. Liza R. said,

    Hello Coach Scotty,

    I’m a regular reader of your blogs and have begun to anticipate each new post! I truly look forward to the subjects the Lord lays on you heart to elaborate on through your articles.
    The article about Ms. Ivanacic hits the nail on the head…once again. We all must keep praying for the hardened hearts of the WTA to turn to Christ.

    Thanks for serving Christ with your life!

    Blessings, Liza

  5. hey liza,

    thanks for your thoughts and opinions. great to have you as a regular reader. about 2500 readers visit this blog each month. some for the fist time… never to return 🙂 … and some become regular readers and ICTA members.

    let me make something clear, though. i’m not saying the wta has a hardened heart. wta is not human, it is a business. it is a business operated by people. many of those people are christian. some are members of ICTA. their hearts are not hardened.

    their hearts are scared. scared of persecution from their non-christian peers. they also feel intimidated by the “sexual preference” agenda within wta.

    one of my jobs is to come along side of them, and others, and teach them about the Great Commission as written by Mathew in your Bible.

    great strides have been made within the wta! and a global awakening is happening within tennis!

    many, many christian organizations are even looking at tennis now! even mary pierce just spoke at a amazing christian event held in paris during roland garros last week!

    that all said, thanks for your support, tell everyone you know about this blog, sign up for your free 2008-2009 ICTA membership, keep your eyes to the skies, and serve hard!

    God bless,

    scott paschal
    international christian tennis association

  6. danielcheng said,

    Amen!!! May God use Ana in a powerful and wonderful way!

  7. Kristina said,

    Serbian tennis has gone to the top of the world. Jelena, Ana, Novak, Nenad Zimonjić…. One more time we are taking lead in sports. 😀
    Ana is a 20year old girl and I must say it’s inappropriate to speak about any half naked photo sessions of her for she has not come to #1 showing her naked body…
    Bog pomaže – God blesses

  8. Paul Cassiers said,

    May God bless Ana, her carreer and the whole tennisworld.

  9. Michael J. Eastman said,

    Well, I lost all respect for you after I read that one of your friends is a lesbian and a mentor to you. Now, what in the world could she possibly “mentor” you on? A mentor is someone respectable that other people look up to. Your credibility is shot, in my opinion. Seems you’d rather be politically correct rather than Biblically correct, or have you never read the part about not being yoked with non-believers? “Yoked” includes friendship, sir.

    You also never mention whether or not Ana Ivanovic is a Christian, assuming your readers know already.

    Sadly, I was about to send a check to help support that other Ana, Anastasia, I think her name was. But now, I cannot support an organization whose leader supports lesbianism by befriending one. You have harmed your cause with that confession. Try being Biblically correct instead of politically correct in the future.

    • michael,

      sorry you have lost respect for me. 😦 that said, i stand by the points i made in this article.

      if you have read my articles, spoken with me in person, or been around me in any substantial way..you would agree that i have no interest in political correctness. the person who was a friend and mentor to me in the mid 90’s was an amazing tennis player and pro. she always positively supported me and was an incredible example of tennis professionalism. during the first 2 of the 2+ years i knew her, i didn’t know she was a lesbian. she didn’t tell me, and it didn’t show. she was simply a positive friend who believed in me as a person and a tennis pro.

      honestly, bro, i think you might be fighting a political correctness battle inside of yourself. you are obviously frustrated with homosexuality..and for some reason feel the need to judge and to attack me. the article is over 2 years old, and has done a lot of good. did you even read it?

      as for your possible financial support for Ana, please, keep your hard earned money and use it to support a good cause in your hometown or around the world. your money is not needed here. God has Ana 100% taken care of financially and has for the over 4 years i have been blessed to coach and mentor her.

      michael, i don’t want to call you a joke..or an idiot..for your unbelievably blind and self-righteous comment. i don’t even know you..and i don’t want to sit in judgment over you. in fact, i don’t even know if your name really is really michael. Lol…

      but, i will say that i’m not sure if you have a clue about God’s love and forgiveness and compassion and generosity.

      will def say a prayer for you tonite, my blind friend. and for anyone else struggling with placing our big God in their little box…

      God bless!

      coach scotty


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