Thursday, June 24, 2010

Grazing in the Grass - Wimbledon 2010 Day 4

by Savannah

Starting out with a bit of news. Kim Clijsters, when asked about the showing of Belgian players as opposed to their British counterparts said the following:

The only thing I probably notice is that we didn't grow up with the facilities that you guys have. And I think maybe kids are a little bit too spoiled too soon with what you have.

"We get spoiled in a way that we have great coaches and we have a good system but we don't nearly have the equipment and the facilities that you guys have here.

"I don't know if it's necessary at such a young age to spoil kids or to treat them like they're it, you know.

"If you don't have it, it makes you work harder to achieve it. And I think that's where I think sometimes you have to be a little bit careful."

The LTA receives about £30m each year from Wimbledon profits but Clijsters suggests that money cannot always buy success. "The four grand slam countries [Australia, France, England, United States] have a lot of money," she added. "You have the best facilities you can have here in England.

"Most of the girls who make it never had that when they were younger, when they were growing up. So I think the biggest thing that I can think of, is don't give it to them that early.

"I don't think there's one point where you can say 'this is what we're doing right'. You need the whole system, it's the whole group around the player, the parents, the whole infrastructure that's important.

"There's not one difference that Belgium has compared to England. You probably took most of our coaches already so that didn't work."

The Belgian Steve Martens is currently player director at the LTA while Clijsters's former coach Carl Maes was head of British women's tennis at the LTA until resigning in April 2009 for personal reasons.

Needless to say the Brits fired back.

Britain's Davis Cup captain, Leon Smith, argues that other countries do more for their players. "Successful nations like Argentina and France have players playing at wonderful facilities and pay for everything for their players, more than we do," said Smith.

"You can give someone a lot but it's about the values you instil in them. Values like hunger, desire, work rate, competing are hammered home every day. I don't go along with the claim we're spoiling them."


From the Wimbledon Referees


John Isner (USA) bt Nicolas Mahut (FRA) 6-4, 3-6, 6-7(7), 7-6(3), 70-68

After the match, on behalf of the All England Club, Ann Jones and Tim Henman made a presentation to the players and chair umpire in recognition of the occasion:

Players: 10” Tipperary Crystal Bowl (to be engraved) and Six Waterford Crystal Wimbledon Champagne Flutes
Umpire: 10” Tipperary Crystal Bowl (to be engraved), a Wimbledon Tie and Wimbledon Silver Cufflinks


· “It has been quite amazing to be involved with such an extraordinary match. I can’t imagine seeing another one like it in my lifetime.”

· “I didn’t get a chance to feel tired, I was gripped by the amazing match and my concentration stayed good – I owed that to the players, their stamina was breath-taking and their behaviour exceptional. The whole team on court; the Line Judges and Ball Boys and Girls all did an excellent job. ”

· “I think the longest match I’ve ever Chair Umpired before was five and a half hours long – that’s a lot less than even the third set of this one!”

· “When you are so focussed and every point feels like a match point you just don’t even think about eating or needing the bathroom.”

· “Yesterday my voice did get a little dry, but I have drunk plenty today and it feels good.”

· “I travel Economy. Seven hours sitting still on court is nothing.”

Can I squee just a little about Mo?Photobucket

It's over. It was great to see tennis make the front pages and back pages of newspapers all over the country. All it took was two guys slugging it out over three days with each one looking as if he were about to keel over at any second. Think it didn't take a toll on the players? Here's a shot of John Isner's feet today.
Think those puppies hurt?
It was obvious that Nicolas Mahut was devastated at losing but to his credit he manned up and showed respect for himself and his profession doing the press and taking the pictures. It was good to see the AELTC acknowledge the history made on Court 18 by gifting everyone involved.
It was one of those tennis days where one match overshadowed everything else that happened except for the visit of Queen Elizabeth II and her consort Prince Philip. It was nice to see Andy Murray on his best behavior. I think he threw a mini tantrum but there were no profanity laden diatribes directed to his team and not one racquet flew from his hands.
Her majesty left after Murray's match - she is not a big fan of tennis - but she is a professional too. She knew how to smile and wave to the crowd and even found time to spend a few minutes with Mr. Murray and Jarkko Nieminen.
Those of us who were worried we, and the Queen would be subjected to a women's match that didn't really deserve to be on Centre Court breathed a sigh of relief.

In the end it was a good day. Things will seem rather dull tomorrow won't they? Except that every time a match goes into the fifth set and ends with a score in the teen people will be calling the players "wuss" in their minds.

Going Forward

As we all know opinions are like anal apertures. Everybody has one. I think that when the official season is over the powers that be will have to give serious thought to what should be done when a match goes into a fifth or third set where there is no tiebreaker. How long should it be allowed to continue? 20 all? 50 all? I ask because I don't think anyone seriously thinks that Isner or Mahut (who is still alive in doubles) will be any good for the rest of the tournament. In the end nothing may be done but I hope, for the players sakes, that a solution is at least given serious thought.


Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal have been elected for another two-year term on the ATP Player Council. The world’s top two players, who were first voted onto the Council by their peers in June 2008, join Chilean Fernando Gonzalez and American Sam Querrey as the Top 1-50 ranked singles representative.

Along with Federer and Nadal, the following individuals comprise the 2010-2012 ATP Player Council:
1-50 singles ranking: Roger Federer, Fernando Gonzalez, Rafael Nadal, Sam Querrey
51-100 singles ranking: Peter Luczak, Jarkko Nieminen
1-100 doubles ranking: Eric Butorac, Nenad Zimonjic
At-large: Yves Allegro, Ashley Fisher
Coach: Claudio Pistolesi
Alumni: Ignacio Hirigoyen

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