Friday, December 23, 2011

Merry Christmas 2011

by Savannah

Danielle Rossingh of Bloomberg News reports the following:

The women’s tennis tour will lose its biggest sponsor after mobile-phone maker Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications AB said it won’t extend its agreement when it expires next year.

Sony Ericsson signed a six-year contract worth $88 million in 2005, the largest sponsorship in tennis history and women’s professional sports, to become the WTA Tour’s title sponsor. The company, a joint venture between Sony Corp. and Ericsson AB, dropped the naming rights last year when it signed a two-year extension until Dec. 31, 2012.

“After seven years partnering with the WTA, we have decided not to renew the partnership,” Sony Ericsson spokeswoman Graciela Pineda said in an interview today. “We feel that after seven years our brand has evolved and our business as well.”


Australian Tennis is trying to inoculate young indigenous player Ashleigh Barty from Oudin-Young Syndrome.

Esteemed coach David Taylor has urged Australian tennis fans and officials from burdening teenage sensation Ashleigh Barty with unfair expectations.

Taylor on Friday hailed the 15-year-old junior Wimbledon champion as not only the hottest talent in world tennis, but also potentially even better than the great Martina Hingis.

“She’s the real deal. She is amazing,” Taylor told AAP.

The legendary Evonne Goolagong Cawley agreed, lauding Barty’s “fantastic” all-round game, but Taylor said it was critical the youngster was allowed to develop before being over-hyped.

“We have to be careful with her,” he said.

“People are excited because she is such an outstanding talent and we haven’t had one like that for so long.

“But she’s still got a long way to go and so many things can wrong before she becomes a top-20 player.

“She’s not even close to that. The distance she has to travel to get there is way off so let’s just be excited about her potential for now, eh.”

Yeah comparing her to Hingis takes the pressure off doesn't it? Seriously though I wonder if they're saying she's shorter than many of the top women players? Neither the WTA site or the ITF site gives height and weight information. Then again she's only 15.


Vladimir Kamelzon, a top Russian coach is speaking out about Ksenia Pervak's decision to play for Kazhakstan so that she can play in the Olympics, a goal of hers. Pervak's father is said to be quite wealthy so money isn't her reason for changing country affiliation. Some are also asking what Russian tennis guru Shamil Tarpishev expected when he told Pervak that he would not even name her to the squad dashing her hopes to play in London.

"I'm upset and angry about Pervak's switch to the Kazakhstan national team," Vladimir Kamelzon, head coach of the Russian team, told RIA Novosti on Friday. "I just can't understand Pervak's decision, and I will never accept it," he said.

Kamelzon said Pervak was "the personification of the Russian tennis method of developing top-class players," and lamented that she would depart despite spending all of her formative years in the hands of the country's finest coaches.

Brad Drewett and the ATP

The appointment of Brad Drewett as ATP Chairman has drawn applause from the Tennis Axis establishment and Roger Federer issued a statement of approval but on Twitter, where players post everything from their public (and sometimes private) lives the silence has been deafening.

Tennis X made the following observation:

Rafael Nadal, Mahesh Bhupathi, Ivan Ljubicic, Rohan Bopanna, The Bryans, Dustin Brown, Ryan Harrison, Jack Sock, Tommy Robredo, Juan Monaco, Juan Ignacio Chela, Jamie Murray, Milos Raonic and others were too busy tweeting the last 10 hours about the holidays, their Australian Open fashion and other mildly interesting memes than to even mention their new boss.

Ljubicic did retweet the ATP Drewett press release, but added nothing.

Amer Delic did comment on Twitter but his posts were less than a ringing endorsement.

That there were other candidates for the position including perennial candidate John P. McEnroe came as somewhat of a surprise. The ATP held its cards close to the vest and the tennis media proved the term journalist only applies to them in a tangental way by not airing any of the behind the scenes debate for the edification of fans. If there had been an open discussion rumors about parents of some players also having their hats in the ring wouldn't bubble to the surface and disappear back into the ooze.

The more I read the more convinced I am that all of this drama was orchestrated, that it was always going to be Drewett. I remember back in the summer when Drewett's image flashed on my screen and the talking heads verbiage was very favorable. I don't remember ever seeing or hearing about the other guy who was allegedly in the running. The powers that be made it clear that they did not want Krajicek and are now going out of their way to try and give Drewett player cred by repeating over and over that he was a player rep back in the day. Back in the day isn't now. There were no mandatory tournaments. Sponsor demands were nowhere near what they are now. The game was less physical. There were more tournaments on the natural surfaces of clay and grass. And the USTA had not yet gone to the extremes it would later to try and stop and stifle the true internationalization of the sport.

I don't know if Drewett's "mandate" will allow him the room he would need to address the issues at the heart of player protests that boiled over at last years US Open. His support comes from the USTA, Tennis Australia, the LTA and the FFT - the Tennis Axis, the ITF and the TD's of major tournaments. Will he allow more joint WTA/ATP events? Will he allow the players to be able to take control of their careers again and choose what tournaments they want to play?

It's going to be interesting to see how his address to the players in Melbourne goes over. Then again the tennis media will only present what TPTB want them to.


Swedish 19 year old Lucas Renard has been given a six month ban for corruption. Four months of the ban have been suspended conditional of his attending anti corruption training. Renard, ranked #882 was found to be in violation of the rule against a player trying to“contrive or attempt to contrive the outcome” of a match.

Revenge? Sour grapes? Bad form? The USTA is supposed to be bigger than this right?

Patrick McEnroe apparently has a lot to say about Alex Bogomolov Jr's decision to play Davis Cup for Russia.

"He has received quite a bit of support, it's an ITF decision and at the USTA we are exploring our options," he stated. I'll leave it at that."
"I certainly believe… I have no issue with Alex personally. From the USTA standpoint, he was born in Russia, he has family there, he should repay the USTA. He's actually signed something saying that and we'll see what happens."

I followed up asking if the USTA is continuing to explore options and McEnroe said, "that is correct."


Really Patrick? Alex was not ever going to be part of the United States Davis Cup team was he? Like Pervak, its a dream of his to play in the Olympics. He found a way to play and he took it. Sad that Patrick doesn't see the irony of his position and what it says about the American tennis establishment.


Happy Holidays to everyone who celebrates at this time of year.

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