Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Tennis This and That Part 2

by savannah

ITF Names Serena Williams and Novak Djokovic 2012 World Champions

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The ITF released it's 2012 Champions list earlier today.

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With no possibility of drama on the WTA side there was a lot of chit chat about who would be named the ITF World Champion for the ATP. The ITF didn't go strictly by ranking. It seems to have taken into account overall performance for 2012. If it didn't Serena Williams, who is not the top ranked WTA player, wouldn't have won.

With the ATP it was different. There were people pushing hard for Andy Murray. I thought he deserved it for getting the Grand Slam monkey off his back but Novak Djokovic had the better overall record and I can't argue with his getting the nod.

The win was the third time for Serena and the second for Djokovic.

The other winners are as follows:

Bob and Mike Bryan Men’s Doubles World Champions
Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci of Italy become Women’s Doubles World Champions
Filip Peliwo ITF Junior World Champion
Taylor Townsend ITF Junior World Champion
Esther Vergeer ITF Wheelchair World Champion
Stephane Houdet ITF Wheelchair World Champion

Congratulations to all the winners!

Not So Idle Chit Chat

We've all known this for awhile but at least the FFT is aware. Very aware.

Former Top 10 player Henri Leconte tells The Tennis Space that Gael Monfils is “completely lost at the moment and doesn’t know what to do.” The former world No. 7 has been saddled with knee injuries and has seen his ranking drop to No. 77. He only managed to play 29 matches in 2012.

“Maybe he’s going to stop playing tennis, you never know for sure,” Leconte said. “I hope not. He has a strange way of training, thinking about sports, about his life, his entourage, his everything. It’s a nightmare. He doesn’t know where to go ... He’s been lost for two years. It’s a shame, because he’s so talented.”

SOURCE

The minute I read the headline I knew this had to do with Roger Federer and what happened in London. I wasn't wrong.

ROME -- Tennis officials are considering adding third-set tiebreakers at the 2016 Rio Olympics after marathon matches in London this year.

Also, bronze-medal matches could be eliminated to lighten the loads of players entered in multiple events.

ITF president Francesco Ricci Bitti tells The Associated Press at the European Olympic Committees meeting in Rome that the matches this year were "very balanced and very long and that ruins the scheduling somewhat."

Roger Federer beat Juan Martin del Potro 3-6, 7-6 (5), 19-17 in the London semifinals and was soundly beaten by Andy Murray in straight sets in the gold-medal match.

If bronze-medal matches are eliminated, it would mark a return to handing out two bronzes for each of the semifinal losers, as happened at the 1988 Seoul Games.

via via ESPN

Someone please tell me when I'm supposed to laugh. Then again they say imitation is the highest form of flattery.

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Is It January Yet?

There is actually live tennis being played and streamed now. The Australian Open Wild Card playoffs are under way. It's a good chance to put faces to the names we read about on the Challenger Circuit. Of course it means that many of us would have to adjust to Aussie time now instead of late January. But hey, did I mention it's live tennis?

Speaking of Australia Bernard Tomic continues to apply considerable effort off the court managing to force Tennis Australia's hand.

FORMER Davis Cup winner Paul McNamee has blasted Tennis Australia for its "public vilification" of young gun Bernard Tomic, warning it risks alienating the country's best young talent as it did with Mark Philippoussis and Jelena Dokic.

After much speculation, it was confirmed yesterday that Davis Cup captain Pat Rafter would not select Tomic for the February tie against Chinese Taipei.

And TA is also set to cut its support funding for the 20-year-old due to his poor attitude on and off the court.

The news was met with howls of approval from tennis luminaries past and present. Australia's No 1 female player and grand slam winner, Sam Stosur, voiced the thoughts of many when she urged her fellow Gold Coaster to "grow up".

McNamee, however, said he had been left perplexed by the "bludgeoning" approach of the authorities, adamant there had to be better ways to handle these situations.
(...)
"He is 20. Surely there is a better way, but (TA) don't seem to have any other approach . . I believe they have really hurt our Davis Cup team at a time when we aren't exactly enjoying a huge amount of success."
...Tomic's ranking had slipped from 27 to 52, putting him three places behind Marinko Matosevic.

(...)
"It didn't work with Dokic. It didn't work with Philippoussis. It won't work here."

Stosur, who is widely regarded as one of the hardest-working players on the WTA tour, was not as sympathetic to Tomic's plight, suggesting the former junior Wimbledon champion needed to make some tough decisions.

"That's probably the most disappointing thing for a lot of people on the outside - that he's got this unbelievable ability and he's not really using it at the moment," Stosur said.

McNamee wants to go back to the days when bad off court behavior was simply swept under the rug. In the digital age that's simply not going to happen. For the complete article please click the link .

For those who defend Tomic's right to bite the hand that's been feeding him and his family study the careers of contemporary top five players and see what they were up to when they were 20.




5 comments:

vw said...

Well, I am for handing out two bronzes. Last time Blake and Novak would have had one, and this time Delp and Novak would have had one.

I love Monfils and hope he won't retire. He's my fourth fave player after Nadal, Djok, Delp.

TennisAce said...

I think the Tomic thing can be handled differently. However, as a parent one thing you learn at an early age, you train the child at home before you take the child out in public. Tomic has always misbehaved. He was known as a prodigy and TA treated him like one. They made him do whatever he liked and right now he feels as if TA needs him more than he needs it.

It is hard when a parent has a spoilt child and then expect the child to grow up overnight. It does not happen. I am with McNamee, there could have been a better way of dealing with it. Has anyone ever asked Tomic whether he wanted to be the future of Australian tennis? Has anyone ever thought about the pressure that he has on him to perform and follow in the footsteps of the greats from Australia?

Stosur should not be commenting on something like this seeing as how she knows what pressure Tomic must be under to perform, especially at home. No one knows what these young players have to deal with and then all of a sudden they are being asked to behave like adults.

Savannah said...

TennisAce your comment made me do a mental 180.

I was raised with the "as the twig is bent" philosophy and raised my daughter the same way.

The problems that Tomic is having, along with the problems Borg had, the ones we see people like Britney Spears and Lindsay Lohan having come when a child assumes the adult role of bread winner. The people who are assisting that child to become the breadwinner are only looking out for one person and it's not that young person. Parents of prodigies have to know how to draw the line, have to know when to say "no my child isn't doing that" or "no my child is not going to be given over to outsiders to raise".

What often happens is that the parents get caught up in the game - my child will be the next Lleyton Hewitt. My kid is on track to be the next Serena Williams they think. And they then proceed to abdicate all sense of judgment and in some cases morality leaving their child to figure it out for themselves.

To be honest I'm not sure what McNamee is lobbying for here. Does he want less structure? Does he want more structure? Does he feel "boys will be boys" and that Tomic should be left alone? I'm not going to say he's right when I don't have the answers to those questions.

Another player to look at is Jennifer Capriati. She's never been right as we say in my culture and now, as a fully grown adult she's still struggling with life as she showed in her Twitter meltdown.

I've said it before and I'll keep saying it. Everyone laughed at Richard Williams and Oracene Price for making sure their daughters prepared for life outside the tennis bubble. No one is perfect and star athletes breathe rarefied air. But there is one thing Rafael Nadal, The Williams Sisters, and yes Roger Federer have in common: strong family ties and stability in their professional entourages. Without this you can end up with someone like Tomic who, when he gets closer to 30, may realize this gift he was born with and want to use it.

TennisAce said...

Oh yes, I agree with your perspective 100% and I agree re the ?s from McNamee. It is so important for families to be there for their children during this process. As much grief as Yuri got for Pova, it would seem as if he is her rock. He keeps her grounded & while she may not show it, he offers her strength when it is needed & compassion.

Richard Williams said it best. Some of these parents need to cool it and this is why I think Taylor going pro when her game needs more development & her needing to work on other aspects of her game is not the best move right now. She is still losing in junior tournies, why does she think she will fare any better on the senior tour?

Savannah said...

TennisAce I think this is the absolutely worst move for Taylor right now. They're saying she's going to concentrate on Futures but if they were going to do that couldn't she keep her junior status?
I understand that PMac and the USTA left a bad taste in her familie's mouth but going pro this soon could be a disaster for her.

She didn't win her last tournament but I think all she wanted was to clinch the junior year end #1. After that she didn't care.

I forgot to mention Pova and yes, Yuri kept the wolves away until she felt she could do it herself. I'm pretty sure he's still there for her too.