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pound cat
06-15-2007, 05:00 PM
Wimbledon - Draper: Players unprofessional
Eurosport - Fri, 15 Jun 10:39:00 2007
Wimbledon - Lawn Tennis Association chief Roger Draper has launched a scathing attack on British players for underachievement and lack of professionalism.

"Probably my biggest disappointment this last year was that the behaviour of people in British tennis is not really conducive to winning and success," Draper said.

"You've got to give people opportunities but, after a couple of years, you've got to say 'Look, it's probably not going to happen, you probably should go off and do something else'.

"It's been a pretty bad culture in British tennis, largely due to the lack of success. Everyone has their own views but at times it's like running some sort of kindergarten.

Britain currently only have two male players - world number 9 Andy Murray and world number 54 Tim Henman - in the top 100, though Alex Bogdanovic is on the verge of cracking the ATP's elite.

The women have struggled even worse than the men, with top-ranked Briton Anne Keothavong floundering at 169 in the world rankings.

"Getting people aligned to a common goal is a huge challenge," Draper said of his 14-month tenure as LTA chief executive.

"Over the years, when you look back at the talent we've had, I think a lot of that talent has been wasted and it's been wasted because people haven't been leading professional lifestyles.

"That's why we've been bringing in people like Bill Sweetenham from swimming and some of the rowing guys.

"It's changing the culture and making sure that our athletes are educated, not just from a social point of view, but from a strength and conditioning point of view.

"Rafael Nadal doesn't look like he is from going out partying every night. He goes in the gym every day.

"People have got to either get behind what we're trying to do or go and do something else."

The LTA has brought in several big-name coaches such as Brad Gilbert, Paul Annacone, Peter Lundgren and Carl Maes to help in the effort to shape Britain's leading talent.

But Draper insisted that unless players would not be coddled, demanding quick improvement or harsh consequences.

"My buzz word for the next year is ruthless," said Draper. "We are going to have to be very ruthless with our players and our coaches.

"While we are going to give all the funding support and encouragement, we've also got to be pretty ruthless with people's attitudes and behaviours."

Ripper
06-15-2007, 07:08 PM
I heard they offered Djokovich to convert him to British, but he didn't accept. Supposedly, this was a couple of years ago.

Feņa14
06-15-2007, 07:53 PM
I heard they offered Djokovich to convert him to British, but he didn't accept. Supposedly, this was a couple of years ago.

It was last year when we played them in Davis Cup. Djokovic was interested but I don't know what happened, from what I gather it's still possible he could become a British citizen as it said it would take 2-3 years minimum for him to change anyway and it's only been 1 so far. Who knows.

Scorch
06-16-2007, 03:20 AM
Does anyone remember a few years back when our then Davis Cup captain, David Lloyd was sacked for criticising the players below Rusedski and Henman for not being fit enough?

I thought it was incredible then that he was sacked for basically telling the truth!

I bet he would not have been sacked if Roger Draper was in charge at the time!

pound cat
06-16-2007, 03:28 AM
I heard they offered Djokovich to convert him to British, but he didn't accept. Supposedly, this was a couple of years ago.


I understood that it was Djokavic and his family that were trying to get british citizenship for him and his 2 brothers (also tennis players) and nothing came of it. Maybe they reconsidered when they found out about how Brit tennis really works...or doesn't.

spain/france would have been a better bet

ohlori
06-16-2007, 05:44 AM
There is a leisure culture in British tennis. Nothing wrong with that, but don't expect to produce champions.

AndrewD
06-16-2007, 06:30 AM
There is a leisure culture in British tennis. Nothing wrong with that, but don't expect to produce champions.

It isn't just tennis, it's far more evident in their cricket.

keithchircop
06-16-2007, 06:48 AM
It isn't just tennis, it's far more evident in their cricket.

Yeah, compared to the standards of cricket in the US, Italy, France and Hong Kong their level of cricket is very, very low.

helloworld
06-16-2007, 07:32 AM
But their soccer is still ok though

ohlori
06-16-2007, 07:43 AM
Dutch tennis sucks too (I'm Dutch). The Dutch tennis asociation has as much members as the USA (700.000, UK has 300.000).
Tennis associations are useless when it comes to success in sports at the highest level.
Serbia hardly has a tennis association, but Jankovic, Ivanovic and Djokovic are top 10.

ohlori
06-16-2007, 07:49 AM
Sorry, UK (LTA) has 90.000 members. Only France and Germany have more members than the Netherlands, in Europe.

ohlori
06-16-2007, 07:57 AM
Dutch cricket association: 5500 members :p

slice bh compliment
06-16-2007, 08:07 AM
Sorry, I've got nothing to add here....other than the prediction that a thread entitled 'British Players' will be a short one.

I wish them well. They have been, to a large degree, responsible for bringing this great sport to the world. It would be nice for England to have some pride in the game besides on an administrative level.

Truth be told, I do not know much about the UK's tennis scene in my lifetime, other than the handful of English/Irish/Scottish guys I've played with over the years.
As far as their professional tennis players go, I liked Roger Taylor, was never big on John Lloyd or Buster Mottram, Jeremy Bates, et al. There was that one guy who pushed Pete at W once. One guy gave Boris trouble once there...Barry Cowan. I like Bogdanovic a lot. But cheers to yer boy Andrew Murray! And more like him!
But I'm not holding my breath.

Hey, UK guys..... who was that English kid with the Iranian/Persian last name who got the the final of junior Wimbledon a few years ago? Miles Lahiri/Zahiri, maybe? Lost to Monfils in a not so memorable match? Where's he?

jaggy
06-16-2007, 10:12 AM
But their soccer is still ok though

Yes OK about sums it up really

Dave M
06-16-2007, 10:27 AM
Soccer..............it's football!;)
On the tennis front, I went through the LTA coaching scheme a handful of years ago, at the time a French guy had been brought in (PAtrice Hauglier-i think he's davis cup captain now) because the french were producing players. I felt the new theory was lets get as many kids playing tennis as we can, the aim was tens of thousands, the theory being someone from that must be good. In theory it was ok, never really worked in practice though. If you look at the Murrays, Jamie went through the LTA and according to brother Andy had his game destroyed which is why he went to Spain as a kid.The ethos sems to be chaning now but I felt for too long we had a model of a tennis player in mind and tried to make people play that way rather than bring on their talents.Oh well here's to the future!

Dave M
06-16-2007, 10:35 AM
Hey, UK guys..... who was that English kid with the Iranian/Persian last name who got the the final of junior Wimbledon a few years ago? Miles Lahiri/Zahiri, maybe? Lost to Monfils in a not so memorable match? Where's he?

Kasari i think have a shufti here:

http://aeltc.wimbledon.org/en_GB/about/history/rolls/boysroll.html

Feņa14
06-16-2007, 10:58 AM
We are by far the second best Test playing Cricket nation in the world, we beat everyone at home, Australia included!

We also have the best football league in the world, the phsyical nature mixed with the fast play and the skill make it the most challenging and best to watch.

I love tennis but we we have to face it, there are alot more attractive sports out there for British kids. When I was young and you gave me the option of playing in a World Cup or the Ashes I would of taken those anyday over playing at Wimbledon. That's how things are.

textbook strokes
06-16-2007, 11:29 AM
This is almost impossible to understand for us, southamericans. How can it be?:confused: .
Our kids are desperate for sponsorship. The great majority of them would kill for any kind of financial help. They travel like homeless, just to have a sligth opportunity of success.
I'm aware of the differences in context, but can someone explain this a little further?

pound cat
06-16-2007, 01:48 PM
This is almost impossible to understand for us, southamericans. How can it be?:confused: .
Our kids are desperate for sponsorship. The great majority of them would kill for any kind of financial help. They travel like homeless, just to have a sligth opportunity of success.
I'm aware of the differences in context, but can someone explain this a little further?


Could someone from the uK please explain this please. Thanks

AndrewD
06-17-2007, 06:27 AM
Yeah, compared to the standards of cricket in the US, Italy, France and Hong Kong their level of cricket is very, very low.

Thanks Keith, for that wonderfully insightful post. Dohab!

Fena14,
the overall standard of cricket in England is only average, despite the UK having far and away the greatest resources of any test-playing nation (winning away from home, not at home, is the mark of a quality team). However, that isn't the point. The level of professionalism is bloody awful and it has been, with a few exceptions, for the last 20 odd years.

J-man
06-17-2007, 06:32 AM
England won't be a super power in tennis just face it. Be happy that you have some good stand outs

Feņa14
06-17-2007, 07:43 AM
Thanks Keith, for that wonderfully insightful post. Dohab!

Fena14,
the overall standard of cricket in England is only average, despite the UK having far and away the greatest resources of any test-playing nation (winning away from home, not at home, is the mark of a quality team). However, that isn't the point. The level of professionalism is bloody awful and it has been, with a few exceptions, for the last 20 odd years.

What do you mean? :confused:

The standard of cricket in England is fantastic, all of your Australian players come over here to play County cricket and even club cricket! The standard is on a totally different level compared to the domestic cricket that goes on in Australia. As for the level of professionalism being poor lol, that has to be a joke. Shane Warne taking diet pills, Ponting having alcohol and gambling problems, McGrath threatening to, and I quote, ".. I will f---ing rip your f---ing throat out." to a young West Indian batsman who had done nothing wrong.

The level of professionalism there from the 3 best Australian players of their era is fantastic! :?

arnz
06-17-2007, 07:50 AM
My prediction : Andy Murray, not Djokovic, is the future of tennis ;)

Scorch
06-18-2007, 06:29 AM
This is almost impossible to understand for us, southamericans. How can it be? .
Our kids are desperate for sponsorship. The great majority of them would kill for any kind of financial help. They travel like homeless, just to have a sligth opportunity of success.
I'm aware of the differences in context, but can someone explain this a little further?


[QUOTE=pound cat;1523120]Could someone from the uK please explain this please. Thanks[/QUOT

It is quite straightforward imo: having the facilities and money thrown at you gives you a security that takes away hunger and ambition.

The fact that the Russians and South Americans have have and are having such good results is that they KNOW that if they mess up the opportunities given to them they do not get a second chance. They don't get wild cards into the slams, don't get expenses paid to travel to the next series of challengers etc. Therefore you play your heart out.

I think what the AELTA are trying to do is to make clear that there are no second chances from now on. Either commit 100% and get the results or do something else with your life.