Australians missing French Open

Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by David_86, Jun 21, 2009.

  1. David_86

    David_86 Rookie

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    There is an interview with Pat Rafter on the BBC website where he critisizes clay-court specialists for missing Wimbledon.

    I would just like to point out that in the early 70s Australian legends like Laver, Rosewall, Newcombe and Roche, would consistently miss the French Open. I can't see Rafter taking a shot at them.

    Rafter also specifically names Corretja amongst the clay-court specialists. I remember there was a bit of an argument between the two of them. I think it was around the time his compatriot Hewitt was annoying most of the Spaniards and Argentians.

    Rafter has a reputation for being a nice guy, but he does sometimes use that image to give other players a bad press. For the record, Corretja won the ATP Sportmanship Award twice, so I'm guessing he wasn't all that bad.
     
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  2. vive le beau jeu !

    vive le beau jeu ! G.O.A.T.

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    another one ?!
    who gave you the key of the "old folders" locker ? ;)

    pat got it 4 times, so he's not bad either ! :p
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2009
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  3. David_86

    David_86 Rookie

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    Actually this is a very recent interview on the BBC website from a few days ago:)

    Just for the record, I'm not anti-Rafter. It's just that his comments contained quite a bit of spite, that I found quite surprising.

    I thought some of that spite might have stemmed from his falling out with Corretja a few years ago (if it really happened)
     
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  4. Moose Malloy

    Moose Malloy Legend

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    they didn't play the French because they were banned from it(WCT)

    lucky for Kodes & Gimeno
     
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  5. David_86

    David_86 Rookie

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    Thanks for the info even though it makes my statement seem stupid :)

    Still, a lot of grass-court specialists over the years have chosen to miss the French.

    McEnroe missed it in 1978, 1979, 1982, 1989
    Becker missed it in 1992, 1994, 1996

    These are just a couple of the high-profile absentees. These are years when they played Wimbledon and finished in the year-end top 10.
     
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  6. nfor304

    nfor304 Banned

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    Sampras missed it in 2002 too.
    I think Rafter is a nice guy but he never struck me as the smartest guy around by any means, and says things without thinking, like Philippoussis. I think he is just ignorant in this case
     
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  7. NotSoSuper

    NotSoSuper Rookie

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  8. rolandg

    rolandg Semi-Pro

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    How is he ignorant? He didn't say they boycotted it, he said they talked down about it, which they did, when they threatened to boycott it a few years ago in a row over the seedings and the surface. Here is what he actually said:

    Bloody oath mate. I remember going back and guys like Alex Corretja talked down about it a little bit and they wanted to boycott Wimbledon and blah, blah, blah...

    "It was because they didn't want to play on it, they couldn't play on it and they had a real psychological thing about it - in fact it would've been better if they had played in it - it would have made for easier matches! But to me that's just snubbing the greatest tournament.

    "For me, it's where tennis originated - it's the home of tennis, it just doesn't get any better. It has an aura about it, it has an amazing feeling about it. It's just the greatest tournament you can play."
     
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  9. nfor304

    nfor304 Banned

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    Where did I say that he said they Boycotted it? Why are you telling me this? I never disputed what he said. Read my posts before responding please.

    He is ignorant in that fact that he is singling out slow court players who have talked about their dislike of playing Wimbledon when plenty of fast court players do the same thing with the french and talk about how they do not like playing there and sometimes skip it etc.

    I dont see him coming out and saying Roddick is disrespecting the game because he doesnt prepare properly for the French or because he says he likes playing there the least out of the slams.
    The French has almost as much history as Wimbledon, and Rafter is implying that because in his opinion Wimbledon is the most important tournament, every other player must think that way. There are plenty of players who hold the French in higher regard than Wimbledon, and do not care about Wimbledon as much as they do the French.
    Rafter is ignorant of this fact.
     
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  10. rolandg

    rolandg Semi-Pro

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    Maybe. Don't think so though, if you look at his answer in the context of the question.
     
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2009
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  11. David_86

    David_86 Rookie

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    The main problem I have with the article is him singling out Corretja, because I know they have a history. It's almost seems as if he's trying to get other people to dislike Corretja.

    What do people think about the seedings? Personally, I can understand the problem some people have. For a start, Wimbledon is the only tournament that does such a thing. The seeding committee has got things very wrong before (in 2004 seeding Hewitt third, behind Roddick). Also, the ATP rankings are much better than they used to be.

    I can also understand players having a problem with the tournament itself. There's a long history of individuals having problems with the Wimbledon establishment.

    The one thing I can't accept is clay-courters criticizing the grass surface. If anything it should be the grass-courters complaining, considering the grass has become much slower over the years.

    I think the difference here is that the clay-courters actually came out and said they don't want to play, rather than faking injuries.
     
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  12. Ljubicic for number1

    Ljubicic for number1 Hall of Fame

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    Doesn't matter anymore, they now play the same just a different colour:):)
     
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  13. rolandg

    rolandg Semi-Pro

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    This was years ago when the grass was fast and the clay was a lot slower.

    You said: "It's almost seems as if he's trying to get other people to dislike Corretja."

    Isn't that a bit dramatic?
     
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  14. David_86

    David_86 Rookie

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    Maybe it is a bit dramatic, but why would he single out Corretja. I'm guessing it's because he has a personal problem with this player. He did have a problem with him during his playing days (it was during the Davis Cup or WTT).

    I thought it was around 2000 when Rafter was playing, and people like Kuerten were dropping out. Hadn't the courts slowed down by then?
     
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  15. Dean

    Dean Rookie

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    Yeah but only the stupid ones.
     
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  16. rolandg

    rolandg Semi-Pro

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    It sounds like you're reading a bit too much in to a throw away comment. He probably said Corretja because he was the first name that came in to his head.

    The grass has been slowing down steadily, but it was most noticeable from 2002 onwards, when two baseliners got to the final.
     
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  17. David_86

    David_86 Rookie

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    Like I said, Rafter and Corretja did have a falling out during a tie in either Davis Cup or WTT.

    Also, in the "History of the Wimbledon Championships" made in 2000, Players like Sampras talk about how the grass has slowed down
     
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  18. rolandg

    rolandg Semi-Pro

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    Yeah it's been playing more and more like a hard court from the 80's onwards, but it's been playing more and more like a clay court from around 2002 onwards.
     
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  19. nfor304

    nfor304 Banned

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    Im pretty sure it was the Davis cup final in Spain in 2000 though im not certain. Corretja said some inflammatory things about Hewitt and his antics on court and most of the Australian team felt it was uncalled for and possibly gamesmanship since he said it just before the tie began.
     
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  20. David_86

    David_86 Rookie

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    Yeah, I was pretty sure it had something to do with Hewitt. Also, I remember the Davis Cup final in 2000 was quite bad-tempered, especially in the doubles.
     
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