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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old Sep 22nd, 2005, 10:09 PM Thread Starter
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Chinese Tennis Federation - Asset Or Impediment...

... to its professional WTA players



This is mainly directed to mainland Chinese posters or anybody who is versed in the relationship between Chinese federation officials and the individual players on the WTA tour.

I (and I believe some of you too) have heard through bits of information, but never confirmed anywhere, that the Chinese Federation officials manage the Chinese players careers in the WTA as a collective entitiy. As an olympic team.

The officials make decision for them regarding a variety of items, which are normally left to individual players and their staff in other countries.

These items include, among other things, but not limited to
  • Where to play – I believe the Federation decided this year to keep the players out of Wimbledon because of national need.
  • What tournament to enter and how many to enter.
  • Who is the coach. Following her loss, press reports said that Li Na complained that all the players had the same coach; therefore it was difficult for the coach to know player and her specific need in terms of areas of development
Can anyone shed some light on this please?

What exactly is the situation with the Chinese Federation as it relate to its players?
If all this is true and continue, would more players show frustration that could manisfest in downturn of their results?

Last edited by tennislover22; Oct 14th, 2005 at 05:42 AM.
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old Sep 22nd, 2005, 10:47 PM
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OK I am probably one of the posters that knows the most about this subject as I know one of them, met the others during the USO (they gave me free tickets).

The Chinese National Team (Na Li, Tian Tian Sun, Jie Zheng, Yan Zi and Ting Li) travel with a number of coaches. There is one who is the head coach for the national team and then there are two others (one for Tian Tian Sun / Ting Li) and one for (Jie Zheng / Yan Zi). These pairings make sense since those are doubles teams. Na Li doesn't have a coach that is dedicated to her.

So far this year (the first real year on the tour) all 5 girls have been traveling together from tournament to tournament. There are very few instances where they will split up due to their rankings. At a higher tier tournament like Dubai, Na / Jie will probably be in qualifying while the rest will play doubles only. At a lower tier, Na / Jie will be in Main Draw while the rest will play qualifying and doubles.

I am not sure if these coaches are the best in the world because they have never competed themselves at a world class level. The next generation of Chinese players will people like Na Li as coaches who have played at the world class level before. So this makes a big difference. Of course there can be a coach like Richard Williams but not very likely.

Shuai Peng has lived in the US since she was a teen and trained with a Chinese male coach in Florida (also trains Janet Lee and Nan Nan Liu).
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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old Sep 22nd, 2005, 11:31 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pierce0415
OK I am probably one of the posters that knows the most about this subject as I know one of them, met the others during the USO (they gave me free tickets).

The Chinese National Team (Na Li, Tian Tian Sun, Jie Zheng, Yan Zi and Ting Li) travel with a number of coaches. There is one who is the head coach for the national team and then there are two others (one for Tian Tian Sun / Ting Li) and one for (Jie Zheng / Yan Zi). These pairings make sense since those are doubles teams. Na Li doesn't have a coach that is dedicated to her.

So far this year (the first real year on the tour) all 5 girls have been traveling together from tournament to tournament. There are very few instances where they will split up due to their rankings. At a higher tier tournament like Dubai, Na / Jie will probably be in qualifying while the rest will play doubles only. At a lower tier, Na / Jie will be in Main Draw while the rest will play qualifying and doubles.

I am not sure if these coaches are the best in the world because they have never competed themselves at a world class level. The next generation of Chinese players will people like Na Li as coaches who have played at the world class level before. So this makes a big difference. Of course there can be a coach like Richard Williams but not very likely.

Shuai Peng has lived in the US since she was a teen and trained with a Chinese male coach in Florida (also trains Janet Lee and Nan Nan Liu).
You mentioned knowing one of the player/coach, so this question could be a little difficult or very easy to answer, depending on how you see it.

Please put on your objective cap, look at the situation in detached manner.

Certainly the arrangement has its benefits. The players are together all the time; they support each other and won't miss home as much.



However, when it comes to individual freedom to make one's own plan, what is your take. From important things like where one prefers to play or not to play, hotel to stay in, areas of game to work on, individual contract negotiation for racket or clothes; to small things such as social events to attend or night spots/restaurant to go to, and who one wishes to hang out with. Or just for their own development and individual freedom to learn to do things for themselves.

Correct me if I am wrong, but is it fair to assume that they have been under the federation care since they were little, right?

Although they inherited the same collective system, the Russians were able to make a smooth transition. Of course China is still a communist government, only the economy is run under a free enterprise system.

Woul you agree that this generation is a transitional generation, and the next one will have more a say in the running of their own individual careers?

Last edited by tennislover22; Sep 22nd, 2005 at 11:38 PM.
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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old Sep 23rd, 2005, 11:07 AM Thread Starter
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Results have been mixed so far (for the chinese women) in this China Open.
Some surprising wins followed by unexpected losses.
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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old Sep 23rd, 2005, 12:35 PM
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just to be clear, peng has different schedule not because she's "more american" like someone said before.
peng shuai and liu nannan are players from tianjin province. though peng shuai was not born and raised there, she represent tianjin since 13(? can't remember). the two got big financial supports from tianjin tennis association.
others don't have that. and that's a big factor when they make their schedule. although they did got some fund from the government when the olympic thing came up.
i think the system works ok when the girls are in the same level, say top 80 maybe. it could help them a lot. but if one of them could do better than that, like li na did, they should just let her go, let her make her own decision about coach, schedule, etc. like li fang did. remember her?
but i guess they have many worries about that. like what if she couldn't adjust well? or maybe what if she refuse to play the olympics or even maybe they just wanna take her prize away forever~ who knows~ we'll see.
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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old Sep 23rd, 2005, 12:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ashwu
the two got big financial supports from tianjin tennis association.
others don't have that. and that's a big factor when they make their schedule. although they did got some fund from the government when the olympic thing came up.
I think that the Tianjin Tennis Association is funded by a private person, who is therefore also paying for the costs of the International Tennis Academy (I think that's the name) under which Shuai and Nan-Nan are training.
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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old Sep 23rd, 2005, 12:51 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ashwu
i think the system works ok when the girls are in the same level, say top 80 maybe. it could help them a lot. but if one of them could do better than that, like li na did, they should just let her go, let her make her own decision about coach, schedule, etc. like li fang did. remember her?.
I am not so sure the system works ok if the players are artificially kept together, smothering their individuality.


Quote:
Originally Posted by ashwu
but i guess they have many worries about that. like what if she couldn't adjust well? or maybe what if she refuse to play the olympics or even maybe they just wanna take her prize away forever~ who knows~ we'll see.
I understand they are concerned about adjustment abroard, but everybody has to face that, it is part of life.

BTW, are they allowed to keep their prizes or each player has to turn in her
prize to the federation?
I think the russians did this in the very early stages before the current generation of players, and it did not work too well.

Last edited by tennislover22; Sep 23rd, 2005 at 01:03 PM.
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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old Sep 23rd, 2005, 01:06 PM
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as far as i know,a large part of their prize is turned in to the federation.
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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old Sep 23rd, 2005, 01:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cosjun
as far as i know,a large part of their prize is turned in to the federation.
No, it's about 30%
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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old Sep 23rd, 2005, 01:12 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cosjun
as far as i know,a large part of their prize is turned in to the federation.
Even for players who live in the US?
Their expenses would be much higher than those living in China.
Does the Federation pay the living expenses from the common account?
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post #11 of 18 (permalink) Old Sep 23rd, 2005, 01:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tennisbum79
Even for players who live in the US?
Their expenses would be much higher than those living in China.
Does the Federation pay the living expenses from the common account?
I don't know the agreement between Peng and Tianjin province. But I'm sure that Tianjin province provided a lot of money that is far more than other province and Peng's expenses is for more than other players.
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post #12 of 18 (permalink) Old Sep 23rd, 2005, 01:49 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bus
I don't know the agreement between Peng and Tianjin province. But I'm sure that Tianjin province provided a lot of money that is far more than other province and Peng's expenses is for more than other players.
Which brings to my next questions.
  1. How many provinces are there?
  2. What player belong to what province?
  3. Do the players return some money to their respective province as well or the Federation disburses a portion of the money to the provinces?
  4. Does the Federation oversee all the provinces?
With all the outside influence (how other players run their own affairs on the tour), how long do you think this arrangement will last before some players start complaining about it??

Last edited by tennislover22; Sep 23rd, 2005 at 01:58 PM.
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post #13 of 18 (permalink) Old Sep 23rd, 2005, 01:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bus
No, it's about 30%
i thought it was 65%
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post #14 of 18 (permalink) Old Sep 23rd, 2005, 06:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pierce0415
Na Li doesn't have a coach that is dedicated to her.


Some things are simply unreal! Apart from Shuai, Na is the best Chinese player and she doesn't even have a coach! :retard: Imagine what Li Na could achieve with a real coach!

China is a bright country as much as a dark one. Ying/Yang thing maybe? I'm not trying to make a xenophobic remark, I know how difficult life is in China and all those kind of things, but the government is just :retard: Even countries with :retard: governments like South-American ones have better structures! Anyway, let's hope it will change soon and Li Na can become a star of the WTA Tour and make her country a place in tennis history!
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post #15 of 18 (permalink) Old Oct 14th, 2005, 05:28 AM Thread Starter
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