Re: Sacha Jones now an Aussie
Hmm, a little bit of a surprise. I chatted to Sacha and her brother GD the other day. They were in Auckland training, and I knew GD from the juniors, we were in the same training squad. I guess if you have the eligibility to become Australian it's reasonable, although disappointing as a Kiwi. That's the problem with tennis in NZ, we just don't have the resources and we also don't have enough tournaments of any level in NZ, including futures- hardly any. The situation is actually becoming worse. We used to have maybe 3 ITF futures? I think we now have no mens' ITF futures in NZ and one womens' one. Awful. We had maybe 7 money tournaments (not enough) and now we have 2, maybe 3 a year. How can you develop players without tournaments? And it's not like in Europe, where they can easily play tournaments in neighbouring countries.
So I can't hold it against her. She's been struggling in the last year or two a bit and probably feels this is necessary to give herself the best chance to make it.
There are a lot of good Aussie players so if she would get anything, I suppose it would be an AO Qualy WC.
Personally, I'm of the opinion that Auckland should award more wildcards to local players, especially in qualies. I don't care if they get killed. Because the biggest problem for NZ players is the lack of exposure to a really high level of play. Anyway, wildcards are often beaten badly. It's common and not a big deal.
I'm not sure whether I would withdraw the Auckland WC if I was in charge or not. I know the Joneses so I'm not impartial though. But I can understand those who want it withdrawn. If this was another country I think the WC would be withdrawn when the news came out, and the wildcard would be awarded to someone else.
I wish I had the money to set up lots of futures tournaments and also more money tournaments in NZ, along with some serious tennis academies. The money tournaments should be like the Aussie ones. Big draws, accept pretty much everyone who wants to play, put them in qualies or whatever. Not like the silly NZ ones, which give the seeds about 4 byes and accept only a handful of players. Attract the players from Australasia and give locals more opportunities to mix with them. Players in NZ, once they are no longer in the juniors, have hardly any tournaments to play locally and few resources to train with. This is just another example of what happens when players aren't getting enough support and help from their federation. Ellen Barry retiring early was another example of that, I think. It's tough though, it seems like maybe we just don't have the money to support them. Either that or someone's making bad decisions.
Last edited by HowardH; Dec 28th, 2011 at 03:36 AM.