Originally Posted by SM
i spoke to some juniors at a local ITF and they wish we had much more juniors events here. Unlike senior players who can afford to travel overseas and have developed, the juniors lack funds/sponsorhip and need the exposure at ITF level to develop.
Senior players can afford to travel overseas???? Since when?? How is it any different?? If your not ranked in the top 200 and didnt receive a wildcard into the Australian Open its a huge strain financially to travel!
Mireille Dittmann had $235 prizemoney after the Australian Open/Aussie Circuit, thats not even enough for a plane ticket!
Players like Breadmore, Grahame and Hewitt are only still round because they have wealthy parents and McShea/Musgrave live comfrotably from doubles whilst Sewell/Stone/Dittmann scrape by only just from their doubles prizemoney, sponsorships and money they make from coaching and even then they still need financial help at times from their families.
To play a full season, you need to earn around $US20K to cover costs!
You look at players like Van Elden. Its been a hugely difficult financially for her to keep playing. I know for a fact that her brother who is sponsored and playing in the US brings home as many racquets as he can carry on the plane (as he gets them for free) and then flogs them all back in Australia just to make some money to pay for some of his travelling expenses.
Stop thinking our juniors do it so tough! All their trips are paid for by Tennis Australia, they dont have to outlay any money whatsoever if they are selected to play in Junior Grand Slams, Orange Bowl etc.
Its the senior players that have the financial strain not the juniors!!
I agree that the Australian juniors dont get enough exposure to tougher overseas competition. But there are logical ways of getting around this without having to spend a fortune on sending players overseas. Certainly with our junior girls its easy. Just have them train with State Grade-Grade 1 mens pennant players, they will hit harder and play better than almost all female players ranked 100 or below, and at junior level that should be sufficient! With the junior boys its a little harder, maybe organise more training sessions/matches with Ranked players when they are home in Australia. Also Tennis Australia seems to send a lot of Juniors into Asia to play, surely it would be wiser to send them into US or Europe as the competition is a lot tougher!