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View Full Version : Why is there no british players?


ezekiel
Apr 6th, 2005, 06:32 AM
I fail to remember the last one that simply blinked on the radar let alone made some waves . I think tennis is very popular there but for some reason they don't produce any good players.

Someone told me it's all the rain and thus lack of quality outside courts but that's just too simple of an explanation :confused:

Randy H
Apr 6th, 2005, 07:00 AM
Elena Baltacha reached the 3rd round at the Australian Open this year, and is near reaching the top 100 - Obviously not exactly making waves in comparison to Americans, or Russians, or Belgians in rceent years but it's a starting point.

Tennis has a lot of cycles where countries will have good spells and poor spells with players. Great Britain hasn't had many female tennis players to look up to in quite a long time so I think that can be one thing that stops them from getting involved in tennis to begin with or having that belief that they can make it at such a high level. Also, I think a lot of females in general (not just Britain) aren't really told or encouraged to pursue sports at such a level. If it comes down to studies or tennis, most are pushed into studies and 'real careers', so it's hard to find a lot of players who not only have the drive to aim high in tennis, but also to have the money and the talent.

I think what it really takes is to have someone break through and to show some inspiration that it can be done, and that the potential is there if they work hard enough for it. I also think that it's very beneficial when there are several young players with potential because they can push eachother to go further. I think that's been a bit of the case with Baltacha and Anne Keothavong (who is currently returning from a long break from injury). Alone perhaps they may not have even reached the point they are at right now, but with Elena doing well at Wimbledon a couple years ago, Anne seemed to improve her own game too, and then while Elena was out with illness and Anne was looking like she was ready to carry on where Elena left off, they probably have been able to feed off of eachother's success and have some healthy rivalry even.

I definitely think that the potential is there, just as there are many players with potential all around the globe, but it's just a matter of having all of these factors come together for them.

fifiricci
Apr 6th, 2005, 08:51 AM
The situation with tennis in the UK is the same as for so many other sports: no-one is going to push you into it at school, although they will probably expose you to it (I can only speak for state schools, I wasn't privately educated). Having said that, if you are self interested, there's nothing to prevent you excelling at it. In the city where I live there are public indoor and outdoor courts, a number of private clubs and plenty of tennis coaches.

Some people talk rubbish about why Britain cant produce any tennis stars:

1. "There are no courts" wrong!
2. "In the UK tennis is a "middle class, exclusive" sport - wrong again!
3. "The weather is crap" - Right! but then its not that good in Belgium either!

Maybe the problems come later on, but I would say that there is no problem with kids being initially exposed to tennis at school and given the opportunity to try it out.

syd
Apr 6th, 2005, 09:09 AM
:p they prefer rugby ! (laugh)

fifiricci
Apr 6th, 2005, 09:24 AM
:p they prefer rugby ! (laugh)

He he! :devil: In Wales we're shit hot at it, dont ya know!!

And of course, it's not "done" to get drunk and sing during tennis matches (unless your Jennifer Capriati or an Aussie of course:p )

Iechyd Da Boyo!!

Lemonskin.
Apr 6th, 2005, 10:09 AM
He he! :devil: In Wales we're shit hot at it, dont ya know!!

And of course, it's not "done" to get drunk and sing during tennis matches (unless your Jennifer Capriati or an Aussie of course:p )

Iechyd Da Boyo!!
:drink:

Mike
Apr 6th, 2005, 10:48 AM
Speaking from personal experience I gave up tennis because the club I was at wanted me to play doubles all the time, so I was being taught how to play doubles which is not what I wanted. It was also with old people who just got the ball back and shouted at you for hitting unforced errors. They never allowed two juniors to play tennis. Also in training I was put with younger kids who were nowhere near at my level of play, but the senior who were as good or better than me refused to play with me because I was "too young". I joined the LTA aswell but where I live no tournaments are held, the closest is about an hour and a half away which was too far, esp with school. It was also difficualt to find a partner to play with because no1 at my school played tennis. And school was a major factor because it was being drilled into me that I should be rpreparing for my future career. But we had all weather courts so I would play in all types of weather except snow.
So I gave up, I mean I was nowhere near gonna be top 100 material but this might've prevented other talents from giving up.

fifiricci
Apr 6th, 2005, 10:52 AM
1. There are only really courts in the rich areas, everywhere else there is nowhere you can play publically for less than £60 a year, which is a lot for some people.

2. Refer above.

3. It rains nearly every day, and it does get frustrating after a while. It's enough to put a lot of people off

I disagree with 1, that is not the case in the city where I live (Swansea). The place is breaking down with public tennis courts (indoor and outdoor) and "people who cant afford it" can get their court fees paid via a "passpport to leisure". I find it patronising when people say things like "there are only courts in rich areas". It is simply not true of my city and I can't believe that we are better equipped for tennis than any other city in Wales or the UK!! Our biggest "complex" of tennis courts is the Swansea Tennis Centre, located in the middle of an Industrial Park (NOT A LEAFFY SUBURB!) which has four indoor and four outdoor courts. There are numerous other sets of four courts dotted all around the city and not just in the "rich" bits. Sorry to contradict you, but what you say is just not true of my home city and like I said, I can't believe that we are the exception to the British rule!!

And it DOESN'T rain "nearly every day". :rolleyes: Even in Wales, where it rains more than in most places, our reservoirs are currently half empty and we've gone nearly whole months without any rainfall at all!! So its pants to say that, sorry!!

fifiricci
Apr 6th, 2005, 11:18 AM
It's raining at the moment....and yesterday....and the day before....

How much do you pay to play tennis in your courts?

I'm not playing any tennis atm, so don't know what the current going rate is. I can find out though if you want? But its certainly no more expensive (and probably cheaper) than any other pastime that kids are prepared to pay for!! Now we''re getting down to it!!

Jakeev
Apr 6th, 2005, 11:28 AM
I could not find the post, but I remember one posted here a year or two ago in which I think one pro, Helen Crook, was very vocal about how apathetic the Tennis Federation in England is at this point and how it was probably up to the players themselves to get out and make themselves known in the world.

That's pretty said if such apathy is the case, but at this point, it looks like if tennis players from Britain want to be in the thick of the tennis headlines again, they need to get out there and do something to make themselves be heard.

Yeah, that is not as easy as it sounds, but if not, British won't be any different in 5-10 years than it already has been the last 10.

Paule22
Apr 6th, 2005, 12:24 PM
First: http://sport.scotsman.com/latest.cfm?id=4333391

Last week when I was in Kent for a couple of days, I heard Boris Becker on the Radio and he described, in his a bit stupid way, the system of his camp. I was quite surprised, that Boris is so much interested into the Brits. He also said, that as you stated before, there is no real champion from Great Britain over the last 15-20 years.

AlwaysGraf
Apr 6th, 2005, 12:32 PM
When I was 13 I entered, I qualified with 3 others in my regional area to play with the top four juniors here in Northern Ireland ( bare in mind we are not the same level as Britain America etc). But anyway, I beat 3 of the top four and then was overlooked when the provincial team was picked in favour of those that I beat. Why-God knows-but i remember those guys being from wealthy families and they came with all the best gear,bug bags,lots of racqeuts, their dads drove good cars!!! Go figure

foreva lindsay
Apr 6th, 2005, 02:15 PM
We have :hug: Elena Bally :hug:

lolas
Apr 6th, 2005, 02:59 PM
When I was 13 I entered, I qualified with 3 others in my regional area to play with the top four juniors here in Northern Ireland ( bare in mind we are not the same level as Britain America etc). But anyway, I beat 3 of the top four and then was overlooked when the provincial team was picked in favour of those that I beat. Why-God knows-but i remember those guys being from wealthy families and they came with all the best gear,bug bags,lots of racqeuts, their dads drove good cars!!! Go figure
This world is so unfair :sad:

Chunchun
Apr 6th, 2005, 03:05 PM
Anne Keothavong
Elena Baltacha
Tim Henman
Catie O'Brian

Monica_Rules
Apr 6th, 2005, 04:10 PM
The LTA just became full of old people who had no idea what they were doing in the end. It was like that for 10 years maybe.But with David Felgate at the helm hes made som major changes and it seems to be going for the good.We are improving in the mens game very much ATM and things are looking better for the future aswell.

In the womens game we are still a bit behind but things are on the up.I would think in 5 years we will have about 3 players top 100 and then 5 more years after that i think we will start to get some 'big' names Bally and Anne are our best hopes ATM injuries have set them both back but both are very much capable of top 100.Behind them we have Melanie South and Katie O'Brien and then Claire Peterzan and Hannah Grady( but its too early to say with the last 2)

We do have quite a few girls between 11-15 who look very promising and Jade Curtis is leading the pack atm.

V-MAC
Apr 6th, 2005, 05:40 PM
We have :hug: Elena Bally :hug:


and we have Kelly Liggan :nerner:

kiwifan
Apr 6th, 2005, 06:41 PM
He he! :devil: In Wales we're shit hot at it, dont ya know!!

And of course, it's not "done" to get drunk and sing during tennis matches (unless your Jennifer Capriati or an Aussie of course:p )

Iechyd Da Boyo!!

That's why, at 17, I had to quit my college tennis team and focus on rugby instead. :drink: :singer: :drink:

CooCooCachoo
Apr 6th, 2005, 06:59 PM
When I was 13 I entered, I qualified with 3 others in my regional area to play with the top four juniors here in Northern Ireland ( bare in mind we are not the same level as Britain America etc). But anyway, I beat 3 of the top four and then was overlooked when the provincial team was picked in favour of those that I beat. Why-God knows-but i remember those guys being from wealthy families and they came with all the best gear,bug bags,lots of racqeuts, their dads drove good cars!!! Go figure

:sad: :(

controlfreak
Apr 6th, 2005, 07:01 PM
There's probably not one major reason why we suck at tennis - I'd say it's a combination of many minor reasons, some of which have been listed here, and the coincidence of a very weak period of history for British tennis players, like other countries go through sometimes too.

The issue of our shitness is certainly well-known by the LTA and sports governing bodies in the UK, and there are lots of schemes underway to build more courts and tennis centres and get kids interested in the game at a young age. Maybe in 15-20 years, when these new initiatives have matured and a new generation of kids have passed through them, we will start to see the results and have a few players in the top 100 on the men's and women's sides of the game.

Of course, it would help British tennis a lot if I started training full-time again, but with so many great shows on TV these days, I just don't see a future for myself in professional tennis (or professional anything for that matter).

creep
Apr 6th, 2005, 07:17 PM
There’s nobody from any working class area that I know plays tennis, and there never will be.

Fact1: The courts (if you can find them) are in wreck and ruin because they are never maintained. And the only time you will ever see anybody playing tennis is after Wimbledon, whenever a few people who can afford racquets to begin with, brush the cobwebs from them go down tothe court, sweep the glass (because theyre not grass courts, but in fact hard courts that a bunch of hoods have showered with broken bottles and whatever else they can vandalise) then they play tennis for a while, most use sweaters/jumpers to show where the net is, because that's long gone.

Fact2:It’s not in the British psyche to play tennis. It’s still (no matter what others suggest) thought of as a middle/upper class sport to which ordinary working class people have no chance of gaining acceptance into, because the people trying to promote the sport, are in fact the people who have shown prejudice against certain sections of the community participating into the sport to being with. It’s all ‘club tie, and ‘anyone for tennis, break out another bottle of Pimms dear boy’ attitude!

Fact3:Each and every year Wimbledon makes a fortune, of which a large amount of the proceeds goes into funding the LTA? Now how is the money spent? I would love to know. Now I have a fair idea how it’s spent. It’s spent on ‘Jobs for the boys’ administration and on coaching jobs for some half wit crap player. Because if any of the funds for developing the sport have been spent in my region, or any of the people I associate with, then we would love to see it, and be shown where it was spent!