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schorsch
Feb 23rd, 2009, 01:54 PM
Keothavong takes swipe at LTA, eyes tour win

Keothavong takes swipe at LTA, eyes tour win AFP/File – Britain's Anne Keothavong plays a shot against Russia's Anna Chakvetadze during the opening day …

LONDON (AFP) – Anne Keothavong celebrated becoming the first British woman in 16 years to break into the world's top 50 by setting her sights on winning a title on the WTA tour before the end of the year.

Keothavong, born in London to parents from Laos, has risen more than 80 places in the last year to reach 48th in the latest WTA rankings, making her the first British women to crack the top 50 since Jo Durie in 1993.

"There's still a lot more work to do as I want to climb further up the rankings and pick up a WTA Tour title somewhere this year," Keothavong told the BBC.

"The standard of the top players is very high and intense but that doesn't scare me, it just makes me want to be even better so I can play like them."

Brought up on the public courts of east London, the 25-year-old has climbed up the rankings at an age when many of her rivals are going into decline, and she admitted that she had repeatedly questioned whether she should continue in the sport.

Keothovang's career has been blighted by injuries and she also believes she would have advanced faster at an earlier stage with better management from the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA).

The LTA is one of the richest national tennis federations in the world as a result of the huge profits made by Wimbledon but it has struggled to translate those resources into a steady stream of top players.

"If I knew what I know now I could've been in the top 50 years ago but I was influenced by some unprofessional people, which didn't help, although ultimately it's down to the individual," Keothovang said.

"I'm now working with coaches I trust and, with their help, I'll continue to improve further. I still believe there are unprofessional people working at the LTA and it saddens me because I want to see British tennis get even better."

:tape: :unsure:
What do they have all that money for then :help:

Kworb
Feb 23rd, 2009, 02:50 PM
Maybe in a few years when she retires she can become a coach and pass along her wisdom to new British prospects.

Joee
Feb 23rd, 2009, 03:26 PM
Maybe in a few years when she retires she can become a coach and pass along her wisdom to new British prospects.

Yup :)

Slutiana
Feb 23rd, 2009, 03:40 PM
Its true. :shrug: I think you'd all be shocked to see how much money and time the LTA put into less fortunate people Like Anne who dont/diddnt happen to own a yacht in barbados. :tape:

tenn_ace
Feb 23rd, 2009, 03:40 PM
wow top 50 and she is already talking... imagine when/if she gets to top 20.............

Vincey!
Feb 23rd, 2009, 03:40 PM
Awww Anne haha, I think she's right though, I mean from the 4 countries who got majors Britain seems to struggle the most to get players into the top 100, but I heard they had a new programm for the juniors like a new national tennis centre like in Canada and hopefully it will work ;)

Dawson.
Feb 23rd, 2009, 04:00 PM
Money doesn't necessarily equal good coaches. Andy Murray and Brad Gilbert is the perfect example. Sure Gilbert was very successful with Agassi and Roddick, but it just didn't work out with Murray - this could have been a similar situation with Anne :shrug:

Monica_Rules
Feb 23rd, 2009, 04:50 PM
My prime candidate would be Alan Jones. Hes held back Anne and Bally glad both left him in the end.

Kart
Feb 23rd, 2009, 05:45 PM
The LTA is one of the richest national tennis federations in the world as a result of the huge profits made by Wimbledon but it has struggled to translate those resources into a steady stream of top players.
This is a shameful fact.

Perhaps the LTA should receive performance related funding - the millions of pounds saved could be translated into reduced ticket / food prices in SW19.

serenus_2k8
Feb 23rd, 2009, 06:14 PM
I agree with you there Kart, I love that there are huge profits that can be given to British tennis but it really reflects just how wasteful the spending must be. Clearly its not a matter of talent, its a matter of what is being done with that talent and in my eyes, British players just arent driven enough to play well and want to win by themselves if they recieve so much funding from the LTA.

The women seem to be improving, but the mens game is just beyond words. If Murray retired tommorow, there would be only two top 200 players, compared to the two top 10 players France has for example, and 0 in the top 190. Thats pretty awful :o I hope some of the young players like Dan Evans can get themselves up the rankings ASAP

raquel
Feb 23rd, 2009, 06:21 PM
My prime candidate would be Alan Jones. Hes held back Anne and Bally glad both left him in the end.While he can't be blamed for the LTA as a whole, I agree that Alan Jones was not very good for Anne and Elena. I don't know if he got lucky with Jo Durie or whether he was crucial to her relatively short time in the top 10, but he did not have a particularly great track record.

I agree with Anne. Judy Murray took Andy out of the LTA and sent him to Sanchez-Casal in Spain because she knew the LTA just wasn't a good enough system.

exposbabe
Feb 23rd, 2009, 07:40 PM
Name one Federation that is really responsible for turning out a top player.

The best Americans over the last many years sure didn't come out of a USTA program.

With the French, it's a bit different because it's such a major tennis country, with the game being played absolutely all over the place, at absolutely every level, that it's a matter of volume.

The mandate of a federation, in my opinion, is to grow the game. Get as many people as humanly possible playing it so that out of those many thousands and millions, one or two champions might emerge.

Sometimes the worst thing that can happen to some of the kids is to get into one of those coddling federation programs. Everything gets done and paid for - travel, equipment, training. And suddenly the kids think it's always going to be that way. It creates complacency.

For the right reasons or not, some kid whose parents are working three jobs to try to make their tennis ambitions come true is going to be a lot more motivated to keep busting their butts to try to make it. Either that, or realize far earlier that they don't want it badly enough/ aren't good enough and stop wasting everyone's money.

Sad, but that's the way it is.

serenus_2k8
Feb 23rd, 2009, 07:45 PM
Name one Federation that is really responsible for turning out a top player.

The best Americans over the last many years sure didn't come out of a USTA program.

With the French, it's a bit different because it's such a major tennis country, with the game being played absolutely all over the place, at absolutely every level, that it's a matter of volume.

The mandate of a federation, in my opinion, is to grow the game. Get as many people as humanly possible playing it so that out of those many thousands and millions, one or two champions might emerge.

Sometimes the worst thing that can happen to some of the kids is to get into one of those coddling federation programs. Everything gets done and paid for - travel, equipment, training. And suddenly the kids think it's always going to be that way. It creates complacency.

For the right reasons or not, some kid whose parents are working three jobs to try to make their tennis ambitions come true is going to be a lot more motivated to keep busting their butts to try to make it. Either that, or realize far earlier that they don't want it badly enough/ aren't good enough and stop wasting everyone's money.

Sad, but that's the way it is.

Yeah but unlike other countries Britain doesnt have ANY success, from the LTA or otherwise so its put under a lot more scrutiny as a consequence. Once you factor in the amount of money used to try and change this, along with the history of tennis in the country and the popularity of Wimbledon, its very shocking, that at the most, only 1 Brit has any chance of making the 2nd week of a slam.