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View Full Version : LTA Drops Bombshell: Wimbledon WC To Go To Players That Can Win A Round Or Two


pierce0415
Jun 8th, 2006, 09:49 PM
LTA chief makes wildcard warning

http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/41742000/jpg/_41742948_draper203.jpg

Draper succeeded John Crowther as LTA boss in April

British players will only get Wimbledon wildcards if they are likely to win at least one round, new British tennis chief Roger Draper has warned.

"We want winners, not losers," said Draper, who took over as the new chief executive of the Lawn Tennis Association in April.

"We won't be handing out wildcards to players unless they have a chance of winning a round or two."

Draper is to discuss the issue with LTA stand-in performance boss Jeremy Bates.

Draper, who has already made waves by sacking performance director David Felgate last month, has pledged to further shake up tennis in the UK.

"I want to get some clarity as to the role of the LTA, decide what we are going to stop doing and find a team to drive British tennis forward," he said.

"We have to put tennis back at the heart of the game and forget the politics and spinning."

Draper will announce new measures on 12 July, which will be the 100th day after his appointment, and will unveil further changes in mid-November when he clocks up 200 days in charge.

Offering incentives to coaches, clubs and players remains a priority, he added.

"We are going to reward achievement not mediocrity. Too many coaches, for instance, sit in their own bubble and think they know it all. "We don't need gimmicks - we need good facilities and a good environment for the sport to grow."

pierce0415
Jun 8th, 2006, 09:51 PM
I guess if the LTA is true to their word, maybe 1 or 2 British players will get WC

Pengwin
Jun 8th, 2006, 09:58 PM
Umm don't you remember a few years ago (I think one of the years Serena won), when all but one of the Brits got to R2?

SelesFan70
Jun 8th, 2006, 10:00 PM
Wow, he can see into the future? Who's to say who will win on any day? :rolleyes:

iPatty
Jun 8th, 2006, 10:00 PM
It depends on their draw, anyway. What're they gunna do, fix the draw so the WC's have favorable paths to winning matches? :shrug:

silverwhite
Jun 8th, 2006, 10:02 PM
can = have the ability to

Monica_Rules
Jun 8th, 2006, 10:25 PM
With Bally out that means only Anne would get a WC based on this.

Who would they give the other 7 to then.

Molik, Tanasugarn, Navratilova.

I think this year they should limit the WC's to no more than 6 maybe even only 4 so the competition is even better.

charmedRic
Jun 8th, 2006, 10:57 PM
He might turns things around.

Dawn Marie
Jun 8th, 2006, 11:00 PM
Yeah, this guy wants British tennis to take off. I like his style. he will turn things around because right now it's better than what the British have.

controlfreak
Jun 8th, 2006, 11:04 PM
I am not in favour of useless British wildcards who are going lose in R1 or q1, but how is he going to improve British tennis by taking opportunities away from the players who could benefit?

Dana Marcy
Jun 8th, 2006, 11:06 PM
This ruling just reminds us that Wimbledon really is a special event in the middle of the tennis year. I do agree though that players should NOT just get a WC because they're from that country hosting the Slam.

LH2HBH
Jun 8th, 2006, 11:23 PM
I agree with this guy. Sometimes you have to raise the bar. If it means shaking up the old institution a little then so be it.

ZAK
Jun 8th, 2006, 11:35 PM
I agree with the thoought behind it, but it would mean giving less WCs to British players until they actually deserve them, which could be a tough pill to swallow.

Ravsieg
Jun 8th, 2006, 11:39 PM
So, that means the WCs will start going to foreigners?

WhatTheDeuce
Jun 8th, 2006, 11:39 PM
I really hope Jelena Dokic asks for one. :)

Stingray
Jun 8th, 2006, 11:45 PM
I think that WC's should go to Brit players mostly, with one or two exceptions ala Cara Black last year. It gives home players a chance to experience a higher level of competition. Sure we should only give them to players good enough but I'd rather see them mostly go to Brits.

mboyle
Jun 8th, 2006, 11:56 PM
I think that WC's should go to Brit players mostly, with one or two exceptions ala Cara Black last year. It gives home players a chance to experience a higher level of competition. Sure we should only give them to players good enough but I'd rather see them mostly go to Brits.

That's a communist system. Make them work to earn the WC and the 15 grand, I say. If you don't, they will not work as hard, and British tennis will never improve.

Kart
Jun 9th, 2006, 12:17 AM
"We want winners, not losers," said Draper, who took over as the new chief executive of the Lawn Tennis Association in April.

"We won't be handing out wildcards to players unless they have a chance of winning a round or two."


Something tells me that the players he wants to give the wildcards to aren't going to need them ...

Slumpsova
Jun 9th, 2006, 12:19 AM
so that means no any brits deserve WC besides Anne Keothavong :tape:

PLP
Jun 9th, 2006, 12:44 AM
This ruling just reminds us that Wimbledon really is a special event in the middle of the tennis year. I do agree though that players should NOT just get a WC because they're from that country hosting the Slam.
Yes! I agree 100%

CoryAnnAvants#1
Jun 9th, 2006, 12:58 AM
I agree that the British players shouldn't get wildcards when they don't deserve them solely because they're British, but Wimbledon is in a different situation than any other Grand Slam. The British players that need wildcards to play in the main draw ARE their top players. Even Australia has 2-3 players who can get in on merit every year.

The problem that this man has though is that most wild cards in Grand Slams DON'T get past the first round, simply because the difference between the #175 player and the #75 player is huge on many levels. I understand that he doesn't just want to throw wildcards around, but he's also not going to get a ton of British players moving past round 1 either.

Wildcards are also designed to reward players who have shown good improvement over the last 12 years and that should be taken into account as well. Take somebody like Melanie South. She's not going to win a round at Wimbledon unless she draws another wild card or a clay court specialist who is completely incompetent on grass. However, she's ranked #300 and has jumped 250 spots in the last year. Shouldn't that be rewarded with a big paycheck so she can continue her travelling and a chance to play on the big stage...with maybe a shot at winning a round if she gets a very kind draw?

Hopefully this serves as a wake-up call for the British players though. If somebody like Anne Keovathong were American, her application for main draw wildcards at the US Open would be put in the paper shredder year after year.

njnetswill
Jun 9th, 2006, 01:09 AM
That's a communist system. Make them work to earn the WC and the 15 grand, I say. If you don't, they will not work as hard, and British tennis will never improve.

It's more nationalist than communist.

Scotso
Jun 9th, 2006, 01:41 AM
With Bally out that means only Anne would get a WC based on this.

Who would they give the other 7 to then.

Molik, Tanasugarn, Navratilova.

I think this year they should limit the WC's to no more than 6 maybe even only 4 so the competition is even better.

Erm, Tanasugarn can win a match? :o

Scotso
Jun 9th, 2006, 01:42 AM
I think the British players should get them. They need to make a deal with other countries to trade WCs, as well... so they can give their absolute top players more opportunities.

But if they start excluding British players because it doesn't look like they can win, there won't be any in the draw.

Erika_Angel
Jun 9th, 2006, 01:57 AM
Erm, Tanasugarn can win a match? :o

Cosidering she stretched Laura Granville to a 7-6 last set at Surbiton this week on Grass ... I would say yes, there is a good chance.

WhatTheDeuce
Jun 9th, 2006, 02:14 AM
Erika, think there's any chance Jelena asks for one? :o

mila_mail
Jun 9th, 2006, 03:35 AM
kournikova... forever

Andy.
Jun 9th, 2006, 03:38 AM
I think its a good idea, it might get some of the british to work harder and train harder and to want it more

Tripp
Jun 9th, 2006, 03:44 AM
They should just give the WCs to promising players, someone who can actually do some harm, win a couple of matches. Take Azarenka, for example. I don't know if she made the cut-off, but she could kick some ass.

My opinion? Give them to junior players. But of course, if the Grand Slam was held in my country I would be furious if the Federation didn't hand them to local players.

clonesheep
Jun 9th, 2006, 03:55 AM
They should give Alicia Molik a wild card, that's all I care.

selesbooz
Jun 9th, 2006, 04:18 AM
I think that its a good ideal, heres the last 5 years

Wild Cards..................Made it to the 2nd rd
8..............................2(Black 3rd and O'Donoghue)
7..............................5
8..............................1(Sharapova 4th)
8..............................1(Baltacha 3rd)
8..............................1(Stevenson)

Keothavong has played each year and only has made the 2nd round once
Something should be done or they are just going to have to start giving them the 1st round money and asking them not to show up :rolleyes:

WhatTheDeuce
Jun 9th, 2006, 04:21 AM
Please ask for one, Jelena. :sad:

Erika_Angel
Jun 9th, 2006, 04:29 AM
Erika, think there's any chance Jelena asks for one? :o

lol I wouldn't have a clue. I think she'd be better off trying to qualify though, but I guess whatever her & her coach decides. She has withdrawn from the tournament this week apparently (Iva's ITF tournament) because she isn't at the level they want her to be at yet, so who knows? :shrug:

WhatTheDeuce
Jun 9th, 2006, 04:35 AM
lol I wouldn't have a clue. I think she'd be better off trying to qualify though, but I guess whatever her & her coach decides. She has withdrawn from the tournament this week apparently (Iva's ITF tournament) because she isn't at the level they want her to be at yet, so who knows? :shrug:
Sigh, Jelena. Just siiiiigggghhhhh.

bello
Jun 9th, 2006, 06:10 AM
Theres heaps of players worthy of a wildcard particulary those on the comeback trail...

Molik, Dokic, Tulyaganova

and then some that have recently dropped in ranks like Tanasugarn

All of which are great on grass

CooCooCachoo
Jun 9th, 2006, 06:44 AM
Erm, Tanasugarn can win a match? :o

See Surbiton. She can win more than one.

CooCooCachoo
Jun 9th, 2006, 06:46 AM
Anyways, Keothavong and Keen should get one. South too in my opinion. The rest? No way. I would assume Molik gets one, possibly Tulyaganova. Concerning Dokic, we have no idea what level she is at right now, so giving a WC to her could mean wasting it (if she is still on I-lose-to-Eleonora-Punzo level), but it could be a good move considering that she is not bad on grass, but only if she is really back.

Scotso
Jun 9th, 2006, 07:20 AM
See Surbiton. She can win more than one.

Surbiton does not = Wimbledon.

Scotso
Jun 9th, 2006, 07:21 AM
I still think it's silly not to give them to Brits. The British love to have locals to cheer on. There aren't many people they could give WCs to that are going to do much at Wimbledon, so I don't see the point in denying them to British players.

Erika_Angel
Jun 9th, 2006, 07:35 AM
Surbiton does not = Wimbledon.

Yes but Laura Granville = Top 50 player and taking a top 50 player to a 7-6 final set means there is some chance you could do well if you get a good first round draw.

jas_aussie
Jun 9th, 2006, 07:54 AM
Alicia Molik should get one after her result at roland garros

Carmen Mairena
Jun 9th, 2006, 10:33 AM
It's a great idea IMO! :bigclap:

Duramont
Jun 9th, 2006, 10:42 AM
Anne Kremer should get one :angel: (she will be on position 111 next week and has never lost in the first round of Wimbledon in the past four years!)

ae wowww
Jun 9th, 2006, 10:48 AM
He will probably still give it to 'losers', despite saying that :lol: Drapes was at Sutton yesterday..

Vut
Jun 9th, 2006, 12:41 PM
One for Tanasugarn please!!! she had a good results here! reached 4th round many years.

Helen Lawson
Jun 9th, 2006, 02:33 PM
Mirjana Lucic claims to be broke and in need of a place at a top tournament, give one to her, at least she'll get $10K out of it. It can't get any worse than the girls they usually give them too.

Ellery
Jun 9th, 2006, 02:56 PM
Anne should definitely get one. It would be nice to see Alicia and Tammy get one too.

Jasmin
Jun 9th, 2006, 03:20 PM
Anyone can lose on any day. How would this guy know.

VeeDaQueen
Jun 9th, 2006, 10:25 PM
I really hope Jelena Dokic asks for one. :)

they want to give them to players that can win a match :lol:

WhatTheDeuce
Jun 9th, 2006, 10:32 PM
they want to give them to players that can win a match :lol:
LOL, I was waiting for someone to say that.

Former Wimbledon SF and QFist. :ras: You're right though, who the hell knows what kind of form she's in at this point. :help:

DevilishAttitude
Jun 9th, 2006, 11:12 PM
Well if it's put like that, then only Keothavong, O'Brien and Keen will get Wildcards.

So it should be:
Keothavong
O'Brien
Keen
Molik
Navratilova
Schultz McCarthy
Black

The last one should be go to someone like Dokic, Stevenson, Tulyaganova, Tanasugarn, Radwanska, Azarenka etc. It'll probably end up with someone like O'Donoghue though :tape:

New
Jun 10th, 2006, 12:48 AM
This is all very subjective... I mean if the wildcards meets the top 32 seeds in the first round and other than Molik or perhaps Black, and also depending on the seeds, I very much doubt that if they meet a seed, they might advance to the second round anyway.

I would love to let Tammy have the wildcard, but seeing that qualies is a good practice for the main event (since she's skipping the Eastborune week anyway) and that they do have lots of points up for grabs, I rather Tammy go by the hard way and qualify for the main draw instead.

Imagine her winning the qualifty points + second/third/fourth round points as compared to just second/third/fourth round points.

I truly believe that Tammy is good enough to win and qualify so it is for the best.

Grachka
Jun 10th, 2006, 01:10 AM
Contrary to what many believe (apparently) wildcard allocation is not based on a reward for improving players / fabulous juniors. Tournaments allocate them to players that they believe will make them the most money. Whether you like it or not, most Brits would rather watch and cheer on a rank-outsider Brit like O'Donoghue or South who will likely lose, than watch someone that the majority have never heard of like Azarenka.

Therefore, I think the majority of wildcards will and should go to Brits. It's a British slam, the wildcards should go to Brits.

new-york
Jun 10th, 2006, 01:33 AM
My advice is : Maria, Lindsay, Venus & Amélie. ;)

Scotso
Jun 10th, 2006, 02:14 AM
Contrary to what many believe (apparently) wildcard allocation is not based on a reward for improving players / fabulous juniors. Tournaments allocate them to players that they believe will make them the most money. Whether you like it or not, most Brits would rather watch and cheer on a rank-outsider Brit like O'Donoghue or South who will likely lose, than watch someone that the majority have never heard of like Azarenka.

Therefore, I think the majority of wildcards will and should go to Brits. It's a British slam, the wildcards should go to Brits.

100% agreement.

Carmen Mairena
Jun 10th, 2006, 11:40 AM
Are there even enough British players in the top-500 to cover all the WCs? :haha:

Steffica Greles
Jun 10th, 2006, 11:43 AM
Well then there's aren't going to be any British players in the draw this year.

It's just a PR stunt by the LTA. They can argue that there are 12 players who can win a round...

Steffica Greles
Jun 10th, 2006, 11:47 AM
Contrary to what many believe (apparently) wildcard allocation is not based on a reward for improving players / fabulous juniors. Tournaments allocate them to players that they believe will make them the most money. Whether you like it or not, most Brits would rather watch and cheer on a rank-outsider Brit like O'Donoghue or South who will likely lose, than watch someone that the majority have never heard of like Azarenka.

Therefore, I think the majority of wildcards will and should go to Brits. It's a British slam, the wildcards should go to Brits.

It's also a slam for world class tennis players.

Most of the crowd haven't even heard of people like Mary Pierce, Lindsay Davenport, Amelie Mauresmo, let alone Nadia Petrova or Patty Schnyder.

Azarenka is the most promising junior of the current bunch. There's no way a British imbecile of a player should prevent a player, who will eventually get there on merit anyway, from missing one opportunity she will cherish for the rest of her life. Azarenka has worked hard to build a reputation. The British girls are useless and will have quit within a few years.

dippykitty
Jun 10th, 2006, 11:59 AM
It's also a slam for world class tennis players.

Most of the crowd haven't even heard of people like Mary Pierce, Lindsay Davenport, Amelie Mauresmo, let alone Nadia Petrova or Patty Schnyder.

Azarenka is the most promising junior of the current bunch. There's no way a British imbecile of a player should prevent a player, who will eventually get there on merit anyway, from missing one opportunity she will cherish for the rest of her life. Azarenka has worked hard to build a reputation. The British girls are useless and will have quit within a few years.

Azarenka is certainly promising, and as you pointed out yourself, she will no doubt be in a Wimbledon main draw on her own merit soon enough so why take a wildcard away from a British player who needs the points? As a top junior, Azarenka can get wildcards into other tournaments as it is.

By the way, how do you know if players are "imbeciles"? Have you ever seen any of the British girls play? Everyone starts out somewhere and a lot of the British girls are on their way up the rankings.

Lastly, Wimbledon crowds are not ignorant. I`m sure the true tennis fans amongst them are well aware of the world-class players.

Monica_Rules
Jun 10th, 2006, 12:23 PM
Azarenka is the most promising junior of the current bunch. There's no way a British imbecile of a player should prevent a player, who will eventually get there on merit anyway, from missing one opportunity she will cherish for the rest of her life. Azarenka has worked hard to build a reputation. The British girls are useless and will have quit within a few years.

I find your comment about british imbecile players quite offensive. If you knew anything about the girls you would know they are out there on the tour slogging there guts to get to where they want to be.

For you to turn around and call them imbeciles is disgusting. Itn is not there fault that the LTA has been in a state for 20 years.

Steffica Greles
Jun 10th, 2006, 04:50 PM
I find your comment about british imbecile players quite offensive.

Well that's a pity. Do you normally get that easily offended? I'd hate to see your reaction when one of them loses, in that case. You must live in a constant state of fear ;)

If you knew anything about the girls you would know they are out there on the tour slogging there guts to get to where they want to be.

Yes, but without much success is my point. They are wasting their time when they have better chances winning Pop Idol or something. Whatever they have been doing, they are doing badly. And they do not deserve to keep the top junior player out of the tournament. If Azarenka failed to qualify I'd feel sorry for her. If a British player failed to qualify I'd think nothing of it.

For you to turn around and call them imbeciles is disgusting. Itn is not there fault that the LTA has been in a state for 20 years.

But what exactly is the LTA? The LTA is, partly at least, the players it sponsors. And those players are not doing its reputation any good.

Getting Wimbledon wildcards might be a good experience for Jenny Smith or Paula Jones (or whoever), and something for their photo albums, but for years now the experience has not resulted in them taking it and reaching a new level. Wildcards should be for serious players.

British women's tennis has for at least the last dozen years been comprised of nothing more than club players with no ambition. And hence the LTA being seen as a joke. The players have to get results for it to change.

Scotso
Jun 10th, 2006, 05:28 PM
Most of the crowd haven't even heard of people like Mary Pierce, Lindsay Davenport, Amelie Mauresmo

I'm pretty sure the vast majority of people that attend Wimbledon have heard of those players.

wally1
Jun 10th, 2006, 05:30 PM
Most of the crowd haven't even heard of people like Mary Pierce, Lindsay Davenport, Amelie Mauresmo, let alone Nadia Petrova or Patty Schnyder.This sort of bullshit gets trotted out every year. A huge number of people watching the tennis at Wimbledon have queued for hours to get in, and know full well who Pierce, Davenport and Mauresmo are. In any case, one of the joys of going to a Grand Slam is touring the outside courts and if you like their game, supporting a player you may not have seen or heard of before.

**Jelica**
Jun 10th, 2006, 05:41 PM
I hope Jeca asks for one, if she gets her act together then she can win a round or two, maybe a qualies WC would be better though? More matches...

Uh, okay, if he's serious then no British girls in Wimbledon (it's harsh but true).

Monica_Rules
Jun 10th, 2006, 05:44 PM
Well that's a pity. Do you normally get that easily offended? I'd hate to see your reaction when one of them loses, in that case. You must live in a constant state of fear ;)



Yes, but without much success is my point. They are wasting their time when they have better chances winning Pop Idol or something. Whatever they have been doing, they are doing badly. And they do not deserve to keep the top junior player out of the tournament. If Azarenka failed to qualify I'd feel sorry for her. If a British player failed to qualify I'd think nothing of it.



But what exactly is the LTA? The LTA is, partly at least, the players it sponsors. And those players are not doing its reputation any good.

Getting Wimbledon wildcards might be a good experience for Jenny Smith or Paula Jones (or whoever), and something for their photo albums, but for years now the experience has not resulted in them taking it and reaching a new level. Wildcards should be for serious players.

British women's tennis has for at least the last dozen years been comprised of nothing more than club players with no ambition. And hence the LTA being seen as a joke. The players have to get results for it to change.

If Azarenka doesn't qualify then she isn't good enough at the moment simple as. Why should you fell sorry for her for that?

And the poor running of the LTA has resulted in half arsed caoching resulting in mediocre players. If you did some research on the topic maybe you would know something about it before making up shite about a topic which you clearly have no knowledge.

And i am not easily offended i am just very possionate about british womens tennis and want to see them succeed and untill i see you get off your fat arse and do something about the situation in some way i don't think you can judge.

**Jelica**
Jun 10th, 2006, 05:45 PM
Okay, to be fair though: Maybe one to O'Brien, Curtis (who's a quite reasonable junior and should make top 100 sometime--it's good to give her the experience). Keothavong and Baltacha will get one I'm sure, on the basis of their rankings and past results. But on merit of their results recently they don't deserve it. In a way it would be better if they knew they had to prove something to get a WC and then they might actually pull their rankings up enough to get in on merit.

WhatTheDeuce
Jun 10th, 2006, 06:02 PM
Milan (poster on here whose sources are kinda iffy, but anyway) said that Jelena denied the WC to main draw 75K Zagreb this week in order to save them up for bigger tournaments. Hopefully she asks for one.

Dokic! Dokic! Dokic! :rocker2: Hopefully at least a Q WC. :)

Steffica Greles
Jun 10th, 2006, 10:24 PM
If Azarenka doesn't qualify then she isn't good enough at the moment simple as. Why should you fell sorry for her for that?

And the poor running of the LTA has resulted in half arsed caoching resulting in mediocre players. If you did some research on the topic maybe you would know something about it before making up shite about a topic which you clearly have no knowledge.

And i am not easily offended i am just very possionate about british womens tennis and want to see them succeed and untill i see you get off your fat arse and do something about the situation in some way i don't think you can judge.

Most of the Wimbledon crowd (and sometimes even the commentators!) are only aware of the players who have won Wimbledon in the past, particularly regarding the WTA tour which doesn't have the notoriety of the men's game, unless there's something that defines them, like their ethnicity, or even if they're wearing denim, beads or just simply crying on the shoulder of the Duchess, or arguing line calls.

Anybody who goes there knows this. You get literally armies of fans going to see Henman, or now Murray, and then you get many others going to see either their national representative in the draw, or a player they particularly like "from the telly".

I bet that most of the people who go to see Wimbledon are only vaguely aware of Justine Henin-Hardenne, Mary Pierce, Svetlana Kuznetsova, or even Amelie Mauresmo, despite her three semi-final finishes. I'm incredulous at the amount of Lindsay Raymonds or "the tall one" (Lindsay Davenport) references I hear every year. One is a doubles winner several times and the other is a former champion and twice runner-up. But it makes no difference. Wimbledon is a national event with prestige to those who can claim to have visited, just like the millions who jump on the bandwagon and support the England team when they wouldn't normally follow football.

As for British women's tennis I have seen the LTA "change direction" several times over the past decade. Every couple of years there are new ambitions defined and affirmed. But nothing ever happens because at the end of the day we have a culture of moaning and blaming -- and I'm saying we misdirect the blame -- rather than doing what it takes. Virginia Wade says so herself. When she was a child she went to school and then practiced come rain or snow after school. She didn't have funding or sponsorships or coaching. Monica Seles (to name one of many) began by hitting a ball against a wall from 6am before school and then for several hours after. She had the fire in her belly and a determination to succeed.

None of the British girls have that determination. They are constantly told the situation is not their fault, which justifies their complaints about the mere inconveniences -- such as the weather, the pressure, the coaching -- that are there to test their mettle. More money is thrown at tennis -- at least the last time I heard -- than in any western European country. And we host the world's most prestigious tournament, which is covered extensively by the BBC.

But it must come back to the players. And it's high time that unless they can prove they deserve a wildcard, from tournaments outside the grass court season, they should be overlooked. Either way, the proof of what I'm saying is that we've been having this debate for well over a decade now. And it's the same every year.