View Full Version : Pratt slams Hopman organisers

Dec 21st, 2002, 01:31 PM
I do declare! I feel for Nicole.


Pratt slams Hopman organisers
By Selina Steele


AUSTRALIA'S highest-ranked woman tennis player, Nicole Pratt, reckons she would have a better chance of playing in next weekend's Hopman Cup if she looked like Anna Kournikova.

That was the reality of trying to sell the game to the public, a disappointed Pratt said.

Alicia Molik, ranked 94 -- which is 46 places behind Pratt at 48 -- will join Lleyton Hewitt as Australia's side in the international mixed teams tournament in Perth.

Pratt will be on the Gold Coast for the Australian Women's Hardcourt titles at Royal Pines.

Pratt, 29, said: "I was expecting to play. I enjoy playing for my country and the Hopman Cup is about representing Australia, so I'm disappointed not to be there.

"But I understand tennis is about entertainment and they need to sell tickets.

"I think Anna Kournikova is a great asset to our tour, she brings a whole new spectrum of fans.

"It's always debatable whether these types of players should receive as much publicity as other players who actually perform."

Kournikova, an international sex symbol, is a major drawcard on the tennis circuit without ever winning a singles tournament.

Hopman Cup tournament director Paul McNamee said Pratt had been bypassed because of Hewitt's sense of loyalty to Molik, 21.

Hewitt and Molik were in the semi-finals of the 2002 Hopman Cup when Hewitt was forced to forfeit his matches after contracting chicken pox.

McNamee said Hewitt wanted to make it up to Molik.

"I got the word from Hewitt's management that he felt he should be playing with Alicia. It's unfair to hurt Lleyton when he was doing it out of a sense of loyalty to someone."

McNamee said Pratt had contacted him about her disappointment. He said: "You don't always pick the No. 1 player. If she had been in the Top 20 it would have been a different story."

Pratt said her disappointment was with McNamee and not Hewitt. "It's the tournament director who makes the decision on who will represent Australia, and my disappointment lies with Paul McNamee's decision," she said.

"Clearly I've had the better results, the better ranking. All the facts are there to say I should play but, at the end of the day, I won't."

Pratt will arrive at the Gold Coast on Thursday for the Hardcourts that run from Sunday to January 4, the same as the Hopman Cup.

Dec 21st, 2002, 01:37 PM
I feel sorry for her, but I also think Alicia should get to play because she did last year and wasnt able to finish. I dont know what Nicoles comments about Anna K are about because last time i checked, Alicia is no supermodel either, i'm sure it wasnt her looks that got her in. Nicole knows she is twice the player Alicia is at the moment and she has a better chance to do well at Gold Coast and get points anyway. Next year she'll get her chance to play Hopman hopefully.

Dec 21st, 2002, 03:22 PM
Results don't matter in tennis.

Dec 21st, 2002, 03:31 PM
I'm sure Hewitt had some say who he wanted as a partner.

Dec 21st, 2002, 04:26 PM
And of course, if, up the road, Nicole doesn't play Hopman Cup or Fed Cup or the Olymopics, she'll be slammed for not wanting to represent her country. No one will say, 'well, when she was the clearly the best qualified, and wanted to play for her country, her country rejected her.'

It's like saying to Nicole 'you're nothing now, and we don't think you ever will be. So we can abuse you at will.'

Dec 21st, 2002, 04:29 PM
Lleyton did have a say and Nicole absolves him of all blame. She blames Paul MacNamee. But heck, who do you think he'd try and make the happiest? The world No. 1 men's player or the world No. 46 women's player? I understand Nicole's disappointment but she must surely understand that it's nothing personal against her. She'll get another chance next year if she doesn't retire and she maintains her No. 1 Aussie female position. But her inclusion will be a little bittersweet next year considering what she's now gone and said and done.

Dec 21st, 2002, 04:41 PM
Originally posted by GogoGirl

"It's always debatable whether these types of players should receive as much publicity as other players who actually perform."

who actually perform? I hope she didn't mean herself, cause the last I heard Anna was higher ranked than Nicole

Dec 21st, 2002, 05:06 PM
Geez.....does Pratt ever have anything pleasant to say? Seems like she's always complaining about one thing or another.

auntie janie
Dec 21st, 2002, 05:09 PM
I can understand Nicole's disappointment (though I don't see AT ALL how Kournikova comes into it!).

I just don't understand why she has to go public with her problem. How is that going to help? Bad move.

Peter M
Dec 21st, 2002, 07:21 PM
It's public awareness, janie. And a smart move.

Who cares if Alicia did not get to play the final in 2002 because of Hewitt? That does not give her special consideration this time around. That is like saying Serena should have been bye'd into the Sanex Championships final this year since she was not able to play in it last year due to Lindsay's withdrawal. Stupid. I hope Australia is knocked out early in 2003.

Dec 21st, 2002, 07:24 PM
yeah, why she has to bring Anna's name? what is her problem?

Dec 21st, 2002, 07:36 PM
Too bad Nicole isn't playing in Hopman Cup! Maybe she thought by using Anna's name that it would bring attention to the story! Now there will be tons of reporters at Gold Coast asking her about Anna. Strange..

Dec 21st, 2002, 10:05 PM
Well she's shoved herself into a hole right there....

""It's always debatable whether these types of players should receive as much publicity as other players who actually perform"

A - Kournikova is ranked above u Nicole.
B - You just called your fed cup team made (and anna) someone who doesn't/cannot perform.

Dec 21st, 2002, 10:30 PM
Yes I feel sorry for Nicole too, but everyones got the right to a point of view so here's mine (don't be too harsh posting back at me LOL)

If it were just a singles event then Nicole has every right to complain, however it also includes a mixed rubber.

Molik and Hewitt have known each other since they were 7, playing at the same Tennis Club (apparently played an u/13's mixed tourney...no relevance I know!!)

With the calibre this year; Nicole has no real weapon, where as Molik has her serve which is handy in mixed doubles.

Last year Alicia hardly disgraced herself she beat Vavrinek in strait sets and then lost a close one to Suarez 6-7 6-3 4-6...ontop of this she was also the hero in our Fed Cup world group Qualifying winning 2 singles and the doubles.

Yes I think Nicole "Dropped" the name Anna as a statement...but as we all know with all media, they pick and choose what part of the conversation is juicy enough to publish.

Anyway just my thoughts...and who knows Nicole might draw inspiration infront of her home crowd in Queensland.

Personally I wish Dokic was playing with Hewitt!! LOL (Waaaaa)

Keep smiling