Found a quite good but pretty sad article on Luke Bourgeois
Mistakes keep aspirational Bourgeois in his place
By Richard Hinds
January 12, 2005
A couple of sliced backhands went just long. His big serve misfired at the wrong time. Precious break points were flubbed. For Luke Bourgeois, the margin between the greatest victory of his career and disappointing defeat was wafer thin.
Ranked 532 in the world, the 27-year-old had come through six rounds of pre-qualifying and qualifying to make the main draw of a top-flight ATP tournament for the first time. More than that, he had taken nine years and fought a succession of injuries before finally getting to display his game on a relatively big stage - court four at the Sydney International Tennis Centre.
In that context, a 7-6 (7-3), 7-5 loss to the 17th-ranked Romanian Andrei Pavel in the first round of the Medibank International might not seem so bad. For Bourgeois, however, a competitive performance did little to dull the post-match pain.
"The thing is, I didn't play that well," he said. "It was the one that got away."
And so, Bourgeois will again join the tennis proletariat. Unless he is given a wildcard into the main draw, his next stop is Australian Open qualifying and, after that, a challenger tournament in Tasmania. This time, however, he will carry the belief that he can mix it with the big boys.
"I felt like I didn't play that well at all against the 17th-ranked player and yet I was that close," he said. "I'm 500 in the world but I know I am a much better player than that."
The Sydneysider did not lack support yesterday. For the youngest of 10 children, raised on the northern beaches, most of the voices yelling encouragement from the 250 temporary seats around court four were familiar. He was not sure how many siblings were there and his father, a retired civil engineer, does not like tennis and stayed home and read his book. "But they gave me a lot of help," he said.
Also in the Bourgeois corner was Tony Roche, a flattering gesture given you might have expected the fabled coach to be in Melbourne helping his new client Roger Federer prepare for the Australian Open.
Bourgeois met Roche several years ago through Wally Masur, with whom he used to hit. For a couple of years, Bourgeois helped another Roche pupil, Pat Rafter, prepare for the Australian Open.
Rafter is one of nine children so, inevitably, talk would lead to their big families. "He [Rafter] said, 'Don't you wish you had a dollar for every time someone said your parents must not have had a television?"' Bourgeois said.
For Bourgeois, the road to yesterday's match had been long and sometimes painful. Having finished school at St Aloysius' at Milsons Point, he spent a couple of years fumbling his way around minor tournaments. "I had no idea what I was doing," he said. "I would just look at the schedule and just go to the tournaments all the other guys were going to. It was really unprofessional."
When he finally got his act together with the help of Roche, he suffered an ankle injury at Australian Open qualifying in 2003 that kept him out for three months. Last year he was rear-ended while driving to the beach, got whiplash and, subsequently, a serious neck injury that kept him off court for another four months.
So if yesterday did not provide a big breakthrough, it at least shone a ray of hope on the career of one of the game's journeymen.
"I don't feel 27," Bourgeois said. "Not like these guys who have been travelling all year, every year. I feel like I've still got some good tennis ahead."
Must explain all these recent R1 losses loss of confidence