Australia is one of the greatest tennis nations in the history of the sport. The men AND women dominated the tennis world from 1950-1975. Pat Cash broke through in the 80s to win Wimbledon and reach a few Aussie Open finals, and Pat Rafter and Mark Philippousis (among a few other good men) have done very well in the 90s and early part of this decade. So where are all the great Australian Women prospects? The last really great Aussie female was Evonne Goolagong!
Hope your thread hasn't been ruined Alf!!!
Sorry can't do your question justice as it would take toooooo long, many of us in the Aussie forums could write a thesis on it.
Numerous factors exist:
* Lack of competition in Oz for our juniors and travelling overseas for competition costs money.
* Emphasis on squad coaching, not individualised. Marg Court keeps mentioning this in her interviews and feels that she wouldn't have been as good as she was in the current system.
* Too much money invested in juniors that are no. 1 in their country but don't have the talent, work ethic or strength to make it good on the tour. Therefore many of our juniors have been spoilt. Therefore after so much non-success, the money is likely to be channelled elsewhere.
* It's debateable whether sufficient talent has ever come through the ranks. The Courts and Goolies might only occur once in a while.
* The likes of Bradtke etc... made tennis a career but it wasn't life or death for them. For many European players, tennis is the be all and end all, the family is channelling everything through their tennis. Therefore they are more desperate and committed to making it good.
We could go on for ever!! The Moliks, Stosurs and some others maybe good tour players (now or eventually), but to reach the heights of what we had in the 60-80's isn't likely.