Thank you louloubelle! I agree with Madge on the squad training- in some respects it was that squad mentality at Bollettieri that produced the Sampras/Agassi/Courier/Chang group of achievers, along with a string of American (many imported) women who did well.louloubelle said: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.
How is it, then, that Pat Rafter and Mark Philippousis came through to the top echelon? Not knowing the Australian Tennis Federation the way I do the USTA, I'm really at a loss. Beyond Margaret Court and Evonne Goolagong, the Aussie women like Lesley Turner, Kerry Melville, Judy Dalton, Karen Krantze, Diane Fromholtz, Helen Gourlay, Wendy Turnbull- there are really no Aussie women on that second echelon level either. It's like the sport of tennis for women in Australia has largely disappeared.