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Discussion Starter #1
The tennis associations in Britian have poured millions of dollars into the development Tim Henman in order to produce a British Grand Slam Champion.



With thus far, less than positive results. During the 2001 Wimbledon,
Richard Williams suggested that the British look for potential champions in the middle and lower class neighborhoods rather than putting all of their eggs in the baskets of offspring from the upperclass country club members.

To obatain a championship one has to start with at least a quality athlete that could win at an elite level. So far, the current British development plan and Henman has not been the answer.
 

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Oh shit! Now I have to root for Tim just to prove Prickard wrong. GO TIM! Win Wimbledon and your wife can dance and hold a sign saying it's Tim's Party and everyone but Richard is invited!;)
 

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Richard vs the LTA

On one side you have a man who has two daughters in the top ten at its most competitive in years.

On the other you have a devalued body whose womens tennis players are a joke and whose major brain dump to increase their chances of winning something is to import someone and adopt them.

The LTA criticised RW for asking for less than 500k for developing a program when he has done more than their whole antiquated body has done for the last 20 years.

That is the real tragedy.
 

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I don't have the article, but I seem to recall thinking of it as annoying.

I remember that Richard more or less said that Britain could only get a good player by only looking in the suburbs, amongst the black kids. Perhaps not exactly what he said, but that was what I read out of it.

While I agree that it's a complete waste not to try to get those children to join the game, I see no reason why not both ways can be pursued.

As for the money, sure Richard should get paid a normal salary to help the children. However, those sums (if they are real) are completely ridiculous, and it's no doubt Richard doesn't need it - I believe the brits themselves could do a lot more better stuff with those money than spending them on Richard who I'm convinced is motivated by money and fame, not by conscience and will to help.

Anyway, I still hope all brits exit early in Wimbledon, we'll never get to see the good stuff otherwise. (Ie, the women!) I will start supporting the brits and hope they get a success as soon as they stop treating women as secondary players.
 

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From what I read Richard had a strong valid point. and all people living in the slums or ghetto are not the same ethnic background. The point I THINK Richard was making is stop wasting money on money. And look beneath your nose at children's god given talent. And if that means looking in some poor neighborhoods then so be it.:)

Also how much money Richard wanted is his business. Alot of people make money in tennis whetehr it be edorsements or getting paid from Britain. More power to him.. if u want someone to post tennis players or whatever type of results Britian wants then pay them:)
 

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Discussion Starter #7
This statement could also be true for the USTA as well, because they only seem to come out with some funds after the players parents have already put in most of the money to develop their child and the player must have a high ranking.

Hence, US mens tennis will go down the drain when Agassi and Sampras retire.
 

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LTA does get around $50M each year but what they do with the money is pretty pathetic.

If i received around 1/10th of that I'd be able to make a go of it, maynbe not straight away but give it 5 years or so, i'd have a production line on the way of some very good players.
 

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The Brits are too stubborn. First thing they need to do for that, is to make tennis publicly availbale, and for that, first of all to scrap all that expensive grasscourt crap in favor of cheaper and more maintainable hardcourts or claycourts.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Egg, you would have to develop some guys with all of that dough too, not just sweet young girls. :eek: :)
 

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also kids aren't allowed into clubs and you have to wear all-whites LOL.

Its expensive for a start and you have to be members and the subs are way too much for kids to go and play.

coaching is about the standard in Africa...., sorry Africa has better coaches probably now.

Its a big joke, not one person has come thru the LTA system in the past 10 years into Top100.
 

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Grasscourts arent the norm in the UK. Thats just a myth driven by the fact that Wimbledon is played there.

ANd the fact is if you go to East London or South London, or inner city Birmingham or Manchester, the places you are most likely to get superior athletes or potential sportsmen and women, you will get a mediocre concrete court at best.

Tennis in the UK is still an elite sport. It, like golf is still a closed shop for many, and the clubs are pretty much generic.

I know. I am black, I am a young male, I play with another black friend in a members only tennis club and the response to us is one that has us laughing to ourselves everytime. Its one of those ' how can you afford to be here' things.

Until the LTA manages to shed that closed shop image, tennis in England is doomed because in a small country, making the selection criteria smaller and smaller by restricting the availability of good quality courts and coaching ...fullstop, is no way to increase your chances of bringing on young people.
 

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The fact is that tennis in Britain comes quite low down the pecking order, certainly, outside of Wimbldeon fortnight, most people don't much care.

I don't think many people I know would feel at home joining a proper tennis club. I wouldn't. Too initimidating, too stuffy, too posh. So I make do with the run down public courts, which open for just late spring and the summer. (If we are lucky)

I have to say though, that the lack of great Brit tennis players in this country doesn't much bother me, I never cheered for Durie when she was around, and Im not bothered what Henman does. A players nationality doesnt make a bit of difference to whether I cheer for them or not.
 

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Catch 22.

Most people dont care because there arent any great Brit tennis players.

When Henman makes a surge, whether it is here or overseas, the ratings for both TV and print go up bigtime.

Well I'd like my daughter to become a star. I'll probably have to take the Richard Williams approach and do most of the initial grunt work myself as I am not going to put her into the LTA system which produces nothing.

And whether you like it or not, the more great players Britain produces, the more likely you are to get a well kept public court for you to use sometime in the future. Again...catch 22.
 

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You are right Greenwatch,

I have lived in Britain for some years and i totally Agree with you. I and my sister (we are black) got some wierd looks for playing tennis. It was rather disturbing. I once played at a tournie in Queens club (BWTA) and the horrid looks I got cannot be emphasised.

We've been playing for about three yrs and pple ask if we are the new *hopefuls* - it really IS that bad!

I learnt in Africa and I can ASSURE you that the coaching is better. For one, the ball is hit clean and good. In London, pple have this horrid twisted swing.


:mad:
 

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Bar beach

We should do some doubles sometime :)

It makes me understand a little of what might be happening with the WIlliams in the pro world.

And yet still they are defining the sport.
 

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This guy is a top columnist on LTA :


Shame on the sham of blazers' top spin

Stephen Bierley
Thursday January 10, 2002
The Guardian

In a few days the chief executive of the Lawn Tennis Association John Crowther and assorted council members and their partners will ease out of their first-class seats at Melbourne airport and be chauffeured to their soft beds in a luxury hotel. They will then turn up at the Australian Open, smiling brightly, pressing flesh and attempting to convince anybody prepared to listen for more than half a minute that British tennis is at last heading in the right direction.

And all this will be performed in the safe and certain knowledge that, whether they are proved right or not, the Wimbledon Championships will cough up another £30m profit this year for the LTA, with no strings attached. There is no other business deal like it. Only the United States Tennis Association has more money, yet the LTA persistently fails to achieve anything. Take away Tim Henman, who did not come through the LTA system, and Greg Rusedski, who arrived via Canada, and the situation is desperate, parlous and getting worse year by frustrating year.

The current world rankings of the top five British men, excluding Henman and Rusedski, are these: Martin Lee (103), Jamie Delgado (147), Arvind Parmar (211), Barry Cowan (218) and Mark Hilton (395). Britain has no women in the top 150. These are shocking statistics, reflecting a downward spiral that shows no sign of being halted. And yet the LTA continues to produce any number of meaningless statements claiming that progress in being made and that the infrastructure has been put in place that will ensure tennis will be at the future forefront of British sport.

It is a sham, a charade. The LTA peddles propaganda with the assiduity of a governmental department, although New Labour bowls straight up-and-down dobbers compared with the amount of spin the LTA generates in its press releases and information brochures. Crowther's time has been littered with "radical" proposals and "extensive" reviews but, whichever way one looks at tennis in Britain, the decline is obvious - except to the LTA. But then it enjoys a blind security of tenure that bears no relation to results.

Any outsider looking at the way the LTA operates would ask two questions. What is the national popularity of the game? (Answer: declining.) And what success are its top senior players having at an international level? (Answer, disregarding Rusedski and Henman: little or none.) The all too obvious corollary is that in a world in which tennis is competing against other activities for people's time, money and energy, its national body, the LTA, is letting it down dreadfully.

Noel Coward's "Don't put your daughter on the stage, Mrs Worthington" might pertinently be rewritten "Don't let your daughter [or son] near an LTA tennis coach". It has been obvious for at least the last two decades that British senior tennis coaches are simply not up to the job.

It goes without saying that, if more youngsters played tennis, then there would be a greater chance of world-class players. And yet, despite the odds, Britain regularly does produce talented 14-, 15- and 16-year-olds, only for them to disappear without trace.

The Frenchman Patrice Hagelauer, the LTA's performance director, is a good man and has placed great emphasis on increasing the base of the junior pyramid. Yet he has not got rid of a single coach in the last two years. Small wonder they love him.

Hagelauer said at the start of last year that he wanted to see at least five players in the ATP and WTA Tours' top 100 by 2003. A fat chance there is of that. Anyone at last year's national championships at Bolton could not help but be filled with an aching depression - poor competition, low standards, same old coaches puffed up with self-importance born of nothing.

The success of Henman and Rusedski, aka the Davis Cup team, has for five years masked the steady decline in British tennis. It would probably take a genius or a dictator to start to put matters right. Crowther has failed, though he is not alone. There ought to be a public inquiry but public money is not involved. However, many members of the All England Club are deeply unhappy with the LTA's singular lack of success, together with the obvious and profligate waste of the Wimbledon profits. Surely Crowther and his cohorts cannot keep making excuses in the face of such obvious failure.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Britian seems like a hell hole for the poor to play tennis.
 

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Maybe "hell hole" is a teensy exaggeration Mr Rexx. :)

Its not very nice and not very good, but there are worse places Im sure...
 
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