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  1. #2731
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    Jan 2007
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    Re: Tennis Random, Random 2.0

    They have night matches so they can sell tix in RLA and the other one twice each day. Since roofs rule out weather issues, they’re not moving anyone to some other court, because they’d have a those ticket holders fuming.
    As a fan, I don’t like how the US Open only has two matches in the day session on Ashe now, but it at least means the night session is very likely to start on time.

  2. #2732

    Re: Tennis Random, Random 2.0

    Anthony Webb

    More Anthony Webb Retweeted ABC Grandstand
    Tomic & Kyrgios definitely went about it the wrong way, but it needs to be looked into. Kokkinakis & Ebden dislike Hewitt, but they're not as vocal.

    pic AAP

    Bernard Tomic's allegations about Lleyton Hewitt's favouritism worthy of investigation
    by Offsiders columnist Richard Hinds

    Lleyton Hewitt is the captain of the Australian Davis Cup team although he might as well be on the bridge of the Titanic; and not just because half his team has jumped ship or been thrown overboard.

    The Davis Cup is heading towards an iceberg formed of the cold indifference of many of the world's best players, a terrible neglect that has reduced the once globally significant event to a tepid afterthought.

    The Davis Cup magically transformed tennis into a team game played by individuals.

    Now the storied trophy is set for the scrapheap and tennis will be, more than ever, merely an individual game played by individuals; private contractors who could just as well have their sponsors' logos beside their names on the TV scoreboard as their national flags.

    'Team Australia' in disarray
    This now absurd notion of tennis professionals as team players is an unmistakable irony of a farcical public feud that has erupted within "Team Australia" during this Australian Open, and a clue to its root cause.

    Hewitt has, depending on which whispers you hear in the corridors of Melbourne Park, allowed self-interest to diminish his authority as Davis Cup captain even as he set "cultural standards" for others.

    Alternatively, he has been the victim of a malevolent campaign by lazy and entitled players bent on destabilising his leadership — most pointedly by Bernard Tomic who Hewitt has sensationally accused of waging a campaign of physical intimidation and blackmail.

    Either way, given the Davis Cup's diminished status, that some of Australia's top ranked players including Tomic, Nick Kyrgios, Thanasi Kokkinakis and Matthew Ebden will be banned from playing in the event or choose not to play seems a hollow punishment.

    More pertinent are the entitlements Tennis Australia can bestow on favoured players including development money, coaching and grand slam wild cards.

    So even as Hewitt sought to discredit Tomic by labelling him a "clown", Tomic's allegation Hewitt has had undue and even self-interested influence over the distribution of this largesse is at least worthy of investigation before Tennis Australia announces findings into a review of its high performance department.

    Even more so if, as one source suggested, Kokkinakis was initially offered a wild card for the Australian Open only to have it revoked after Hewitt cast a veto.

    Tennis Australia did not return calls requesting comment on this. But it appears Hewitt's relationship with Kokkinakis has been further fractured.

    Hewitt's management insists he has no financial interest in the young players he is allegedly championing at the expense of more experienced figures such as Kokkinakis. But the captain's decision to play Davis Cup doubles last year is both divisive and revealing of his unwillingness to give way gracefully to the players he is paid to help develop.

    Indeed, some believe Hewitt is so determined to play Davis Cup against Bosnia/Herzegovina in his home town Adelaide next month, he has been auditioning potential partners by playing with his charge Alex De Minaur in Brisbane, Jordan Thompson in Sydney and losing a first round match with John-Patrick Smith at the Australian Open on Thursday night.

    If so, aged 37, the man paid to help regenerate Australian tennis instead stands accused of stifling its progress by denying younger players valuable wild cards, big tournament experience and perhaps a Davis Cup berth.

    Yet it is not long ago those championing Hewitt's elevation to a key position in the Australian tennis hierarchy were confident his empathy with the game's troubled souls such as Tomic and Kyrgios would make him the ideal Davis Cup captain.

    After all, despite Hewitt's late-career reputational rebuild as respected TV commentator and family man, he knew better than most what it was like to be reviled by sections of the public and media after displays of on-court petulance (although, it must be said, never a lack of effort).

    How well Hewitt would relate to those kindred spirits Tomic and Kyrgios!

    Perhaps this assumption underestimated the troubled, and sometimes troublesome nature, of Australia's current stable of top male players.

    But also forgotten was that Hewitt is a control freak, or at the very least the product of an environment where everything was carefully arranged around him by doting parents and a revolving cast of coaches, agents and stable ponies.

    Hewitt 'has to win'

    At least one Australian tennis insider says this trait did not leave Hewitt when he took the notionally self-sacrificing position of Davis Cup captain.

    "Lleyton captains like he plays,'' he said. "He has to win."

    Tomic and Kyrgios, on the other hand, are tennis freaks who do not like to be controlled. Or, in Tomic's case, already have a very strong-willed father clutching the remote.

    So whatever mutual empathy the now warring camps felt initially was likely to last only until the first dispute when Hewitt's need to hold the upper hand was opposed with the egocentric nature of the Tomic/Kyrgios generation.

    In this context, regardless of the public contempt Tomic and Kyrgios have earned with their sometimes dubious on-court efforts and ill-chosen words, surely their grievances must be heard as part of the high performance review.

    Even before the review's findings are released, however, Hewitt is said to have the Davis Cup job for as long as he wants it despite support for the astute and well regarded director of performance Wally Masur and the possible availability of the respected coach and commentator Darren Cahill.

    Meanwhile we are left to ponder both the slow death of the Davis Cup, the implosion of the Australian team and to wonder what the "Old Fox" Harry Hopman would have made of it all.
    "Even if you dance for your enemy on the rock, he will accuse you of splashing water on him." ~ African Proverb

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