Friday, September 25, 2009
At the moment New Zealand fare better with World Junior ITF tennis Rankings than ATP Or WTA rankings. I would imagine some would say that's proof our programs are working,but hold on a sec lets look at how say a local junior accumulates their points.Lets explain how the junior ranking system works.
Tournaments are graded according to the strength of entry, with the most ranking points being awarded for the nine major championships (Grade A), which include the four Grand Slam events. Grades are listed with tournament details on the ITF Junior Circuit Calendar.A Junior World Ranking will certainly be necessary to enter Group A, 1, 2, and 3 events, but even entry into Group 4 and 5 events is likely to be based on players' rankings. When starting out on the Circuit, it is advisable to concentrate on Group 4 and 5 events to try and earn your first ranking points. If entry into the main draw is not possible due to a lack of initial ranking points, you may be able to gain entry into qualifying at this level.
Results from these tournaments are fed into a computer to produce the Combined Junior World Rankings. Rollover rankings, which are updated on a weekly basis and published every Monday, are based on a player's best six singles results plus one quarter of the best six doubles results over the previous 12 months.
Tournaments Graded A, 1, 2 and 3 must provide hospitality (accommodation and meals) for all players in the singles and/or doubles main draw and a maximum of two coaches per nation. Some Grade 4 and 5 tournaments also provide hospitality, although this is not compulsory.
Ok sounds great in fact looking at the Boys top 100 New Zealand has three boys listed in the top 100 in the latest rankings post. Sebastian Lavie 47,Riki MCLACHLAN 60 and Ben MCLACHLAN 71.Lavie the highest ranked New Zealander,left New Zealand some years ago to be based in France.In the girls Briar Preston is ranked at 94.As these young players continue to chase points ,Grigor Dimitrov from Bulgaria (18) has long left ITF junior tournaments after he won the US OPEN Junior Tournament(08) and is now ranked 290 on the Atp tour mens.USA 's Melanie Oudin (08) last played an ITF junior in '88 and is now ranked 43 on the WTA women's circuit.
In a round about way what i am saying is that Most New Zealand juniors are playing too many ITF juniors tournaments that give a false impression of where they are truly ranked in world standards.Its fact that the very best juniors leave the ITF juniors and start their ATP career as soon as they can.The important ingredient for those players are they have been brought up in a much tougher environment,their work and training ethics are so more intense as the depth of players and standard are so much better than New Zealand counterparts , who accumulate many points at low grade ITFs In Fiji and Noumea and Darwin, all tournaments acknowledged where you can pick up cheap points.The current ITF junior in Waikato is virtually a New Zealand draw with a sprinkling of lower ranked Aussies making the trip across the Ditch for the event.
Whilst it is a great tennis experience and tennis holiday for most of the New Zealanders playing these events its a sad fact over 90 percent will never make it on the tour and some at best will gain US Scholarships.
From end of April to end of September Tennis in New Zealand is in Hibernation, its time that Tennis New Zealand identified the talented juniors and base them for this period over sea's where they can test themselves against the worlds best, its time to stop waisting money playing "Mickey Mouse" ITF events and get serious if ever we are going to produce top tennis players. How to fund it?, get rid of some of the Dead weight in administration. Until powers that be recognize the fact that you cannot be based year round here in New Zealand and I'm speaking juniors, we are destined for failure.Get the heads out of the Sand and that includes a revamp of Top Dog and to get local juniors back to a tournament system where you progress(points) per round rather than who you play!.
Thursday, September 24, 2009
Here's an interview I did with Radio Sport , since Onny Parun's comments at the weekend tennis has been to the forefront of the news, some say for the wrong reason, however there are things that have to be said from time to time. I believe in a country such as New Zealand too much money is being spent on administration and very little on the players.By request I have posted the excerpt. I will in the next couple of posts write in regards to ITF rankings ,what they mean for our juniors and do rankings achieved on this side of the world really mean anything in relation to juniors on the other side of the world.
Monday, September 21, 2009
This is an excerpt from a local Radio Station In New Zealand, with one of New Zealands Tennis Legends Onny Parun giving a serve to Tennis New Zealand after the recent loss to the Philippines.Parun says certain staff at Tennis New Zealand need to go and more funding to players in the 15-18 yrs would be of benefit.He says that if certain useless positions were axed the money spent on salary could be used for funding the youngsters with potential.He said the current Davis Cup Players are past their use by date.Please comment and let me know your thoughts on this interesting interview.
Friday, September 18, 2009
Reports out of Australia hint to a rift between between former world No.1 Lleyton Hewitt and his Australian heir apparent Bernard Tomic following a practice snub at Wimbledon.Tennis Australia's tennis director Craig Tiley said yesterday he was aware that Tomic's father, John, who recently asked TA to spend vast sums on his son, had declined the practice invitation on his son's behalf on Wimbledon's middle Sunday, as Hewitt prepared for his fourth-round match and Tomic to contest the junior event. Funny this back in the "good old days" we did not hear of Laver's parents, Rosewall parents, Newcombe's parents making tabloids.Tomic's father has been touted as a loose cannon and has had various run in's with the powers that be.Tomic just recently won the boys US Open title.My concern is that Tomic at this stage has no huge weapons will he transgress to a successful ATP career ,time will tell.You can read the full story about the rift here .Link
Monday, September 14, 2009
Serena gets a point penalty and loses the match against Kim Clijsters
and no doubt a hefty fine!!!
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
What people will do for love !!! A man was arrested at the U.S. Open after running on the court at Arthur Ashe Stadium to kiss Rafael Nadal following his victory Tuesday night. Nadal had this to say "For me, it wasn't a problem. The guy was really nice," Nadal said. "He said, 'I love you,' and he kissed me."
Saturday, September 5, 2009
If your looking for a new Tennis racket and your in the South Canterbury Area Call into Action Sports and see Ferg Hazlett. He has the biggest and the best range of tennis rackets in town.Ferg is always looking to give you a good deal and he has a new promotion on old racket trade ins.Of Course I recommend Wilson and they have a great range to suit all players and ability's.
With the US OPEN on at the moment it should inspire everyone to get down to the courts and prepare for this season.I have a full range or Wilson Demo's at the Center so ask for a trial!
Thursday, September 3, 2009
Tennis New Zealand is failing to see the shortfalls of the Top Dog Ranking System.Whilst the concept of match recording is an excellent feature it really has not seen an increase in participation with purpose and has short coming's in defining a local interclub match with tournament play.In an article I read about home schooling for young tennis players which you can read at this LINK. It contained some interesting information re junior rankings system , it said "In 2004, the U.S.T.A. enacted a professional ranking system that awarded points for advancing through rounds in tournaments. The larger the number of competitions a player enters, the greater his opportunity to accrue points and improve his ranking. Participation has skyrocketed".Top Dog if anything has deterred Juniors from playing too many tournaments as it is Head to Head orientated and players often shy off playing a certain opponent by defaulting to protect their rankings.Maybe if TNZ implemented such a system here locally in South Canterbury we may see an increase in our Local Junior Open Tournaments.
Wednesday, September 2, 2009
No major upsets from Day 1 as all major players pass their first test.Kim Clijsters returned to center court completing her first step to a repeat performance of ’05 with a 6-1, 6-1 first-round victory over Viktoriya Kutuzova.Roger Federer, chasing a sixth straight US Open title, a feat not achieved by a man since Bill Tilden way back in the 1920s, overwhelmed American wild card Devin Britton, 6-1, 6-3, 7-5, in 88 minutes on Arthur Ashe Stadium.