Monday, May 10, 2010

Questions and Answers

Roger Federer will be asked questions leading up too the French Open.Unfortunately he didnt have the answers as he faltered in his tuneup for the French Open, losing to defending champion Albert Montanes of Spain 6-2, 7-6 (7-5) Saturday in the Estoril Open semifinals in Oeiras, Portugal.I would not put a lot of money on Federer to defend his title this year.Great to see young Kiwi Anton Bettink has progressed at the 128 size qualifying draw for the US$10,000 ITF Men’s futures event in Tampa, United States.I have always rated Bettink and you can say you read it here as a player to watch out for.What I like he has entered a futures to test himself against the big guns.Too many younger players are too busy chasing Junior ITF points.

Its great too see your junior world ranking rise playing lots of these events and picking up points at insignificant tournaments however its no guarantee that these points transgress to the next level.

Last hope for a New Zealand junior team to qualify for a world's teams event rest with the 14 Girls in China this week.Its a very inexperienced team and unfortunately will be there for the experience rather than qualify.

I have had a few comments to a couple of posts.I agree with anonymous who said we need a cultural change.That is true , i don't have an answer however , can it be done I am not so sure, and that is why we have to identify the juniors with potential and put them in an environment that can challenge.Anonymous goes on to say "In relation to winter sports and our tennis calender, Lets be honest Steve if there were any truly gifted athletes out there in the tennis arena they would go to the main stream sports instead of one that costs so much and is so hard to succeed at.Tennis NZ must support this thinking by not having anything in it's calender for those months.(perhaps tnz get a kick back from rugby or league ?)" If we are going to create tennis stars we have to attract good athletes, anonymous is right in saying that these athletes generally go to mainstream sport, so its very important that Tennis New Zealand addresses incentives that we can entice more to the tennis game.This last point about the tennis Calender I do not agree on , The countries that are too the fore in World Tennis , Tennis is a year round sport, No Summer winter rivalries , you either want to be a tennis player or you don't........that is a very simple equation .Tennis NZ needs to add events during the winter period not shut up shop..... to think they would get kick backs from rugby or other winter sports is not on.Research has shown that it takes around 10 years and 10,000 hours to reach an elite level in sport. Those hours are made up of sport-specific training, physical training and other sports (in earlier years). This means that this comes to about three hours a day over 10 years! There is no doubt a huge time commitment is necessary to reach elite levels; it is important to bear in mind, however, that the 10,000 hours are weighted heavily in the latter stages of that 10-year period when the athlete will be training full time - often for over six hours a day. So allowing a 4 month non tennis period say for a six year period to an aspiring junior equates to losing 2 years. And that cannot be done in the tennis game unfortunately especially from the 13 years to 17 years.By 18 you should be able to realistically see where you will sit in the tennis world.

Stop Press
Anton Bettink has qualified for the Main Draw after winning 4 rounds of qualifying in Tampa.He has drawn top seed Fritz WOLMARANS (RSA).Follow the tournament at this Link

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