Sunday, September 26, 2010


Australia's recent Davis Cup loss to Belgium that puts them back to the peanut gallery competition that includes New Zealand must certainly warrant questions on the current State of Men's Tennis and for that fact the Junior Development program.Sam Stosur has saved Australian Tennis further scrutiny along with imports Groth and Rodionova.Look Deeper into the Women's game and it is worse than the men's.No Junior girl representatives in the last grandslam tournament of the year and a poor showing at Junior Wimbledon by the girls gives us a glimpse of what is in store for the future and its NOT GOOD!Lleyton Hewitt is literally on his last legs and those under him are just not up to a high level in Men's Tennis.Ball was a disaster and Peter Luczak has hovered around the 100's for some time and he is also at the end of his career. So which Australian Male could restore pride in Australian tennis.Davis Cup Captain John Fitzgerald was  upbeat. ''These are tough situations that they haven't faced a lot,'' Fitzgerald said of his young charges such as the 23-year-old Ball.C'mon Fitzy Nadal at 24 has numerous grandslam titles under his belt. And what tough situations are you going to get at 151 in the world?How long do you think it will take a player like Ball to achieve this experience! I am sure the Davis Cup Captain will soon be replaced , however its not his fault and the next Captain will also find the cupboards bare and we are not moving into the Main World Group Davis Cup in the near future.

Lets Look at the current rankings

  1. Lleyton Hewitt | 37 
  2. Peter Luczak| 129 
  3. Carsten Ball | 151 
  4. Matt Ebden | 164 
  5. Marinko Matosevic | 166 
  6. Bernard Tomic | 219 
  7. John Millman | 229 
  8. Greg Jones | 229 
  9. Nick Lindahl | 242 
  10. Brydan Klein | 260 

Take out Hewitt... who then in the above group will come through,In my mind the only player that has a chance is Bernard Tomic who turns 18 soon.His form has not been anything special and is playing currently in Thailand.I can remember watching Tomic and Grigor Dimitrov play each other at Junior Wimbledon and thinking Tomic just does not posses any major weapon whilst the Bulgarian was a shot maker.Dimitrov has just won his third challenger in a row and is now around 142 in the World and rising! Group all the others in the same boat unfortunately I cant see anyone in the above list making top 100 outside Tomic. Pat Rafter had this to say about current Junior tennis "Rafter said there was no secret answer to ending Australia's decline and suggested, if anything, Tennis Australia was pampering the up-and-coming juniors. ''One thing I'm really jamming down the kids' throats is that we've got to make it tougher for them, they've got to toughen up as well and there are ways to do that" he went on to say "By giving them everything, it's not helping to find solutions. If we give them a tough situation where they are on their own for a few months with no coach, no nothing and make them do it tough in Europe, you've got to find different solutions and ways of getting around it. ''It's just life skills to me that these kids could take into their game as well and, when they are on the court, they've got to tough it out for themselves and not have someone tell them what to do all the time.'' Yep Pat you have some Merit in what you say but really Life skills begins at home and that's where the kids have it too easy!!! Ben Mitchell ,James Duckworth and Jason Kubler are some of the teenagers touted to come through.......but I ask come through to where? the 100-150 mark?When you see Juniors like Dimitrov who is coached by an Aussie Peter McNamara then one has little hope for our current juniors. The current challengers in Australia is really just a competition for the locals ...yes some points for rankings but not a true picture where you sit in the World.I was reading the Tennis news boards and someone made this statement commenting on the Aussie guys "That last comment raises the old chestnut of why Tennis Australia can't get the promising youngsters - Klein, Jonesie, Lindahl (all Junior Grand Slam Winners or Finalists/Top 10 Juniors) - to make the transition between the Juniors and Seniors. I still think there is potential for these players to break into and stay in the top 100, given the average age of players in the top 100 is over 25 years old."...Basically Itf junior rankings are Mickey Mouse.Look at American Jack Sock who was unseeded for this years USOPEN junior event and won it....its no guarantee if you have a high ITF junior ranking that you will make it with the big boy's it probably means that your Parents can afford sending you all over the World to places like Egypt and Serbia to gain inflated points that for most looks good on the ITF junior rankings list but means nothing when you enter the pro events.Rafter has the right track we all need to toughen up!!   how we can do that is another question.. Unfortunately for Aussie Tennis it wont be oi oi oi it will be OH OH OH for a few years to come! 

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