Monday, December 24, 2012

Dear Santa

Dear Santa

Tennis in this country needs some help, could you please find room in your workshop for some of the old tired administrators ,those with very little to do that think they own the game of tennis. Quite honestly SANTA these people need to go and maybe you could keep them at your North Pole workshop for a few years ..probably about 10 years that should give the nation time to get sorted.
Recently Santa the NZ nationals were held Below I make some valid observations.
1. The mens title was won by Dan King Turner who is 29 next birthday, he was top seed and played the 2nd Seed Artem Sitak he is 27 next Feb ,Turner was fortunate he did grow up in a competitive junior background in New Zealand as a junior.We cant claim Sitak progressed through the local junior program basically he came from Russia.I had hoped the younger generation could of stood up and placed a claim to come to the fore for New Zealand Men's tennis.It did not happen they were all beaten by the two old stagers that hover around the 350 mark plus ATP.So with the current generation I certainly have doubts that they will achieve higher rankings than the current Davis Cup SQUAD.Time will tell , I HOPE I am wrong.
2. Congratulations to Imogen Golder who took out the Ladies titles from Paige Hourigan (15). Imogen is at college in the states but does not figure in the top 100 girls national College individual rankings.It was a substandard field and really showed the weakness in women's tennis in this country.Imogen is not planning a pro career...the eye applauds your vision .Emily Fanning withdrew from the event..although winning NZ Junior player of the year she plummeted out of the top 50 ITF junior rankings to around 95 this year as she tried to mix it with the best in the World. And lets get the record straight the WTA doubles title at an event in Mexico was weaker than a Grade 1 Junior event.The women's singles was won by a junior.
NZ Fed cup Captain had this to say about Hourigan " is the most talented player this country has produced since Marina Erakovic."I would say so, I would say so, and especially, she has got a really good game, but what really she stands out with is her mentality on the court - she does know how to play points."
Thats a big call Pavlina. Let's start exposing the youngster to quality opposition and work really needs to be done with her mental side, the footage used for a recent news Item on TV was to say embarrassing at the least, intimidation might work on the local scene but not on the Pro Tour.She is way too young for FED CUP.Beating the top Aussie juniors for her age would be an indication where she sits potential wise and that needs More exposure.Again Time will tell.The longer a good junior stays in the local environment the less chance of really making it.Grade 4 ITF junior tournaments are a waste of money and time.

Santa in your sack this year please have some presents that will help tennis go forward in this country big changes are needed in all areas until this can be fixed we will continue to be a tennis minnow.

*this blog is views and personal opinions , you may not agree on some of my blogs but then again you keep coming back to read


Wednesday, December 19, 2012

The Eye Previews the Nz Nationals Men's Draw...Main Draw Starts Today


The NZ Nationals gets under way today.I am sure over the next few days some interesting results and match ups will occur.

Top Seed Davis Cup Stalwart Dan King Turner at 375 ATP should start favorite for the Wild Card prize at next year’s Heineken Open.He will come up against Jaden Grinter in his first match... who will defeat Victor Klintcharov...I will bet my house on it ..but no one will take the bet that's the problem.Grinter 19 one of New Zealand's top rated juniors ...has not set the world on fire with average results at Futures in Austria earlier this year.He has pushed King Turner in their last two head to heads.The field has many former and present New Zealander's who have or are on college scholarships at American University's.Seeded to meet King Turner is Ben McLachlan who is from Queenstown and plays for the California Golden Bears-CAL.Ben has played some future events in the UK and USA and has had some great results.This will be a very interesting match up should it eventuate ...the old brigade vs the new brigade.4th Seed is Sebastian Lavie the same age as McLachlan 20.Lavie has been based in France for his junior training and has been playing Futures he is 794 ATP ranked.The good thing about this tournament is to see where the players sit amongst their fellow countryman.Cameron Norrie is 64 ITF junior ranked and it will be good to see how he steps up against the more experienced players. The one thing that irks me is that New Zealand Juniors spend far too much time and money playing ITF junior tournaments , if good enough get into the tough tournaments early I say.. Norrie has no senior ATP activity as yet. Lavie looks to have a good run to the semi's.

The Bottom half should be very interesting also.The third seed Sean Berman is an interesting entry. Berman is well known to many here commencing his junior tournament days with Coach Chris Lewis and then followed Chris to the states.He split from Lewis and had some USTA backing before arriving in Australia where they also helped him out.He is still listed as a USA player on the ITF players site. Berman has a 731 ATP ranking and has been playing futures with some reasonable results in the country's not on everyones preferred holiday list. So is this the start of Sean becoming a New Zealander again? or does he think he has a chance of the Wild Card. Finn Tearney an outstanding player for Pepperdine University will be seeded to meet Berman. College vs Tour I get excited when these type of matches happen in a local event. It gives the eye a good look at the different paths players take and then measure the success tennis wise.At the end of the Day the college players have a degree and something they can fall back on if the tennis tour does not work out. I RECOMMEND that tennis coaching is not an option for the smart ones.The bottom quarter looks like a cake walk for second seed Artem Sitak. Is 557 ATP ranking and he is coming off a futures win in Cambodia recently.In fact Sitak has beaten Dan King-Turner a couple of weeks ago at a local tournament. Also in this section is CAL's Ricky McLachlan,another player to watch out for is 18s National finalist Kyle Butters 15 who was defeated by Connor Heap also 15 ...not taking anything away from these two boys but really TNZ two 15 year olds fighting out the 18s final!!!On top of two 15 year olds who also fought out the girls 18s national titles.Great effort from these younger players , but the eye reads more into these results than the scoreline.There are some noticeable players that have not entered or pulled out, such is the climate for local tournaments, sometimes its better to keep with the hype than have a reality check.Over the next few days I will keep readers posted and no doubt my candid comments which are just my opinions but obviously a lot regard highly to keep coming back to the blog to read : ).




Tuesday, December 18, 2012

You have heard the saying too many cooks....

Its with interest I read the new advertised position for a High Performance tennis coach by  Tennis New Zealand . This position will take in the role of New Zealand Davis Cup Captain and Marcel Voss will become the Davis Cup Coach. "Due to a staff restructure within its High Performance team, Tennis New Zealand has created a new position of High Performance Coach with a primary emphasis on talent ID and development but who will also act as the Davis Cup Captain working in partnership with incumbent High Performance Coach Marcel Vos who will take on the new role as Davis Cup Coach." With tennis in dire straights in this country is this logical? Yeh sure! these two positions will work in partnership! ...time will tell but history tells us past appointments have been a failure, do we need a Davis Cup Coach?" For me the money is better spent on the younger juniors and more help for their private coach whoever that is. WHAT DO YOU THINK? 

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Tennis on the Move with Coach Clem

Piako Tennis Coach Clem Apted has a new Toyota from Waikato Toyota to carry all his equipment. Pictured is Clem and some of his ‘crazy’ kids at Ohinewai Tennis Club, a small Club with an amazing 60 children. Clem says this Club is a breath of fresh air, well run with a full programme of activities for all the members. The sub for a senior is an amazing $35 !! They have 3 pro grass courts and if it rains Clem can coach at an adjoining hall for coaching. The shame is in the Huntly area this is the only Club, Apted spends a lot of time and money trying to develop Tennis in poorer less fashionable areas, he lives in the hope that one day NZ Tennis will do the same. People see tennis as an elitist sport and many Clubs make it impossible for kids to play the sport, not so Ohinewai Tennis Club

Thursday, December 6, 2012


What a great location, and some great kids to work with.Today and tomorrow the eye is taking tennis to twizel.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Happy Kurow Tennis Kids

Today I worked with Juniors from Kurow a Small Town in the South Island of New Zealand.It is always great to work with keen and enthusiastic tennis players.Did the kids have fun YES!

Monday, November 19, 2012

16 year old Aussie beats New Zealand Davis Cup Team

I've been following a couple of younger Aussie Junior players pictured above.Nick Kyrgios 17 who hails from Canberra ACT and Thansasi Kokkinakis 16 .Two weeks ago Kokkinakis defeated  New Zealand Number 1 Jose Statham and then Michael Venus in the Bendigo Futures.The young Aussie has played more Future events on the Pro Circuit than the ITF junior Circuit.Gaining results on the bigger stage for me is a clearer picture how that junior will transgress to the Pro Tour.Far too many juniors play way to many ITF junior tournaments. The high performance program locally must take a close look re funding and results and the amount of ITF tournaments juniors are playing and where they have accumulated points, I mean if your not making it on the Junior scene then how the heck will you make it on the Pro tour?Most New Zealand juniors can gain a US college scholarship with a decent ITF junior ranking , I question this pathway if you want to make it at pro tennis, College Tennis Life is pretty it tough enough to develop into a top 100 player for New Zealanders I think not. However in saying that it does add security and players come out of it with a degree and I think it  is the best option for most New Zealand junior tennis players.If you want to look up Thanasi's activity click HERE. Nick Kyrgios is the 4th ranked ITF junior in the world , he has been rising up the junior rankings with some great results including a narrow loss to World Number 1 Junior Filip Peliwo from Canada recently at the US OPEN JUNIORS.Some of my recent articles about ITF junior rankings are made relevant in this stat Kokkinakis has a  Junior Ranking of 1252!Kyrgios is 4.Thanasi on the Pro tour is ranked 754 Kyrgios is 831 on the Pro men's tour.Let me say that the team that is looking after these guys are making sure that they out there playing their fair share of Futures and for me thats the right way to go after all the only points that matter and effects your bank balance are points earned on the Pro Tour. Kyrgios playing activity can be found HERE

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Davis Cup Chinese Taipei Vs NZ- Postcards from the edge

The New Zealand Davis Cup team has been beaten in its Asia/Oceania Group I relegation playoff against Taiwan in Taipei this evening. The home team scored a 3-1 overall victory over the Kiwis with a win in the first of the reverse singles sealing the result as Liang-Chi Huang defeated Dan King-Turner 3-6 6-7(4) 1-6. After losing the opening two singles matches on the first day King-Turner and Rubin Statham kept the Kiwis in the clash with a four set victory in the doubles to take the contest live into the final day and the first of the reverse singles. Huang ranked at 353 won the first set 6-3 but then King-Turner with an ATP ranking of 357 worked his way to a 5-1 lead in the second set, including a set point before the home player came back to win in the tiebreak and then wrap up the match 6-1 in the third set. The loss means that after a year back in the strong Group I of Asia/Oceania in Davis Cup New Zealand now drops to Group II and will play Lebanon, away in February 2013.Pictured above is Bassam Beidas  who plays for Lebanon ...a little trivia when Head Coach in Egypt the eye worked with Bassam.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Davis Cup Chinese Taipai 2 New Zealand 0

New Zealand will need a miracle and are facing a debacle and the 2XU Compression  team is fast becoming the 2XU Depression team. Davis Cup Captain Marcel Vos did not play New Zealands top ranked player Jose Statham on the first day electing for Michael Venus ranked some 237 places lower on the ATP rankings.Again the New Zealand High performance team was outsmarted by the opposition , they used a calculator to work out their rankings, they offered the New Zealand Davis cup captain use of the device but he said he could work out their rankings in his head....Jin-Ji Ding a ling said he could work out that the players picked did not add up how could he get 237 difference so wrong i guess he ran out of toes and fingers! Mi-hit out and Mi-hit -in lead the crowd with "hey hey .....goodbye" and "hit the road jack ..."famous taiwanese chants .As we know in tennis its not over till its over and maybe the high performance team can get it together.

Taiwan 2 New Zealand 0
Yang Tsung-hua (TPE) bt Daniel King-Turner (NZL) 4-6, 6-0, 6-3, 7-6(2)
Huang Liang-chi (TPE) bt Michael Venus (NZL) 6-4, 7-6(0), 6-3

Friday, October 19, 2012

Update Score NZ VS Taiwan


Sorry for the Delay however my reporter on the ground Jin-Ji-Din a Ling had to charge his mobile phone. He also sent the text in taiwanese! So I had to Google translate ....and its bad news for New Zealand. Mi -Hit- In and Mi- Hit -out was also busy( they are in charge of catering and taiwanesefanatics) they had run out of Zhuxuegao (豬血糕).  Made from pigs blood and rice, this is a local delicacy and an acquired taste. and had to call the local McDonald's to bring around some cheeseburgers. Marcel  ( DC captain)was not impressed as this seemed to cause a disturbance and break Danny KTs concentration especially after he won the first set. Any how below is the Google translate.

The New Zealand Davis Cup team has had a tough start to its Asia/Oceania Group I relegation playoff tie against Taiwan in Taipei with Dan King-Turner going down in the first singles 6-4 0-6 3-6 6-7(4) to Tsung-Hua Yang.
King-Turner went into the match with a ranking of 357 while Yang is ranked 236 in the world.
In the second singles Michael Venus was expected to face 201st ranked Ti Chen however he has been substituted by his team captain and Venus will now play Lian-Chi Huang ranked at 353.- Jin-Ji Ding a ling


The eye has again secured on the ground reporters for the important Davis Cup tie New Zealand vs Taiwan.The draw and order of play for New Zealand’s Asia/Oceania Group I relegation playoff Davis Cup tie against Taiwan has been confirmed with Kiwi No2 ranked player Dan King-Turner to start the clash against Tsung-Hua Yang. Jin Jai Ding a Ling reports Taiwan are super confident they have their  lower ranked players playing whilst their top ranked players Jimmy Wang and Yen Hsun Lu are believed to be playing a social doubles against Bhupathi and Paes of India.

New Zealand has a 3-0 record against Taiwan and the loser of the tie will play Lebonan in the who cares group.Mi-Hit In and her mother Mi-Hit Out are in charge of local cheer squadS who have modelled themselves on the AustraliaN Fanatics with chants like



I have made sure that the reporters do not get confused with the New Zealand Davis Cup captain, Indian reporters confused Marcel Marceau and Tennis Coach Marcel Voss.I am sure the NZ high Performance team is quietly confident although they class themselves as the underdogs.Mi-Hit-In and Mi-Hit -Out are in charge of catering also and although the stadium holds 500 capacity anything over 50 spectators will be a bonus.Jin Jai Ding A Ling will be texting me live scores so I hope to keep readers updated.Reports that the surface will be a Fast Hard court and should suit the New Zealanders although Jose Statham performs best on Clay Courts ( he is the Number 1 player for NZ) There is still time to change his name to " Jose "Pistol Pete" Sampras/Statham to try to fool his opponents.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Uncle Tony Nadal Says Coaches to nice to their players

Toni Nadal: "Many coaches are too servile with the players" 

'Without wishing to criticize, I see there are coaches who are too servile to the players. I see they run to hand them the water bottle or run to string their racket . That is not the case with me".

'I see what some players answer to their coaches and I can't believe it. With Rafa, the relationship is well defined. I'm the uncle but on the court I'm the coach and I make the difference clear. That relationship was always clear. And the secret is I am passionate about his success".

“(Nadal) is a correct and well brought up kid, very obediente, who let himself be guided. Intensity is Rafa’s salient feature. It isn’t that he trains more, but he does do it with more intensity. To me, that is key to his level”.

“The mind is fundamental in tennis, because mistakes are punished. In football, you miss three passes and the score a goal and you can be the best player of the match. I taught Rafa that it isn’t like that in tennis, because you do pay (for mistakes)”.

“The mind is trained too, not only the body. Since he was a kid, I never allowed him any dejection gestures”.

“Anyone who thinks himself special is not right in the head”.

“My nephew plays well at tennis, but he doesn’t think he’s a special being or superior to others. He’s polite and has his feet on the ground. Rafa suffered a lot when his parents separated, he suffers if he has an argument with his girlfriend, like anyone else”.

About Argentinian players “Del Potro has huge potencial. An injury cut the good streak he has in 2010, but he’s a complete player and I highlight his serve and his forehand”.

About Juan Mónaco, one of the “two or three best friends” of Nadal in the circuit “he improved a lot this year, though he lacks ‘punch’ is key moments. Rafa is very hapy about the moment Pico is going through”.

David Nalbandián “is of the tennis players with most class in the whole circuit. His return is incredible and it’s a pleasure to watch him play, because of how complete he is”.

The eye agree's with Uncle Tony ....but Blood is thicker than water and Rafa and Tony are family.Too often players and especially parents run to other coaches when some basic truths and training ethics are told and enforced.Time eventually does tell and Rafa is the only player on the tour that has had his coach from junior days to current.Most Coaches adapt to the pay check at the end of the rainbow.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Where is the depth of World Junior Tennis

Very interesting ITF stat's .From the above 15 selected countries we find USA and RUSSIA leading the way with Juniors in the top 250 .USA has 51 whilst Russia 39.Spain only has 9 - 7 boys and 2 girls.Great Britain has 22 - 16 boys and 6 girls.Of course whether the junior players can transgress to the Pro senior tour is the key.All stat's are boy and girl combined. France has 14 - 13 boys and just 1 girl. Russia's Break down is 15 boys and 24 girls whilst the USA is 19 boys and 32 girls!Canada has 10 4 boys and 6 girls.Will we see a resurgence by the USA based on these numbers?New Zealand has 1 boy and 1 girl  in the top 250.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Tennis Dissolves in New Zealand

There are many aspects as to why tennis is not firing in this country.When Top Dog and now called Configure Rankings was introduced I questioned the method and the reasoning why TNZ implemented a Squash based ranking program.I wondered why no other tennis country has come up with this ranking based program.You can search my blog to find articles I have written.

Now there was a lot of serious question re tennis asked in the UK a few years ago but changes have been made and British Juniors are taking on the World.They had a Mickey Mouse rankings system before they decided to change. The LTA (England) developed a new system to run along side their rating system they said"The rankings system we have developed is a ‘points per round’ system based on tournament performance irrespective of opponent. This is the format most commonly used by other countries and the International Tennis Federation (ITF)"

Did you get the last part of that TNZ the format most commonly used by other countries and the International Tennis Federation! Not Squash New Zealand TNZ!

In world Junior ITF rankings New Zealand has one boy in the top 250 Cameron Norrie at 93 and one girl Emily Fanning at 74.The UK has 16 boys in the top 250 and Girls 6 in the top 250.

One of the important aspects that has been proven  is that a point by round system allows players and coaches to recognise the level and strength of an event and understand the ranking impact of success within any graded tournament. This in turn provides tangible and measurable goals for the player and allows the coach and player to formulate a competitive schedule that reflects the players’ long-term Development Plan

In my opinion the current rankings system is geared for the social club player who does not care about their rankings. Results speak for itself, the UK  fine tuned a system to produce good players.

Tennis NZ has failed to again listen to  what players and coaches say about the rankings system here obvious .oblivious that it has bore the jokes of many.New Zealand Tennis list TMS and the Grading system in their fixed assets of $103,000 , I wonder how much of that is the Grading System cost?

Does the current ranking system achieve these objectives

· Is it aspirational, allowing players to see where they sit within their peer group.

·  Does It support a simple grading and points structure that remains consistent throughout all age groups. THIS IS A VERY IMPORTANT POINT

· Does It encourages competitors to play up an age group when they are ready, without it having a negative impact on their ranking within their own age group

We all know that your points are accumulated based on who you play whether its a local club match or a National Tournament , we need to change this and measure the players on tournament performance.Adult players have incorrectly been loaded to high and are easy prey for smart juniors wishing to improve their rankings by beating one of these players.

The USTA  High Performance Division and the Youth Competition and Training Committee have concluded that a version of a points-based ranking system best addresses the specific objectives identified above and the overall goal of helping players reach their potential. By using tiered levels of importance we can weigh our events, assign regulations that help our juniors to compete often, and put the emphasis on advancing through the draw. The simple concept of having a player capable of categorizing an event, determining its level, and understanding the ranking impact of success in that event allows the player to understand what needs to be done. This is an invaluable asset in developing tangible and measurable goals that also help the player’s preparation and motivation.Sound familiar TNZ?

I guess our High Performance team disagree's .And if you live in isolation like the Southern region of New Zealand you are at a disadvantage because you are not able week in week out to play a Head to Head competition that favours players in the big city's.Did I not comment in my earlier article that the Board of TNZ have no idea what happens outside Auckland ...well I was not that specific but this article I am.

We continue to follow the same path we achieve the same results.

Configure THAT!


Thursday, September 27, 2012

Pigs might fly a good description for the current state of the Game


Great Article today locally by Mark Reason. I will provide the Link to the full article.HERE . I liked this interpretation "It's not rocket science. Look at Dick Tonks and New Zealand rowing or Arthur Lydiard and athletics. It's about the coach, stupid - and, in these ever more professional times, that means money. Borfiga has revolutionized Canadian tennis. “It's important not to play a good match, but to play to win. It was my first message,” he said. His second message, according to CEO Michael Downey, was “Kids need to have the right values, to be low key and be polite.”Scouring TNZ's Strategic Plan, I could not find a single mention of the word “winning.” Canada has embraced the word. Felip Peliwo and Eugenie Bouchard won both junior Wimbledon titles. Peliwo became the first man since 1984 to make all the junior grand slam finals.

A second Canadian girl made it to the Wimbledon semis. The 21-year-old Milos Raonic is the fastest rising man in the rankings and tipped for a major title. And guess who Erakovic was thrashed by at the Olympics. Yep, another Canadian.

On reading the article the eye has added his two cents worth, we can go with the flow and have more of the same or as coaches we can speak out to try and get some changes. Over the next few posts I will try and add some thought and reasoning to the tennis scene here in NZ.


I made the call that tennis in this country was for the elite and that many ordinary New Zealander's can not afford the game. For a start Club membership is way to high take for example a Club in Christchurch.An Adult single membership starts at $300+ for a couple $550 Family is $690. A Junior 12 to 18 is $170 and if you want to play Inter club for a junior 12-18 its $232.00. We are not talking American country club.A decent racquet for a junior just starting out in junior competition $150.00 , Shoes another $150.00( and we all know how long they last certainly not a season. Sports Kit $110+. You see if you turn up at a junior tournament wearing casual out for the referee's they love telling you you are wearing inappropriate clothing! For a family with three kids start doing the sums and its not cheap!!!Ok then the club from their membership fee's have to pay affiliation fee's to the association and then to NZ tennis!So once you show some promise in tennis the next step is to get lesson and they start at $50 per hour.Again I know for a fact people that can afford have booked several hours for their kids not a year....A WEEK!

I advocate very low memberships and a user pay for competitions Inter-club etc you play Saturday morning Competition you rock up with your ball fees. Here in South Canterbury we pay affiliation fees and have to SUPPLY our own balls! So you see the culture we breed .As you improve you have to have deeper pockets.I am just touching the surface. I have seen tantrums thrown at courts by children on tournament  day and cracked their racquet with a "Hissy" fit week end they show up with a brand new tennis racquet.Kids that know how to fight with grit in tennis are simply not given a chance and they are swallowed up by other sports.Most junior tennis players when the tough are to get going........they just cry and look for Mum or Dad to come out off the sideline and play for them.And you can bet these players are being groomed for our next champion.

Here is some of the article i wrote in 2010 LINK Dollars and Sense for tennis players

Lets break it down with different types of player's starting with

1.The Novice Player Ok for a start lets get that player ready to play. Initial cost will include EQUIPMENT ,New Racquet  a good junior racquet will set you back $200 NZ ,shoes $120.00,attire another $100.00 so all up $420.00 to get you started. Ok then you have to join a club $50-$100 depending on location and you have to take some group tennis lesson at around $150.00 a term.( two terms) So $420 for equipment $100 for club membership and $300 for two terms of group coaching. Outlay for the year is $820.00.

2.THE REGIONAL PLAYER -To make a regional team for say a National teams event you will of course upgraded your tennis racquet and because you will be playing more events tournaments and local events you of course will break strings more regular.So you will need two racquets which will set you back $800.00.Don't forget the new Racquet bag $100.00 ,At least 5 restrings  a year $200.00 ,the more specialized coaching from $50-$70 an hour and usually at the very least juniors will take an hour lesson per week .Do your maths over 48 weeks of the year.Now you are going to tournaments outside your local area also accommodation transport etc. So you wont get much change out of $3500.00

THE NATIONALLY RANKED JUNIOR- These juniors are winning National titles or ranked in the top 10 of their age group in the country.Juniors are committed to tennis everyday of the week.Most juniors are having 3 Individuals with their private Coach and doing at least 3 squads a week.Also they are travelling overseas  and ITF junior tournaments.There will be not much change from $16,000.00.And that is just for 1 year taking in Travelling Coaching Accommodation and equipment and clothes.

So you are Now on the Circuit - Ok you are now stepping up to ITF Men's and Women 's Futures  tournaments.These events are world wide and it is fact you cannot stay in New Zealand to get ahead and you will need to travel so lets keep your first year basic, Airfares etc 10,000.00 Food $3,500.00 Coach at $100 @ day 100 days 10,000.00 ,Car Hire /and Local travel $3000.00. I have roughly based it on playing tournament's in the USA ,Mexico,Spain,Canada and UK. Now many cannot afford a coach so do it independently and unless your Roger Federer you will not survive. So a basic year figure is around $30,000.00. You are playing mostly qualifying and not eligible for Main Draw benefits. Once you do start making Main Draw's at the Futures and challengers it gets a little easier...but unless you win a few not much!  

Whilst we continue to have wrong personnel in important key positions and staff we dont need then tennis in this country will indeed be only for the elite!


Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Who is taking Serena Williams Home tonight

My French correspondent Lippy Le Cont gives me the gossip on Serena Williams.Looks like her fling with rapper Common is over, guess he was too common! Lippy spotted Serena and Grigor Dimitrov ( 21 year old rising star of the men's tour) visiting the Eiffel Tower. Despite the age gap -- Dimitrov is 21and Williams 31-- Lippy said, "They were laughing and seemed to really enjoy each other's company. It looked like a first date." But there is a twist so Lippy says Serena has a new coach Patrick Mouratoglou who also coaches Grigor and now is enjoying working with Serena also!

Lippy submitted a couple of shopping photo's above and it sure aint Grigor.....looks a lot like coach patrick!

At Wimbledon, Richard Williams was asked for his thoughts on his daughter exploring other coaching advice. “I think it’s good, but I think it would be a lot better if Serena took the time to apply her life more to Jehovah,” Richard Williams said. “I don’t know what she’s doing because I’m not with her 99 percent of the time, but I think she should take more time to do that. That’s more important than any tennis ball or anything she could do in training to try new things. It was Jehovah who brought her through this here.”

You heard it Serena , you gotta give a little more time to the other man in your life, Jehovah....Daddy said so!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Davis CupBlow up In Germany Australia fail to Qualify after going into final day 2 rubbers to 1 up

My Australian correspondent and old tennis buddy "Digger" from Dunedoo tells me it was not all rosy in Australia's Davis Cup Loss to Germany again being denied at the last hurdle to return to the World group of teams that matter.The Australian Davis cup team is now being ranked along side the Wobbly's  rugby side as simply "aint good enough". In fact between Tomic and Quade Cooper its hard to say who has been in better form..Digger says he cant split them and said he agreed with cranky Johnny Mac when he used the word that sounds like tanker to describe their play( I actually think it was Digger who used the word). I guess you have to be Aussie to decipher the code.For overseas readers I will give you a clue replace the "T" WITH "w".Well Uncle Tony really gave it to Tomic at the change of ends, Its not Rafa's Uncle Tony by the way its Aussie Legend Uncle Tony a former Davis Cup Hero back in the Days when Australia was a world power before the days of Internet, Ipads and pay TV the days when Aussie Kids played sport after school and weekends and not sitting on their ......Whoops Digger I cant use that word!Uncle Tony who was sitting behind Davis Cup legend and captain Pat Rafter ( yes I was there the day he came back from two sets down at White city to defeat Cedric Pioline), My Mate Digger was at the pub., sorry back to Diggers report.Patrick who let Tomic know he wasnt happy with his performance against A Rod at the US OPEN was being to nice and thats when Uncle Tony got up from the supporter stand and gave it to Tomic like Harry Hopman used to give it to Tony in the "good old days".Even with Uncle Tony's kind words Tomic still lost and that left poor Lleyton Hewitt to try and pick up the pieces , "fair crack of the whip " says digger "Lleyton is in pieces himself mate after so many ops " .Pat Rafter considered replacing Hewitt knowing that he could only play on one leg but then thought he would still be better than the players on the bench.

Another Tennis legend Australian Paul McNamee told SEN that the disappointing Davis Cup result is a result of poor planning."In winning matches away, overseas countries are clearly going to play us on clay, which is Lleyton’s weakest surface and Bernard Tomic’s weakest surface…

"We needed to invest quite a long time ago in more clay courts and grounding juniors on how to play on clay. Surely Bernard Tomic’s movement last night showed he’s not yet a true clay court player and that probably should have been addressed a long time ago. I do blame the administration for doing not nearly enough about clay court tennis.

Good old Paul loves to stick it up Tennis Australia the best he can , but the problem is more than Clay courts Paul its attitude and Desire! You all know Australians live in the "lucky Country" We need Heart and a return to our tradition grass roots values.Well that's all I have for you at the moment readers Digger tells me hes returning to the Pub!

Sunday, September 16, 2012


Congratulations India! The young guns delivered the knock out blow to New Zealand with team of Sharan and Vardhan edging out a gallant Dan King Turner and Michael Venus in 5 sets.Indian Davis Cup Captain 2nd from the left in the above picture Mr Shiv-Prakash Misery was very happy with his team as you can see.
My tweeting Correspondents Paid's and Bootapaid's have not been heard from and I believe are organizing a petition to have Bhuthpathi and Bopanna reinstated after they have been banned from representing India until 2014 for being naughty spoiled brats.Leander Paes will be considered if injury free.Please Leander tie up you shoe laces.Leander will be 40 next birthday and I am sure he has many years left in him.I was able to keep up with the scores with the help of Mrs Shari-Prihit-wickit who used her mobile and cheap phone call cards to call me in New Zealand. India in the end was too good in all departments with the turning point  the wonderful tactic change up where Mr Shiv told his player to hit the ball into the court.New Zealand had no answer and the High Performance team must regroup as they ponder their next match.Maybe they could look to bring in some young guns? Finally on a serious note I read this article with interest as it touches only the surface of what is happening with Tennis in New Zealand.John Roughan of the New Zealand Herald writes concerning the new proposal for affiliation fee's titled  Price we Pay for Public Money.READ HERE. Well Im guessing India will put in some inexperienced players for the dead rubbers but this match is over!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

India Vs NZ Davis Cup Update

Well what a dissapointment I switch to Sky Channel 69 and they are showing reruns of the Rugby test NZ vs Argentina !!! C'mon I was ready as was all the listed coaches on find a tennis coach to watch this important fixture!This match is of National importance ,what about the 80,00 junior tennis players that have participated in Grasshoppers ,who cares if most of these juniors decided to play Rugby or netball, who cares if player registration in clubs decreased  last season ,Whats wrong with SKY we are a minority sport and we deserve better!Anyhow thank god for twitter!The Bollywood team of Paid and Bootapaid kept me up to date.There was many tweets when Dan King turner took the first two sets
against Indian Yuki Bhambri.There was excitement in the tweets as the team tweeted the Indian Davis Cup selectors had no clue, and how dare they leave out their hero's and doubles specialists.Unfortunately the tweets stopped as Bhambri won the next three sets .Davis Cup Captain Marcel Marceau was all smiles as Dan King Turner took the the first two sets 6-3 6-0 , the T20 supporters were very quiet and the High Performance team from NZ ecstatic.Whoops forgive me readers the New Zealand Davis Cup captain is not Marcel Marceau! Typo!Anyhow back to the match the Indian Davis Cup Captain then made a major tactical change to Bhambri's game he told him to hit the ball into the court!Amazing this tactic worked! and he won the next three sets 6-2,6-4,6-2.The Indian crowd went wild the Bollywood dancers were back, the drums sounded out throughout the stadium.The NZ high performance team naturally had dissapointment all over their faces.They had been fooled by an ingenious tactic!I tweeted Paid's and Bootapaid that they must keep me more updated and to enjoy the moment as the young 20 year old from India deserved his selection.They tweet me back and said GET REAL! well it was not the real word they used you can imagine the REAL word they used!Anyhow New Zealand's hopes now rested with Statham the NZ number 1 .However after splitting the first two sets with his Indian opponent Vishnu , he lost the third .Marcel then appealed to the Umpires for bad light and his appeal was upheld and the match with Vishnu will be completed before the doubles today,Vishnu leading two sets to one.Providing I can contact Paid and Bootapaid I will give another update soon.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Davis Cup Action : New Zealand Vs India

I am sure Sky Sports will provide live coverage of this tie on Sky Sports 69 due to the popular interest of fans that equal the amount of find a coach members.India goes into the tie with out its best known tennis players Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi, Paes withdrew from the tie he tripped on his shoe lace playing the Final of the US Men's Open doubles .Bhupathi was dropped over his refusal to play with Paes at the Olympics, I bet he will be tweeting well wishes to the team.Not considered either was Doubles specialist  Rohan Bopanna, he definatley wont be tweeting! especially well wishes!A bit of trivia for you Paes and Bhupathi fought over the same Bollywoood movie star both had more than a game of tennis in mind with the actress.

This looks like New Zealands best chance to defeat India, I must say however they have not beat India since 1978.They will be pumped up after New Zealand Black Caps form in India, where they lost the test series.Yuki Bhambri is India's top man in this tie and he will open against Dan-King Turner.Bhambri is ranked 179 in the world ,Turner is 382.King-Turner showed some form earlier but this has seemed to taper off ,Both Players have been on the "journeyman"tour which actually costs the players money to compete.

Number 1 New Zealander Jose Statham or whatever he wishes to be called he has a few names I'm led to believe comes up against Vishnu Vardhan ranked 262,Statham is 317 so on paper could be a good match up.No doubt the New Zealand players will have to cope with the rent a T20 crowd and those rent a pretty Bollywood Dance team that will be banging the drums and dancing every time India wins a point!

Marcel Moss, the New Zealand Davis cup captain said they knew the Indian team well, they probably have eaten at the same dinner dives whilst on the tour...Whoops correction Marcel Vos! No doubt the high perfomance team will be on hand in the New Zealand Players Box. TNZ spent over 600,000.00 dollars on High Performance last year. Sorry I cant give you a breakdown on where the money was spent but probably on Adminstration and salary's . I think they could trim this budget for sure , any one else have any ideas?

Michael Venus and Artem Sitak make up the rest of the team 592 and 705 respectively in World Rankings.Lets hope King-Turner and Statham dont get Delhi Belly as these two havnt actually been moving up the rankings.

As I write heavy rain has delayed the start of the match.It will indeed be a vey interesting tie.The Indian team is vulnerable ,home conditions of course is an advantage.I look forward to giving you an update on the tie.Any how I must go and pick up my take away Garlic Naan and Beef Vindaloo.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Murray Lays Ghost's to rest.

I liken Murray's win similar to a cone drill I do with students, maintain consistency the cones eventually fall over.Murray yesterday finally put the Ghost of Fred Perry the last British Male 76 years ago to win a singles Grandslam. Murray was playing his 5th slam final and perseverance finally paid off.He played a smarter ,tactical game in trying windy conditions a lesson for all junior players how to adapt their game.Djokovic although he battled hard could not come to terms in so much he could not play the game he wanted to.The final sometimes looked like a local club singles battle slice backhand to slice backhand,in fact at times it became a slice and dice fest and Murray had the better control.Murray maintained a good level of depth off the ground and this was a telling factor.Murray wont be getting any Calvin Klein underwear deals from his grand slam win , he wont get the best tan award either but he does get the title that he will keep for eternity.

The Murray box was delighted at times his mother reminds me of a "punch drunk" fan getting up constantly shaking her fist in support.Lendl the coach of Murray even cracked a small smile, he indeed fits the "Grim reaper" persona to a tee.Credit to a certain extent goes to Lendl but Murray's team including his Mum played a big part.How different a year makes and the mental side of tennis become evident with Djokovic not so confident as he was this time 12 months ago.Hurry back Rafa!

For your interest below a video clip of a young Andy Murray.

I came across a very funny blog which I will give you a link to .Some people usually Rafa fans think of Federer as aloof and of course the GOAT title sits well with his idenity.The blog title is Psuedo Fed Blog and reading a few posts I found it very funny indeed.In this small excerpt from the title Minutes of the players council it is Psuedo Fed recording the minutes.

"Andy Murray sat right at the front wearing his Gold Medal and he had a very big grin on his face like a Cheshire Cat. For My fans outside of the UK, Cheshire is a county in England where their cats are always very happy.

Mr. Bradlings started the meeting by standing up and announcing that the last Australian player to win the Australian Open was Mark Edmundson in 1976. I looked at him and said, “thank you”.

Tommy Haas said if anyone has an injury during the U.S. Open they are to check with him first before calling a trainer.

I looked at him and then looked at Andy Murray who rolled his eyes (both of them)." David Nalbandian asked if the lines judges would have flimsy wooden panels like at Queens in London. Nobody knew although Serena Williams said she would check for him providing he cared to shut his d**m mouth. This moment got a little heated and I nearly called My staff but Mr. Bradlings made the interceptions and told us all that in the last two decades, Marat Safin made the most Aces (31) without a Double Fault in 2004.

Andy Murray asked how I did in the Olympics with the same grin and I gestured to staff who held up a flag that read, “Shut Up”. CHECK OUT THE BLOG AT

Finally when i started this Blog I did not think I would write and post so many articles.Nor did I think how local and world wide this blog would be read.I know some readers are not fans but they keep coming back to check what is written so that is a testimony in its self to know they care what is written.........other than that why come back :) Anyhow I received a nice comment so check it out in the comments section of this post.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Is Tennis in this Country Going Down the Drain

It's such a pity that a great sport like tennis is in the 'crap' in this country. There really isn't anything that's positive. Where have all the Coaches gone?, this week I was in Thames and we went to have some Fish and Chips, and were served by Andrew Beattie , once a top Kiwi Tennis player and an excellent coach, why would he prefer Fish to Tennis ?. Obviously Andrew is not the only loss,where is Chris Lewis, David Lewis?, the list goes on.

The reason is obvious, incompetent leadership from NZ Tennis, incompetent people being replaced by equally incompetents.  These people are funded by Clubs and their members throughout NZ, why aren't the clubs and members vocal, why aren't more Coaches more vocal, lack of courage is the reason.  There are" many brown noses "that see the in competencies but will not speak up in fear they might loose some small favours that NZ Tennis dishes out.

All over the country we see really good coaches being victimised by Administrators both at Club level and Provincial level, coaches with criminal convictions have been employed at some clubs and endorsed by NZ Tennis. Just how many Coaches are registered?, how many unregistered Coaches are given work by NZ Tennis ?, what is the point in being registered, besides a discount on Addidas sunglasses .

There is not one NZ born player in the top 300 in the world, why? What does NZ Tennis do to help Coaches?, nothing! Now enough of the negativity , help is at hand with the formation of a new Coaches organisation, new in NZ, but well established in Australia, and well respected a breath of fresh air to all Coaches in this country, enthusiastic men and women who love the game, and who are determined to resurrect the Sport in NZ, Look up the Web Site and you will see there is hope,  An optermistic Coach,

*this was submitted by a passionate tennis coach *

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Life not Easy Outside the Top 100 Male Tennis Players

I'm a professional tennis player. I live in Melbourne and my world ranking is 256. I returned home yesterday from the US Open, where I was the first alternate for the qualifying draw. Had I made it, my prizemoney would have covered my flights, and maybe a couple of nights in the hotel. Instead, I have just added another hefty amount to my bloated credit card bill.

Read more:

Great story above on what life is like for most of the tennis players on the Tour.Check it out!

Do New Zealand readers watch the TV show the Block? former National Ranked junior Sarah Adams appears with her partner as one of the teams!!!

New Zealander 's may remember Russian Junior Tanya Somodelok,she was in New Zealand for long periods around the age of 10 and eleven she showed great maturity in her game at a very young age.New Zealand tried very hard to get her citizenship.In a women's event in MEXICO last week she came up against New Zealand Junior Emily Fanning, both girls are around the same age the Russian slightly older.Somodelok has played very few Junior ITF's whilst Fanning has played more than her fair share. So it was with interest the result for comparison..the Russian winning a second round match 7/5 6/1.This was a 10,000.00 Women's event.Somodelok was beaten in her next match.She has a career high ranking of 1142.

No qualifying was held so if you are looking for some events to get an easy berth to the Maindraw look at Mexico.The eventual winner was around 480 in the world.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

The Best Kept Secret In New Zealand Tennis was let out of the bag yesterday.

 A Statement from the CEO of the Australasian Academy of Tennis Coaches

 My name is Lynton Joseph and my current role is that of CEO of the Australasian Academy of Tennis Coaches Pty Ltd. Our headquarters are located in Melbourne, Australia and we have been working closely with some well respected High Performance Coaches in Mr Stephen Dries and Mr Michael Mooney. We have been meeting three times a week through Skype as well as through email and telephone. This has all culminated in a visit to Christchurch this month to finalise AATC’s move into New Zealand to work with current coaches as well as provide an educational opportunity to for trainee and aspiring coaches. We currently have close to 150 members in Australia as well as Malaysia, Hong Kong, India, Pakistan and Singapore. We deliver courses Australia wide as well as in Asia and working with New Zealand only gives both countries an opportunity to network and develop tennis in our respective communities. Stephen Dries and Mike Mooney are both New Zealand based and are more than qualified to deliver our Level O, Level 1 and Level 2 Tennis Coach certification courses on behalf of the AATC. They are both current Level 3 Elite Professional Coaches with the AATC and are held in the highest regard. Onny Parun, former Australia Open finalist and arguably New Zealand’s greatest tennis player has come on board as the patron in New Zealand. This time should be seen as an exciting time for New Zealand tennis. The market is being deregulated and potential coaches are given the option to make a choice. I am personally flying into New Zealand to work with Stephen and Michael as they set up this company. We have set up an open forum with the coaches in New Zealand to listen to the their issues in order to meet their ongoing needs. The AATC in New Zealand will be independently administered by an independant New Zealand Board. Of this, two members will be eligible to sit on the AATC Board in Australia .

 New Zealand Great Onny Parun is our Patron in New Zealand and he had this to say "This new group of independant coaches was formed due to the lack of support and protection from NZT. As Patron I applaud this brave stance and wish them the best of luck in this new endeavour.----Onny Parun

This Independent group was formed to raise the standards in coaching qualifications and unite tennis coaches so they have a voice in their industry something that has been lacking here in New Zealand. You make up your mind which supermarket you shop at and its your choice where you shop at no one has the right to dictate and now with the AATC there is a choice,competition is healthy and as we are all working for the common goal to foster tennis an Independent Coaches group is vital.


Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Tennis Turmoil

This story was sent to me by Clem and Mike who spent three months researching .Email trails and a very damming voice tape of a meeting was obtained.I have posted it simply to show the lack of ethics and professionalism that is surfacing in the coaching world and the admin departments in charge of running the game.Below is their researched story of events.

This story begins in two very different places at opposite ends of the world A sleepy town in Central North Island called Taupo and New York City USA

Mark an American Coach apparently was the answer to a prayer from a tired Club president and a sleepy program in need of CPR.She wanted to hand on the coaching duties. Mark had just sent out several hundred CVs around the world from his New York base of his national Academy, looking for someone to bite and bite they did.

The CV we are not sure ended up in Auckland passed on to someone in tennis circles who passed it on to Waikato Bays Tennis CEO. She knowing of the soon to be freeTaupo position passed it on to her friend the President of the Taupo club. All seemed Ok!

The two were life time friends and together they contemplated Mark 's surreal CV He seemed to be to good to be true and in keeping with that adage he was.

It appeared Mark was a conman had a criminal record and had an ego almost as large as his fraudulent CV. Mark had sparkling qualifications which to anyone familiar and remotely acquanted with the game should run up the red lights.

However this was so good that the President and CEO neglected to tell the committee at Taupo what they were doing.Correspondence clearly shows no communication or authorisation appears to have been given Clearly this was a surprise such a coup for Taupo and Waikato Bays.

There was heavy email traffic between between Mark The President and CEO We have this traffic courtesy of Mark himself Marks PHD in sports science his Freshman tennis player of the year status in his conference and many glowing awards and University accreditations blinded the two to his poor diction and spelling in his flawed e mails

Mark got the position and there is no record of the position being advertised although this may have happened, it was not picked up. This is naturally a requirement of Immigration that the position must be advertised for a NZ resident coach. It appears most likely that his CV was vetted by the CEO of Waikato Bays and probably Coach Co Ordinator at NZ Tennis initially and then again later when the alarm went off.

Marks application was put through the New York office and would need support from TNZ and or Regional body and Taupo It also appears it may not have been the normal two year permit required under skilled Immigration as the contract was for only 6 months This to is a problem and Mark is not the only foreigner probably employed on an invalid tourist visa in this way.Nor is the the only unqualified foreign coach to get a top position here.

This all happened from July August 2011 Mark finally arrives late Oct /Nov 2011 A large article appears in the Taupo Paper announcing the arrival and how fortunate Taupo was to have someone who had a CV of such qualityThe club had set aside money a retainer of $1,000 per month. This very well may have been public money as the club would seem to be unable to finance a coach in this way.

It became apparent immediately on Marks arrival that something was very wrong Mark had erratic behaviour often putting his hand down his pants while in company

It became clear Mark could hardly play and he was being groomed for grass hopper tennis. It was confided to us that the previous coach had no qualification and it became more likely that neither did Mark.

Panic set in Mark worried his host and was jettisoned to another unsuspecting host who was later to send her kids out of town due to her justifiable fear of Mark and his erratic behaviour. Mark would wait up all night betting on American football games. His money went on gambling and had the drug oxycontin in his possesion ...a percription drug when the tablets are melted down and inhaled it is called Hill Billy Heroin.

We know this through correspondence passed on to us. It was clear to this person Mark was in need of serious help and was a compulsive liar. Marks new host believed at first Marks hard luck story how he was misunderstood and poorly treated He was not paid for work as outlined in his contract We have a copy This is actually true.

The CEO was asked to come and observe Mark She was along with The Coach CoOrdinator at TNZ the two most responsible for providing Marks unvetted ride into the country.

NZT Coach Co Ordinator said his CV seemed alright obviously no phone calls or emails were sent checking his CV. Waikato Bays CEO came and personally witnessed Mark give a lesson to an adult lady.

Finally it became obvious they had a dud and more important an embarrasment to them all. A criminal record was uncovered by a policeman and by his second host

Mark was sacked Then when it seemed it could not get worse it does

Read next week cover ups and pay offs

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Rain And More Rain in Timaru

Well tennis coaches must keep busy so I photoshopped this today ,let me say miserable weather in the South Island of New Zealand. I am putting up some story's on my blog over the next few days you could describe them with an old Movie Title , Sex , Lies And Video Tape ....well the Lies and the videotapes are correct :)

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Serena Adds Singles Olympic Gold

The Serena show rolls on!

"I always wanted to win a gold medal (in singles) secretly," she said Saturday shortly after dismissing Russian Maria Sharapova 6-0, 6-1 on the same grass where she won the Wimbledon title last month, "and I've always said it doesn't matter because I already have a gold medal (in doubles), and I really believe that. But deep, deep, deep, deep down I wanted it in singles as well."

This was the one major title that had been missing on her résumé. Williams owns 14 Grand Slam singles championships, the most of any active woman. She had won the Olympic gold medal in doubles with her sister Venus in 2000 and 2008, but not the gold in singles. She and Venus will play for a third doubles gold Sunday.

"It's such an amazing feeling. I got it," she said. "I can't compare. I have it, I have them all so it's great feeling."

The stage had been set for drama. The Olympic gold medal match. Williams vs. Sharapova.

The last time Sharapova defeated Williams in a singles final came at this court at the 2004 Wimbledon Championship final. Both players Saturday were chasing career golden slams, a sweep of the four major titles and an Olympic gold.Serna also won Gold with Sister Venus in the Ladies Doubles final.

Read more at ONTD: