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!