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Talking Points 2007
 
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Being CEO means never having to say you're sorry?
Given that the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) was formed to protect the interests of male professional tennis players, and given that Etienne de Villiers, the current chief executive, is frequently heard stressing the importance of marketing the top players, it seems curious to witness the governing body become an accessory to the character assassination of one of the tour's leading players. Click here
14 November 2007
 
No news would be great news for tennis!
If you think it's safe to venture back into the troubled waters of the pro tennis tours, think again, folks! Cue the ominous music and the menacing dark shape slithering beneath the surface! No sooner has umpire Cedric Mourier sunk his teeth into the hapless figure of Nikolay Davydenko than we become aware of the horrible end to the career of Martina Hingis. Click here
2 November 2007
 
Put up or shut up, Andy!
When ATP officials quiz Andy Murray about his match-fixing allegations, they should surely censure him for his lack of discretion if they fail to squeeze names out of him. The governing bodies are fully aware that the integrity of the sport is jeopardised as much by speculation as by hard evidence that players have been taking bribes to throw matches. Click here
10 October 2007
 
Why can't the LTA cut some slack?
The problem with having such paragons of virtue as Roger Federer and Justine Henin at the pinnacle of the sport is that their style of behaviour, laudable as it is, becomes the template for coaches nurturing new talent. Click here
27 September 2007
 
Qatar's bumpy playing field
Shahar Peer's inexorable rise up the rankings may present the WTA Tour with a headache following the recent announcement that Doha, Qatar will host the 2008-2010 Sony Ericsson Championships. Click here
6 September 2007
 
Straight from the horse's mouth
ATP officials, investigating suspicious betting patterns on a match involving Nikolay Davydenko, have resolved to turn to Paul Scotney, director of security for the British Horseracing Authority, in an effort to avoid the potential corruption of tennis by match-fixing. Click here
11 August 2007
 
Lazy players squander Wimbledon surplus
Tim Henman's recent rant about British tennis slackers should serve not only to provoke the targeted freeloaders into acquiring a harder-edged, more competitive disposition but also to remind the national association that it would be better served addressing the shortcomings at grass-roots level than continuing to pump disproportionate amounts of funding into the elite end of the sport. Click here
25 July 2007
 
Hawk-Eye needs more carrots!
Hawk-Eye may have been "killing" Roger Federer during the Wimbledon men's final but the All England Club has hailed the introduction of the electronic line-calling system as a resounding success. "It's been an overwhelming success and it will be here to stay," a Wimbledon spokesman announced. However, Hawk-Eye's creator, Dr Paul Hawkins, has been forced onto the defensive by Federer sympathisers and other assorted Luddites. Click here
13 July 2007
 
Wimbledon's special friendship
If it's true that individuals do more to promote peace than governments, the renewed pairing of Indian Muslim Sania Mirza and Israel's Shahar Peer in the Wimbledon ladies doubles event is a significant one despite the pair's insistence that they are not making any kind of religious or political statement. Click here
3 July 2007
 
Laughter and adversity
On the face of it, an insecure childhood set against the backdrop of a disintegrating country spiralling into civil war would not seem to be the ideal blueprint for a career in professional tennis. But the Serbs (Jelena Jankovic, Ana Ivanovic and Novak Djokovic) look anything but disadvantaged as they line up for the French Open quarter-finals, outnumbering all but the Russians and the Spaniards. Click here
5 June 2007
 
Federer and Nadal step up bloodless rivalry
Roger Federer's victory over Rafael Nadal in the Hamburg Masters final should set pulses racing in anticipation of the two locking horns in the 2007 French Open, but there is something about the rivalry that has yet to rouse the passions of sports fans around the world. Click here
23 May 2007
 
Federer stalls on road to greatness
Frustrated by repeated failure to outmanoeuvre Rafael Nadal and shaken by a series of prangs involving Guillermo Canas and 53rd-ranked Filippo Volandri, Roger Federer is starting to display symptoms of road rage as he negotiates his way to a French Open crown and tennis immortality. Click here
18 May 2007
 
Killing with kindness
Kim Clijsters won the US Open singles title in 2005 and the WTA Tour Championships singles title twice (in 2002 and 2003). She also won the French Open and Wimbledon women's doubles titles in 2003 and notched 34 WTA singles titles and 11 doubles titles during her career. It's an impressive haul, but the popular Belgian is at pains to point out that any summary of her career should include her six WTA sportsmanship awards. Click here
9 May 2007
 
Yeltsin's sweet and sour legacy
Boris Yeltsin's political legacy may be shrouded in controversy, but there can be no doubt about the former Russian president's legacy to tennis. His enthusiasm for his country's cause in Davis Cup and Fed Cup served as a significant catalyst for the Russian tennis revolution. Click here
25 April 2007
 
De Villiers starts tennis "turf war"
When ATP executive chairman and president Etienne de Villiers unveiled his plans for a 2009 restructuring of the ATP calendar, the former Disney executive must have felt a bit like Mickey Mouse in the role of the Sorcerer's hapless Apprentice in Fantasia. Click here
16 April 2007
 
Sorry seems to be the hardest word
There has been much talk of public apologies and reparations for past grievances in the news recently. The 200th anniversary of the abolition of slavery has been one such issue and, on a much smaller scale, there has been some controversy over the WTA Tour's decision to make Indian Wells one of the four mandatory events for top-ranked players in 2009. Click here
30 March 2007
 
Tennis brat finds true vocation
All kinds of people get caught up in the cut-throat world of professional sport. Some are clearly ego-driven and ruthless. Others, like Roger Federer, manage to effect a paradoxical mix of relentless ambition and personal humility. Occasionally there are hapless victims of other people's vanity. Formerly a ball-bashing teenage phenomenon who reached number two in the world rankings, Sister Andrea Jaeger is now adapting to her new life as a Dominican nun in the Episcopal Church. Click here
14 March 2007
 
Round-robin lottery in Las Vegas
The 2007 Tennis Channel Open in Las Vegas descended into farce when defending champion James Blake was eliminated after the round-robin stage, reinstated and then finally eliminated again. Click here
5 March 2007
 
Who's to blame?
Western society may or may not be in the grip of a compensation culture. It makes no odds - it's perceived to be. And that perception is enough to compel all kinds of organisations to adopt extraordinary examples of risk-averse behaviour. Click here
9 February 2007
 
On the rebound
In 1988, the Australian Open switched from December to January, from Kooyong to Melbourne Park, from grass to Rebound Ace, and reinvented itself as the fourth Grand Slam tournament. Bigger crowds flocked to the new state-of-the-art venue and the event underwent a glorious transformation. Abandoning the grass, however, sounded the death knell for home success. Click here
30 January 2007
 
Uneven heat in Melbourne
As with all open-air tournaments, rain is a problem for the organisers of the Australian Open, but with retractable roofs over the two stadium courts, Rod Laver Arena and Vodafone Arena, it is a manageable problem. The sun, however, gives them a big headache. Click here
15 January 2007
 
Tennis: the people's game?
It seems that national governing bodies are increasingly gripped by a lust for success on the international stage at the expense of the game's development at grass roots level. Click here
8 January 2007
 

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