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Talking Points 2009
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The greatest hoax of all time?
You may have heard that the United States Tennis Association (USTA) was supplied with renewable energy certificates (RECs) to match its electricity consumption during the 2009 US Open. By buying verified RECs, the USTA made a bold statement about its commitment to the cause of environment-friendly renewable electricity generation. But could it be that they, along with many other businesses and individuals, are guilty of being a shade disingenuous about this supposed investment? Click here
9 November 2009
Le Miserable
Andre Agassi's reputation will be tarnished but not destroyed by the crystal methamphetamine revelations. A little controversy always helps to drive up sales of an imminent autobiography. The majority of those who are currently dismayed by Agassi's dabbling in drugs (and alarmed about his lying) will end up reflecting on his subsequent metamorphosis and they will judge in the Las Vegan's favour. Click here
3 November 2009
Getting too close to the players?
We have pre-match interviews right before the players step out on court (can you smell any nervousness)? We have post-match interviews conducted courtside while the emotion is still raw and the conditions are perfect for an unguarded remark or two (will they say something stupid?). Are we getting too close to the players? Click here
8 October 2009
Peer pressure
I'm sure Stacey Allaster is delighted with her appointment as chairman and chief executive of the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour but she's probably less than elated with the timing. Having to steer through a recession when your organisation's buoyancy relies on sponsorship is not an enviable prospect. Even if she navigates her way through the rough economic waters ahead, Allaster will do well to avoid the iceberg represented by Shahar Peer's involvement at the 2010 Dubai Tennis Championships. Click here
20 August 2009
Kissing goodbye to Mr Scrupulous Guy
We might think Richard Gasquet should be expected to avoid compromising situations, but few people believe he is a calculating drugs cheat. Rescinding his ban might therefore appear fair. But tell that to Martina Hingis and tell it to the other sports federations that are now wrestling with the flood gates. Will we see any more draconian doping bans in tennis? Or has Gasquet paved the way for ever more creative excuses and are lawyers the world over now chasing urine samples as well as ambulances? Click here
22 July 2009
Making a big noise
When 16-year-old Portuguese phenomenon Michelle Larcher de Brito is unleashed on the British tennis-watching public at the end of this month, there's a risk that the media attention devoted to her banshee-like grunts and shrieks could derail the impressive progress of this highly promising Nick Bolletieri protege. When Nick is happy with her serves, groundstrokes and volleys, it is essential that he prepares her for the media onslaught. Click here
3 June 2009
Retractable roof, retractable agreement?
Can the LTA be trusted to nurture the development of tennis in Britain these days? Having unveiled the new retractable roof over Centre Court, perhaps the AELTC should take retractability a step further and make funding conditional on the LTA achieving targets in all aspects of the game's development nationally. Click here
23 April 2009
Murray joins clamour for malaria eradication
I'm not in the habit of using these pages to cajole people into parting with their hard-earned cash in support of this or that deserving cause. I'm making an exception for Malaria No More, a non-profit, non-governmental organisation that has recently courted the support of Britain's Andy Murray amongst a host of other sports personalities. Click here
21 April 2009
Is WADA in violation of the Fourth Amendment?
The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) may not be strictly bound by the text of the Fourth Amendment but it should probably avoid blatantly flouting the spirit of its wisdom. Click here
25 February 2009
"Golliwog" gaffe reveals thin skins
It seems to me that Carol Thatcher has been punished not for being actually racist but for using language that people who are considered racist might use. Is offence taken necessarily offence given? Click here
6 February 2009
Don't think of the colour blue!
When competitors are pushing at the rules like never before, governing bodies of all sports must prove themselves equal to the task of ensuring fairness. This is not a time for irresolute and faint-hearted umpiring. Unfortunately, there has been evidence of frailty recently. Racket-smashing has often gone unpunished in recent months and many a blind eye has been turned to time-wasting antics. Click here
7 January 2009

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