Sunday, June 29, 2008

Heard Around - Middle Sunday

by Savannah



So the Brits, hidebound and hemmed in by tradition, schedule no play this Sunday. This helps maintain the fiction that the tournament is thirteen days - Monday is officially Day 7- for who knows what reason. I'm sure some of us could get into a debate about the relationship between Wimbledon and the Summer Solstice but this is a tennis blog.

Moving on the chief executive of the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA), one Mr. Roger Draper, has backtracked on the stated goal of LTA president Stuart Smith original goal of Britain having five players in the top 100 of the sport by 2008. That goal has now been pushed back to 2010. Sometimes people make interesting statements when their backs are against the wall. Consider this one from Mr. Draper.

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11 comments:

Karen said...

Everyone knows I love Roger. I think he is the greatest tennis player (male) that I have ever seen, but sometimes he needs to just shut up and play tennis. I thought it was ridiculous that a 4 time champion and an 8 time slam champion should be shunted off to the graveyard court for not 1, not 2 but all 3 matches that they played today and Roger thinks that they should stop complaining and do their jobs. Who the f**k do you think you are? Get on with your job. He has won 5 championships, Venus 4, Serena 2. We are not even counting the doubles and mixed doubles that both ladies have won, plus they have won Olympic medals (something he is yet to achieve) and now you are telling them to shut up and stop complaining. I so hope someone kicks his ass good and properly come Sunday (if he makes it that far). I forgave you Roger when you did not know who Althea Gibson was, but to step into this type of controversy is not befitting the role that you have take upon yourself. Venus/Serena deserved better than this. Even Jon Wertheim had to ask whether the Club was trying to tell them something. Outrageous.

Craig Hickman said...

Karen, I had no idea Raja said something about this issue.

Karen said...

Craig, he was asked in his press conference about whether he would play on Court 2 or something to that effect and he was of the view the Club does everything and Pete Sampras played there and he would play there but hopes he is never asked to play there. There are just some things that he should not comment on. I even forgave him for his callousness during the whole rain delay debacle last year and celebrated with him when he won but he is just getting on my last nerves these days. Guess that is the reason why I am not married or in a relationship, cannot deal with the fickleness of my heart or the contrariness of men. He said that the players should stop complaining and do their jobs, no matter which court they were on. Plus he needs to make up his mind who is his idol - Pete Sampras or Boris Becker. There is a link to a story on ESPN.

Savannah said...

Raja would just DIE I tell you if they put him on any court other than Centre Court. He admits as much after saying everyone else should just STFU and play.

Karen I went to the two boards I expected to see a brouhaha over the remarks and only one had a thread about it.

The other board, a hotbed of mens tennis fans, had a thread asking the question if H.I.M. should play every match on Centre Court. His fans took it over.

The silence is deafening.

Karen said...

Peter Bodo wrote a column on the fact that Venus was over at Court 2. Nothing controversial. But I listening to Radio Wimbledon today and Nick Bolliterri as well as the other commentators (Matt Cronin I think) were really incensed over the whole thing. For me it is not the fact that they were on Court 2, it was the fact of what Court 2 represents. Dead and Buried champions. As well, there is absolutely no video stream from that court, and you cannot even get commentary from that court except from the roving reporter. I think it wad disrespectful to 2 women who have owned this tournament since 2000. And then for the No. 1 men's player to come out and talk about well if he was asked he would have played there, yeah right. He threw a hissy fit last year at the FO when he was asked to play early Sunday morning. I love his game but really Roger is getting on my last nerve, and I did not have many nerves to begin with as it is.

oddman said...

Am so not surprised by this. Not one iota. Not only the entitlement issue, but also the silence from the masses. Kudos to you, karen, for speaking your mind, as you usually do.

tangerine said...

Roger gets too much preferential treatment at Wimbledon. They have yet to put him on Court 2 like they have every other champion. No, nobody wants to play on it but it's not fair that he be on Centre Court all the time. Some of his early round matches are not worthy of it.

I hope the US Open makes him play on the Grandstand Court at 11:00 in the morning, Roger's crazy fans (not you, karen) would go positively apeshit on MTF, and it would serve them all right, lol.

rabbit said...

Yeah, I also fully agree that Roger should play some matches outside center courts. There is no reason he shouldn't. I know he doesn't like to play early, but I haven't heard him complain when he played outside Philippe Chartrier in the French Open this year.

Yeah, I also agree his answer at the presser was pretty awkward. First he said that players shouldn't complain and then he said that he hopes he doesn't have to play there. Roger often tries to take a larger viewpoint of the tournament organizers when asked about other players' issues. But these replies aren't really honest. For example, last year at Wimbledon, when he didn't take seriously the players' complaints about match scheduling.

About the Althea Gibson question, I thought he was just ignorant. I bet most non-American male players don't know about top-ranked female players of the 1950's.

Helen W said...

I read somewhere that the AELTC tries to make sure that all potential finalists have a chance to play on Centre Court, because it is so different in feel. I recall David Nalbandian asking if he could go on it the night before his final, having never played on it -- maybe this incident was the impetus.

We will see if Rainer Schuettler, Arnaud Clement & Feli Lopez play a match there this year.

Craig Hickman said...

Not to rehash, but since you all brought it up, I found Raja's remarks about Althea Gibson inexcusable for a man who claims tennis history is his passion.

But even if he had no idea who she was before the USO began, it was beyond baffling that he ignored the fact that the entire Opening Night ceremony was a tribute to her. A tribute that had been planned even before Wimbledon that year, where Althea wasn't openly honored but where the 50th Anniversary of her first Wimbledon crown was observed by many nonetheless.

::

Helen W, in 2004, two years after Nalbandian, Andy Roddick had to get premission to practice on Centre Court before the final because he didn't get to play a match on it either.

In my mind, there was no excuse for Venus to not play all her matches on Centre Court.

If Wimbledon would get over itself and put two women's matches on Centre Court and start play earlier...

But that would be too much like right.

Helen W said...

Craig, I agree, and when I checked the Schedule of Play for tomorrow, none of Feli, Arnaud and Rainer is playing on Centre court.