The Roar
The Roar

Ben Murphy

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Joined May 2011

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Haha, Blatter could well be responsible for the Budget Fussball. I did mention further down that FIFA shouldn’t be blamed though! Tony, care to elaborate on these inaccurates?

Who's really at fault for World Cup fiasco?

Cowan did alright in the recent tour match, but I just don’t think he’s done quite enough. Watson and Rogers deserve one last chance as an opening pairing in my opinion

Lehmann must make the bold calls

Searly, spot on!! While players like Nadal and Djokovic shouldn’t have their victories clouded by poor excuses, they should be held accountable for making tennis difficult to watch at times. Don’t get me wrong, both are exciting when the ball is in the court, it’s just the constant delays which are the problem. A longer break at the change of ends, as you suggested, could be a feasible solution.

Talk of Nadal cheating to victory petty

Bino, i completely agree. There are far better excuses for losing than this. Nadal has a set routine which he carries out before serving each time, as do all players. The only reason that he is in the spotlight for time wasting more often than others is because of his success. A lot of players also exceed the time limit, but are not mentioned. The ITF needs to do something to enforce this 20 second rule properly, so that it cannot be used as an excuse for losing anymore.

Talk of Nadal cheating to victory petty

Big Al, there is still a light, but it is only just flickering unfortunately. I must confess that when the younger players are not playing on competition nights, the courts around my local area are largely ignored. I think part of the reason for the removal of tennis from public consciousness has to do with not only a lack of success, but also the aggressive marketing of other sports, like rugby league. The media is to blame too. I mean, you just have to look a the sports section of a newspaper to see how much room is devoted to league/afl/cricket, compared to tennis. I really don’t believe enough has been done to compete against these other sports and encourage more people to play tennis at grassroots/social level. When I was in high school, we had volunteers who represented the AFL come and give us lessons, free balls and instructional DVDs. Why isn’t TA trying to do similar initiatives?

Will sports science improve the dire fortunes of Australian tennis?

Big Al, around where I live there are courts which are quite often occupied by teenagers or people over 50 who are simply socialising. However, I have also seen many younger children playing competitively on these courts and you would be surprised at the natural ability in a lot of them. In my opinion, many kids still have an interest in tennis and are encouraged to play it by their parents. The problem is that many of them get lost to other sports, like rugby league and cricket, as they grow older and one of the reasons for this can be linked, as Jim rightfully pointed out, to a lack of support from TA (both financially and in terms of their development). I’d just like to point out that with all this talk of sports science bringing Australians up to the current level required, how do they think past players like Rod Laver and John Newcombe got on? They didn’t have access to all of this information. I know that times have changed and tennis has become more diverse, but TA seems to have steered away from the basics and instead of helping to improve players, they have merely over-complicated things.

Will sports science improve the dire fortunes of Australian tennis?

Jim, I completely agree. TA has focused far too much on developing young players, which clearly hasn’t worked. Tomic is the only youngster who is anywhere near the level required, and even he is losing in the very early stages of tournaments. Though he still needs more time to develop, players like Hewitt and Nadal were making major inroads at the same age. I don’t believe that this sports science program will make much of a difference. As you say, they need their own coaches and methods that they feel comfortable with, not ones that are forced upon them.

Will sports science improve the dire fortunes of Australian tennis?

Da Silva, I agree with you in part. When commenting on the revealing of the affair to the public, I actually said in the article “no wonder Giggs chose to steer clear of the media for the best part of his career,” meaning that I opposed the way in which his affair was allowed to become public knowledge. While I said that the super-injunction could be seen as covering up his mistake, I also understand that he did it to protect his image and privacy. Unfortunately, invasion of privacy is part and parcel of being rich and famous. Which is why I believe it is not fair for footballers to be expected to be role models, as with the amount of scrutiny they are placed under, there is sure to be a ‘mistake’ (affair, fight, late nights out) that will be revealed for the whole world to see. The problem is that because they are constantly in the public eye, thanks to the media, it is considered the norm within society for them to behave as role models for their younger fans.

Forget about footballers acting as role models

I agree Wanda. If Djokovic can defeat Nadal and Federer at both Roland Garros and Wimbledon, tournaments that they have ‘owned’ in the past, then he is well on track for the true Grand Slam. But the season is long and, as Nadal said, it is impossible for Djokovic to win forever. However, he has quickly built an aura of invincibility now, not just against the other players, but against two of the greatest players ever! It will be very interesting to see if Nadal and Federer can fight back and stop him extending the winning run and taking out the French Open. I just can’t see anyone stopping him on current form.

Is defiant Djokovic on track for Grand Slam?