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The Long Knives of Newport 02/24/2010 - 2:29 PM

53197325 by Pete Bodo

Nick Bollettieri has confirmed that he was bypassed for induction into the International Tennis Hall of Fame, that odd institution situated in the once-formidable bastion of the America's elites, Newport, R.I. The town was a playground for the rich and well-born of the Gilded age, those Astors and Vanderbilts, whose spectacular stone mansions still line Bellevue Ave., within walking distance of the ITHF. But it was a Navy town for a period as well, and today, as a kind of quirky resort town, it's an interesting hodgepodge of historical and cultural values.

I write "odd" because the ITHF, housed in the Newport Casino, is a shrine still (and appropriately) enveloped in the honeyed glow of the game's patrician roots. But it has striven mightily to remain relevant in the new, Open era (if anything 40-plus years old can be called "new"). Anyone can book a court and play on the grass courts of the Casino, and hosting an unabashedly commercial event like the Campbell's (Soup) Hall of Fame Championships (the ATP 250 that takes place right after Wimbledon), certainly doesn't smack of hoity-toity elitism - although one suspects that one or another Campbell must have at some point put his feet up in one of those spired mansions. Belcourt Castle, perhaps, or Rosecliff?

Actually, it's easy to go all Monty Python on historical Newport, but here's a telling fact that sums up the past hundred or so years in tennis: the tiebreaker wasn't the brainchild of some savvy former player, television executive (although Bob Monsbach of CBS still sacrifices a virgin daily in sheer gratitude for it), or pushy ITF type. It was thought up, promoted (to deaf ears, for quite some time) and ultimately sold to the Lords of Tennis by James "Jimmy" van Alen. Now there was a guy (Jimmy, that is), for whom Belcourt Castle itself might have seemed like nothing more than a cozy guest house somewhere at the back of his property. Somewhere along the line I heard that van Alen was heir to the Singer sewing machine fortune, but I can't confirm that.  But his blood lines certainly were blue.

Van Alen gave the USTA the Newport Casino in 1954, and yet another national landmark was saved from becoming a parking lot (that's the literal truth). Once you get over asking yourself, Why couldn't he give it to me instead?, you can see the beauty in the gesture. Van Alen was what you might call a progressive patrician, in that he was eager to see the game of tennis outgrow places like the Newport Casino, and he wholly supported the idea of opening up the place to the public. That helps put into context his stroke of genius, the tiebreaker. Van Alen's original version was a sudden-death, nine-point affair, with the players alternating two serves each. If the score reached 4-all, the receiver had choice of court in which to take the final serve.

I'm old enough to remember the days when the umpire would take out a little red flag and plant it in the chair, indicating that a tiebreaker was in progress. And at that point, if van Alen was present, he would rise from the chair in his court-side box (he was an elfin man with a shock of white hair and a florid, cherubic face - not exactly an image that evokes the word, "patrician") and rather dramatically wave to the crowd.

There you have it, the old world of tennis helping to shape the new. A very welcome symbol of continuity in a sport that was in some other ways buffeted and torn asunder by professionalism. It's a distinctly American story, I think, and a tribute to flexible society where lines of class and other imposed distinctions (like degree of wealth) are not as clearly drawn or as difficult to cross, one way or the other or even back and forth, as in many other societies.

Which more or less brings us to Bollettieri. I can't for the life of me figure out how he was not selected for induction into the ITHF without pulling at the loose threads dangling in the paragraph above. Bollettieri was nominated in the Contributor category, which acknowledges the value of selected administrators, officials, coaches and even members of the media. The enshrinees in those categories are not selected by a vote (as are those in the "Recent Player" category, to which I annually contribute my own vote), but by an "International Masters Panel" that includes enshrinees as well as "individuals who are highly knowledgeable of the sport and its history." (That's from the HoF's own copy.)

I suspect that this panel is just another variation on the Old Boy Network, and that the long knives of prejudice were out in Newport when it came time to discuss Bollettieri's nomination. Bollettieri has certainly been a controversial figure through much of his career, if less so now. Yet he's always been ignored or villified less for anything he did (presuming we've gotten beyond that simplistic notion that tennis academies are evil incarnate) than for his personal style and image. The genteel selectors presumably don't have a taste for mirrored shades, or for the kind of guy who has sat bare-chested on the balcony of his room in Paris's George V hotel, taking the sun with his portable reflector.

The Contributors category includes a pile of journalists, but few people I can identify by name as coaches (Harry Hopman is an outstanding exception). And I know that a fair number of enshrined contributors lobbied vigorously for enshrinement, while others - Rex Bellamy, anyone? - have been ignored, probably because they didn't push themselves or work their contacts on the panel hard enough.

I point this out because I imagine that one of the impediments Bollettieri faced to enshrinement is that he has lobbied vigorously - he'd love nothing more than to be recognized by the ITHF. One of Nick's better qualities is that he isn't afraid to admit that. But if others have helped promote themselves into the hall, why should Bollettieri be shunned for doing the same? The only real answer I can come up with is personal  prejudice against Bollettieri - something like the animus that kept Graham Greene from being awarded the Nobel Prize for literature (if you believe the literary gossip). That's what happens when a "panel" picks and chooses whom to honor, and whom not.

I'm got going to bore anyone with a recitation of Bollettieri's credentials; they are manifest and multi-faceted. Whether you like his style or not, his track record speaks for itself. But I will make one point that strikes me has highly ironic, given the presumption that Bollettieri's image as a vulgar fellow (in the dictionary sense of the adjective) is an obstacle to enshrinement: Nick has always promoted a Harry Hopman-esque brand of discipline and he tolerates no on-court misconduct. Andre Agassi, his most renowned protege, certainly had his innings as a screwball  early in his career. And look where he stands in the public eye now (curiously, I see a parallel in the "journeys" taken by Andre and Nick). A few other Bolletteri-ites have had their moments, too. But that's all they were. Is there a better citizen of the tennis community than Jim Courier? Or Monica Seles? if you make a list of the most controversial players of this era, you won't find a single Bollettieri protege graduate on it.

In other words, Bollettieri has represented values that can be said to be desirable in and appropriate for a coach aspiring to earn a place in the HoF (although there's no "morality" clause in the nomination guidelines).

Or think of it this way: Bollettieri represents continuity in tennis much more convincingly and even honorably than many of those who deny him admission might like to think. That just adds another insult to injury. It's nothing less than perverse to deny Bollettieri a place in the HoF, and when you look at the names of some people who are in as contributors, and compare their accomplishments in tennis to those of Bollettieri, it just adds to the suspicion that the admissions panel operates in an imperious and self-interested manner, blind to its own mandate.

I'd like to think that Jimmy van Alen himself is rolling over in his grave. The same "traditionalists" who think Bollettieri is too much of a self-promoting showman (while ignoring the conflicts, self-interested motives, or other flaws of some enshrined contributors) also tried to stop the tiebreaker from "ruining" the game.


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Posted by greenhopper 02/24/2010 at 11:36 PM

Hey, who here said Ferrero/Andreev would be competitive?

Posted by observer 02/25/2010 at 12:07 AM

Agreed about the Dutch speed skating uniforms.

Another unflattering kit, to me, is that weird seafoam and white thing with a huge V neck that Dementieva has been wearing. Yikes.

Posted by manuelsantanafan 02/25/2010 at 12:13 AM

I said Andreev-Ferrero would be competitive, and it was.

Andreev only converted 2 of 9 break points in the first set, including three straight that he had at 4-4, 0-40, Juanqui serving.

In the second set, with Juanqui serving for the match, Andreev got another break point. Had he converted, he would have gotten back on serve.

Despite the differential in total points, this was a fairly close match.

Posted by VC (200 n.o.!) 02/25/2010 at 12:26 AM

Juanqui is going to be a big threat this year on clay. Hope he brings it at RG.

Posted by Pspace (Proud Rafaelite since Shakira) 02/25/2010 at 12:30 AM

Just looked at Muzz's post match remarks. He will and should get raked over the coals for them:

"""
“I would have liked to have won, but it's not the end of the world,” said Murray of his first ATP World Tour final of the year apart from the Australian Open. “If it was a Grand Slam or something, my tactics and my game style would have been a bit different. I was trying different things. So I made more mistakes than normal, and I went for a lot.

“I said at the start of the year that, you know, when I'm getting ready for the big events, that you need to try some things. If you ask someone like Roger how he gets himself ready, it's not necessarily about winning the week before or playing your best the week before. It's playing your best at the right times of the year.”
"""

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/sport/tennis/article7039774.ece

Really, dude? WTH? Go look up Fed's record from '05-'07, and get your head straight.

Posted by Pspace (Proud Rafaelite since Shakira) 02/25/2010 at 12:31 AM

VC, btw, thanks for posting those Tendulkar highlights. Always good to see him bat. Shouldn't your moniker be 200* ? On so many levels ;-)

Posted by VC (200 n.o.!) 02/25/2010 at 12:39 AM

Pspace : Fed's record between 2004-2006 was ridiculous, I agree. But maybe '02-'03 would be a closer reference point, as he had already established dominance by '04. Perhaps he was still tweaking things around back then? Muzz shouldn't have made those comments, it sounds a bit unprofessional for a guy who hasn't won a Slam yet.

And yeah, 200* would work just fine, flat track, indifferent bowling, home conditions etc. ;-) Those points are valid. I'm just happy he got this record and that he's really cashing in on this vein of form. There's a nice symmetry that the best ODI batsman over the past 20 years should be the first to break the 200 barrier. But there are several Test and ODI innings by Sachin that I rate much higher than this one.

Posted by greenhopper 02/25/2010 at 12:40 AM

Poor Muzzle is confuzzled.
Just caught a replay of Tsonga/Ljuby. I won't say anything.

Posted by tennisesq. 02/25/2010 at 12:43 AM

Vee holds to go up 5-4 in the 2nd, saving at least 2 break points in the process.

Kaia to serve to stay in the match.

Posted by Pspace (Proud Rafaelite since Shakira) 02/25/2010 at 12:46 AM

VC, yeah, I dunno what provokes him to say things like if RF does/doesn't do X, why shouldn't/should I. Anyways, just meh.

Regarding the *, haha, I just meant that * usually means "not out" in cricket, no? Funny given all the previous discussions. Anyways, I agree that Sachin has had better innings in terms of pitch and quality of opposition, but you gotta give him serious props for conditioning at his age. All the biggest scores in ODI have come on placid pitches, and unlike Anwar he didn't ask for a runner. Not bad for a 36 year old.

Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 02/25/2010 at 12:47 AM

Thanks for your delayed match calls Pspace

I am glad Murray is trying new things in his game.A player should always try to implement things.

Meanwhile Go Vee!

Posted by tennisesq. 02/25/2010 at 12:48 AM

Venus d. Kaia Kanepi 6-4, 6-4

Posted by VC (200 n.o.!) 02/25/2010 at 12:55 AM

Pspace : Yeah, I got what you were saying there. His longevity is pretty amazing. He was an early bloomer like Rafa (Test debut at 16!) and he's still going strong. 20 years at the top of any sport is amazing. He was being written off, asked to retire etc. when he had that slump between 2004-2006. He's enjoying a '2nd prime' now. Statistically he's batting as well as he's ever done, but I haven't seen anyone touch the heights he reached around '98-'00 on a consistent basis. He simply terrorized attacks back then, a bit like "TMF" dominated between '04-'06. Sehwag has a bit of that going on now, but he doesn't have the technique to do it consistently on tough batting conditions. Still, he's pretty amazing.

Posted by Pspace (Proud Rafaelite since Shakira) 02/25/2010 at 12:59 AM

VC, Tendulkar = Rosewall, I think. And, they're both Fed fans ;-).

Posted by Pspace (Proud Rafaelite since Shakira) 02/25/2010 at 01:01 AM

'hopper, did you can any of the other matches in Dubai? How was Marin's game? Worth the replay?

Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 02/25/2010 at 01:01 AM

Yay to Lydia for winning Gold in the Aerial for Australia

You have come back from injury

Go Girl!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by Pspace (Proud Rafaelite since Shakira) 02/25/2010 at 01:01 AM

can = catch

Posted by rg.nadal 02/25/2010 at 01:03 AM

Hello all!
Tres sorry for Murray! :-(((

Congrats Vee!

Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 02/25/2010 at 01:04 AM

VC Didnt Tendulker debut at 16?

ps I see Pspace has his Rogers hat on at the moment

Posted by Pspace (Proud Rafaelite since Shakira) 02/25/2010 at 01:04 AM

Oops. Scratch that. Marin wasn't on centre court. No replay. Meh.

Posted by london 02/25/2010 at 01:04 AM

venus into the quarterfinals! woot woot. now she faces someone no one has ever heard of EVER!

Posted by zenggi 02/25/2010 at 01:05 AM

Good morning,

Who dared to criticize the Dutch speed skating garments?. I'll let you know that my country has always been the avant-garde on technology applied to gain speed on ice. Most of the skaters wear the same uniforms but with different colours (even the USA). Orange is the surname of our Royal family and that's why it's used in all the clothes of our national sport teams. Jezzz!.

Enough ranting. I'm totally delighted to wake up and see that Juan Carlos Ferrero has won another match. "Old" Juanqui keeps delivering. Yay!!

Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 02/25/2010 at 01:05 AM

Hola RG

Well I am still in Phew

Nole is still alive for the time being

Gee if he cant defend his title with Kolya,Murray and Tsonga gone?

Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 02/25/2010 at 01:07 AM

zenggi Well I adore the colour Orange so there!

Posted by VC (200 n.o.!) 02/25/2010 at 01:09 AM

Yeah, Sachin was in attendance at last year's Wimby final. :-) BTW, he was originally a JMac fan in his boyhood days. Rosewall - hmm, I'm not sure how you're making that comparison. He didn't win the WC same way as Rosewall couldn't win Wimbledon?

Right now, I think Sachin has more to add to his legacy if he can help take us to a Test series win in S. Africa/Australia rather than winning a WC. If the '98 Sachin had been surrounded by the support cast India has right now, I reckon we would have given Australia a run for their money in the world domination stakes. Now a lot of the main guys are aging. I think India tour S. Africa next, and the No. 1 spot will likely be up for grabs. If he can perform well there (his record against S. Africa isn't great) and take India to a series win, he can retire with a complete resume. Batting conditions will be pretty tough there and he'll be needed much more than he is on Indian pitches.

Posted by Angel of the Surf (Pico to Win Acapulco) 02/25/2010 at 01:09 AM

Play about to commence in KL. I am still giggling over Sam E's post from the other day. Too funny.

Posted by zenggi 02/25/2010 at 01:10 AM

Morning, AM. Thank you for your support. You are a good friend.
I quite enjoyed reading that you are giving Pspace grief because of his fickleness. Well done! Never trust a guy who goes like a bee. One of these days he is going to support Robin, I tell you :)

Posted by rg.nadal 02/25/2010 at 01:12 AM

Hey, AM. Now I want Ivan the Ljubicic to win it. Would be nice if Cilic wins it too. I like his game a good deal.

Posted by Pspace (Proud Rafaelite since Shakira) 02/25/2010 at 01:13 AM

VC, Rosewall is the longevity king in tennis. Won a slam in his teens and another in his 30s. Reached a slam final at the ripe old age of 29, I think.

zenggi, hehe, not you too! But, actually, I kinda like Robin...so not out of the question.

Posted by Pspace (Proud Rafaelite since Shakira) 02/25/2010 at 01:14 AM

oops 29 = 39.

Posted by MC 02/25/2010 at 01:14 AM

Yeah, I like the orange of the Dutch. It's totally theirs and a signature look. All we need are the fashionistas to come in and turn everyone's uniform black. Seen that enough in sports team here in the States. Bores the hell out of me. Stick to your team's or nation's colors. Wear it loud and proud.

Posted by VC (200 n.o.!) 02/25/2010 at 01:15 AM

Aussiemarg : Yes, he debuted at 16. Scored a wonderful century at Perth at the age of 18, that was the innings that marked him out for greatness.

Posted by Pspace (Proud Rafaelite since Shakira) 02/25/2010 at 01:17 AM

Heeee...Corona girls at Nico-Reeshie....holding the umbrella at changeovers. Oooh smokin'

Posted by greenhopper 02/25/2010 at 01:17 AM

Pspace, just turned on Nico/Gasket. I'll watch Marin when he has a worthy opponent.

Posted by VC (200 n.o.!) 02/25/2010 at 01:19 AM

Pspace : OK, that makes sense. Sometimes I wonder whether the physical demands in tennis have become too much to allow that kind of thing to ever happen again? Federer is the only one out of the current lot I could see carrying on, even in his case, it's far from certain.

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President,bring back the Sleeveless 02/25/2010 at 01:23 AM

Connors also was playing at age 39

Posted by zenggi 02/25/2010 at 01:24 AM

A short video of the players party at Dubai. Federer looks serious. Djokovic looking good and talking as a perfect guest. Marin looking even better.

Warning to the men at TW. Don't look till the end.

http://www.tennistv.com/tennistv/20100224/djokovic-federer-join-the-party_2252175_1976224

Posted by Pspace (Proud Rafaelite since Shakira) 02/25/2010 at 01:25 AM

VC, yeah, some ppl make that argument. Others (I believe some1 on SI recently) suggest that players just have no motivation to play on....since they make so much money. Obviously, the results will not be the same...so why play on if there's no economic incentive.

Andre prolly lasted to 35 because he was still having good results. It'll be interesting to see what Fed does...after the first year where he doesn't win a slam.

To balance out the physicality of the game...players now have access to conditioning trainers etc, which Laver et al didn't. Still, even in that era Rosewall was very much the exception in terms of longevity. Rocket didn't have very good results after 32....though he stuck around till 35 or so...on a reduced schedule.

Posted by MC 02/25/2010 at 01:27 AM

Yeah, I think Connors made a USO SF when he was 39, though Rosewall actally may have made two Slam finals at that age.

Can't see Fed going that long. I'm thinking four or five more years and then he pulls the rip-cord. Kinda interested to see how long Haas will last, or even Hewitt if he comes back from this latest hip surgery and can stay reasonably healthy.

Posted by VC (200 n.o.!) 02/25/2010 at 01:30 AM

Good points there. It's hard to see the top guys playing on if they can't compete for Slams. The game can pass you by very quickly at the top level.

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President,bring back the Sleeveless 02/25/2010 at 01:31 AM

MC Correct Jimmy did make the USO q.final still amazing.

Posted by Pspace (Proud Rafaelite since Shakira) 02/25/2010 at 01:32 AM

Here's that SI article that I mentioned above:

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2010/writers/bruce_jenkins/02/02/federer/index.html

Posted by MC 02/25/2010 at 01:36 AM

just tossing an extra log on the fire to bring a little warmth on a winter night ...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r7t5W6SDuEs


Posted by Pspace (Proud Rafaelite since Shakira) 02/25/2010 at 01:37 AM

On a tangent...it would be interesting to measure whether longevity of a player would increase if they didn't have to do any pressers ;-). Even if Fed wants to play, I can imagine him getting pissed if his legacy is called into question every time he loses a match. He's already mentioned getting upset by press in the last two years.

Posted by Angel of the Surf (Pico to Win Acapulco) 02/25/2010 at 01:40 AM

zenggi there is nothing wrong with Rockin' Robin. Since Magnus has come on the scene he has grown up nicely.

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President,bring back the Sleeveless 02/25/2010 at 01:42 AM

MC I cant believe Jimmy just kept putting those high defensive lobs up driving him further back and then that passer.He was one of the greatest returners of the game

Posted by Pspace (Proud Rafaelite since Shakira) 02/25/2010 at 01:42 AM

And, after the first movement of the symphony in backhand, Reeshie goes up a set.

Nice stuff. He mixed it up well. A bunch of S&V etc.

I often think that all that stands between these guys and top 10 is just cutting out horrible errors. Like don't miss easy overheads, sitter fhs etc. At least 4 *head desk* flubs in this set.

Posted by VC (200 n.o.!) 02/25/2010 at 01:47 AM

That's an excellent article. In tennis these days, it's important to have a top 2 or 3 level movement if you want to win Slams, IMO. It's simply not possible to do it without that. Obviously in cricket (batting), you can get by with excellent hand-eye coordination, balance and shot selection as your agility declines. In tennis, you usually need an explosive first few steps to win the big titles. The other factors like motivation, long seasons, travelling, wear and tear etc. also come into play.

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President,bring back the Sleeveless 02/25/2010 at 01:48 AM

Just rewatching Lydia's jump again.She nailed it.She busted her knee in the previous Olympic games.This is incredible.We have 2 gold and 1 silver the best games ever.

Posted by MC 02/25/2010 at 01:52 AM

AussieM -- agreed. Even if you grant Agassi his best ever RoS status, you still might pick Connors if you had to choose one guy to get a first serve back in play. Fed was historically one of the best at that, too. Ace totals used to plummet against the guy, and not just Roddick's.

Posted by Fast-Flow 02/25/2010 at 01:56 AM

Federer will be around for the next 10-yrs at lease. Remember that the way he plays and does his training doesn't result in alot of injuries (very few). Roddick is getting injured alot because of the way he is forced to serve. You cannot keep that up. Federer rarely gets injured. Remember, he has probley anomonia (sp)currently, resulting from his travels/climates (Australia, Swiss,Ethiopia,Dubai)the last few weeks. The younger players are falling apart in injuries. I think we will see Federer at IW.

Posted by jewell - Make tea, not war. 02/25/2010 at 02:02 AM

Morning, everyone. :)

Perhaps Bollettieri will get in next year. His contribution may not be to everyone's taste style-wise but it would be kind of hard to argue that he hasn't been an important force.

Sort of reminds me of Jeremy Paxman getting black-balled from the Garrick for apparently being "too full of himself". Or perhaps for saying "por-TRAYT" instead of "portr't". Etc.

Ooh - did Ljubicic win? That's a nice one for him. Sorry, Hoppie.

Posted by Pspace (Proud Rafaelite since Shakira) 02/25/2010 at 02:09 AM

Fast forward to third set TB.

Reeshie with a 4-2 lead at the change over. Nice points so far.

Huge return from Nico to get the mini-break back 3-4. Big serve for 4-4, but Reeshie plays a nice point CC BH approach and a nice volley to get 5-4. After a beautiful bh exchange, Reeshie pulls the trigger I-O with his fh, and misses just wide. 5-5. Nico's fh to Reeshie's bh exchange, and Reeshie pushes one long. 6-5 Nico with the mini-break. MP. Nico first serve, running Reeshie side 2 side, but Reeshie explodes up the line with a bh, and Nico can't handle it. 6-6 side change.

Wheee! Sweet DTL BH winner by Nico for 7-6. Haha...Reeshie bashes an I-O fh winner off a tad short return 7-7. And, an atrocious CC FH UFE from Reeshie to concede another MP 8-7. First serve...Reeshies fh return long...Nico falls to his knees.

Gasquet now has a 66-69 career TB record. Nico improves to a 5-1 TB record for this year. There's a message in there somewhere.

Congrats to Nico fans. Commies to Reeshie fans.

Posted by zenggi 02/25/2010 at 02:10 AM

Angel,

I like Robin too. Specially his dimples. Well and that weird but effective forehand of his. I don't think many Rafa fans like him, though. Magnus, no thank you.

Pspace, thank you. Hold the log. I'm going to work.

Posted by greenhopper 02/25/2010 at 02:15 AM

jewell, you like Ljuby?

Posted by jewell - Make tea, not war. 02/25/2010 at 02:18 AM

Yes, I like that he's still around, and still a tough opponent for the top guys. :)

Posted by greenhopper 02/25/2010 at 02:20 AM

Fair point. He wasn't moving all that well today, but that's all I gonna say about that match.

Posted by Pspace (Proud Rafaelite since Shakira) 02/25/2010 at 02:20 AM

jewell, hehe, who don't you like? ;-)

Anyways, I'm outtie. Disappointing results today. Don't really have a horse left in Dubai. Hope we get some good matches from Acapulco.

'nite all.

Posted by rg.nadal 02/25/2010 at 02:20 AM

Hey, jewell!
A Cilic- Djoko match would be good!

Posted by jewell - Make tea, not war. 02/25/2010 at 02:26 AM

Hi rg. :) I keep forgetting about Cilic but I'd think he must fancy his chances at this one.

'Night Spacie. :)

Posted by rg.nadal 02/25/2010 at 02:31 AM

My winner wish list for the week:
Vee at Acapulco
Blake at D. Beach
Cilic at Dubai
Ferrero at Mexicano Telcel

Posted by rg.nadal 02/25/2010 at 02:33 AM

Jewell: Me like Cilic a good deal. Sharp game and a fine mover too! Don't like his checkered tees though! :-D

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President,bring back the Sleeveless 02/25/2010 at 02:41 AM

RG Nadal I agree with two of those

Vee on clay Yay

Ferrero.

Posted by Angel of the Surf (Pico to Win Acapulco) 02/25/2010 at 02:42 AM

Spacie I am loving your delayed match calls.

Posted by rg.nadal 02/25/2010 at 03:16 AM

AM: So whom do you want to see win at Delray? Gulbis?

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President,bring back the Sleeveless 02/25/2010 at 03:21 AM

RG Yes.He made the s/final at Memphis.He has soo much talent.I think the win also would be good for his confidence

Posted by jewell - Make tea, not war. 02/25/2010 at 03:35 AM

I like Cilic's composure too.

Got to go to work, see you all later - nice to see you back again, rg, btw. :)

Posted by JohnC 02/25/2010 at 03:57 AM

Oh dear, here we go again! Pete writes: "The Contributors category includes a pile of journalists, but few people I can identify by name as coaches (Harry Hopman is an outstanding exception)."

Now, there are not "a pile of people" in the Contributor category; in the past decade only six. And Hopman is not a Contributor inductee, he was inducted as a PLAYER in 1978.

The six inductees over the past ten years have been Brian Tobin (past president of Tennis Australia and largely responsible for the magnificent AO venue - which saved the event), Gianni Clerici (an esteemed Italian journalist and commentator), Russ Adams (the "dean of tennis photography"), Mark McCormack (founder of IMG and also an inductee into the golf hall of fame), Gene Scott (leading US amateur player and founder of Tennis Week), and Donald Dell (former US Davis Cup captain, and founder of ProServ, which together with IMG was seminal in sports marketing).

A somewhat eccentric list (and this trend continues back to 1963) but clearly not at all related to coaches. Rather it is about people who have helped promote the sport to the broader public.

Why NB should feel he is entitled to be inducted in this category is totally unclear to me.

Why Peter Bodo seems incapable of writing a serious article without major factual errors is simply incomprehensible.

Posted by rg.nadal 02/25/2010 at 03:59 AM

jewell: Ciao. Good day.

Posted by rg.nadal 02/25/2010 at 04:09 AM

Pls tell me this: The tournament that happened in Belgrade last week, which Karol Beck won, is that the one organized by Nole's family?

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President,bring back the Sleeveless 02/25/2010 at 04:13 AM

RG Nadal Sorry not sure there.Dont you think though if it was Nole and his brother Marko would be there.

Posted by rg.nadal 02/25/2010 at 04:19 AM

AM: No problem. Yeah. They would be there. Unless there is a family feud or something like all three bros being in love with the same girl and a fist fight broke out between them. Thus they are not seeing eye to eye!

Posted by JohnC 02/25/2010 at 04:26 AM

And just to follow up on my earlier post. If there were a category for coaches, there is a long list of possible inductees with illustrious credentials -- I think Tony Roche, for instance, not only had an outstanding playing career but has coached more slam winners, including Lendl, Federer, Rafter and Hewitt.

Posted by Aussiemarg,Madame President,bring back the Sleeveless 02/25/2010 at 04:35 AM

Well I need to eat no wonder my stomach is growling

Bye RG stay cool

Hopefully Novak will still be alive in Dubai tomorrow.

Posted by rg.nadal 02/25/2010 at 04:36 AM

AM: Enjoy ur dinner! Ciao.

Posted by GB 02/25/2010 at 04:37 AM

I could be wrong, but I think Nole's tourney is a clay one which is staged between Rome and Madrid.

Posted by JohnC 02/25/2010 at 04:47 AM

As a third and final post on the Bollettieri issue: could there be a link between Bodo's advocacy and the fact Nick is the "instruction editor" for Tennis magazine? Should Bodo have declared his personal and professional links in writing this article?

Posted by rg.nadal 02/25/2010 at 04:49 AM

GB: Ah ok..Just checked. You are right! This must be a challenger then. This was not listed in the ATP tournament calendar.

Posted by manuelsantanafan 02/25/2010 at 05:47 AM

JohnC:

Tony Roche is already in the International Tennis HOF as a player, which you probably already know but others might not.

Should Roche have made it as a coach/contributor had he not already made it for his accomplishments as a player?

Don't know, but hope the question doesn't keep me awake.

Posted by JohnC 02/25/2010 at 06:21 AM

msf, yep I did know about Roche. I guess my point (not well phrased) was there actually is no category for coaches, so I don't see why NB has any particular claim.

Mind you, the whole institution is slightly peculiar. There are 121 US inductees, and about 70 from the rest of the world (prior to Fred Perry's induction in 1975 there were no non-US inductees), so its claim to being "international" is a bit questionable.

Also some of the player inductions are a bit odd. Sven Davidson made it in 2007, with his one court claim to fame being winning the French championship in 1957. But of course he was something of a mover and shaker in the formation of the ITF so one suspects his playing achievements were not a primary factor, despite being in the player category.

I suppose the one argument for inducting Bolletteiri is that he will be 80 next year, so probably better to act before he's put in his coffin.

Posted by just a note 02/25/2010 at 06:21 AM

TB in Melzer/Cilic goes to Melzer. Playing well.

Posted by just a note 02/25/2010 at 06:24 AM

Should say Melzer playing well. I'm not happy with Cilic's play; he doesn't appear as centered (to me) as he usually is. Was up a break and lost it, had set point and didn't convert.

Really like these British(?) announcers on TTC. Thank goodness it's not you-know-who.

Posted by just a note 02/25/2010 at 06:33 AM

Cilic out of sorts, actually showing frustration .

Posted by just a note 02/25/2010 at 06:34 AM

Finally Cilic holds, 1 all, second set, Meltzer taking the first set.

Posted by rg.nadal 02/25/2010 at 06:35 AM

Melzer takes set 1 10-8 in the TB!

Posted by just a note 02/25/2010 at 06:42 AM

Beautiful shot by Cilic FH cross-court deep into the corner! 2 all, 15 all second set.

Posted by just a note 02/25/2010 at 06:44 AM

Hi re.nadal! Meltzer does seem to be the one playing better though Cilic has not gone away.

Posted by just a note 02/25/2010 at 06:45 AM

Sorry, that should be rg.nadal!!

Posted by just a note 02/25/2010 at 06:52 AM

Cilic coming to net more, beautiful to see, winning a point here and there. Commentators saying in the heat this may not be wise but it does send a message to Melzer.

Posted by just a note 02/25/2010 at 06:53 AM

4/3 Melzer; Cilic to serve.

Posted by Tennissy 02/25/2010 at 06:57 AM

Is Melzer playing out of his mind or has Cilic lost his???

Posted by just a note 02/25/2010 at 06:57 AM

Melzer missed a chance to break and lets out a lovely moan.

Posted by just a note 02/25/2010 at 06:58 AM

And Cilic takes the game saving 4 break points. 4 all, second set.

Posted by Tennissy 02/25/2010 at 06:59 AM

Hi JAN...

Posted by just a note 02/25/2010 at 07:03 AM

Melzer now at 5/4, second set. Cilic to serve to stay in the match.

I'm not feeling very confident for Cilic. ;(( Would love to be proved wrong.

Posted by just a note 02/25/2010 at 07:05 AM

Hi Tennissy! Happy for you that Nole won yesterday. ;))

Are you watching this one?

Posted by just a note 02/25/2010 at 07:06 AM

And Cilic levels at 5 all, second set.

Posted by just a note 02/25/2010 at 07:07 AM

And Cilic with a speeding DTL FH.

Posted by just a note 02/25/2010 at 07:09 AM

Cilic into net with a winner to give him a break point!

Posted by Tennissy 02/25/2010 at 07:10 AM

Unfortunately only SBing...Thanks for the match calls JAN...


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