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07 Jul 18 00:45
Date Joined: 10 Nov 10
| Topic/replies: 33,925 | Blogger: mesmerised's blog

Murray went through a Spanish academy
Rusedski was Canadian
Norrie went through the American system.
Watson went to the Bolleterri academy

Wildcards for British players should be completely scrapped, I don't see how they can be justified in any way, the draw for any slam should be made up of the highest 128 ranked players, only reduced to make way for Protected Ranking's (that's also a bug bear but for another day). I don't see why any player should be catapulted above another player in the rankings into a main draw merely because they are a home player (you could argue it's a form of prejudice), esp in a slam where the prize money is significantly higher, as is ranking points. It can probably be described as a form of cheating, at the very least, immoral. That goes for every tournament in the world that gives wildcards to any player. You should earn your spot in a draw based on 12 months hard work, being given a leg up teaches the wildcarded players nothing other than to give a sense of entitlement, even if the argument is made that it helps their development, what about the players ranked higher and their development? The system should simply be as organic as possible and direct entries from ranking positions are the only way to achieve this.

Although this is by the by, it's not as if they've been given to British players with huge potential over the years either, or put another way, the LTA are completely useless in spotting talent looking at the highest career rankings of the vast majority of wildcarded players. In the last 20 years there's been 201 wildcards issued to British players, only 1 made the 4th round and she's made a career in the media out of it, (Sam Smith). Pretty much the best slam results off all of the players in the table above have been at Wimbledon and come from the Wildcard freebie. How/why Keothavong/Baltacha were given 17 wildcards between them I'll never know.

I don't see the point. Whilst they've reduced the number in recent years, they still hand them out to largely dud players. (last 2/3 years worth remain to be seen however).


Kind Regards
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Report mesmerised July 7, 2018 12:46 AM BST

Report mesmerised June 22, 2023 8:44 PM BST
Wimbledon 2023

1 BROADY (GBR) - 29 years old, 143rd, 116th career highest, below average grass court player - bum
2 CHOINSKI (GBR) - 27 years old, at current peak of 167th in the world, won 1 single grass match in his career, literally never heard of him before - bum
3 FERY (GBR) - 20 years old, at career high of 386th, reach a recent 'futures' grass court final, barely acceptable wildcard, I'll reserve judgement.
4 David GOFFIN (BEL) -former world Number 7 now outside of the top 100, best years are well gone, 32 years old, no hope of winning, a wasted wildcard, though more deserving the above 3.
5 LOFFHAGEN (GBR) - 22 years old, at career peak of 364, if you at that age and that ranking you've shown no potential and do not deserve a wildcard - bum
6 Ryan PENISTON (GBR) - 27 years old, ranked 265th, career best 123rd, caused some upsets on grass last year but can be filed under flash in the pan - bum
7 To be announced
8 To be announced

1 BOULTER (GBR) - 26 now, had decent hopes for her at one point, at current career high of 77th, beat Pliskova twice last year on grass and has an overall good record on the surface, give her the benefit of the doubt because of the bad back injury she had about 3 or 4 years ago which set her back quite a bit, I'd say deserved.
2 Jodie BURRAGE (GBR) - 24 years old, 108th, best 106th, watched her match and the no look handshake at the net v Badosa at Eastbourne last year which she won and played very well, had a good tournament at Nottingham just gone in which she was odds against in all 5 matches but managed to win 4 of them, never going to amount to anything though so a wasted wildcard.
3 DART (GBR) 27 next month, 134th, highest 84th, just no point.
4 Elina SVITOLINA - deserved more than any other player
5 Katie SWAN (GBR) - 24 years old, 137th, high of 118, pointless, she hasn't demonstrated any kind of star quality, wasted wildcard.
6 Heather WATSON (GBR) - can't believe she's 31 now, 145th, 38 highest, Round 4 at Wimbledon last year was her best ever slam performance, 3 wins in row, amazing, wasted wildcard.
7 Venus WILLIAMS (USA) - anyone born in 1980 should on the school run or with their feet up on the sofa, great legacy at Wimbledon but taking up someone else's space, ranked nearly 700th, played on 20 matches in the last 3 years and is just here for the easy money, hang up the racquet.

All in all mostly bums, only 3 deserved IF they have to have them, though I'd prefer none. 10 British wildcards, did they not learn with Keothavong and Baltacha era who spent a career dining out on these wildcards with the career prize money they got off of the back of it, out in round 1 every single year, wtf is the point in giving players like Broady and Choinski a big fat Round 1 pay cheque for no deserved reason, players that have no hope, show no potential and are too old shouldn't be considered, give the place to the next cab on the rank, i.e the player in the rankings behind the last direct entry as the fairest thing to do. Kind Regards.
Report mesmerised June 22, 2023 8:59 PM BST
Update on British wildcards last 4 years

2019 - ATP - Judd, Ward out in Round 1, Clarke in Round 2.....WTA - Swan out in Round 1, Dart Round 3
2021 - ATP - Draper, Clarke out in Round 1, Broady Round 2, Murray Round 3.........WTA - S. Murray, Dart, Jones Burrage out in Round 1, Boulter Round 2, Raducanu Round 4
2022 - ATP - Clarke, Jubb, Gray, Peniston Round 2, Broady Round 3........WTA, Burrage, Swan, Kartal and Miyazaki  (no me neither) out in Round 1, Boulter Round 3

Haven't had this many British wildcards since 2007, they're going backwards, handing out pointless wildcards to bums who are just being given free money for reason.
Report SamuelMertensBertens June 22, 2023 10:03 PM BST
I mostly agree. Slam nations get enough of a financial advantage just from hosting Slams, they shouldn't also be given an additional advantage in the form of WC's which they will then use for their own players or give to the other Slam nations via the Slam exchange program. I'd say scrap the WC's in Slams altogether or reduce them to 2 at most to give to players coming back from injury, child-birth etc and who haven't had a chance to get their ranking back up. I'm not sure LTA is worse than the other Slams, the one they gave to Emma was a hit because she went on to win the US Open two months later.

For the regular tour, I'd keep the WC's because in those tournaments the WC's will help sell tickets unlike Slams where people will attend anyway. However, there should be quotas on how many WC's a player can get per year, and if there already is one it should be considerably lower than what it is now.
Report mesmerised June 22, 2023 10:46 PM BST
I sort of get it at lower end tournaments, but there's only so many players in the world that can actually really put bums on seats even there, it really has to be one the huge names to do that, it's worse at other slams because they have reciprocal wildcards which is a liberty, we'll give your players wildcards if you give ours some, it's like a cartel, the home players that make it naturally via the rankings/though qualies have enough benefits anyway, why give them a leg up and create a mentality where they subconsciously feel privilege and don't have to work as hard at things. With Emma it was simply a case of throw enough darts and eventually they'll hit the bullseye, only have to look at the record posted above to see the last few decades all they have done is churned out low calibre players year after. Don't know why the sudden upsurge in home wildcards, thought they were winding that down a bit.

They're I think the wealthiest tennis organisation worldwide and ever LTA chief under pressure to provide results on their annual 6 figure salary but they never do, given out so many wildcards is a desperate attempt at hoping one has a magical run at the slam, gets the headlines and they look good. It's like the National Tennis centre, big white elephant, as Judy Murray said, they should have built 30 smaller centres around the country not 1 big one a few selected, overly privilege kids get to attend.

None of them will make round 4 this year maybe with the exception of Boulter with a good draw.

I don't know why they don't just look at their own record with this and say, we'll teach them a lesson instead, no more freebies just because you're British, no more undeserved big Round 1 pay cheques, no more opportunities for a bump up the rankings leaderboard, set the mindset they have to earn their right for a place in Round 1 of a slam, wont happen though. The sense of entitlement rolls on.
Report SamuelMertensBertens June 22, 2023 10:59 PM BST
None of the Slams are gonna do that on their own. Someone higher up will need to step in and abolish the wildcards/give a ruling on how they should be handled.
Report brain dead jockeys June 23, 2023 12:52 AM BST
when novak retires wimbledon is gonna have a lot of one hit wonders
Report Journeyman June 24, 2023 12:20 PM BST
The grass season is 2 weeks and a 1000 too short which acts as a kind of handicap for the Brits anyway imo so the excessive wild cards maybe balance that out.

I remember there used to be articles about Bogdanovic and Keovathong focusing on how many wild cards were wasted on them.

This year's womens wild cards seem more justified than usual. Boulter obviously deserving, Dart is a trier. Burrage is the interesting one to me. I had been wary of her priorities after a car crash interview last year where she seemed very social media and money focused, example question what would you ask yourself in a years time if you could, her answer was 'how much money have you got'.
Something has changed though. Her relentless choking after winning the first set has pretty much gone this year and her patterns in three setters are eyecatchingly different.
She could get to the second week of Wimbledon, draw permitting.
Report edy June 24, 2023 1:53 PM BST
Burrage indeed seems to have lots better stamina. Must be all that training with her scottish national team rugby union player.
Report Platini July 4, 2023 10:47 AM BST
Quite a few bums sailed thru their first round matches there, Mes.  One in particular (Choinski) cost me a fair bit yesterday Cry
Report CLYDEBANK29 July 4, 2023 10:50 AM BST
Didn't Goran win it or reach the final as a wildcard?

Notwithstanding the primary purpose is to give British players experience and motivation.
Report mafeking July 4, 2023 1:31 PM BST
yes 2001
Report mesmerised July 4, 2023 1:55 PM BST
Notwithstanding the primary purpose is to give British players experience and motivation.

behave, they are largely pointless, their rankings, their ages, their level in most cases makes them underserving, it's just big Round 1 pay cheque which they haven't earned the right to have. There's no point putting them there for Brits to cheer on, they have real future at the top level and it lasts in general a round or 2, though I guess Boulter for reasons stated above, is an exception this year, but don't compare Goran who had already reached 3 Wimbledon finals and 11 quarters in slams and was a player to a calibre, to a lorry load of mediocre middle class tennis players, Ivanisevic if you should have wildcards, deserved it. I'm in two minds as to whether Venus did because stood no chance due to age, Goran was 29.
Report mesmerised July 4, 2023 1:56 PM BST
no real future
Report Journeyman July 5, 2023 9:09 PM BST
Burrage earning close to six figures for beating Mcnally and winning two games against Kasatkina. Not bad for 72 hours work off the back of her wc.

I thought she was ready to make a push after a really good grass season, breaking the 100 and having clearly resolved what n88 called her her finishline-itis issue.
Her nerves just went in that centre court spotlight though. Conditioning didn't look that great either. I thought she'd do better. She was 7/5 to win a set with some sportsbooks.
Report Journeyman July 5, 2023 9:52 PM BST
The elephant in the room of course is Boulter and Burrage in particular getting the spotlight treatment to compensate for the absence of the real superstar of British Womens tennis.
That backfired somewhat today. Ultimately none of them have managed to do what Emma managed two years ago in that Wimbledon 3rd round match with Cirstea which was when she really forced herself onto the British public's radar.

Could British tennis have done a better job supporting and protecting the diamond that fell unexpectedly into their lap. That recent interview where she talked anout the meanness of the tour, the overtaining, the sitting in her room staring at the wall after a loss suggests maybe yes.
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