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Some hot stories from around the world of tennis
Features: 21 03 COACHES VIEW
We get Sunderland’s Coach of the year Adam Barratclough’s views about the future of British tennis, and some of his up and coming protegue’s, as well as his future in competition and why he thinks old friend Andy Murray can only get stronger. Featuring some top tips from Adam for your game.
Paying Women Equal
We talk to Sarah about her recovery from injury and what she likes to do in her spare time.
15 THE OTHER SCOT Colin Fleming talks to us about getting married, being on the tour and tells us why he doesn’t believe that he lives in Murray’s shadow.
As one of Britain’s most successful wheelchair tennis players, we find out what’s next for Gordon after a major announcement.
We have a look at the Terracotta warriors and what they symbolise for Men’s tennis We weigh in and get both sides of the gender debate
TOPSPIN.COM *NOV 5th 2012*
COVER PHOTOGRAPHY BY GETTY IMAGES
03 Sarah Borwell
WE GET AN INSIGHT INTO THE LIFE OF SARAH BORWELL ONE OF BRITAIN’S GREATEST EVER WOMEN’S DOUBLES PLAYERS AND ASK HER ABOUT THE SHOCK INJURY THAT NEARLY ENDED HER CAREER
05 Interview Sarah Leah Borwell was born 20 August 1979 and specialises primarily in doubles. She is currently the British number 1 in doubles and ranked 67 in the world . Her career high doubles ranking is 65, set on August 9th 2010. and her career high singles ranking is 199, which she reached on 10 July 2006.
Sarah celebrates a win at the Austrailian Open
Sarah, born in Middlesborough, won a scholarship to the University of Houston, where she completed a business degree. What advice would you have for future British tennis players.? “Contact me at Tennis Smart,” she said “and go to an American University first before going on the tour. Do NOT drop out of school!”. How did you get into Tennis? “I began playing tennis when I was 5 years old. I played short tennis which was with plastic rackets and sponge balls.” What’s the best thing about being a professional tennis player? “I’ve been around the world about 10 times since being on the tour 10 years. My favourite places would be Australia, Thailand, Vietnam and India. Do you still struggle with some aspects of the game? “I still have difficulty with things, when you have to learn something new, it’s always hard. I’ve been on the tour now for 10 years and I What preparations do you make going learn new things every day, you just have to into a tournament? work hard and perceiver. “Well I practice for 6 days a week for 2-4 Who do you admire in the World of hours depending on how I’m feeling. If I Tennis? feel tired from the session the day before I usually go towards the lower end of it, but “Admire? I don’t want to give you have to be in peak physical condition anybody a big head”. so I always try to do as much as I can and be careful not to overdo it.” What’s going on next for you then Sarah? Did you want to do anything else if tennis I have a $75 000 tournament coming up in didn’t work out? Pheonix, Arizona, so hopefully I can do well in that and then build on it going into the “Nope! I didn’t want to have any other next one. career to be honest. Sure I went to an American University first to study Law Do you still get homesick? and then went pro, “I don’t get homesick anymore; it’s something that you get used to like the travelling. The best thing about travelling is of course that you get to see the world but the worst thing is that you live out of a bag and in a hotel.
I think younger people these days don’t think long-term. If I ever get injured again I have something to fall back on, but hopefully that doesn’t happen because it’s not an experience that I enjoyed.”
Sarah Wins another Point
“I DON’T GET HOM
ANYMORE, IT’S SOMETH
USED TO LIK
HING YOU GET
Tell us about your injury because I know there were times that you though you would never play again? It was hellish. I would never have believed something like this could happen to me. In the quarter-finals I got hit on the back of the head. She hit a high forehand about two metres from me and it hit the back of my skull. The ball flew off my head and I felt fine. We played on and won, but Raquel said I should be checked. They monitored me and once the
Sarah returns a serve during an ATP tour event during the year...
adrenalin wore off I started getting drowsy, dizzy and my face swelled up. The next day I felt terrible and so I went for a CAT scan when they found I had a bruise on my brain. It was a contusion, which is very unusual in tennis. â€œI kept trying to play, but then I had a panic attack on court in a match because it was too stressful, but now I think I will be fine and my preperation this time around has been patient just in case.
09 Gender Equality
PAYING WOMEN EQUAL? One of Englandâ€™s top coaches, Adam Barratclough and a former British No 1 Women doubles player Sarah Borwell join the debate along with some other expert analysis from both sides of the gender scale...
Andy Murray and Laura Robson discuss tactics during their mixed doubles match at the Olympics.
The debate regarding equal pay for women in tennis is still blowing true throughout the courts not just in Britain, but on the world stage as well. The well-known female players like Russian Maria Sharapova, Frenchmen Giles Simon and Tsonga and even Britain’s Andy Murray have put forward their ideas on the subject. We thought we should have more variation and recently we joined the debate, so it was only fair that we gave two of England’s well known tennis fans a view on the issue that has threatened to split either side apart. Sunderland’s Tennis Coach of the Year Adam Barratclough expressed his opinion on the subject of equal pay, and decided to relate himself and side with the French born Giles Simon in the gender argument. Simon made his feelings public last year during a debate about equal prize money at Wimbledon after it was introduced in 2007. In an interview after the tournament this year, the 28 year-old from Nice revealed that he is against giving women equal prize money, however makes a recurring point that if they were to change the structure of the game then it would be sufficient to regard them at the same level as men and Adam reiterates this. “I 100% disagree that women and men should receive the same amount of prize money,” said coach Barratclough. “The only way that that should be the case is if they play the same amount as men. Men play five sets in Grand Slam’s and women only play three sets so there’s no reason that they deserve the same money if men are putting more into the game physically.” Adam’s point has been a constant and a consistent part of the arguments put forward by most of the men on the left-wing side of the debate. World number thirteen Simon took the point one step further and caused controversy when he established the fact that women’s tennis is less of a physical exertion than the men’s game. The point which Adam sides with Gilles on is of course the fact that the men are required to play the best of five sets during a Grand Slam tournament such as the French Open, Wimbledon, The US Open and of course The Australian Open. Women on the other hand play less as they only compete during games until one competitor wins two sets instead of the three the men need to be successful. Put simply, the maximum number of sets that women play is equal to the minimum amount of sets that to men can play during a game. It can also be argued that each individual set can be more testing in the men’s game. Though the ‘golden set,(a set won without conceding a single point, achieved by Yaroslava Shvedova during her Wimbledon match in 2012) is a rarity in any tennis match, it could be seen as indicative of the sharp drop-off in quality within women’s tennis.
Conversely, the famous marathon set of American John Isner and Frenchman Nicholas Mahut in the Wimbledon Championships of 2010, which lasted 138 games before Isner came out on top in a 70-68 tie-break, is something which is nearly impossible to imagine happening during a women’s game. Gilles Simon has been the main perpetrator behind speaking out against women having equal pay for tournaments. One of his other claims was that men’s tennis was put plain and simply an overall ‘better standard’ than women’s. The statement is difficult to prove or disprove however once again Adam Barratclough has sided with the player in sayings “I just think, without sounding sexist or nasty, that people are more generally interested in men’s tennis rather than women’s and I think there’s more spectators at the men’s events as well because it’s a better quality”. On the flip side to the argument it is certainly apparent that the men’s game may require more physical exertion however within the men’s game the results are easier to predict as are the tournament winners. Women’s tennis can be more competitive with a different winner picking up a trophy at nearly every Grand Slam whereas the men’s game is currently dominated by four players all of which end up either in the final or winning the competition. This is the main problem for men’s tennis currently, which is that the top four in the world, Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic, Rafa Nadal and Andy Murray, are clearly better than anybody else.
Although they are beaten throughout the year at tournaments which are smaller than the Grand Slam’s, it is very tough to beat one of the ‘big four’ as they are now known in the major tournaments where up and coming players cannot match them physically in a best of five set match. It takes these player’s to produce an incredible display and for the opponent to underperform, for them to stand much of a chance. The problem also then arises that you will have to defeat more than one on your route to the final and if you are seriously unlucky, three which almost never happens. Over the last number of years, television and Grand Slam tournaments have been dominated by these top four players with ironically each one winning a Grand Slam throughout the year. Of the last 30 men’s grand slam tennis tournaments, beginning with Spaniard Rafael Nadal’s first victory at the 2005 French Open, only one slam has been won by a player other than the current top four in the world (the 2009 US Open won by Argentine Juan Martin del Potro.) This factual evidence may be the main reason behind Gilles Simon’s strong feelings behind the situation. As he sees and plays in
11 Gender Equality the men’s game which is more physically exerting, he also understands how hard it is to break through in a sport which is damaged by a smaller pool of players. This to Simon is an unfair prospect and the women have a greater chance of coming off the back of a tournament having won which therefore gives them more of a chance at the prize money than say for example Simon which he has more difficulty in receiving.
Some players have been accused of being sexist
When we talk about the Andy Murray’s and the Novak Djokovic’s you would instantly think of the best players around at the moment in the men’s game and the top two in the world rankings. On the other side there is no real stand out champions and the world rankings fluctuate tournament to tournament. To put into perspective during the last year Denmark’s Caroline Wozniacki was ranked number one in the world given that she had not won a single Grand Slam tournament during the time that she held the title. Middlesbrough born women’s doubles player Sarah Borwell was also given her chance to air her opinion on the matter. She expressed an opinion which would make the men who have created the argument stand up and take notice. “No, I don’t think we should get paid the same in Grand Slam’s,” she said, “but we don’t get the same throughout the year, so even getting the same right now in Slams, doesn’t put us on equal footing for the rest of the year. I would rather get the same money for the whole year and not get the same in Slams. Women are getting screwed anyways. Right now a man who is 190 in the world can break even whereas a woman has to be 110 in the world to make the same money”. Sarah puts a unique spin on the argument and forms a grey area where people have mainly saw it as a black and white subject. For Sarah it is more a case of getting paid equally throughout the year for tournaments which men also only play three sets rather than Grand Slams. This, for Sarah would be a fairer argument made for women as she describes how women have a harder road to break even than men do throughout the year. Britain’s number one and probably one of the best players the country has ever produced Andy Murray, sat on the fence when asked his opinion about the controversy and avoided taking sides with Gilles Simon or other women players who have campaigned for equal prize money. He steered clear of putting his true thoughts in front of the press with advice from his PR agent however, the world number two did point out that female opinions have more options for making money than the men do in terms of advertising deals and modelling clothes etc. Simon, mentioned earlier, raised the issue earlier in the year after one of his games where he played at Wimbledon, saying: “The
male players spent twice as long on court at Roland Garros [the venue for the French Open] as the women. The equality in salaries isn’t something that works in sport. Men’s tennis remains more attractive than women’s tennis at the moment.” The Frenchman was instantly rebuked by fellow countrywoman Marion Bartoli, who countered: “We put in as much as they do. The physical demands, the training and the investment in ourselves are the same as theirs.” Bartoli has often been criticised for her weight on court (pictured below) and often is said to look out of shape during the tournaments she plays and many believe that the fact that women don’t have to be as fit to be the reason behind her weight issue. In fact many who have focused on her career disagree with the fact that she appears out of shape where she doesn’t have to put as much work into her competition as men do to theirs. Andy Murray is a prime example having shown no secrecy in his dieting and tee total attitude towards alcohol. Perhaps Simon’s criticisms would be better placed over the distribution of prize money, or the total size of the prize pot. Murray highlighted the fact that women also have a better chance at competing at both the singles and doubles events because they spend less time on the court. This would give them an additional option to boost their income “For the women, it’s much easier to play singles and doubles,” Andy said “so therefore more chance to make money that way, because there’s very few of the singles guys that have a chance or a realistic shot of winning the event will be playing doubles here.” “At the French Open Sara Errani made the final in singles and won the doubles because it’s not bestof-five sets. It’s the same thing here [at Wimbledon]. It’s five sets in the singles, five sets in the doubles [for the men], so even less guys are going to play [both] because they have less chance of winning either because of the fitness
issue and the issue of felling fresher should they participate in both tournaments. “There are things that we will agree on. It’s not always just about equal pay; it’s about the way the men’s and women’s tournaments differ.” Some would criticise Murray for having a balanced opinion on the topic however he could be seen to be excused from this due to him being the current boyfriend of Kim Sears whose father is a tennis coach and his mother Judy who was awarded the was awarded the British Fed Cup captaincy earlier on during the year. Judy works with Britain’s leading junior girls and mentor several other female coaches, in conjunction with the captain’s role. This being said she has been even quieter on her opinion of equal prize money than her son. Another big name who has sided with Simon and who is also a male player is fellow Frenchman Jo-Wilfred Tsonga. The world number 6 is loved by all in the tennis world for the way he always plays with a smile on his face. Tsonga, who won female friends when he posed nude on the cover of Cosmopolitan, said: “Everything Simon said is right but it’s taboo to talk about that. Sometimes we need to talk about things that p*** people off. There’s no need to criticise Gilles for saying the truth.” Ana Ivanovic is one supporter for equal pay and as a woman who trains very hard it is apparent that she is one of those who is set out to prove that women deserve equal pay by putting in the hours on the training courts and in the gym to get in the right physical condition that would allow her to play past a best of three match. “It’s always been talked about,” she said “but we [have] different physiques, as well. I think we earn our money, as well as the men do. I mean, I was out there 2 1/2 hours today.”
Equal Pay Both Maria Sharapova and Serena Williams supported the view of Bartoli, with the Russian saying: “We women have fought so long to get equal prize money. It was a big challenge and nobody really supported us. It’s been a few years since we’ve got that. We’re all really proud of it, and we continue to build the sport and make it bigger, no matter what anyone says, or the criticisms that we get.”
Williams picks up her Wimbledon Trophy
The final word on the matter must go to Maria Sharapova. The photogenic Russian player, recently French Open winner, was knocked out at Wimbledon at an earlier stage than anticipated, which goes to show the competitiveness at the top of the women’s game. She was asked about her view on Simon’s claim that there is a greater spectator demand for men’s tennis. Her response? “I’m sure there are a few more people who watch my matches than his…” Williams added: “Definitely a lot more people are watching Maria than Simon. She’s way hotter than he is. I started playing tennis at two years old. I’m sure he started when he was two years old, as well. I worked just as hard as he did. I’m sure he continues to work hard as I work hard, as well as everyone that’s on a professional level.” Sharapova touches on an interesting point about people who watch her games. Should we then take into consideration the amount of prize money received based on the number of viewers that the game has in terms of ticket sales and viewing figures at home? To put it into comparison, the 2009 Men’s singles Wimbledon final (Federer v Roddick) peak audience was 11m and the average was 7m people, this compared to an average of 3.5m and peak of just over 4m for the 2009 Women’s singles final (Williams Sisters). Personally it is difficult to know where to stand on the issue. Television rights deals, merchandise sales and the gate for Grand Slams aren’t divided by gender. Men and women play on the same courts and are broadcast on the same network. Unless there’s some definitive research, I don’t know if the “play for pay” defence is valid. It costs the same to go see the three-hour “Titanic” as it does to watch the 90-minute “Shrek.” You don’t pay more to attend a three-hour movie like “Titanic” than a 90-minute one like “Shrek.” But if there’s some way to prove that men drive the majority money, then I don’t see a problem with imbalanced pay. This isn’t an issue on equal rights, no matter what some people might say.
15 Colin Fleming
He may not be as famous as his countryman Andy Murray but Colin Fleming has been lighting up the tennis court. And he has one thing many of his peers don’t: intellect
SCOT Tennis players need their beauty sleep. In the old days, when Colin Fleming was just a middling professional, he used to enjoy plenty of late nights. But not that he is one of the world’s top double players; he can no longer afford the interruptions to a night’s rest.
“It was hard to adjust to a new routine since I was used to going out with my friends all the time,” he explains. “I would never get drunk or anything like that just have a couple with the boys and I enjoyed that but I had to put that behind me during the tennis season because my coach wouldn’t train me unless I cut it out entirely.” Colin has always been a little different. As well as the late nights he is a fan of reading, painting, music and of course his local team Partick Thistle. For definite I grew up wanting to play football for Partick Thistle. The only thing was I was far better at tennis and my dad was not shy in letting me know. We used to go to games all the time, still do actually when I’m not on tour but even if I am I like to follow how they’re doing online. When they lose I get in a bit of a mood but I don’t let it affect my game thankfully. His intellect is often reflected in his playing style. Lacking the
power to outgun many of his fellow top ranking opponents, he relies instead on certain craftiness.
The way he moves around court is different too. Despite oversized feet and a rather ungainly way of splaying his legs, he manages to cover the field of play with aplomb. Colin has been trained over the last number of years to subside towards the new form of style which has proved fellow countrymen such as the Murray’s well and that is a mixture of power and strength. “The game is changing for definite. I mean even I can see how my training has been managed and changed over the years and that comes with all forms of sport. Relating it back to football I suppose and how it has gotten so fast paced over the last number of years, I think it is just natural for all different sports to progress really. I mean now I can tell that I do more serving and volleying whereas a couple of years ago it was more likely that I wouldn’t have to do as many sprints to the net, although players like Andy have an unending arsenal of weapons that they can hit you with at any time during a game.”
17 Colin Fleming Colin promotes the AEGON tournament
I don’t feel I am in Andy’s shadow.The ATP tour is big enough for all of us; big enough to make you famous, to give you satisfaction, fame, glory and everything that comes with it...as long as you are willing to work hard and play harder
It’s been a big year for Colin; firstly he got married to his high school sweetheart Gemma at the end of last December at Balbirnie House. The guest list was star studded with Andy and Jamie Murray and Adam Barratclough in attendance to see their friend take the plunge. “Yeah I was probably more nervous at that stage than I was stepping onto any court in the world,” he said. I think at that time I would rather be stirring into the eyes of Nadal across the court than walk down that isle but thankfully the boys calmed me down and a great day was had by all.” It’s not just been a mixed year off the court for the Scot but on the court as well and Colin is fast becoming one of the main player’s that Britain has to offer the tour. Fleming suffered a stress fracture of his left tibia hampered him during mid-season in 2012. “It’s not the sort of thing you want to be doing during the middle of the year” he lamented. “It was just unfortunate because at the time I was training I was in the best shape of my career and I knew I had to work hard because of Wimbledon and the Olympics and call me greedy but I wanted to get really far in both. Basically I was just practising one day and had a bit of a slip and landed awkwardly on it. Automatically I knew it wasn’t as bad as it could have been and thankfully the recovery time wasn’t that long.” Unfortunately Colin and Ross were defeated in the first round of the doubles event at the Olympics, and went out at the same round at Wimbledon but put in excellent performances throughout the rest of the year to
maintain his ATP ranking of 28.
The highlight of the year came at the Australian Open where Fleming and Hutchins reached the third round of the tournament for the first time. He also reached the quarterfinals of the mixed event with Liezel Huber. “For me it was fantastic to get to that point so early in the season, especially after everything that happened injury wise during the pre-season. For me it showed good determination and mental strength for me to come back from that and get the results like I did in Australia.”
Fleming won his second title with Hutchins and his first in the 2012 season at the Delray Beach International Tennis Championships. “It was a fantastic achievement. I’m very lucky to say I’ve now won two big tournaments on the world stage and it’s something that I’ll always remember and it will drive me even more to win a slam.” In mid-June, after being out of action due to the fractured tibia he suffered, Fleming won his second title of the year, again partnering Hutchins at the AEGON International. “That was the tournament that led us into Wimbledon so it was a good way to start off our preparations. I’ve known Ross for a long time now and there’s nobody on the British Tennis scene that I would rather play with now apart from Andy of course.” I’m very lucky to say that I have gained amazing friends throughout the year and have always had amazing friends behind me and my wife in
Returning a serve at Wimbledon this year
whatever I set out to achieve. I’ve known Andy and Jamie and of course Adam for years and those guys growing up were like the friends at school that I had even though we grew up miles apart. Adam and Jamie were even at my wedding so it says a lot for the friendships I’ve garnered playing”.
Colin with team GB
Even though he is still on the rise, the 28-year-old lives in the shadow of Britain’s and certainly Scotland’s number one Andy Murray. You could say if Andy wasn’t playing he would be the most recognised and best Scottish and British player that the country has to offer. So what does he think about the situation? “I don’t feel I am in Andy’s shadow. The ATP tour is big enough for all of us; big enough to make you famous, to give you satisfaction, fame, glory and everything that comes with it...as long as you are willing to work hard and play harder. Myself and Andy are great friends always have been and always will be and if there is ever a day that we meet at opposite ends of the court of course I’ll do my best and put my all into beating him, but at the end of the day whoever works hardest reaps the rewards, and I can only concentrate on my own game.” Colin was not always set in his ways about playing tennis though. He left high school in 2001 at age 17 to study Economics & Finance at The University of Stirling as a sports bursar. The University offered him the opportunity to continue with his tennis training and competition as part of a high quality programme, otherwise he would have become a social player at that time and would probably not have stepped back into serious competition at that age. His tennis career was supported by the University when they enabled him to take two sabbatical years from 2004 to turn pro and join the tour, during which time he achieved career highs for singles and doubles in 2006. After selection in the Davis Cup squad for the match against Serbia and playing Wimbledon in 2006, Colin decided to quit the tour to return to Stirling in order to complete his University degree. He graduated with First Class Honours in 2007 and secured a graduate scheme position as an energy trader where he worked for a year. With his hunger rekindled and his head set on making it in pro tennis, Colin decided to return to the tour in August 2008. “I mean I look at that point in my career as being one of the most important decisions that I’ve ever had to make,” said Colin. “I wanted so bad to play tennis but at the same time I knew that if I got injured that I would be able to fall back on something. It wasn’t clear at that time that I would have a guaranteed income that I would be able to support a family on so I decided that it was the better option. That being said once I left the game for that
short period of time I couldn’t wait to get back to it so it lit the fire inside of me again when I finally did get back on court”. One thing is for certain and that is that Colin is continuing to work hard daily in order to get to the top of his game. Even though he focuses solely on doubles competition he would like to one day consider a career in singles competition should the time come that he feels that he is strong enough to compete. “I think that there probably will come a time when I finally say that I will move into singles competition. The only reason I’ve been a doubles player for so long is because I think it’s easier for me to play on court with someone and its easier overall to have a different opinion with you that will tell you what’s going to happen during a certain point and tell you what you’re doing wrong and right during a game. The talent that is out there at the moment though means that it would be impossible for me to make a better earning for myself should I switch because obviously with the ranking I’m at now I earn a good bit but never say never.”
21 Adam Barratclough
H H C G A U O O C L C T A R R BA
Coach of the year Adam Barratclough talks playing, coaching and his opinions of the sport. We also get an insight into how it all started for him and his plans for the future. The Sunderland-born Adam Barratclough decided to start coaching after failing to make it as a professional player on the tour after only a year. The young coach however enjoys the job and has no regrets about stopping to play so early. “It’s probably quite good working with a variety of people because obviously you work with people of all standard and ages” he said. “The best bit is probably when you coach people and you see them getting better and the satisfaction if they win a match and you see how happy they are and what it means to them. Another thing would be the hours; you know a normal office job you would work from 9 to 5 whereas this every hour there’s a different person coming in so it keeps it fresh.” Adam teaches a variety of ages but if you were to ask him who he prefers to coach his answer is very definitive. “To be honest I would probably say the 14’s and upwards, like 14 to say 20 and obviously if people are doing well they carry on through that age then I’m still working for them but, yeah I’m probably best with that sort of age group because that’s where I have the most experience. Coach Barratclough doesn’t disregard the older ages though and is always eager to help anybody who wants to improve. “Yeah, I mean I coach some people who are in their 60’s eh, so yeah I have people of all ages really, some of them are older but the majority of the stuff that I do is with the juniors.” The former pro coaches mainly out of the Virgin Racquet club in Sunderland up at Doxford Park after transferring from the Puma centre just down the road a number of years ago. “We have a really good team actually”, he explained. “We have the best coaching team in the region to be honest. We have three of us really who do the performance stuff and a couple of coaches who do mini tennis. There’s a couple of girls who coach which is quite good really because there isn’t that many female coaches, but we have a couple who are quite good, and they run a lot of competitions and stuff at our place as well so it makes it quite a good environment to work in and a good team.” In light of the gender debate that’s currently going on in
Adam competes in the national premier league doubles finals Adam celebrates a win
tennis surrounding the players it could be seen that there is a lack in the number of women coaches currently on the pro tour and in tennis centres across the UK. “I suppose there should be more female coaches,” he admits, “for some reason it’s just not natural that there would be many female coaches in the sport, I don’t know why but, even at the top level all the female players are coached by men and the men are coached by men.” Adam’s route to coaching was not as straight forward as his colleagues and his route to playing was even stranger. He has his father to thank for a lot of what he has achieved so far in his career after admitting he never wanted to go back after his first lesson. “I first started playing just before I was 9 which is quite late these days because most people start when they’re about 4. I owe it all to my dad really because he took me down to the park, but it was mainly football I used to play, but my dad thought I was quite good at tennis so he took me for a lesson. I remember I was crying my eyes out at the time saying I didn’t want to go, but he booked it behind my back and the coach said I was quite good, and to bring me back. When I went back I hated it the first couple of lessons, and then after that it started to grow on me and I got into it and obviously started getting better and loved it, and just carried on since.“ From there Adam went on tour and then made the plunge into the coaching scene. “It was sort of just a natural progression really, because I played tennis obviously for years as a professional and once I stopped that I just sort of fell into coaching.” The step up was never something that he imagined himself doing though and admits that it was the last thing on his mind during his playing years in his teens. “I actually said when I was 17 or 18 that I would never coach and then when I stopped playing I got into it sort of part-time just to get a little bit of money then, so when I stopped playing I just sort of fell into it. Before I packed in playing, I fell short of money that’s why I had to stop playing professionally and if I wanted to carry on play-
ing in tournaments I had to do part-time coaching to get some money so when I started to do it the money was quite good really. Once you get into it and you start getting the money, it’s quite hard to stop. To be fair I don’t really class coaching as a job, I don’t mind getting up in the mornings and going to the club where as some people hate going to their jobs in the morning and live for the weekend, I’m not too fussed I don’t actually mind it.” So why did he not want to coach? “Eh just simply because I thought I had done it for that long playing, I thought I would get a job outside of tennis but it didn’t happen. Once I got into it I just stayed in it and I enjoyed it.” Tennis has always been the centre point of Adam’s life and for him it would be hard to imagine him doing anything else now. He was adamant when I asked him what he would have done had his father not forced him into lessons…”Not a clue”. Even though his career was short there are many memories for Barratclough to choose as his favourite, from the years when he started playing to taking the leap into the professional tour. “I have a few really,” he reminisced. “One would be the first time I won a tournament abroad as a junior. Another would be winning the four nations cup in Ireland. The tournament itself was really good it was based in Cork. The most important one though was when I got the first world ranking and ATP points. I would say that was a happy, happy
day.” It would be rude not to have him reel off his favourite coaching moments as well, after he was rewarded for his performances throughout the year with the prestigious Coach of the Year award. “Coaching, it’s all different really. If you see a kid who has just started playing and they win their first ever match, I’d be delighted with that but also I’d coach people who have won national titles and internationally, so in terms of achievements they would obviously be the best sort of things, like I say it just depends on the standard of the kid’s goals, obviously if they achieve the goals your happy. “Yeah I won sports coach of the year; I think I was nominated by a few people. I think it was for the hard work that I put in with the kids and some of the afterhours stuff basically. Things like the trips away and all that kind of stuff really, and for me it was quite nice and it was a really nice award, probably the best thing that has happened in terms of coaching. It was presented by the 1973 Sunderland FA Cup winning team and I’m a huge Sunderland fan so it was eh an honour to get it off those boys.” He also believes that those feelings of emotion and memories of his students winning have a big indication of his work ethic and strong mind-set that he puts into his profession. “When my students win it shows that all the hard work pays off.”
23 Adam Barratclough “You know the ones who are playing have big commitments because they’re training three nights a week and stuff where they could be doing other things and the parents are also making big commitments because it’s not cheap and it’s nice for them to see something rewarding, obviously it’s nice for me though, because the kids are over the moon and it shows it’s worth it.” Of course behind every great player and coach are his idols and Adam was no different. Of course to be the best you have to learn from the best and there are a couple of people who he attributes his style to and the players who drove him to do well throughout his career on and off the court. “The Swede Stefan Edberg was my idol growing up” he said. “He was my hero! I learned a lot from him and based my game on him of just serving and volleying, which was his style. He was a big hero but I also liked Pete Sampras, Agassi and obviously the British one was Tim Henman and up to now Andy Murray. I mean Roger Federer deserves a category all by himself. “I just think he’s awesome, a legend. Everything about him is pure class so I’m a big, big fan of his yeah. I’ll defiantly be sad to see him go when he retires, it’s always sad to see the good ones go like Sampras and Agassi, people like Ivanisovic and Edberg when they stop playing it’s always sad, and I always seem to like the players more when they come to the end of their career for some reason. I think in Britain when they play at the peak of their careers you never appreciate them but when they’re about to go you realise how good they actually where.” Even though Adam is currently coaching full time he still tries to get time off during the weekends to compete in tournaments. In fact he is team captain for his tennis centre who play regularly throughout the year in singles, mixed doubles and doubles action. “Yeah I do actually play for the county stuff. Still number one for the men’s team which is quite nice and that’s for Durham, Middlesbrough, Sunderland, just everywhere in the north east really. So I still play that and also I would play some of the British Tour’s and I’m actually quite keen to play a couple of the international ones still but I just don’t have the chance to practise and obviously I’m not as fit as I used to be. ATP ranking I was around 1,200 in the world and British ranking I think my highest was 19 for the seniors so wasn’t too bad but I’m a long way off that now.“ Having been in the situation before him, Adam knows how hard it is to make it in the industry and doesn’t have high hopes for his prospects. “To be honest, it’s very hard to make it. Being honest the chances of them making it are pretty slim. There is a boy and a girl who I actually don’t coach individually, but I do lessons with three times a week but that’s more just playing points and things. They’re actually ranked quite high, the lads ranked number 2 in Britain for his age and he’s going to probably go and train abroad soon I think and the girl’s pretty much playing full time as well now. So they’re doing well but the chances of them making it are quite slim , it would be pretty unlikely but there’s a
few who I’ve coached who I think will go on to stay in the sport and will play tennis in American Universities now.” He also has a word of advice for the children looking to make the step towards American Universities. “Stay and give me lots of money probably. No I would advise them to go abroad because you have a bigger chance in countries like Spain seem to produce the most players, so I would advise people to go out in the academies there and if your older you know I would think the American Universities would be a good go for any junior because it keeps you playing and you’re getting a lot of funding so it doesn’t cost that much. “You’re getting great advice and all good quality practise and then by the time you come out of university at the age of 21 or 22 you wouldn’t really have the massive debt that you would have over here and also you’re ready to go on the tour, because at 16, like 18 when I did I don’t really think you’re ready because at that age, you haven’t got anything out of your system. Things like nights out, girls, drinking, football you know at that age I think when you come out at the age of 22 you’re a little bit more mature and you’re more ready for it.” “People go out in the academies there and if your older you know I would think the American Universities would be a good go for any junior because it keeps you playing and you’re getting a lot of funding so it doesn’t cost that much, you’re getting great advice and all good quality practise and then by the time you come out of university at the age of 21 or 22 you wouldn’t really have the massive debt that you would have over here and also you’re ready to go on the tour, because at 16, like 18 when I did I don’t really think you’re ready because at that age, you haven’t got anything out of your system. “Things like nights out, girls, drinking, football you know at that age I think when you come out at the age of 22 you’re a little bit more mature and you’re more ready for it.” This brings an interesting point to the table. Is it possible for players who play in Britain and don’t play the modern style of Murray, who learnt his trade in the States to make it big even if the talent is there? “Yeah I think the game is all heading towards power to be honest with you, players like Tsonga. You’ve got to have a big weapon in the game now, someone for example would be Leyton Hewitt, who won grand slams and was world number one. I think it would be tough for people like him now due to the amount of weapons some players have and the game becoming more and more physical every year with the likes of Murray and Djokovic with the shape that the two guys are in. “It’s just phenomenal the way they move. Now the games gone up another level through Federer and Nadal you know they’ve sort of pushed the bar higher and fitness is even more important. I mean these guys are in unbelievable shape, almost superhuman, so yeah you have to be fast and fit and you’ve
Representing virgin active wearside at the premier league tennis finals
to have a weapon now as well whereas I think in the past you got away with either just being really fast and fit or have a big weapon, but now you need to have the full package I think.” So why didn’t Adam make the move abroad? Surely he would have lasted longer in the pro tour had he moved to an American University on a scholarship and got his degree then went out on tour like most of the top players. It’s a difficult choice for what are children at that age to make as it will affect the rest of their lives and Adam explains why he never felt the pressure of going to America. “Yeah part of me does but on the other end of it I’ve enjoyed my life up to this point so yes and no. I would love to be doing what he’s doing now playing the big tournaments but I’ve got to be honest, I would never want to be famous. I would hate fame. Just the fact that you couldn’t walk down a street or go to a pub or go shopping. The one good side would be the women obviously but eh no I don’t think I would be cut out for fame.” Adam has always been an admirer of the system that British tennis uses to produce young talent having been part of it as a player and then as a coach. His partner in doubles tournaments Johnny is one of his prospects that he hope will make it to the big time and follow in the footsteps of Andy Murray. Adam has coached him since the age of twelve and has seen him develop as a player but he admits expectations have not been met and he believes there are two main problems and reasons behind that. “I think two reasons why, we have great coaching in this country, in terms of coaching I think we’re probably on par if not ahead of all the other countries really because we have good training and stuff like that, “he says. “We have a lot of really good juniors up to under 14 levels and under 18 level we’ve got some great juniors who win some of the biggest tournaments, but after that for some reason they don’t make it. That could have something to do with for one the climate, which is nothing we can do about. You know the countries that train outdoors on clay which is the ideal surface to play on are ahead because obviously we can’t get outside for most of the year because of the weather and we haven’t got many clay courts in the country.
Socialising with friends
“The other thing I think is just our culture really which doesn’t help. Over here it’s natural to be going out drinking around 18, you know all your friends would be out at the weekend from school having a couple of pints. I think it’s tough because you’re only young once and if you don’t do that sort of thing you might think that you’re missing out. You have to be pretty single minded to miss all the weekends and you could almost say you miss out on a lot of stuff with your friends and you don’t have time for friends.”
Serve and Volleying
Is that the reason why Andy never smiles I ask him. “It could well be. He’s actually a bit of a joker though, he doesn’t come across that way in the media, but I think over the next couple of years, you’re going to see a different side to him, because I think he’s getting used to it a little bit more and he’s only young. I think it must be hard having cameras in your face all the time and you can’t do a thing about it. I think it’s the same as Henman, people used to criticise him and think he was boring but coming towards the end of his career he relaxed and came across differently. I think it will be the same with Murray, he seems more and more relaxed every time you see him.” During his playing days Adam competed in Wimbledon qualifiers to progress to play in the competition itself. This dream was short lived when he met a young Scot in the first round called Andy Murray. Since that day Adam and Andy have become good friends and regularly talk on the phone and Adam has a high opinion on the British number one. “Yeah the last time I played him was in a Wimbledon qualifier which I actually should have beaten him in but I was carrying an injury at the time. It could have something to do with Kim, she’s certainly got him happy, keeping him fit. He’s going to be straight on the phone to me for saying that but, I think he made the right decision to move away to Spain when he was 14, because actually his older brother Jamie was better when we were younger but he stayed in this country and got ruined. I think Judy learned from that and sent Andy abroad to Spain, so he went and trained over there and obviously got no distractions in terms of going out, the guy is 100% tee-total, doesn’t touch a drop so he’s in good shape.
25 Adam Barratclough Virgin Active coaching/playing After summer team, camp Adam (Middle)
“I really have no idea what I would be doing now had I not went into coaching!”
Yeah I think those would be the main reasons, the fact that he went abroad to train and obviously Judy learned from mistakes. He defiantly will get better, over the next couple of years there are always things you can get better at. He will probably get more aggressive and get a little bit stronger. I think with the age that he is he will have another 6 or 7 years at the top at least, so I’m sure over that time he will only improve.” What could have happened had the Sunderland boy joined Andy in going abroad and does he ever regret the decision?
“Part of me does but on the other end of it I’ve enjoyed my life up to this point so yes and no. I would love to be doing what he’s doing now playing the big tournaments but I’ve got to be honest, I would never want to be famous. I would hate fame. Just the fact that you couldn’t walk down a street or go to a pub or go shopping. The one good side would be the women obviously but eh no I don’t think I would be cut out for fame.” The 28 year old is a firm believer in a ‘no-regret’ policy and it is clear that he has done everything that he wanted to do in terms of his professional playing career, but there are some things that he would change had he been given the chance. “I mean as I say move abroad would have been one thing, if I did that would have given me a better chance defiantly but obviously I’ve got a great set of friends and I wouldn’t really want to change that. I was a really hard worker when I was on the tennis court, but probably didn’t play as much as I should have and didn’t do as much gym and things like that and I had distractions so yeah probably be a little bit more dedicated if I had to change anything.” At the previously mentioned age of 28 Adam still has his best years ahead of him in terms of coaching however he does admit that the happiness of the children depends on him keeping in good shape and still being able to relate to them on some level. What age does he expect to retire and how long can he keep coaching for? “Good question really it’s quite hard to answer because once you’re into it it’s quite tough to get out because the money is quite good.
If I got a different job I think I would always be comparing what I could be earning per hour through coaching but at the minute at the age I’m at its quite a good age because I’m still playing at quite a high level and the kids like that, if your coach is still a good player and has been a good player. At the age I’m at too I’m still quite stupid like relating to the kids when they’re that age whereas if I was around 50 odd they might not want me to be coaching them. When you’re around 28 you’re still quite cool and stuff which I think plays a major part in coaching as well so I don’t know we’re just going to have to see.” Of course everything in Adam’s life isn’t totally dominated by tennis and on the weekends he appears to be just your normal everyday guy who goes to the football and has a pint with the lads. “I’m a big Sunderland fan so I go to a lot of the games, I have a season ticket and I go to a lot of the away games. My first season ticket I got when I was 6 then I missed a couple of years but even when I was playing tennis properly I still got my season ticket then when I was away playing international tournaments I gave it to some mates to use just to keep my seat. Then I just enjoy normal stuff really. Going on nights out, snooker, all that sort of stuff.” Finally there is one thing that Adam can’t stand within his sport and that is drugs, His position is a strong once which he expects the pros to uphold. “To be honest I’m totally anti-drugs so I’d be disgusted if people were using them but I think you would be ridiculously naïve to think that nobody is. I think a lot of the players probably are and there was articles in the paper about a month ago saying that a lot of the top 100 players are on them. There have always been rumours about Nadal since he was a kid that he has been on certain stuff; I mean the guy was a tank when he was 14. You know he takes these year breaks for injury but I think he’s actually been banned for drugs and the association just don’t want to come out and say that it is drugs because it would be a bad thing for the sport. Justine Henin for me was certainly on drugs that was proved when she was world number one and I think you’d like to think it’s because they’re superhuman and they work so hard but on the flip side to play some of the matches they play, sometimes five hours then come back a couple of days later and play again is a pretty big effort to put it mildly.”
Djokovic- Austrailian Open
What was the yearâ€™s best? We reviewed the top tou result so weâ€™re asking you to decide. Visit our webs Azarenka- Austrailian Open
urnaments of this year and couldnâ€™t come up with a site and vote to have your say on the best of 2012...
A IS FOR ANDY BRITAINS NO1
WE TALKED WITH THE SCOT AHEAD OF HIS BIGGEST YEAR YET AFTER ENDING THE LONG 76 YEAR WAIT TO WIN HIS FIRST GRAND SLAM AT THE US OPEN.
â€œIt was after Wimbledon I pushed on. I just learnt a lot from the loss to Rodger. I realised I needed to get fitter and stronger. I went away and worked on it.â€?
31 Andy Murray
The King Of British Tennis This year saw the emergence of one of the greatest sporting talents that Britain has ever produced. Scot Andy Murray ended the long wait fo Gran Slam glory by beating World Number One, Serbian and friend Novak Djokovic to clinch the US Open for the first time in his young career. This was not the success the 25 year-old obtained during the year. He also managed to beat Switzerland’s Roger Federer to claim his part in the history of the London 2012 Olympics by winning gold on centre court at Wimbledon. With mum Judy and girlfriend Kim now a familiar sight cheering him on in the stands, Andy won the prestigious Grand Slam he so desired after falling short many times before at Flushing Meadows in New York. After the game people were shocked to know that Andy pep talked himself in front of a mirror in the changing room bathrooms to get himself over the final hurdle and capture what he always desired. “I never talk to myself. Not out loud,” Murray said. “You would never catch me walking around the house and actually saying things to myself. Isn’t that supposed to be the first sign of madness? That is why that toilet break was so unusual. I stood in front of the mirror with sweat dripping down my face and I knew I had to change what was going on inside. I had a drink, a change of T-shirt and a banana with me, but they didn’t really matter. I had to get a grip of my mind. So I started talking. Out loud. “‘You are not losing this match,’ I said to myself. ‘You are NOT losing this match.’ I started out a little tentative, but my voice got louder. ‘You are not going to let this one slip. You are NOT going to let this slip. This is your time. You have never been closer than this to a grand slam. Give it everything you’ve got. Leave nothing out there.’ At first, it felt a bit weird, but I felt something change inside. I was surprised by my response. I knew I could win.” Ever since his US Open victory, Andy has went from strength to strength, winning other tournaments throughout the year including the Olympic Medal which saw him beat the man who had thwarted him in the final this year in front of Andy’s home crowd at Wimbledon. For Murray this was the kick that he needed to go and train harder.
Player Interview “When I look back on the Olympics now, I just remember it being an absolutely amazing 17 days and with a huge amount of pride. Just being a part of Team GB and the success we had was so motivating for me. I remember watching Mo Farah on the Saturday night before my final, and it was so inspirational watching him run that final 53-second lap. I was absolutely pumped up just watching it on TV. But it was the same for every single medal we got – they were all awe-inspiring, and I was desperate to be part of that and desperate to win a gold. Beating Roger in the final was the biggest win of my career. I’ve had a lot of tough losses, and I’ve been to four Grand Slam finals, but that was the best possible way to come back from those lows. I learned from the Wimbledon loss [against Federer a month previously] and used the experience to become a better player. Was I nervous going into the final? Sure, but that’s only natural ahead of a game that important. But as soon as the match started, I felt calm and relaxed because I’d been playing well all week and it was just a case of having to keep that momentum going. Even though I’ve lost in those previous finals, I’ve been able to use those experiences and move forwards, so I was nervous but confident. The crowd helped me no end because the noise they made was absolutely unbelievable. I’d like to think it added a few miles per hour on my serves and made a big difference, so they played their part. I’m just glad I managed to put in the performance I have been waiting for – for me and for them.” Andy of course was made wait for the prestigious Grand Slam victory having been to four finals before without coming away with a victory. Britain was also made wait for its first Grand Slam victor in 237 tournaments. One of the damning results for the Scot was at this year’s Wimbledon final against Roger Federer where Andy took the lead before being pegged back by the legendary Swiss. “It was after Wimbledon I pushed on; I just learnt a lot from the loss to Roger. I realised I needed to get fitter and stronger. I went away and worked on it”. Over the course of the year it has been no doubt the biggest and best in Andy Murray’s still young career. He has gained celebrity admirers across the world and silenced the critics who said that he would never make it into the top 3 in the world. The hard work and dedication that the world number 2 has put into the last number of years has been phenomenal. He is tee-total and has never touched alcohol, something which shows how disciplined he has to be in order to succeed.
“No, I’ve never drank. It doesn’t really bother me to be honest, people come up to me and say ‘you’re from Scotland and you’ve never drank?’ I get a chuckle out of it but it’s not hard for me to quit something that I’ve never had”. On New Year’s Eve of 2011, Andy announced that he had hired coach Ivan Lendl and since that time he has went from strength to strength. In his first tournament he set the bar for the ‘best year of his career’, getting to the semi-final of the Australian Open with dropping just one set. Even though he had lost in the final to best friend Novak Djokovic, the tennis world was made realise that the pairing of Murray and Lendl could be one which would propel his career upwards with there being no ends to the possibilities that he could achieve. “I called him in December when I was training over in Florida and spoke to him for a little bit”, said Murray. “I liked how our discussion went, so we met up a couple of times and chatted about things, and that was it really, the rest is history. I mean he was a great player, he has a lot of experience, and he went through a lot of the same things that I’ve been through as well. He’s a very hard worker, very professional and doesn’t leave any stones unturned which I think lacked within my game over the last number of years.” There are two people not involved in the coaching team who are ever present in the Murray box during tournaments and that is his mother Judy and girlfriend Kim. This year they’ve seen tears of disappointment and tears of joy and are always u off their seats after a big point. “It’s great to have those two there, especially if your back is against the wall all I have to do is look up at them cheering and giving me encouragement and it gives me the lift that I need to pull through. My mum’s always been supportive ever since we went to Spain when I was young to train. She always believed that I could become what I am today and for someone to have that much faith in you its important. Kim is just brilliant as well. She’s very understanding and supportive of me and my training so yeah with those two around I defiantly feel that I can achieve more and play better.” We hope that things continue as they have done this year for Andy and with his full team behind him we believe that he can achieve anything within the tennis world. Sitting at number two now the main aims must be looking at taking that number one spot from best friend Djokovic and finally putting an end to the drought that has not seen a British winner at Wimbledon since 1936 when Fred Perry won it 77 years ago.
Murray celebrates at match point
WHAT MAKES ANDY S ARMED AND DANGEROUS Two hour gym sessions are the norm and Murray uses weights to power down his 130mph serves. Unless heâ€™s on holiday Murray is always accompanied by a fitness trainer.
HEADING FOR GLORY Murray does not use a sports phychologist but enjoys travelling and stays focused with his support team. He is more mature and less-prone to tantrums.
FOOD FIT FOR A WINNER Resolutely teetotal, he eats pasta and sushi by the bucketload, and in training weeks will have seven meals per day. But he will treat himself to a McDonalds or a curry after a tournament win.
HOW THE LEGS SHAPE UP Goes through the torture at the running track of repetitive 400metre sprints with oneminute recovery time between them. Runs to the net with a giant elastic band round his waist attached to a post.
â€œI WANT T
SUCH A BIG HITTER? THE MAN Born: May 15 1987, Dunblane Lives: Surrey Height: 6ft 3in Weight: 79Kg Handed: Right-handed Racquet: Head Microgel Radical MP Favourite Film: Braveheart Favourite Music: Black Eyed Peas, Eminem
Favourite Food: Pizza with mixed salad and dressing, cookies & cream ice cream Favourite Drink: Frappuccino Favourite TV: Soccer AM Favourite Tennis Player: Fabrice Santoro Favourite Tournament: US Open Sporting Hero: Muhammad Ali
the court. He’ll grimace and grab his back. Or his leg.
THE WAY HE PLAYS The 25-year-old Scot is the best player in tennis right now. Last year he lost a heartbreaker at Wimbledon, snatched gold in London, and ended a 76-year draught for Britain by winning his first grand slam at the U.S. Open. In an era ruled by three of the all-time best players, he showed he belonged. He’ll use a mishmash of shots to lull the other guy into submission until he sees an opening and SNAP! He cracks a winner. Between points, Murray’s even more annoying. He labours on
Or his arm. Is he hurt? Is he having a meltdown? He mumbles to himself after messing up. He mumbles toward his box. He’ll stare at his mom with a look that reads, “Why do I suck?!” All of this however is part of the Andy Murray game. With him being at the top of his physical game it is hard to see if there is anyone out there that could put him in his place.
TO WIN WIMBLEDON”
37 Gordon Reid
THAT’S HOW LONG IT TAKES TO TRAIN MOST CHAMPION ATHLETES, GORDON REID NEEDED JUST THREE YEARS TO REPRESENT HIS COUNTRY IN THE OLYMPICS NOW HE’S GOING TO THE WORLD CUP...
Interview Gordon Reid has proven that he has the heart of three lions when he represented Great Britain at the London 2012 Olympics this summer. The home games where his second having competed in Bejing at the tender age of just 16. Now Gordon Reid will don the three Lion’s on his chest once more as it was confirmed that he will be selected to play in the upcoming World Cup campaign in 2013. His team selection means that his season continues to look promising and bar injury, the Scot will be playing in his second World Cup having also been a part of Great Britain’s winning junior team at the 2007 World Team Cup. The Paribas World Team Cup will be held in Antalya in Turkey next year, with Helensburgh man Gordon competing alongside Marc McCarroll and David Phillipson. The latest news is a fantastic boost for the 21-year-old who will be anxious to get into training for the competition. This is not the only good news that the Scot has received this week, after being named as the International Tennis Federation’s male player of the year for 2012. Together with McCarroll and Phillipson, Gordon made up the Great Britain team that reached the semi-finals of the men’s World Group 1 in 2010, when the Davis Cup-style competition was also held in Antalya.
He said: “I’ve had some great times at the World Team Cup, going back to 2007 when I was part of the Great Britain team that won the junior event in Sweden. “Reaching the semi-finals in World Group 1 alongside Marc and David in Turkey in 2010 was an obvious highlight. On that occasion Marc and I secured one of our best doubles wins over the top-ranked Dutch pairing of Maikel Scheffers and Ronald Vink. “Unfortunately, the Dutch had already won the semi-final when we played the doubles but I’m looking forward to the challenge again this year and hopefully we can put ourselves in medal contention again.” Gordon’s coach, Karen Ross, added: “I have some tremendous memories from the World Team Cup and am confident that Gordon, David and Marc will do us proud in Turkey again this year.” Earlier this year the 21-year-old became the first British player to win the International Tennis Federation’s Male Player of the Year Award for players on the NEC Wheelchair Tennis Tour, after the ITF announced the 2012 winners today. What made the award so special is the fact that the award is very much attitude based. The award is presented on an annual basis to
a sportsman who is deemed to have behaved excellently and also for his fair play and sportsmanship. Finally on and off court behaviour is also taken into consideration so this was an award which anyone would be honoured to receive. The British No. 1 and world No. 7 was chuffed upon receiving the award won the award who has made an undoubtedly huge contribution towards the development of wheelchair tennis over the last number of years, and was delighted that the winner was chosen by a public poll. “After a memorable 2012 on the court for me, this is a great honour to be named Male Player of the Year in the ITF poll, particularly because it is an award voted for by other players in the sport, as well as tournaments and members of the public,” said Reid. “I’m very grateful to everyone who has voted for me and I hope to build on last year to have an even more successful 2013.” After participating in his latest tournament at the Gauteng Open, Reid will be one of several British players on the Tennis Foundation’s Wheelchair Tennis Performance Programme contesting next week’s South African Open in Johannesburg, a tournament where Reid was runner-up in the men’s Singles and winner of the men’s Doubles last year.
41 Dan Evans
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> WE CAUGHT UP WITH DAN EVANS AFTER BRITAIN’S PROSPECT SUFFERED THE HEAT OF A TENNIS LEGEND OF NEW AND OLD <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<
Britain’s number 6, 22 year-old Dan Evans has come under scrutiny recently for not working hard enough on and off the court. The Birmingham born star has had some big named peers looking over his shoulder during the last number of months after being criticized by Britain’s number 1 Andy Murray and legend of British tennis Tim Henman. The two have come out publicly and slated the young player for repeatedly admitting that he hasn’t worked hard enough going into tournaments and finds it difficult keeping control of his personal life. Having made his Davis cup debut almost four years ago it is apparent that Dan was a talent that would soon make his mark on the game, however he has not quite performed to the level that many of his peers expected. Now Dan has spoken out about his desire to fulfil his potential and propel himself towards the top of the rankings as Britain’s hope lie with him in future. Playing at the National Premier League tennis finals at Sunderland, Evans firstly agreed with the criticism he received from Davis Cup team mate Andy Murray saying “I totally understand where Andy is coming from. I don’t want to have to make excuses anymore about my preparation or what I do off the court and I look to improve every day.”
PICTURED BELOW: Dan Evans, Davis Cup team and Number 6 in British Male Rankings
The Protege Answering questions about his physical appearance, Dan didn’t seem defensive and accepts that there is a lot of pressure on his young shoulders to succeed. “I know people are only trying to look out for me”, he said. “I mean who better to be giving you advice than the current World Number 2? I feel quite privileged and it makes me want to work harder to be at the place where he is. “He does have to remember though that I’m only 22, and it took him a long time to reach his full potential. We ring each other up all the time to discuss what we’ve been doing and off the court we’re really good friends, so yeah I appreciate his input and don’t mind him advising me what to do in terms of training or what to eat”.
As far as the Tim Henman comments go, Dan was adamant that he would prove the former British No 1 wrong insisting, “I know he’s said some things about me in relation to pulling my socks up and stuff but it doesn’t really get to me.” He continued “I mean I would always be willing to sit down and spend time with Tim there’s no bad blood at all, that’s not what I’m saying. “What I’m saying is that he’s comparing me to other people and I don’t particularly like that. I mean he’s right when he says that the excuses aren’t good enough anymore if I want to be a top player, but I aim to prove him wrong in the nicest possible way. He may just be trying to get me to do that who knows.” Dan will compete for the Davis Cup team against Russia next week and he hopes that this time he has prepared right for the tournament match. “I know this time that I’ve done enough preparation. I can already tell that most of the eyes will be on me to see if I’m mentally and physically ready after being drafted in because of an injury to one of the other boys but I’m ready”. This is just one week though and as Tim Henman was quoted as saying, what about the other 48 weeks? Dan knows that this is not a part time job and he has to put in the work year round to be able to start seeing the rewards.
“Obviously I know that I can’t just turn it on and off from week to week because if everyone could do that then the game would be very different. As I said before I’m prepared to work and prove the people who now think that I can’t do it because I’m too lazy wrong. I know I have problems sometimes but who doesn’t? This is the start for me and I can tell you will see a change in my results as I start to work harder”. Dan’s coach Mark Taylor has also cemented the idea that his mentality has changed over the last number of weeks. “You can see that he has now realised that he needs to work harder”, he said. “Before there were occasions that he would take a week off and come back sluggish and have to build his fitness up again but last week was his week off and he was on court everyday so that was a positive aspect. “In terms of his game he’s still developing as a young lad and what he has been able to achieve so far has been incredible for him. Hopefully this Davis Cup campaign against Russia will push him on even further and some day you will see Dan Evans at the top of the World Rankings, but its my job to make sure he gets there”. We look forward to the future and what it holds for the young Birmingham lad and wish him all the best in the future. We also wish the boys all the best in their Davis Cup tie next week.
45 Terracotta Warriors
For many years people have spoken about the top three players in the world of men’s tennis. The sport has always been dominated by Switzerland’s Roger Federer, Spaniard Rafa Nadal and the Serb Novak Djokovic, but now there are some new boys in town. One man who we all know who has put his money on the table is Britain’s Andy Murray, but there are many others below him who see the coming years as the perfect chance to make or break their careers. Now during a tournament it is likely that you will see bookmakers offering shorter odds on less likely tournament winners due it being harder to predict the outcomes of games. Martin Del Potro recently broke the recurring trend by winning a tournament throughout the year which was not dominated by the top three. The image above represents the rise in the competitiveness of the players and without drawing on the three big guns that we see during the year winning Grand Slams, there are eight ‘warriors’ to choose from.
The ATP, governing body of the men’s professional tennis circuit, in 2007 commissioned a sculptor to create Terracotta Warriors of the best eight tennis players in the world to mark the Rolex Masters, which at the time was the prestigious circuit ending championship held in Shanghai, China. The original Terracotta Warriors were created to be buried with the Chinese Emperor of Qin in 210-209 BC and are now known around the world after they were discovered in 1974. The Shanghai Masters saw the top eight male tennis players in the world against each other as they battled it out for the end of year title and the biggest cash prizes in tennis ($ 3,849,445). Players competed for ATP Race points throughout the season in a bid to seal one of the eight coveted Tennis Masters Cup berths. The statues are now at home in the British tennis museum in Wimbledon on display for everyone to admire but it could be seen that the inevitability of a more competitive sport was
one which the ATP wanted to promote with the creation of these figures. It was inevitable that the rule of Federer and Nadal could not last forever and a few years back Djokovic developed his game in a way which saw him take the game by storm. Andy Murray was the next to make his move and he also took the rankings by storm sitting now at number two behind best friend Djokovic. Of course who also can forget Argentinian Del Potro who was the first to break the duct of a player winning a Grand Slam outside of the ‘big four’ beating Federer in 2009 to win the US Open. Tennis coach Adam Barratclough weighed in with his thoughts on why the men’s game is getting more competitive. “Yeah I think the game is all heading towards power to be honest with you, players like Tsonga. You’ve got to have a big weapon in the game now, someone for example would be Leyton Hewitt, who won grand slams and was world number one. I think it would be tough for people like him now due to
THE TERRACOTTA STATUES OF THE BEST THE MEN’S GAME HAS TO OFFER
the amount of weapons some players have and the game becoming more and more physical every year with the likes of Murray and Djokovic with the shape that the two guys are in. It’s just phenomenal the way they move. Now the games gone up another level through Federer and Nadal you know they’ve sort of pushed the bar higher and fitness is even more important. I mean these guys are in unbelievable shape, almost superhuman, so yeah you have to be fast and fit and you’ve got to have a weapon now as well whereas I think in the past you got away with either just being really fast and fit or have a big weapon, but now you need to have the full package I think.” When asked about the future of the sport too coach Barratclough believes that it can be dominated by two men, however you will see a lot more people coming through. “Well the game is in a really good place at the minute, it won’t be short stocked in any way when he retires (Federer). Obviously I think Murray and Djokovic will be rivalling it out for a good few
years yet and what makes it better is the friendship that they share. You might see a couple of younger players come through like Del Potro, Dimitrov and possibly Tomic. There are a few there that will do well I think but yeah Murray and Djok I’m sure will be going at it for the foreseeable future.” It is plain to see that the style as Adam says of the game has changed so much since the days of Layton Hewitt and Ivanisovic where you could rely on a big serve to get you through, however players reactions have become so heightened that a serve can no longer get you through a full game. Compared to the warriors of old, it is clear that these players who once stood tall at the top of the game are slowly crumbling and being caught up by the younger generation of serve-volleyers. Out of the eight whom stand in the picture at the top only half are either still playing the game or are in the top 8 player rankings. With Federer dominating the number one spot for so long he is now at number 3 after Brit
Andy Murray overtook the legend after a hard fought tour victory in Miami over Spaniard David Ferrer. Young coaches could be the reason why the younger generation of players are coming through, but in a sport dominated by fitness and speed of reaction the only way is up for the players at the top of the game. If players like Murray and Ferrer want to stay in the position that they hold currently in the rankings and win more tournaments then they will have to work harder than ever, get quicker and faster than they already are and more intelligent on court. With the younger generation coming through it is only a matter of time before the warriors have crumbled altogether and we see a new age of tennis player. On the men’s side, it would come as a surprise if any non-Big Four member managed to break through and win a Grand Slam. That being said, plenty of success can be achieved without winning a Slam. This being said, don’t rule out a major shift in Grand Slam winners in 2013.
Men’sBarricade Semi-FittedTee £40
Men’sBarricade Shorts £33
Men’sAdipower BarricadeShoes £95
Featuring some of the most exciting technologies in tennis like ForMotion,ClimaCool and ClimaLite the adidas line of men’s apparel features fashionable yet approachable designs that focus on function and comfort.
Men’sBarricade Semi-FittedTee £40
Men’sAdizero Tee £37
Men’sAdizeroTheme Polo £37
Men’sBarricade Shorts £33
Men’sAdizeroBermuda Shorts £37
Men’sADIpure Shorts £37
Men’sBarricade Semi-FittedTee £40
Men’sResponce Shorts £28
With designs that always excite, this season’s line-up of Adidas Women’s apparel does not dissapoint,featuring bold colourways and fun cuts, the line nicely mixes fashion with function to create playable and wearable clothes
Women’sAdipure Dress £55
Women’sResponse Court2Shoes £55
Women;s Women’sBarricade Women’sAdizero ResponsiveCapTee Tank Tank £40 £40 £40
Women’sAdizero Women’sResponce Women’sadidas Skirt Skirt by £40 £26 StellaMcCartney BarricadeSkort £40
Women’sadidasby StellaMcCartney BarricadeTank £40
Women’sBercuda 2Shoes £47
55 The Game Products
SHOES Adidas Barricade 7.0
The choice of Andy Murray, Marat Safin and Thomas Johansson is also Topspin’s top pick of this year’s footwear. From the excellent ventilation to the cool styling to the ultra-light weight, this is the perfect hard court shoe. Changing direction feel effortless and there’s plenty of bounce to help those overworked fast-twitch muscles make it through a game. A hit.
miCoach SPEED_CELL collects your in-game stats leaving zero doubt who’s fastest on the field, track, or court. Share and compare your stats by wirelessly syncing to your iPod touch or iPhone using the miCoach CONNECT for iPod touch and iPhone.
FUEL Multipower Active Energy Gels
Multipower’s Active range compromises a host of different sports nutrition gels produced specifically for endurance athletes competing at all levels. Avaliable in pre-and post-match sachets. The gel provides a time release carbohydrate mix for fast and sustained energy supply to boost your performance during intensive training.
From £13.50, www.multipoweruk.com
The Best of The Best
HEAD PCT Ti.Two
Arguably the most comfortable racket we tested in this category, thanks to the HEAD’s clever Shockstop technology, which draws vibration down the frame into the handle, where it’s absorbed by a ball-bearing mechanism. A huge sweet spot makes it suitably forgiving for newbies.
Tennis Ball Dryer
If your tennis obsession sees you playing in all conditions, you’ll be no stranger to the problem of wet balls. Putting damp balls back in the tin means they quickly lose their bounce, which is no good for your game or your pocket. This beat carry bag dries them out in as little as three hours and includes a net measure built into the handle.
Dunlop Aerogel 4D 5Hundred Lite
The ultra-lightweight 5Hundred Lite has had its string pattern tweaked to 16x18 for added spin, replacing the previous closed 18x20 pattern favoured by flatter hitters. Comfort and stability is aided by the addition of 4D braiding (four layers of graphite dotted around the frame).
£130 www.dunlopsports. com
Check out this lovely Wimbledon bracelet made with gold racquets and three layers of green leather to wrap round your wrist.
Wilson Pure Storm Tour
This was snaffled in the Topspin office as soon as it arrived and kept playing with it for weeks. It’s a handsome beast (it was the clean looks that first grabbed us), but a couple of hours on the court confirmed that players can generate some good weight and pace of shot with this racquet, while net play feels stable and controlled.
Tecnifibre X.Code Wilson
This clever hybrid string integrates polyester with polyurethane, providing less muscular fatigue and vibration than pure polyester strings, but without sacrificing ball feel.
Wilson BLX Tour Six Plus
From the people that brought you the first environmentally friendly tennis bag comes this updated version of a classic. Used by Tsonga, the Williams sisters and Federer, these are the most carried bags on the Tour and they’re also 25 per cent lighter than bags of a similar size.
61 LTA Fixtures
MENS Time 12:00 12:00 12:00 12:00 12:00 12:00 12:00 12:00 12:00 12:00 12:00 12:00 12:00 12:00 12:00 12:00 12:00 12:00
Aegon Team Tennis National/Regional Open Fixtures this month 2012
Draw Round Stage National Open Men - North 1 1 National Open Men - North 1 1 National Open Men - North 1 1 National Open Men - South East 1 1 National Open Men - South East 1 1 National Open Men - South East 1 1 National Open Men - South West 1 1 National Open Men - South West 1 1 National Open Men - South West 1 1 National Open Men - Midlands 6 1 National Open Men - Midlands 6 1 National Open Men - Midlands 6 1 Regional Open Men - Midlands East 1 1 Regional Open Men - Midlands East 1 1 Regional Open Men - Midlands East 1 1 Regional Open Men - South East 1 1 Regional Open Men - South East 1 1 Regional Open Men - South West 1 1
No 1 1 3 1 2 3 1 2 3 16 17 18 1 2 3 1 2 1
Home Nuffield TA 1- Bamford TC 1 Manchester Northern 1-Tennis World 1 Holcombe Brook 1-Blackburn Northern 1 Bromley LTC-Virgin Active Surrey 1 Woodford Wells 1-Sutton T&SC 1 David Lloyd Raynes Park 1-Sutton T&S West Hants LTC 1-Virgin Active Glo 1 University of Bath 1-Beckford TC 1 Virgin Active Dorset 1 -Victoria Park Bridge 1 Lady Bay 1-Stourbridge 1 Mackintosh LTC 1-Leicestershire LTC 1 Loughborough Tennis 1-Beechwood LTC 1 Duffield LTC 1 -Lutterworth 1 Boston TC 1-Syston Northfields 1 Kibworth TC 1-West Bridgford 1 Thorpe Bay LTC 1-Berkhamsted 1 Luton & Vauxhall TC 1-Westcliff Hard LTC Avenue LT&SC 1-Maidenhead LTC 1
No 1 2 3 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3
Home Bridgnorth TC 1-Loughborough Tennis 1 Roundhill LTC 1-Loughborough LTC 1 Cardiff LTC 1-Lady Bay 1 Wilton TC 1-Virgin Active Brighton 1 Virgin Active Surrey 1 -Letchworth 1 East Anglia T&SC 1-Roehampton Club 1 David Lloyd Raynes Park 1-Cumberland 1 The Royal Berkshire Club 1-Taunton TC 1 Virgin Active Glo 1-Gerrards Cross 1 Maidenhead LTC 1-Halton TC 1 West Hants LTC 1-University of Bath 1 Charnwood TC 1-David Lloyd Burton Waters Ashby Castle LTC 1-Louth Indoor 1 Dallington LTC 1-West Bridgford 1
WOMENS Time 12:00 12:00 12:00 12:00 12:00 12:00 12:00 12:00 12:00 12:00 12:00 12:00 12:00 12:00
Draw Round Stage National Open Women - Midlands 1 1 National Open Women - Midlands 1 1 National Open Women - Midlands 1 1 National Open Women - South East 1 1 National Open Women - South East 1 1 National Open Women - South East 1 1 National Open Women - South East 1 1 National Open Women - South West 1 1 National Open Women - South West 1 1 National Open Women - South West 1 1 National Open Women - South West 1 1 Regional Open Women - Midlands 1 1 Regional Open Women - Midlands 1 1 Regional Open Women - Midlands 1 1
MENS TOP 10 Qual Events 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
1 1 1 1 1 1 1 2 1 1
Andrew Murray Joshua Goodall James Ward Daniel Evans Jamie Baker Daniel Smethurst Richard Bloomfield Alex Bogdanovic James McGee Joshua Milton
WOMENS TOP 10 Qual Events
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
1 1 2 3 1 1 1 2 1 1
Heather Watson Laura Robson Anne Keothavong Johanna Konta Elena Baltacha Tara Moore Samantha Murray Naomi Broady Lisa Whybourn Melanie South
100815407 101024398 101427251 101612155 101415464 101578773 100092467 101018062 102061754 101401934
1987 1985 1987 1990 1986 1990 1983 1984 1987 1989
Mem No 102307607 102368829 100712169 103492042 100811556 102765759 101247551 102008575 102033453 100925395
U-18 BOYS TOP 3 Qual Events
1 2 3
1 1 1
Adam Glynn 103308276 Jack Findel-Hawkins 102521649 Kyle Fellows 102608136
U-18 GIRLS TOP 3 Qual Events 1 2 3
1 1 1
Farah Abdel-Aziz Kim Schmider Helen Clements
103157362 103137385 103134491
Year Born 1992 1994 1983 1991 1983 1992 1987 1990 1991 1986
Year Born 1996 1994 1995 Year Born 1995 1995 1995
County Scotland North Hampshire & Isle of Wight Middlesex Warwickshire Scotland West Lancashire Norfolk Middlesex Wales South County
Points 1502000 40202 37400 32865 32800 22801 22400 21400 19600 19592 Points
Channel Islands Middlesex Middlesex Middlesex Scotland West Yorkshire Cheshire Cheshire Cambridgeshire Surrey
291250 282750 139250 110250 94250 51500 46640 43500 41802 34542
Dorset Devon Shropshire
2820 2442 2250
Durham & Cleveland Cheshire Sussex
2885 2755 1995
andy is #allin