Cahill Coaching Federer; Ongoing Dubai Problem; Chiudinelli Surprise
by Richard Vach | March 5th, 2009, 3:08 pm
  • 25 Comments

Roger Federer Has a New Coach
As reported a couple weeks ago, Roger Federer has a new coach as Darren Cahill has been spotted in Dubai.


Dubai is Innocent, Says Dubai
Next year the WTA Dubai event will not be able to make a last-minute power play due to the multiple restrictions set upon the tournament by the WTA Tour ($2 million down payment on assurance that all qualified players accepted into the draw, all visas cleared well in advance, etc.), but if the post-tournament decisions coming out of Dubai are any indication, the issue is far from resolved.

The WTA levied a $300,000 fine against the Dubai event for denying Shahar Peer a visa to play the tournament, a fine Dubai officials are appealing.

“We don’t see it as quite fair. The rules of the WTA state that the tournament should make every effort to get visas for the players, and we did make every effort,” said Colm McLoughlin, the managing director of Dubai Duty Free. “There are other parts in the letter regarding the posting of a $2 million bond for the prize money in advance. We are not too happy about that because we have proved that we are good payers in the past.”

No one is questioning the money-laden event’s ability to pay prize money — the event hands out more than the total prize money in under-the-table appearances fees alone. Dubai officials know this. It’s rather the WTA setting themselves up in an enforcers role to still collect if they have to pull the plug on the event in 2010 in the event of another last-minute “visa problem.”

It’s a lot of continued bending of the truth, which is still worrying the WTA. The Dubai event stated, “We did make every effort to get the visa [for Peer],” which is a joke, as the tournament touts itself “Under the patronage of the Prime Minister of the UAE and the Ruler of Dubai.”

When the Ruler of Dubai wants a visa problem fast-tracked, it’s a snap of the fingers. And when he doesn’t…it doesn’t happen, and it didn’t.

“Believe me, it will never happen again,” a hopeful Billie Jean King told The Associated Press. “We won’t be there, I can guarantee you that. Our sport has to set an example of freedom and equality.”

That it does, which makes it difficult when one of your largest tour sponsors also runs a tournament which is willing to push the envelope in making its own rules — even after being reprimanded. Dubai is appealing the fine, without fear of losing their event.

“In my opinion there is no danger that the tournament will be pulled,” McLoughlin says.

This Swiss Isn’t Neutral
They won’t have world No. 2 Roger Federer, but the Swiss could have a minor surprise for the U.S. this weekend in Davis Cup play at Birmingham, Ala. in the form of Marco Chiudinelli.

Ranked No. 341 currently due to injuries throughout 2007 and 2008, Chiudinelli has a history of Davis Cup heroics. Spain was shocked by the current 27-year-old back in 2007 when Chiudinelli beat both Fernando Verdasco and David Ferrer in a Davis Cup opening-round tie.

“That was just two weeks before I had to stop because of my knee injury,” he said. “Definitely good memories playing at home, beating those two guys.”

If inserted at the No. 2 spot for Switzerland behind 2008 Top 10-ranked Stan Wawrinka, Chiudinelli will have a chance to shock Andy Roddick and James Blake. Neither of the Top 2 Americans have faced Chiudinelli in the Swiss’ more than eight years as a pro.


Also Check Out:
Cahill to Coach Federer?
Andre Agassi Doesn’t Know If He’ll Play In The IPTL; Won’t Say Never To Coaching [Video]
Victoria Azarenka Has Withdrawn From Doha
Roddick Rallies In Delray, Avoids Third Straight Loss; Djokovic, Federer, Murray Return In Dubai
Poll: Roger Federer Wants Nothing Do With On-Court Coaching: I Don’t Think It’s Necessary

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25 Comments for Cahill Coaching Federer; Ongoing Dubai Problem; Chiudinelli Surprise

MMT Says:

The 2-million bond is a good insurance measure for next year’s event, but should be higher in my opinion. BJK’s statement is too little too late – frankly, I’m surprised shed didn’t call for a boycott in the first place.

The reason they have no fear of losing the event is that there’s too much money in it for everyone involved to take the correct professional stand.

And that’s a damn shame.


tenisbebe Says:

Yes, BJK’s comments were WEAK. Never say never. If they don’t have the $2mm bond (which DDF is appealing) this could easily happen again next year, particularly if there is another major offensive in the ME.


Mina Says:

I don’t think BJK called for a boycott in the first place because she knew that none of the players would be pulling out and she didn’t want to make any of them look bad…especially with the BJK Cup Exo around the corner.

I don’t fault any of the players for going ahead and playing – it’s not the players’ responsibilities to fight the WTA’s battles – but it WOULD have been a nice gesture for them to do so.


MMT Says:

Mina:

The WTA is their organization, it only exists to protect the rights of players like Peer, players like the Serbian girls, Sharapova or the Williams sisters have enough gravitas on their own not to be messed about – it’s players like Peer who have no individual clout that need the WTA, but it’s players like the aforementioned big 5 that have to use their clout to ensure that the rest have their rights ensured.

If BJK didn’t call for a boycott because it would have made them look bad and she was thinking of her own exho, then I’m thoroughly disappointed in her. I know they had to make some hard decisions in the old days, when women’s tennis was an afterthought to most, but I assume that one of the reasons she started the WTA was not just for herself, but for her fellow professionals who has absolutely no clout back in the day. It’s one thing to take cigarette money or play in South Africa when you’re trying to develop some clout for the women’s game, but they now have that clout and they should have used it to protect one of their own.

It is the responsibility of the players to fight these battles. They did it behind the leadership of Venus Williams when it came to prize money at Wimbledon, but they really laid an egg in Dubai.


Mary Says:

There’s no way in this economy, which I don’t see getting any better by ’10, is the WTA going to pull the event or demand a bond from any tournament.

Do the sponsors need the WTA or does the WTA need the sponsors? The WTA loses on that one.


hannah Says:

Whoa. fed has a coach. *shocker*


andrea Says:

l like darren cahill. he’s a no nonsense kind of guy. a good fit for fed who need to find his ‘clutch play’ mojo.


Von Says:

MMT:

“They did it behind the leadership of Venus Williams when it came to prize money at Wimbledon, but they really laid an egg in Dubai.”

Yes, Venus was extremely vociferous regarding the right to equal prize money at Wimby. She opened her mouth and didn’t sugar-coat anything like she did at the trophy presentation in Dubai. At the Wimby meeting, the difference in prize money for women, which is unfair to the men, IMO, was wrong, according to Venus and showed injustice towards another human being.

Why didn’t Venus use equally strong language and argument on behalf of Peer in Dubai? And, why didn’t the women players rally against the injustice towards Peer. Or isn’t Peer a “human being” and deserves equal treatment? Oh, but wait a minute, money talks.

It’s unbelievable how the pendulum swings and changes direction whenever people choose to let it happen.

I feel that BJK could have been more active and taken a much stronger stance for Peer.


Mina Says:

Von & MMT:
Okay, MMT – you’ve won me over with your point about the WTA having less clout than the big 5 players taking a stand on this issue…so now I side with both you and Von in being disappointed in the players for not boycotting. I agree with both of you and wish that at least one (ideally all) players would have boycotted the tournament.

I know what I would have done in a similar situation – boycott and be damned about the money. I would speak out strongly against it and I think one of the things that did piss me off were the insipid comments that Venus made at the trophy presentation – weak!

“Why didn’t Venus use equally strong language and argument on behalf of Peer in Dubai?”
It seems clear to me given this current situation that Venus only spoke out about equal prize money because it directly affected HER – a bigger pot = more money for her – and only secondarily because of gender equality. The sisters took a stand at Indian Wells for something that a fan said. In this case, the tournament organizers themselves are discriminating against a fellow player – why did they not take a stand in Dubai?


Von Says:

Mina:

Considering the amount of money the Williams sisters have accumulated during their time on the tour, money should be the last thing on their minds. They should have progressed out of that stage and moved on to the generativity stage in their tennis careers, which is giving back. In real life our generativity stage begins in our mid-forties, but in tennis years they have reached their generativity stage and should now be giving back big-time. It seems to me that their main focus is on money and more money; when will it ever be enough?. I’ll probably never be rich because I don’t view money as being the most important thing in life. I believe one’s health and other people’s well-being are more important than money. Money is a very good commodity if it’s used to assist the needy and relieve human suffering. I may be wrong, but I don’t think either of the sisters has a foundation.

“The sisters took a stand at Indian Wells for something that a fan said. In this case, the tournament organizers themselves are discriminating against a fellow player – why did they not take a stand in Dubai?”

I used a similar argument about IW a couple of days ago but it didn’t go over too well. It’s kind of a reverse discrimination, vis-a-vis, the Williams sisters are discriminating against IW for the actions of a fan, as opposed to Dubai discriminating against Peer because she’s a citizen of a country which is frowned upon by Dubai.


Mina Says:

Yes, Von, I can see how that type of comment might not go over too well regarding IW but I agree with you 100% for whatever that’s worth :) And I also side with you on the money issue – when is enough, enough? Once you’ve reached a certain level in your career, it’s time to step up and fight for issues that you might not have had the courage to when you were younger, less mature and sure of yourself.

I’m a big fan of consistency of principles. I admire people with principles, even if I don’t always agree with them, as long as they don’t impinge on the rights and freedoms of others. I can completely understand and respect the Williams sisters taking a stand in IW (although to some extent I do feel it is a bit over-the-top to boycott future IW tournaments because of something a fan did rather than the tournament directors, but that’s beyond my point). What I’m confused and a bit disheartened about is them refusing to apply the same logic, and also boycott Dubai. It makes no sense to me. If you are willing to boycott a tournament on the basis of discimination, then it should apply equally to all tournaments whether that discrimination is targeted towards yourself or to some other player on the tour.

In many ways, it would also have been nice for the men to take stand. Roddick, admirably, was the only one to really take a stand on this…although, his comment that sports and politics don’t mix fell a little short to me – one only needs to look towards Arthur Ashe to see that sports can be used to make political statements. But I do understand that the ATP views itself as separate from the WTA. The female players, though, have no excuse for not taking action.


Tiny Says:

Cahill will not be looking at Nadal across the net. Only Fed can help Fed


new world order Says:

nadal must be really scared now of a cahill coached federer now! NOT!!!
this is like when roddick faces federer, everytime roddick comes up with a new thing like, i lost 15 pounds, my backhand is better, i have a new coach, i have another new coach, i can come to the net better, i can hit better approach shots when i come to the net now,etc etc etc roddick ends up getting absolutely humiliated by federer every single time!!!
same thing with nadal and federer!! nadal can maul federer and shred him to bits and make the guy cry like a new born baby everytime federer comes up with a new thing when playing against nadal!!!
lets face it, nadal is a better tennis player than federer period!! give nadal a few more years and his career then will be better than federer’s career right now!! lets face it, the only reason people like federer is because he is technically correct, thats the only reason everyone is gaga over his tennis!!! nadal is not tecnically correct, but he plays his way, and he gets the job done, and only he can play his style and dominate tennis, he is once in a century player!!!

nadal is such an amazing player to watch, mentally strong defensive tennis reigns supreme!!!


new world order Says:

i have heard cahills advice to federer on commentary many times!!! its the typical come to the net more advice!!! well federer has tried that since the start of time against nadal and every bloody time nadal just passes federer with ease from unheard of positions and smashed winners!!! net approach does not work, even with super approach shots, nadal is an unreal player!!! u have to blast nadal off the court using a power game with a good defensive game!!!
federer is nadal’s b*tch right now and nothing will change that!! its federer vs nadal, not cahill vs nadal!!! when nadal gets federer on that tennis court, federer’s balls shrink down real quick and he becomes a mental midget!!

the fact is, NADAL OWNS FEDERER!!!
nadal has successfully established a NEW WORLD ORDER!


Von Says:

Mina:

“And I also side with you on the money issue – when is enough, enough? Once you’ve reached a certain level in your career, it’s time to step up and fight for issues that you might not have had the courage to when you were younger, less mature and sure of yourself.”

That’s what Billie Jean King, Chris Evert and some of the other women have done. They’ve stepped up and began giving back to the sport that has given them so very, very much and made them the individuals they have become. Had Billie Jean not stepped up for women’s rights, the women’s game would have been stagnated. These girls need to learn to step forward while giving of themselves in the process. It is in giving that we receive.


new world order Says:

the womens game is a joke! womens tennis should not even be talked about as a serious part of tennis, its a bit of hit and giggle for everyone nowdays!!! womens tennis is irrelevent and i think womens tennis should be scaled down to only a few tournaments in a year, because its just not worth everyones time!!! its an utter joke and a complete farce and a waste of everyones time!
i hope in 20 years time, womens tennis is not played anymore!!!


MMT Says:

I wouldn’t go so far as to say the Williams sisters don’t give back – they donate a lot of time and money to many causes, including schools in Africa, appearances at youth oriented events and charitable donations. It’s just that in this case, they (just like all the other women in the WTA) didn’t do enough to support Peer in my opinion. They all should have boycotted, pure and simple, and they blew it.

The men got a very convenient pass when Dubai gave a visa to Ram, but Andy Roddick has, in my view, brought shame to the entire WTA (and by the WTA I mean its players) by doing a week later when all was already “resolved” what they should have done a week earlier, when Peer was getting stiffed.

Shame on the WTA.


Giner Says:

Federer should have hired Cahill the moment Agassi retired. The guy seems to have done wonders for his charges. I don’t expect him to be a miracle worker, but I do expect Fed to make inroads mentally against Rafa Nadal.

NWO:

“lets face it, nadal is a better tennis player than federer period!! give nadal a few more years and his career then will be better than federer’s career right now!! lets face it, the only reason people like federer is because he is technically correct, thats the only reason everyone is gaga over his tennis!!! nadal is not tecnically correct, but he plays his way, and he gets the job done, and only he can play his style and dominate tennis, he is once in a century player!!!”

Nadal is not a better player. He is a very good player, but he doesn’t win as many titles or make as many finals as Fed did in his glory years. What makes him more successful than Fed at the moment is that his game matches up well against Fed’s. This is something Fed will adjust to and work on.

Fed wants to play until 37 I think it was. Cahill coached Agassi till 36, so maybe it will work. I think he’ll be competitive in his 30′s, top 10, but won’t be winning too many slams.


Giner Says:

It took 2 heart breaking finals losses (in 5 sets) to Nadal before Fed swallowed his pride and decided it was time to hire a coach. I have a feeling that if he had beaten Nadal in Melbourne he would have vindicated himself and would not have hired Cahill. I can’t wait till their next meeting.


tenisbebe Says:

Giner:

I think you’re absolutely right. If Fed would have won in Oz, no way would he be looking for a coach. The man is stubborn.


Shan Says:

The fact of the matter is no one knows what makes a tennis player like Venus decide what battles to fight. Give them a break, they have enough to worry about sometimes. Let the WTA organization fight it out so that the players can focus on improving their games to provide better entertainment for the fans.


Mina Says:

No one what makes ANYONE decide what battles they fight – but does that mean that we don’t hold people up to a certain standard. In my opinion, athletes are not simply athletes – they are also role models who have a tremendous amount of power in the form of media attention, celebrity/fame, and money.

No one is going to write a news story about a regular person speaking out against the situation at the Dubai tourney…but you can bet your arse that if any of the high profile WTA players (especially Venus or Serena because they are American) had spoken out emphatically or boycotted the event, they would have been talking about it all over CNN and other major news networks around the world. A stronger message would have been sent, and I am disappointed that it wasn’t.


Mina Says:

Sorry – first sentence above should say “No one KNOWS that makes ANYONE decide what battles they fight – but does that means that we don’t hold people up to a certain standard?”


TD (Tam) Says:

Poor Richard Vach, another day another disappointment for him, hoping upon hope that Marco Chiudinelli could perform some Davis Cup heroics and upset Roddick. Too bad! -the better player won. Allez Andy Roddick!


Giner Says:

Hewitt and Federer have effectively traded coaches. It’s poetic because the two used to be so close growing up because their coaches at the time were both Aussies and they trained together a lot.

Hewitt has Tony Roche in his camp, who used to coach Federer, and now Federer has Cahill who was Hewitt’s coach.

It would be very interesting for both coaches if Hewitt and Fed were to meet again.. Word has it that Cahill’s split with Hewitt and Roche’s split with Federer were not exactly friendly.

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