ATP Indy Event Misses Roddick, Stiffs Blake
by Staff | July 18th, 2009, 10:17 pm
  • 59 Comments

Andy Roddick’s withdrawal from the Indianapolis Tennis Championships has left the event with a hodgepodge of talent, least of which (or most of which?) is top seed Dmitry Tursunov.


Tournament officials announced a hopeful plea of getting James Blake for the event, apparently a wish that never came to fruition.

Tournament Director Kevin Martin later told the Indianapolis Star that Blake wanted the same appearance fee as Roddick, but the event in the end decided he wasn’t worth it.

“We couldn’t meet his expectations (financially),” Martin said. “It just wasn’t going to happen. I couldn’t do it. James is a great person and a great supporter of this event.”

Ouch.

Roddick withdrew from the event with the same hip injury that forced him to miss the Davis Cup.

Joining the Russian Tursunov among the seeds are Dudi Sela, Sam Querrey, Igor Kunitsyn, Benjamin Becker, Yen-Hsun Lu, Marc Gicquel and Denis Istomin. Denis Istomin? Double ouch.

An ignominious beginning to the US Open Series for 2009.

Wildcard went to Taylor Dent, and Newport winner Rajeev Ram and NCAA champ Devin Britton, who face each other in the opening round.

Other opening-round matches of interest are (3) Querrey vs French veteran Arnaud Clement, (7) Gicquel vs. the explosive Ernests Gulbis, and (2) Sela vs. the rhymin’ Vince Spadea.

Other notables in the draw are John Isner and Marcos Baghdatis.

Defending champs in the field are Tursunov (2007) and Robby Ginepri (2005), and the event begins play on Sunday.


Also Check Out:
U.S. Open Series Preview: Indy
Roddick, Blake Only Top 50-Ranked U.S. Men
Opinion: Which Roddick Will Show at Washington?
Blake Will Pull for Roddick Against Federer at US Open
Pete Sampras: Murray Just Can’t Hang Back And Hope Roger Misses

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59 Comments for ATP Indy Event Misses Roddick, Stiffs Blake

joe Says:

James wants to get paid.


James Black Says:

Yea, I want to get paid. You are suprised?


Dan Martin Says:

I will be covering the semifinals and finals from Indy. The final four needs to have at least 2 of the following players – Sam Querrey, Rajeev Ram, Dmitry Tursunov and Marcos Baghdatis (any of the other U.S. born players would help but not enough). Querrey has done well in Indy that past two years, Ram is from a suburb of Indianapolis, Tursunov won the event in 07 and was runner-up last year. Still, this is not good news for the event. Their draw in some ways is worse than Newport’s despite more prize money and some implications for U.S. Open prize money. I agree with not paying Blake Roddick-type money. Blake would help ticket sales, and consequentially concession, merchandise and TV money, but nowhere near the degree of Roddick playing matches all week and weekend. They should give 1/20th of the Roddick money to me, and I could lose 6-0, 6-0 in such an embarassing display of an out of shape 33 year old former 4.5 level player vs. pros that Sports Center, Jim Rome et al would be giving the event free press for months.


tennismonger Says:

Gawd, what a parallel universe, those tennis pros live in! Blake wants to top appearance bucks because…well, just because! Reminds me of Serena’s whining about how she should be number one because why should she have to ply her sweaty trade in the Tier 1′s & 2′s when all she needs is Grand Slam glory to place her on the pedestal she so richly deserves.

Serena – hit the tour sometime, sign a few more autographs, stay uninjured for a whole year. Also, watch your sister (esp. pressers) & take notes.

James – Q Rating does not equal tour ranking. Pull in some Roddick results & make the Roddick bucks. Work harder/smarter. Despite your current rank, you’d be lucky to win a match off of Querry, Fish, or even Dent right now. Rhymin’ Vince Spadea would give you a tough 3-setter.

Speaking of which, I WOULD stop by Indy to see Vince bust a move/rhyme – what a goof!


Joe O'Brien Says:

Unbelievable. How can Blake expect to be paid the same as Roddick when he hasnt been putting up the results like he has in previous years?
He is obviously going to regret not playing because he made the semi’s there last year and he will drop 310 ranking points from the Olympics last year very soon.
A very bad decision on Blakes part, at the moment he needs all the ranking points he can get.


TD (Tam) Says:

Isn’t Blake a former Indy champion as well, and he is just as popular as Roddick isnt he? At least I thought he was. He always has those JBlock folks cheering for him at the usopen. I can’t say whether James deserves the same appearance fee as Andy or not. What kind of appearance fee does Roddick command, 6 figures? higher?


the_mind_reels Says:

@ TD: Blake did win Indianapolis in 2006, but the guy hasn’t won a title since 2007. Frankly, he’s barely batting over .500 for the season (19-15 W-L record on the year), and he’s quickly on his way out of the top 20 if he doesn’t start earning/defending some points. Indy would have been a nice place for him to pick up some points, given the way the draw has shaped up.

That said, to answer your question, not sure what Andy’s appearance fee looks like, but James certainly doesn’t deserve the same. Look at what Roddick’s accomplished so far this year (or over his career, for that matter) versus Blake’s.

Anyway, just my thoughts.


Dan Martin Says:

Blake has been to three Slam quarterfinals in his career. Roddick was QF at 08 USO, Semi at 09 AO, and RU at 09 Wimbledon. In 52 weeks he has done more damage in slams than Blake has in his career.


Dan Martin Says:

Ram is through the first round. Maybe the local player can generate enough ticket sales to make up for the lack of star power in Indy. If so, they saved a lot on appearance fees and sold a lot of seats.


Von Says:

Wow, did Blake pass up a good opportunity to earn some extra bucks and much needed ranking points simultaneously. He could have killed two birds with one stone, instead he had to be pig-headed about the situation and he now walks away empty-handed.

James seems to be taking a page out of Serena’s book with respect to pressers, complaints and money. What’s wrong with him?

I don’t know how Blake could allow his ego to get in the way of rational thinking. How in the world could he even entertain the thought of asking for the same appearance fee as Roddick is beyond my thinking. After his poor showing at DC last weekend, one would think he’d have learnt something, and that is he should be a tad more humble, instead, Blake’s ego seems to have gone in the opposite direction. Unbelievable.


vared Says:

I think Blake is going to fade away into the sunset pretty quick.


tennismonger Says:

Funny thing is, earlier in their careers (even after Roddick won the ’03 US Open)I once entertained the thought that Blake would eclipse Roddick. I thought Blake had a smoother game, better movement & more all-around firepower. Didn’t happen. The accident in Rome certainly didn’t help Blake’s cause – that was plain bad luck.

I heard people refer to technical deficiencies in Blake’s game but I never saw anything glaring (maybe net game)…anyone know what they were talking about?


Kimo Says:

How come no one mentioned Soderling’s first career clay title today in Bastad? Looks like the hard-hitting Swede is peaking. It also shows how his run at Roland Garros wasn’t a fluke.


jane Says:

A couple of us mentioned it on the other “Roddick” thread, Kimo.


Aaron Says:

Where does Blake get off? Why would any tournament director in their right mind consider paying him ‘Roddick’ dollars. Blake is SURE to lose.


KillerC Says:

hmm so the tourney didnt wanna pay james 100+ thousand to hit some tennis balls?! hah.. owell bummer; truthfully im rooting for Devin Britton to win this!! serve volley kid go!! GOOOOOOO!!! hah

I wont watch any of the uso series probably cept for the last big warmup tourney b4 the uso to see just how bad nadal is gonna be doin and how good rog is after winnin 15


mongoose Says:

Ease up on the stones people :). If someone calls you and wants to make changes to your emmediate future the negotiation process might not involve just the consideration of skillvalue. You’d think that Blake as a professional tennisplayer might have a plan of his own how to prepare for the upcoming USOpen. To mess with that is maybe going to cost you more than what the tournament officials where ready to pay.

Or maybe the guy had planned for a bbq with close friends. Point is better plan in advance. I’d say unprofessional of the tournament officials to make Blake the bad guy.


15 Says:

Polemics on the TW forum:


Jonas Bjorkman was one of the expert-commentators during the Catella Swedish Open today and the other commentator asked him what he thought about Federer,Nadal,Djokovic and Murray he said “that Federer is the greatest thing that ever has happened the world of tennis and that in front of media and the cameras Rafa seems nice but when the cameras are off that he is false and that lots of players dislikes him because he is very cocky and doesnt show any respect for anyone except Federer, he also said that when Rafa sees Federer he changes immidiately and becomes Mr Nice guy”…askissing that is. I am not surprised…


15 Says:

And also (same thread) this quote supposedly from Safin about Andy (R.) :

Q: Is there anyone from the top players you haven’t managed to build a relationship with?
A: Roddick and I don’t talk to each other. We fell out during the Olympic Games in Athens.

Q: What hapenned?
A: I am not going to say anything, it’s stupid. But the man has changed and not for the best. I’ve known him, Federer and Hewitt practically since childhood, we’re of the same age, we’ve been playing each other forever. I have an excellent relationship with the other two. Federer became more disciplined, serious, a real Swiss. He is a very good person. Once I had to present some one I knew with a racquet and I didn’t have one on me. I asked Roger for one and he gave it to me without hesitation. I have wonderful memories about Sampras – he treated me really well and I respected him deeply. Just as I respect Agassi.


Dave B Says:

I find Blake’s position alarming. There seems little doubt that he is on a downward trend. I like the guy a lot but he just doesn’t seem to be able to get it all together. I feel the same way about Roddick as Marat does; A whining obnoxious prima donna with great talent and a swelled head.


I like tennis bullies Says:

“A whining obnoxious prima donna with great talent and a swelled head.”

what does federer have to do with any of this?


Von Says:

I like Safin a lot, and have always supported him, but it’s no secret that as a younger player, Roddick was bullied by Safin, Hewitt and some other older players a lot, and it explains why there’s very little love between the Safin and Roddick. Safin’s right it was stupid, and on his part. Dubai …


sensationalsafin Says:

Von what do you mean Roddick was bullied? How do you know?


Von Says:

SS: I’m not going to dredge up stuff. Maybe you can google it. As a matter of fact, I think it was also mentioned during the ’07 AO, when Safin played Roddick, the commentators also mentioned that there’s no love lost between the two due to Safin’s jealousy/bullying and they said it went back to when Roddick became Junior champ at the USO.

As I said, I don’t want to dredge up stuff, and for the record, Safin’s wrong, Roddick is younger than both him and Federer.


MMT Says:

tennismonger Said: “I heard people refer to technical deficiencies in Blake’s game but I never saw anything glaring (maybe net game)…anyone know what they were talking about?”

That’s a great question. Blake attacking game from the baseline is very good. I would say technically his weaknesses revolved around his defensive skills and his transition from offense to defense – he doesn’t seem to have a lot of “in between.” I’m thinking of Federer and Nadal who seem to have both and stay in points better and transition from defense to attack a lot better than Blake.

BTW – what’s all this cattiness about locker-room tiffs and slights. It’s one thing if we’re talking about stuff on the court, but this business about saying this player or that player is mean in the locker room is very childish and I don’t really see why they bother? If these guys want to write a book about the tour and give some inside scoop that sells copies or something I can see the point, but what’s the point in dredging this stuff up in press conferences?


Stu Says:

I was sort of surprised that Blake wanted the same amount of money as Roddick. James is a pretty good player but doesn’t have the same popularity as Roddick. Also, he should be playing just to get some more hardcourt matches in this summer, maybe he can start improving his results.


Dan Martin Says:

Blake to me is maybe too smart in a sense. He went to Harvard for a year – no athletic scholarships there so they don’t take you for being a jock or water things down – and I think Blake can over think at times. He got way up on Fed in the first set at Indian Wells in 2006 and seemed to think about and understand how big that a win would be and … he lost the set from 2 breaks up. I also think James goes for it too often. Against Tursunov in the semis of Indy last year I sat courtside and his strategy seemed to be “blow him off the court” and it worked for 1 set but when a few errors popped up he lost the next two sets. His forehand is massive it is just a crushing shot, but you can’t always hit winners.


Von Says:

MMT:

“BTW – what’s all this cattiness about locker-room tiffs and slights. It’s one thing if we’re talking about stuff on the court, but this business about saying this player or that player is mean in the locker room is very childish and I don’t really see why they bother? If these guys want to write a book about the tour and give some inside scoop that sells copies or something I can see the point, but what’s the point in dredging this stuff up in press conferences?”

I think both Bjorkman and Safin sound very classless in their comments, and it doesn’t say much for the person who thought it best to post those comments here. Give some of these guys an audience and one never knows what junk will pop out. Of what pertinence are those comments to the topic of this thread? NADA, except in this case to make some players look bad. There are many who thrive on showing up certain players, and in this case, point well taken, so what else is new? Next ……


Von Says:

Dan martin:

Blake’s strategy has always been to go for broke. Hit his forehand and blast it for winners, except most of the time he hits it too far off the court and ends up with tons of UFEs. It’s almost like he does that kind of blasting by rote, without any thought given as to how he could construct the point and see it through. I view it as his impatience and refusal to keep the ball in play and wait for the correct time to pull the trigger, but I digress, since I’m not an expert on playing tennis, but just a fan who enjoys the sport.


MMT Says:

BTW – if that sportsmanship award is just a popularity contest of who is nice to whom in the locker room they should just get rid of it right now. That should be an award for who is the most sporting player on the court and that’s it. The rest is all very childish. I didn’t like it when Soderling was getting lambasted by everyone and his brother during the French Open, Bjorkman is behaving very childishly if he’s just dishing dirt on Nadal.

Not sure what the date of the Safin comment was; in his defense he appeared to be asked a question which he could have just as well avoided. It wasn’t very pointed against Roddick, certainly compared to Bjorkman’s comments about Nadal or McEnroe and Nadal’s comments about Soderling, but just taking the bait was stupid.


Dan Martin Says:

Von you are spot on – funny thing is he is fast enough he could wait for the right moment.


Von Says:

MMT: “BTW – if that sportsmanship award is just a popularity contest of who is nice to whom in the locker room they should just get rid of it right now. That should be an award for who is the most sporting player on the court and that’s it.”

In my office, that type of balloting is done each year for awards, and it has been proven that only about 15-25% of the whole staff votes. The women do so more than the men, due to most men disliking unnecessary paperwork. I’m sure if a poll was taken as to who voted for the award among the ATP players, it would most probably show the same percentage as in my office.


tennisontherocks Says:

Von, what was so classless about Safin’s comments? He just mentioning that they had a fall out over minor thing and did not go over any details. He did not diminish Roddick’s achievements in any way. I mean, this seemed reasonable to me compared to Roddick-Djokovic fiasco at last year’s US open which actually ended up affecting them both on the court.


Von Says:

tennisontherocks Says:
“Von, what was so classless about Safin’s comments?”

Safin’s comment: “A: I am not going to say anything, it’s stupid. But the man has changed and not for the best.”

Don’t you think that if someone is saying someone has not changed for the best is classless? Roddick has changed for the best on many, many levels, but is Safin looking for the positives?

I feel if someone does not want to give details, then it’s best to say ‘no comment’, but that bit I quoted speaks volumes; he might as well state everything.


tennisontherocks Says:

‘Von Says:
Don’t you think that if someone is saying someone has not changed for the best is classless? Roddick has changed for the best on many, many levels, but is Safin looking for the positives?’

It does not really cross my threshold for ‘class’. I guess our thresholds are different :)


Dan Martin Says:

1 other pet theory on Blake… Olympic hang over that may crash his career if he can’t pull out of it. He was in his mind cheated on a point by Gonzo in the semis. A win and he has at worst a Silver medal to go with his Davis Cup title. An Olympic medal is the most recognizable currency across sports. He was a match away from at worst a silver and a chance to let it rip as a heavy underdog against a guy he has had some success against. Instead, he feels he gets cheated (tennis players do tend to know when the ball touched their racket). He ends up losing the Bronze match and that is it. Now unless he wins a slam his best tennis trophy is the Davis Cup that Roddick and the Bryans had as much or more say in who won. It was his chance to have something permanent and it is gone…. He did play well in doubles at SW19 this year, but at some point IW runner-up, Cincy runner-up, Masters Cup runner-up is not how Blake wants to be remembered.


Henry Says:

Ref Blake:
I am a European but seem to be more respectful of what James Blake stands for than some Americans posting here. Have all of you already forgotten what tragedies Blake went through both on a personal and tennis/health level? and what an incredible comeback he made? We will never know the true reason for why Blake decided not to play Indy but it’s obvious the tournament lacks both the integrity and discretion by going into financial aspects of a deal. Blake is probably one of the most level headed and fair guys in the game.

Ref Interview comments about players by other players:
Many times media love to stir bad feelings both for the sake of clicks and luring comments. They love to take and report things out of the context of what was really said. Just read it for what it is: sensationalism / gutter journalism

Tennis Rocks, Bickering Sucks !


Skorocel Says:

I like tennis bullies: “what does federer have to do with any of this?”

LOL :-)


tennisontherocks Says:

James is still the second ranked american. Sam Q., Jesse Levine etc have some good results here and there. Unless they improve, James is the biggest draw behind Andy that they can hope for. So it was dumb of tourney director to complain in public about the money matters. But still it offers good chance for younger american players to make their mark.


Shaky Says:

MMT: “That should be an award for who is the most sporting player on the court and that’s it.”

Ehhhh… because that would sure distinguish any of the top 100 players from one another? Setting aside Gonzo’s olympics scandal, I’m pretty sure everyone’s a good sport on 99% of the points. (Someone in that thread posted a link of Bjorkman yelling in swedish that an umpire was a whore for overruling a line judge, so I guess that year he’d be out.)

As for the subjective “he’s polite in the locker room” stuff, how exactly would you expect guys who don’t play 90% of the other guys in a given tournament, let alone play against 90% of the guys on tour in a given year, to pick someone?

And finally, the stuff after and before a game is part of sportsmanship. As an example, giving terse and standoffish answers in your presser (or skipping it altogether, a la Lebron James) is considered bad sportsmanship. Talking a lot of smack and trashing your opponent before the bout is also unsportsmanlike (just ask Frank Mir about sportmanship karma).

I like that it’s subjective. I’m surprised everyone likes Federer since you’d think based on even subjective criteria nobody would win it more than once or twice, and since his public comments are pretty bland (in my opinion, guy bores me 90% of the time when he talks). But I’m not going to decry an award because the voters vote based primarily on their brief interactions with one another week in and week out.

And Von, easy solution to 15% voter turnout: just make it a simple web app and watch that climb to 90%. It works, a lot.


Shaky Says:

Henry:
“Many times media love to stir bad feelings both for the sake of clicks and luring comments. They love to take and report things out of the context of what was really said. Just read it for what it is: sensationalism / gutter journalism”

I prefer to read it as Bjorkman didn’t like the guy and probably had some question about Nadal he was asked and his coffee was bitter that day.

I’d rather assume the color commentary guys are going to say some foul and stupid stuff because they are there to chatter for hours, rather than they’re trying to make a name for themselves by being known as a jerk. (The McEnroes and Brad Gilbert have an agenda, so they’re an exception that I really dislike.)


Shaky Says:

Plus I liked Bjorkman. I still do even after that comment about Nadal. He seemed cool and fun.

Here’s his lowest moment though:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WGdAknw4O4E

Funny? Yes.
Sportsmanlike? …


TD (Tam) Says:

Good evening everybody I am home early for once. :)

About Safin and Roddick’s less than cordial relationship I would not read too much into it. Safin is a fickle person who will hate you one day and love you the next. Whatever happened between them at the Olympics is old news. They have not said anything negative about one another since. Moving on.

Dan Martin Says: “1 other pet theory on Blake… Olympic hang over that may crash his career if he can’t pull out of it.”

I think you are on to something, I remember how angry Blake was after that match and it does not appear he has forgotten or forgiven. He must do so, he is not getting any younger. He should look to Tommy Haas’ performance at Wimbledon for inspiration. There is a man who was cursed with bad luck throughout his career and he played so beautifully for an “old man”. Blake must snap out of this rut! He could have another dream run at the Usopen if he allowed himself to believe it so.

Henry Says: “Tennis Rocks, Bickering Sucks !”

Well said Henry!

tennisontherocks Says: “So it was dumb of tourney director to complain in public about the money matters. But still it offers good chance for younger american players to make their mark.”

This is all very true and now that I think about it I think the TD was wrong to imply that it was a money issue, it looks badly on Blake. After this I think Indy might be blessed if he ever plays there again. :o

On that note, Querrey and Isner and Ram have all won their matches today.


MMT Says:

Shaky Says: “Setting aside Gonzo’s olympics scandal, I’m pretty sure everyone’s a good sport on 99% of the points.”

There are a lot of ways to be unsporting on a tennis court. You could:

1) Cheer your opponents errors
2) Take phony injury time-outs
3) Take a long time between points
4) Make everyone wait for you to do the coin toss
5) Insult the umpire and linesmen
6) Attempt to intimidate linespeople
7) Hoot and holler at your opponents
8) Not conceded clear line-called errors
9) Call for the tournament referee without cause
10) Be rude to ball boys and ball girls

This is by no means a complete list of unsporting things you can do on the court and I think you’re absolutely wrong that 99% of players observe all of these “don’t”s. In fact I think most players do most of these things in every match.

And the players can vote based on who they play against – whoever gets the most votes wins – of course it helps to play more often and win, but it’s also hard when you play a lot of players to avoid doing any of these unsporting things.

In any case – I stand by my contention that if it’s a popularity contest then it’s a complete waste of time. An unpopular player can be perfectly sporting and a popular player can be very unsporting, so if that’s all it is I’d rather not hear about it – just as I’d rather not hear that this player doesn’t say hello in the locker room and this player is “fake nice”, or whatever – it’s all very childish.

If it’s the most popular player on tour then they should just call it that, instead of pretending it has anything to do with sportsmanship.

“And finally, the stuff after and before a game is part of sportsmanship.”

Maybe in the long view, but if I had my choice between someone who concedes clear errors in the match, versus someone who takes bad calls and then says what an honor it was to play me in the press conference, I’d choose the former, because the latter has nothing to do with results.

I’m a firm believer in the idea that we should be primarily concerned with what happens on the court. Off the court is far less important in my view, and shouldn’t have anything to do with sportsmanship because as I said, there are players who are boring interviews or even not particularly gracious off the court, who are perfect gentlemen on the court, and to me that’s what should count for these awards, and not these school-girlish disputes over who said what in the stall.

I find it unbecoming a grown man.


Von Says:

TD(Tam):

“tennisontherocks Says: “So it was dumb of tourney director to complain in public about the money matters. But still it offers good chance for younger American players to make their mark.”

I’m sure they were asked about the situation by the press and the TD responded truthfully. It’s the same situation with respect to remarks being taken out of context in pressers and interviews.

I agree that this Indy situation will offer a chance for the younger Americans and/or anyone in the tournament to pick up a title, especially Tursunov.
_________________
TD(Tam): “This is all very true and now that I think about it I think the TD was wrong to imply that it was a money issue, it looks badly on Blake. After this I think Indy might be blessed if he ever plays there again. :o”

How could the TD be wrong in implying it was a money issue? Did you prefer it if they lied? Yes, it looks bad for Blake, but why did he make the issue of money so critical when being asked to step up and fill in for Roddick. Money shouldn’t be of pivotal importance, considering James would have had to play any way. the appearance fee was a good opportunity to pick up some extra bucks, don’t you think?

Are you kidding about Indy being ‘blessed’ if Blake were to ever play there again? Why? James is not a top 10 player. The tournament might be suffering now that Roddick has pulled out, and I view them asking Blake to step in with their willingness to pay him an appearance fee as showing James some respect since he’s the second highest ranking American in the draw. However, Blake’s refusal due to money does not place him in very high esteem in the eyes of the public, and he’ll come across as mercenary, which I’m sure is not an image he’d want to project. And now, not only is he going to lose money but ranking points as well; he has to defend SF ranking points from last year. Therefore, in the long run, who’ll be the one suffering the most, Blake or the tourney? The tourney will go on, but Blake will probably drop out of the top 20 in the rankings. And, if and when the drop happens, was it worth it to Blake to be so stubborn? I don’t think so.
____________________
Henry: I haven’t forgotten Blake’s disastrous accident in ’04, and I’ve made many excuses for him on several occasions. However, that was 4 years ago, and he had his best year ever, upon returning to the tour after that accident. Thus, one can assume those problems are all behind him and is not the root cause for his present dismal performance.

With respect to the posting of Safin’s and Bjorkman’s comments here on this thread, which are irrelevant BTW as to the topic, I view that as an act of someone who’s just trying to discredit the two players in question without any justification whatsoever. (There’s a regular poster who uses the word ‘polemic’ at times to make comparisons, and I’m wondering if it is indeed him, and why did he feel the need to do so using an alias.) Anyway, I’m just curious, and could be totally wrong.


Von Says:

shaky:

“And Von, easy solution to 15% voter turnout: just make it a simple web app and watch that climb to 90%. It works, a lot.”

We went computerized and still most did not care to vote. As a matter of fact, many people felt they’d be marked if they voted for their favourite colleague because those results have a way of leaking out, and bad feelings do emanate from such stuff. From my experience on voting on those types of awards, in every office there’s a clique and the guy who’s the most popular in the clique gets the nod.

I agree with MMT on the Sportsman award, and have kept silent with respect to my views on the topic, until today.


15 Says:

Von: it’s actually the first time I use the word “polemic” in english and, also I’m not a fan, I have nothing against Nadal and actually appreciate Andy Roddick.

I’m always interested (and I thought others could have been like me) in reading insiders’ comments who are not afraid to speak their mind about a rather closed milieu but of course you can choose to ignore them…


Veka Says:

I don’t see what’s the problem with Blake here.it’s not he who does the actual negotiations.it’s his manager who gets a piece of fee and most likely got greedy, and here you question Blake’s personal qualities while he probably had nothing to do with it.


Shaky Says:

I agree with Veka. Also, obviously Blake wanted more money, but there’s nothing sinister about it. Whether he has a lingering injury or a wedding to attend, both could have been set aside if the appearance fee were say $1m. But shrugging off either to play Indy doesn’t make that a good move.

Nearly every decision at some level can be traced back to “not enough money.” We don’t know the circumstances, only that the TD felt like decrying him in public.

Blake’s a good guy, I doubt it was a situation where he just wanted $10k more but the poor tourney couldn’t afford it and he played hardball.


Shaky Says:

Von: That’s probably because your office is an especially small population, relatively, which makes a small group able to dominate (as well as possibly making anonymous votes less anonymous) I’d think. If 300 people in the atp tour are polled, and the interface is extremely nice and quick (2-3 clicks and a username/password, like it was for everything in school for me) people generally will bother, in my experience. Everything from student council to year-end awards for faculty/students had a very high participation rate iirc.

MMT I read your response and I still don’t get why you think everything you listed isn’t a factor now? It probably is, and at the same time 90% of these guys never see each other except for in the locker room or the food court — very few watch any replay or highlights of other matches, even. That’s why the subjective “does the guy act rudely in the locker room” absolutely is and (imo) should be a factor.

Furthermore, there’s a notice issue here: everyone on tour knows that being polite matters at the margins, so to the extent that receiving the award matters to anyone (I’d say winning it would go a long ways for a person with a more grey rep like Djokovic, but you can disagree) everyone knows that they shouldn’t go out of their way to be a jerk. You can think of it less as tennis players baking cookies for each other and more “don’t do anything especially rude to be remembered as an asshat.”

So at the very least, the Edberg award marginally incentivizes people to be civil with each other. Not sure why that has no place in a white glove sport like tennis — if we can justify rules against allowing fans to mock players, surely there’s an argument for the award. (FYI I think Tennis and golf are roundly considered laughing stocks to outsiders for the “quiet, please” rules.)


Von Says:

15: I’m sorry about the mistake. I thought you were another poster (a Federer poster) who’s been pushing Federer’s 15 GS titles in my face and highlighting Roddick’s ONE GS in caps since Fed won at Wimby. As you can see, that Safin quote was eventually translated to Roddick being: “A whining obnoxious prima donna with great talent and a swelled head.” Nowhere in Safin’s interview did he mention that, but that’s just an indication of how stuff becomes embellished and misinterpreted. I don’t read the players pressers, and have learnt the hard way, after being cursed and called tons of awful names by a Djokovic poster, that sometimes it’s best not to even post links to articles on the players. Again, my apologies.
_____________________
Shaky:

“Whether he has a lingering injury or a wedding to attend, both could have been set aside if the appearance fee were say $1m. But shrugging off either to play Indy doesn’t make that a good move.”

The point is that James should have played regardless of the appearance fee, so why was the fee of any importance. James will lose 350 ranking points which will probably drop him out of the top 20. Thus again, was it worth it? I’m sure James has the final say and control over his manager in negotiations. Anyway, that’s James’ problem, and if he doesn’t care about his ranking, why should I? Except for the fact that I really do care and want to see him do well. This sounds so confusing that even I’m confused now. LOL.


vared Says:

Jane I answered you on the other thread. Here it is at the end:

http://www.tennis-x.com/xblog/2009-07-17/1816.php


tennisontherocks Says:

I don’t think James cares too much about ranking right now as long as he stays within top 24 to avoid top guys before round of 16 (in rd 3, top 8 play guys in 24-32 and 9-16 play guys seeded 17-24). What he is missing from his resume is a master series trophy and a slam semi. So can’t fault James if he just wants to focus his energy on Cinci, Canada and US open.


PJ Says:

I don’t think people are really blaming James for not appearing. I think we all realize that it’s the player’s respective decision as to which tournaments to play. If, however, it was due to an appearance fee, then I believe there is some reason that James can be faulted in the eyes of the public. It makes him look like someone who cares more about the money than the game, fans, etc. Again, none of this is certain, but just speculation as to what others may see.

I guess they could be lying by saying it was about money (and James just declined for another reason), but that would seem like more of a risk. They risk getting exposed about lying about a player (no one would want to admit that they simply couldn’t get a player) and ruining their reputation. And, in all honesty, is James worth that type of risk on the side of the company?

If James didn’t want to play because he thought he deserved more, then that is absolutely his right. But, I think it’s also something that he can be criticized for as well.


Von Says:

Veno: a shout out to you — where have you disappeared to. Is your vacation over and did you go back home already? If so, don’t forget us and try say hello occasionally will ya.


Joe W Says:

Andy stated that he will make his return at the Legg Mason in Wash DC which is great for me since I live in DC. Not sure if I’ll be able to attend though.


US Open Series Begins with a Wimper Says:

[...] ATP Indy Event Misses Roddick, Stiffs Blake [...]

Top story: Toronto Draw Preview: Djokovic Gets Murray In His Quarter, Federer's In The Trees
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