No Aussie left in worlds top 100 tennis playersJanuary 23rd, 2009 - 2:21 pm ICT by ANI
Melbourne, Jan.23 (ANI): Chris Guccione’’s crushing defeat yesterday here, has left no Aussie in the third round of the Australian Open for the first time in seven years.
And for the first time, next week there will be no Australian male in the world’’s top 100, reports the Daily Telegraph.
History will perhaps remember 2009 as the changing of the guard in Australian men’’s tennis with boy wonder Bernard Tomic and Brydan Klein exceeding expectations - while Lleyton Hewitt made his earliest exit since 2002. Right now though the picture for Australian men’’s tennis has never been grimmer.
While the top 100 is now bereft of Australians, there are 16 Spanish players on the list, 14 Frenchmen, 10 Argentineans, seven Russians and the same number of Germans.
Australia’’s highest-ranked man, Lleyton Hewitt, will plummet out of the top 100 to about 115 after the Open. Guccione has been in free-fall since his ranking of 67 last April. He now sits at 132nd with no guarantee of grand slam action again this season.
Aussie legend John Newcombe warned that the Australian tennis players could languish for some time yet.
“It’’s obvious we”ve dropped off the pace and there is no easy answer,” he told The Daily Telegraph. Newcombe, the man synonymous with Australian tennis glory - and the remaining link to the golden age of Rod Laver, Lew Hoad and Ken Rosewall, through to Pat Cash, Pat Rafter and Hewitt - said only hard work would reverse our fall from grace.
“I am very emotionally tied to tennis in Australia. I desperately want to see us back there as one of the top nations. Where we need to pick up the slack is at the coalface, on the court where these kids are actually doing their training and improving all of that. People are not asleep at Tennis Australia, everybody wants it to happen,” Newcombe said. (ANI)
Tags: australian men, australian open, australian tennis players, bernard tomic, brydan klein, chris guccione, daily telegraph, fall from grace, frenchmen, john newcombe, ken rosewall, legend john, lew hoad, lleyton hewitt, pat cash, pat rafter, rod laver, spanish players, telegraph history, tennis australia