nodot nodot
Wild Cards
July 1999 Article

Latest Wild Cards Article

Wild Cards Archives:
2004 - 2016
1998 - 2003

Tennis Server

Do You Want To Be A Better Tennis Player?

Then Sign Up For A Free Subscription to the Tennis Server INTERACTIVE
E-mail Newsletter!

Tom Veneziano You will join 18,000 other subscribers in receiving news of updates to the Tennis Server along with monthly tennis tips from tennis pro Tom Veneziano that won't be found on the web site.
Best of all, it is free!

Player Profiles:
Top Pros (Women)
tennis ball Serena Williams
tennis ball Garbine Muguruza
tennis ball Agnieszka Radwanska
tennis ball Angelique Kerber
tennis ball Simona Halep
tennis ball Victoria Azarenka
tennis ball Roberta Vinci
tennis ball Venus Williams
tennis ball Madison Keys
tennis ball Petra Kvitova
 ... more profiles
Top Pros (Men)
tennis ball Novak Djokovic
tennis ball Andy Murray
tennis ball Roger Federer
tennis ball Rafael Nadal
tennis ball Stanislas Wawrinka
tennis ball Kei Nishikori
tennis ball Milos Raonic
tennis ball Dominic Thiem
tennis ball Tomas Berdych
tennis ball Richard Gasquet
 ... more profiles
Tennis Features Icon TENNIS FEATURES:

TURBO TENNIS - Ron Waite turbocharges your tennis game with tennis tips, strategic considerations, training and practice regimens, and mental mindsets and exercises.
TENNIS ANYONE? - USPTA Pro John Mills' quick player tip.
WILD CARDS - Each month a guest column by a new writer.
BETWEEN THE LINES - Ray Bowers takes an analytical and sometimes controversial look at the ATP/WTA professional tour.
PRO TENNIS SHOWCASE - Tennis match reports and photography from around the world.
TENNIS SET - Jani Macari Pallis, Ph.D. looks at tennis science, engineering and technology.
MORTAL TENNIS - Greg Moran's tennis archive on how regular humans can play better tennis.
MENTAL EQUIPMENT - Explore the mental side of the game with Dr. John Murray.
TENNIS WARRIOR - Tom Veneziano's Tennis Warrior archive.
HARDSCRABBLE SCRAMBLE - USPTA pro Mike Whittington's player tip archive.

Tennis Community Icon TENNIS COMMUNITY:

Tennis Book, DVD, and Video Index
Tennis Server Match Reports
Editor's Letter
Become a Tennis Server Sponsor

Explore The Tennis Net Icon EXPLORE THE TENNIS NET:

Pro Tennis Calendar & Event Links
Tennis News and Live Tennis Scores
Tennis Links on the Web
Wild Cards
Green Dot
Tennis Warehouse Logo
Green Dot

Thoughts from Australia
by Basil Stafford

The Davis Cup and Fed Cup offer the professional tennis player rare opportunities to represent his or her country officially. Other opportunities are the Olympic Games and the Hopman Cup. I say "officially" because professional tennis is not simply marketed as a bunch of good players earning a dollar. The star system, or personality cult, is vital to professional tennis's success, but there is a still further magic ingredient--the nationality of the player.

The fact is that, unofficially, the player is always representing his or her country--at least to the majority of supporters. The extra support any home-town player receives is ample testimony to this. When Pat Rafter won the U.S. Open there was much rejoicing here in Australia, not simply because some stateless young man had won a title and a lot of money. It was of course because Rafter also represented Australia and had brought his country glory.

That the player represents his or her country is inevitable. This is true whether the player wishes it or not. A player cannot complain about it or escape from it because it underlies the appeal and financial strength of the game, from which the player earns a good living. Many if not most fans follow the player for this reason. Selection and playing in the Davis or Fed Cup are therefore both a national honour and duty. This is why declining to play is always a betrayal and always a bad career move. It is a betrayal of the fans and an undermining of the rationale of professional tennis. Whatever Philippoussis's reason for not playing Davis Cup last year (right or wrong), it hurt him here. His choice to play this year is a large step in his rehabilitation with the fans. Pat Cash may have had shortcomings in some areas, but his willingness to play Davis Cup and his heroic efforts always overcame them and more.

Another unavoidable responsibility falls upon a nation's best player. Because of the star system and the representative nature of tennis, the best player from a country becomes the leader of the sport in that country. Where there is no such player the sport is without that leadership. Australia has been blessed with fine leaders--Bromwich, Quist, Sedgman, Laver, Hoad, Rosewall, Emerson, Stolle, Newcombe, and Roche in the men's game, and Margaret Court and gracious Goolagong in the women's. By their being fine role models and great national representatives, the game flourished, as did national interest. A lack of top players after Newcombe saw a decline in the game here. Davis Cup probably saved tennis in Australia from an even greater decline, as the Cup remained always a focus.

Australians expect a lot from their representatives, official or not. The player must be a gracious loser and a modest winner. Generous in heart and spirit and always sportsmanlike. A champion player and a champion person. Rare as all this is in any one individual, our great expectations have usually been fulfilled, as the list of players already mentioned shows. Another fine representative was Paul MacNamee. And now, in Pat Rafter, our expectations have again been met, and how! Rafter is a rare human being and a marvelous leader of Australian tennis. It is he, more than any other, that has led Australian tennis to its new heights of national popularity. We respect his ability, but it is his character that we most like and are proud of. I could not imagine Rafter declining Davis Cup.

Into this comes young Dokic. Australia has not had a strong woman player since Goolagong. Onto her shoulders have fallen not only the role of our female representative but also the role of leadership in the sport on the women's side. How a sixteen-year-old is meant to cope with all this remains to be seen. Others have certainly found it overwhelming, as some recent events have shown.

Young Hewitt has already shown his appreciation for the history of the game and the players who went before him. In talking of Wimbledon recently, he emphasized tradition and all the great things that had gone on there before. Hewitt may be a gem for the game in this respect.

For now though, bring on the Cups!

Basil Stafford is a lifelong tennis player and observer of the game in Australia.

If you wish to provide a comment to the author of this Wild Cards column, please use this form. Tennis Server will forward the comment to the author.

Green DotGreen DotGreen Dot

Wild Cards Archives:
1998 - 2003 | 2004 - 2016

If you have not already signed up to receive our free e-mail newsletter Tennis Server INTERACTIVE, you can sign up here. You will receive notification each month of changes at the Tennis Server and news of new columns posted on our site.

This column is copyrighted by the author, all rights reserved.


Web tennisserver.com
nodot nodot
The Tennis Server
Ticket Exchange

Your Source for tickets to professional tennis & golf events.
Wimbledon Tennis Tickets 6/26-7/10
Citi Open Tennis Tickets 7/16-7/24
Rogers Cup Tennis Tickets 7/25-7/31
Western & Southern Open Tennis Tickets 8/13-8/21
US Open Tennis Tickets 8/27-9/11


Tennis MindGame

Popular Tennis books:
Smart Tennis by John Murray
Winning Ugly: Mental Warfare in Tennis-Lessons from a Master by Brad Gilbert, Steve Jamison
The Best Tennis of Your Life: 50 Mental Strategies for Fearless Performance by Jeff Greenwald
The Inner Game of Tennis by W. Timothy Gallwey
Most Recent Articles:
July 2016 Tennis Anyone: Move Forward by John Mills.
Tennis Warrior: Rearranging Your Tennis Priorities by Tom Veneziano.
July 2016 Turbo Tennis: Spin To Win! by Ron Waite.
Tennis Warrior: Is the Tennis Split-Step Frustrating You? by Tom Veneziano.
June 2016 Tennis Anyone: Slow-Medium-Fast by John Mills.
June 2016 Turbo Tennis: Put Your Best Feet Forward!!! by Ron Waite.




Featured events in the Tennis Server Ticket Exchanges:
  Featured Tickets:
BNP Paribas Open Tickets Indian Wells CA Tennis Garden
Miami Open Tennis Tickets Miami Key Biscayne FL Crandon Park Center

  Featured Tickets:
AT&T National Golf Tickets Bethesda MD Washington DC Congressional Country Club
US Senior Open Golf Tickets Omaha NE Omaha Country Club
Bridgestone Invitational Golf Tickets Akron OH Firestone Country Club
PGA Championship Golf Tickets Rochester NY Oak Hill Country Club
Dick's Sporting Goods Open & Tim McGraw Tickets Endicott NY Enjoie Golf Course
Solheim Cup Tickets Parker Denver CO Colorado Golf Club
2013 Presidents Cup Tickets Dublin Columbus OH Muirfield Village Golf Course
Masters Golf Tournament Tickets Augusta GA National Golf Club
2014 US Open Golf Tickets Pinehurst NC Resort
2014 Ryder Cup Tickets Auchterarder Scotland UK Gleneagles Golf Course

  Featured Tickets:
PGA Championship Golf 7 Day Pass Tickets Rochester NY Oak Hill Country Club
PGA Championship Golf Monday Tickets Rochester NY Oak Hill Country Club
PGA Championship Golf Tuesday Tickets Rochester NY Oak Hill Country Club
PGA Championship Golf Wednesday Tickets Rochester NY Oak Hill Country Club
PGA Championship Golf Thursday Tickets Rochester NY Oak Hill Country Club
PGA Championship Golf Friday Tickets Rochester NY Oak Hill Country Club
PGA Championship Golf Saturday Tickets Rochester NY Oak Hill Country Club
PGA Championship Golf Sunday Final Tickets Rochester NY Oak Hill Country Club

  Featured Tickets:
Masters Golf Tournament Tickets Sunday Competition Augusta GA National Golf Club
Masters Golf Tournament Tickets Saturday Competition Augusta GA National Golf Club
Masters Golf Tournament Tickets Friday Competition Augusta GA National Golf Club
Masters Golf Tournament Tickets Thursday Competition Augusta GA National Golf Club
Masters Golf Tournament Tickets 4 Four Day Badge Augusta GA National Golf Club
Masters Golf Tournament Tickets Wednesday Practice Round Augusta GA National Golf Club
Masters Golf Tournament Tickets Tuesday Practice Round Augusta GA National Golf Club
Masters Golf Tournament Tickets Monday Practice Round Augusta GA National Golf Club

  Featured Tickets:
US Open Golf Tickets Final Round Sunday Fourth 4th Pinehurst NC Resort 2014
US Open Golf Tickets Third 3rd Round Saturday Pinehurst NC Resort 2014
US Open Golf Tickets Second 2nd Round Friday Pinehurst NC Resort 2014
US Open Golf Tickets First 1st Round Thursday Pinehurst NC Resort 2014
US Open Golf Tickets Wednesday Practice Round Pinehurst NC Resort 2014
US Open Golf Tickets Tuesday Practice Round Pinehurst NC Resort 2014
US Open Golf Tickets Monday Practice Round Pinehurst NC Resort 2014
US Open Golf Weekly Pass Tickets Pinehurst NC Resort 2014

"Tennis Server" is a registered trademark and "Tennis Server INTERACTIVE" is a trademark of Tennis Server. All original material and graphics on the Tennis Server are copyrighted 1994 - by Tennis Server and its sponsors and contributors. Please do not reproduce without permission.


Tennis Server
Cliff Kurtzman
791 Price Street #144
Pismo Beach, CA 93449
Phone: (281) 480-6300
Online Contact Form
How to support Tennis Server as a Sponsor/Advertiser
Tennis Server Privacy Policy