My good friend and colleague Eli Weinstein, you know the guy, the weird one who writes the French blog here on We Are Tennis, says there is a saying in French that goes: “le beurre, l'argent du beurre et le cul de la...
My good friend and colleague Eli Weinstein, you know the guy, the weird one who writes the French blog here on We Are Tennis, says there is a saying in French that goes: “le beurre, l'argent du beurre et le cul de la cremeillère”. He says the English translation is: “the butter, the money of the butter, the ass of the girl who makes the butter”. In other words a person wants everything and leaves nothing. In English we might say: “You can’t have your cake and eat it too.” But that’s exactly what happens with so many players. They want it all and you wonder what they are prepared to give back other than telling us they are so tired. You will remember (I hope you do) my two part blog on the potential players’ strike. Well, did you think I was right in what was written? Now I am going to highlight another aspect to the players’ lives and that is exhibitions, the bane of official and real tournaments. Exhibitions get in the way of things and the public misinterprets their standing in tennis. For the record they mean nothing. Zero. Nada. The players have complained incessantly about how tired they are and that they need a shorter season to rest up, yet at the drop of a hankerchief they will run off and play exhibitions. Gael Monfils is just coming back after injuries, he won in Stockholm last weekend and before he starts his next event which is this week, he is off playing an exhibition. Hello? I mean, is that crazy, or what? But he’s not alone at all. Then you have the situation where a player plays an exhibition and then wants a late start at the official event they are going to play the following week. Now that is a bit rich, don’t you think? In my opinion a player has no right to make such a request. If they don’t get it they mope around the rest of the week and maybe not show up the next year. A shorter off-season is going to lead to more exhibitions. Everyone knows that and that is most definitely not the reason for a shorter off-season. That period is supposed to be used for recharging the batteries and doing training and all that sort of stuff. Exhibitions are often played to the detriment of real tennis. The official stuff. The tennis that matters. In Australia you have an exhibition in Melbourne directly opposite two official events – one in Sydney and one in Auckland. The first week of the year there is a huge money exhibition in Abu Dhabi and that’s opposite legitimate events. Don’t you think the two tours, the ATP and WTA, should be making some pretty strong ground rules in this area? Here are some suggestions: 1. No exhibition can be played at least four hours flying from a city that is hosting a sanctioned event that week 2. If exhibitions have to be tolerated then no player is allowed to play more than two a year, including one for their own charity or foundation 3. No player can play an exhibition the week before or the week of a sanctioned event. Well what do you think? If you have suggestions then let us know here at We Are Tennis.