Tennis Prose



Harry Cicma Revives Pro Tennis In Bradenton

Since the virus pandemic, pro tennis has been for all intents of purposes, dead … or if that term is too dramatic, in a state of suspended animation. All the pro tournaments on the 2020 calendar have been put on ice, Miami, Monte Carlo, Rome, Indian Wells, Wimbledon, etc.

But without any fanfare and hype, pro tennis actually has returned this week, very quietly and under the radar.

With a red light within view and a 7-11 convenience store in walking distance, pro tennis has resumed at a private court in a middle class neighborhood, at a location I cannot reveal. All I can say is it’s about a mile from IMG Academy.

The brainchild of Harry Cicma has been a resounding success with the players, who are looking for reps, seeking match play, to stay sharp for the eventual return of the ATP World Tour, whenever that may be.

Cicma is a former player himself, he had ATP points and played some ATP events like Newport, Forest Hills, San Jose after his Division 1 collegiate career at Rutgers University in NJ. The Providence, Rhode Island native also has a TV production background – he’s a TV sports producer and a sports anchor for NBC Channel 4 in New York City. Perfectly qualified to invent and pull off such a complicated endeavor as a pro tennis tournament.

With his catalogue of contacts, Cicma assembled the event like a puzzle, locating a private quarantined court, obtaining support from sponsors like SportED.TV and Dunlop Tennis (provider of balls).

“The players are struggling a lot. This is about getting the players reps and income,” said Cicma. “The objective is to help the players.”

The players have not seen a paycheck since early March. And that’s taken a toll on ATP journeymen ranked outside the top 100 and outside the top 30 in doubles.

Finding players to compete was the easy part. A wide range of player types have congregated here, such as Italian veteran Paolo Lorenzi, 38, who now lives in nearby Sarasota, where he relocated two years ago from Rome. Former no. 1 junior Adrian Andreev of Bulgaria is also here. Along with 18 year old prospect Preston Brown, doubles veteran Jamie Cerretani, Evan King, Michael Ray Pallares, former tour player who competed at Alabama and reached a career high of around 800 before quitting about a year ago.

The format is simple. Play starts at about 9. Quick sets to 4, no ad scoring and net cords on serves must be played. The next match starts immediately, with one of the players staying on to play again. Players can play three short set matches in a day. No linesperson or chair umpire, players call their own lines. So far there was one dispute between a teen and a veteran but the players police themselves and worked it out.

ESPN3 is livestreaming the action each day. It’s pure tennis. No announcers, no fans, no media, no autographs, just pure tennis. Each player gets paid approximately four figures to play all week. In essence, the players are getting paid to practice.

I find the action intriguing because it’s such a unique situation. It’s real pro tennis, hard fought points, each player trying to win though there is no pressure or extra incentive, no pressure to defend points, to win to stay here instead of flying somewhere to the next event.

With all the talk now of the movement to help the struggling lower ranked pros, this mini tour, called the International Tennis Series, could be the foundation for a future minor league tour.

Cicma is planning to try to extend the ITS to 16 weeks, to be played at various sites. But the potential of this series could be greater.

One player told me he loves the security of this tournament. Being paid to practice without any pressure to protect a ranking. The uniqueness of Cicma’s ITS could be a seed plant for a minor league circuit in the future.

Perhaps if the ATP super elites donate millions and other sponsors and the ATP match those donations, a fund would be available to create a Cicma tour where journeyman players play a one week event at local clubs around the world, promoting pro tennis up close and live in non tour cities like Philadelphia, Chicago, Detroit, LA, San Jose, Phoenix, Dallas, Kansas City, St. Louis, Tampa. And perhaps cities around the globe.

Tennis clubs could promote these mini events and the players could do pro ams with members. Priceless experiences and promotion for the sport. Who does not like to see pro tennis up close? Who doesn’t like to meet and talk with pro players in a relaxed environment?

After watching today’s action live, I got the sense this could be a monolith moment in the evolution in professional tennis. And the pioneer Harry Cicma may have sparked a much needed change in the structure of the sport.

Scores today? Andreev beat Cerretani. Lorenzi beat Brown. Brown beat Pallares and then Lorenzi battled Andreev, who he sat with together and watched all of Brown vs Pallares.

· · ·


  • Jon King · April 24, 2020 at 8:19 am

    Yes catherine, Kriek won the AO twice. He still is able to make money off of it all these years later. He plays exhibitions here and there. He runs a small tennis academy near us, mostly 5-6 local rich kids whose parents/grandparents remember him. He usually moves his academy every 2-3 years and finds a fresh group of kids. He is friends with Branson and does appearances at Necker Island every year. But Branson’s Virgin companies are in deep financial trouble these days so who knows what happens to Necker Island and the annual celebrity tennis matches.

  • catherine · April 24, 2020 at 8:57 am

    Yes, I missed that – I’m afraid Kriek never loomed large on my radar in the days he was playing – he was notable for being an Afrikaaner in exile from SA, a political rarity, but he didn’t have an exceptional style. At least not to me. He had a gf who kept a pet snake in her handbag. I don’t know if he married her.

    Branson – Virgin Aust tanked last week as you probably know.

  • Jon King · April 24, 2020 at 9:13 am

    We first ran into Kriek in Lakewood Ranch, FL. 10 years ago. He had the same set up he has now, a small academy of local kids. He was not married then. He moved his academy every few years. He coincidentally ended up with an academy a mile from our current house about 3 years ago. Last year he moved it again and now uses courts at our friend’s tennis club. We have been following each other all over Florida it seems the past 10 years.

    He married a tennis pro and became an older father, they now have a boy and a girl, ages 7 and 9. The kids play local tournaments and their mother helps out at the academy. Very nice family.

  • catherine · April 24, 2020 at 10:54 am

    Bored with staying in ? Feel your fans aren’t getting their moneysworth in IGs ? Plenty of time to brush up and pose. Not all girls either, although Kerber and Garbine lead the pack. Vanity vanity……

  • Scoop Malinowski · April 24, 2020 at 1:34 pm

    Don’t stay in. Don’t be a media controlled zombie. Get out and about, get sun, find a place to hike off the beaten path, connect with nature. Don’t let the fake news media control your life. Freedom is free. No fear. I have been out every day, playing working training cruising on my scooter. No mask either. Eat high vitamin c diet. Eat healthy. Be free.

  • Jon King · April 24, 2020 at 3:00 pm

    We have also been out everyday. Have not missed a single workout. But that is because the real media has told us what to avoid and how to stay safe. We did not take poisonous z packs or drink disinfectant either!

  • Scoop Malinowski · April 24, 2020 at 3:30 pm

    Trump never said to do that, lying fraud media spun it to make Trump look bad. We live in a world diseased by an evil satanic media. Media protects elite pedofiles. ABC reporter said she had all the evidence on esptein story three years before it came out but they covered it up. How many lives did they kill? Media is the virus.

  • Scoop Malinowski · April 24, 2020 at 3:33 pm

    BTW Harold still reads the site. He now sends comments to me on IM.

  • catherine · April 24, 2020 at 3:57 pm

    Scoop – I thought you were part of the media yourself ? How come you’ve not been contaminated by all this evil satanic stuff ?

    Why does Harold keep his comments secret ? They might be interesting. I sense a conspiracy.

    I saw Trump’s press briefing. No one twisted his words. They came right out of his mouth. Maybe he regretted later but he should know how the press take things and how quotes get changed. Part of politics.

  • Scoop Malinowski · April 24, 2020 at 4:20 pm

    Catherine, I believe in God and Jesus Christ more and more every day. I believe we are in a war between good and evil now. This pandemic did not happen by accident. There is a satanic agenda behind it.

    Harold must have some reasons for not showing up around here. I asked Harold who would he rather have dinner with Jesus Christ or Satan and he refused to answer.

    Trump did not tell people to drink bleach or disinfectant. Don’t be a media zombie Catherine.

  • Vijay · April 24, 2020 at 4:28 pm

    Scoop, down to important things. Who’s the other African born male GS winner?

    I actually agree with you that some in the media twist Trump’s words. But the same happens to other policiticians, though it’s different parts of the media doing the twisting. No need to get worked up about it. Besides, might be easier if he had a professional press person who did more press briefings.

    In any case, this is all unimportant stuff. Part of the rough and tumble of politics.

  • catherine · April 24, 2020 at 5:10 pm

    Oh dear. I actually have to admit that T-P keeps me coming back from a kind of appalled fascination. I’ve dropped out a couple of times and then decided to stay around for the tennis (when it’s happening) and ignore the rest. Not hard to do that.
    I’ve looked at other sites – there aren’t many and the nearest one is also filled with political argument so I’ll stick with T-P because I like the simple form. And posting here doesn’t mean I believe the other stuff – I don’t and I won’t comment on that. I’ve learned a fair amount about it though – too much.

  • Scoop Malinowski · April 24, 2020 at 5:48 pm

    I forgot Noah was born in France first and then moved to Africa. kriek is the one and only African born GS champ. Kevin Curren and Kevin Anderson almost changed that. Surprised no one knows who the player is who smashed his racquet on net post every time he lost. An Italian friend of Lorenzi told me that this week at the ITS series this week in Bradenton.

  • Vijay · April 24, 2020 at 6:35 pm

    Catherine, I’m glad you’re here. Always insightful and entertaining, with little tidbits like a snake in a handbag. Makes it worthwhile wading through the other stuff. You should write a book about the oddities on tour.

    Scoop, I don’t believe this guy smashed his racket every time. When did he first start? As a junior? After his first pro match? Maybe he started some time later in his career. Hope the answer is surprising.

  • Scoop Malinowski · April 24, 2020 at 7:32 pm

    Vijay. He didn’t specify when the habit began. I assume as pro. Hope not as a junior. This guy is close friends with lorenzi and owns a super successful Italian restaurant on main street in downtown Sarasota called cafe epicure where Shapovalov Sharapova Nishikori have all dined at. Reliable source has pipeline to Italian tennis info.

  • catherine · April 25, 2020 at 1:15 am

    I did read a good comment in the press here not long ago, can’t remember exact words, that a lot of beliefs are a matter of identity rather than reasoned thought, and thus difficult to argue with from the point of reason. Reason wasn’t how convinced people got there in the first place.

    Jon – did you see some of those pictures of the Himalayas, beautiful sight which Indians had not seen for 30 years ? But that won’t last. One of the good things to come out of this chaos – no crowds ‘climbing’ Mt Everest this year ? K2 rests in her solitary glory.

    Vijay – thanks for your kind comments. I do my best 🙂
    I think a book could be written about the rampant narcissicism among tennis players. Have to be anonymous though. I’ve always wondered – why is most tennis writing so poor ? It really is. Petko was talking in her book club about tennis books etc and was waving DFW around – I’m not a great fan of DFW but I agree it’s a big step down to the next level.

    It’s a long time since I’ve anywhere near the tour but I’m surprised how little has changed when you look closely. Social media just floats on the surface. Like rubbish.

  • catherine · April 25, 2020 at 1:37 am

    Bundesliga is planning on football in May in front of empty stadiums but I imagine Mrs Merkel will be cautious. Harrt’s not here now and I don’t think she’s a soccer fan but she might be interested in the new Canadian rising star signed to Bayern Munich, a team which features one A Kerber among supporters.

    And on Canadian theme – whenever tennis resumes I’ll be watching Bianca with an eagle eye. Surely she’ll be recovered by now ?

  • Scoop Malinowski · April 25, 2020 at 10:51 am

    Federer is proposing the ATP and WTA join forces. I bet Billie Jean King approves of that marriage. Indian Wells may host US Open in November. If all polticians especially democrats had their paychecks stopped how long do you think they’d be insisting we all stay home and continue this lockdown? Fredo Cuomo has proven his corona was a fraud, wonder how many others faked it too like Fredo Cuomo?

  • catherine · April 25, 2020 at 11:29 am

    WTA/ATP is an old story. It’s not going to happen anyway.

    USO at IW ? Larry Ellison would love that. Not likely, but if a tournament is held there it won’t be the USO.

    Restrictions will continue in some degree until there’s a vaccine or the virus is shown to be fading. Doesn’t sound as if the lockdown is bothering you anyway Scoop, from what you’ve been saying.

  • Scoop Malinowski · April 25, 2020 at 1:02 pm

    Gates and Fauci are best friends.

    Fauci worked with wuhan lab.

    Wuhan lab released the virus.

    Gates has the vaccine.

    See the problem here?

    The guy who poured nails on the streets has the tire shop right up the road.

    Say NO to vaccines and NO to increased surveillance!

  • Jon King · April 25, 2020 at 1:45 pm

    I love this forum, we can go from totally crazy talk to tennis and back and forth.

    Concerning tennis, University of Wisconsin Green Bay has announced their tennis program, both men’s and women’s has been cancelled. I am sure others will follow suit.

    On the virus front, even though we are opposites politically, I agree with Scoop on some matters. The closures were done with a broad brush and no common sense.

    I am in heated discussions with our neighborhood board to reopen 2 tennis courts to singles. Simply ridiculous that barely used courts are shut with the same mindset as a crowded pool. Totally different risk factors. Common sense.

    Same with Martin County. In discussions to allow groups of 1-3 to use wide open soccer fields for fitness training. So kids who worked 10 years to try for college scholarships can at least work alone or with parent to keep their skills. They again are using the logic that if a full soccer game is risky, any activity on a field is risky. Stupidity.

    So as much as I dislike 99% of Trump supporters politics….I agree with them on one thing. Do not let the virus be used as a broad brush to take stuff away and monitor people. Demand local and state leaders use common sense and actually govern with appropriate rules.

    Shockingly, I am siding with Brian Kemp, Georgia governor. I think Trump should have gotten his back and not said he was wrong. There is nothing risky about a hair cut if both wear masks, neither are coughing, the tools and chair are sanitized.

    Again common sense. If I am smart enough to sanitize my groceries and packages from amazon, I am also smart enough to protect myself during a hair cut.

  • catherine · April 25, 2020 at 2:36 pm

    We’re not so bothered about surveillance over here.
    The UK is one of the most monitored countries in the world. Cameras everywhere. No one cares. There’s really no paranoia, or not much, about things being ‘taken away’ – except among mad Brexiteers. Complacancy ? I don’t know. People love sneaking on each other though. It’s an English pastime.

    I won’t be going to the hairdressers for a while. Salons are perfect places for transmission. And women’s hair takes a lot longer to cut/style etc.

    Wuhan lab released the virus ? Proof please. Post hoc, ergo propter hoc.

    Madrid tournament starts Monday. It’s going to be a little weird. Are young players better at gaming ?

  • catherine · April 25, 2020 at 2:54 pm

    From Ubitennis:

    ‘Earlier in the week it was stars such as Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, who backed the idea to merge the ATP World Tour and WTA World Tour together.

    WTA players such as Belinda Bencic, Petra Kvitová and Garbine Muguruza have backed the move as tennis looks to be more unified in post-Coronavirus times.

    However there are some criticisms of the idea with Nick Kyrgios being the biggest leader against the potential move between the two organisations.

    Speaking to the National, WTA tour coach Darren Cahill has spoke positively of the idea saying that it would simplify the sport, “This leads us more towards a commissioner in tennis,” Cahill said to the National.

    “Let’s say hypothetically the four Slams remain as they are, but then you have the ATP, the WTA and the ITF all rolled into one, and that means you can appoint a commissioner of tennis that oversees the men’s and women’s tours, Fed Cup, Davis Cup, the Olympics and also the smaller events that are under the ITF and also under the WTA. That person and that organisation would have enormous power.

    “And I think, hypothetically, it would be a pretty good position for a tennis player to be in, because you know that every single decision being made is made in the best interest of the game.

    “Even for us that live on the WTA Tour, it’s not easy to understand how the Tour works, whereas the men’s Tour is much easier. We know your 1000s, the 500s, the 250s and how the rankings work, it’s much more complicated on the women’s tour, so this would simplify everything.”

    There is truth to Cahill’s arguments with the demographic of tennis fans seeming to get older, with a lack of simplification turning young tennis fans away.

    However the suggested move will not be easy to execute and will take time as issues such as equal scheduling, prize money distribution and media are some of the many obstacles facing both parties.

    Would the ATP be willing to lose some of its money and power for a merger with the WTA, who will be looking to increase prize money?

    Only time will tell but for now the more support this merger gets, the better it looks for tennis in its bid for unification.’

    Doesn’t take a genius to see the big roadblock here. The ATP members will not be prepared to lose any of their money or power. That will not happen. Kyrgios knows how the guys feel. They won’t want to be seen to be given anything up to women. Pie in the sky.

  • Sam · April 25, 2020 at 5:06 pm

    “BTW Harold still reads the site. He now sends comments to me on IM.”

    Scoop, did he ever apologize to you for saying that I was just your “sock puppet”? 😉

    Finally finished watching “Out of Shadows.” Thanks for telling me about it–really informative.

    I thought one of the comments toward the end was interesting. The guy said that Katy Perry is “so talented.” Huh? I just don’t see that. She has some talent, but no more than average in my opinion. In fact, when she sings, she shows almost zero nuance or shade.

    OK, now here’s a video for you to watch: 🙂

  • Sam · April 25, 2020 at 5:26 pm

    “Eat high vitamin c diet. Eat healthy. Be free.”

    Well, Scoop, Djokovic might have just a little to say about that as well. 😉 Apparently at least once a week, he’s going to be featuring a live chat on Instagram with someone in the alternative-health field.

    I think it’s cool that he’s displaying other interests like this. He seems to have a real desire to communicate topics that he’s passionate about. Good for him.

    Anyway, besides vitamin C, vitamin D3 is very helpful too. Around 4,000 IU a day should be safe for most people. And now that we’re getting more and more sunlight, if you spend time outside, that should help your vitamin D level as well.

  • Scoop Malinowski · April 25, 2020 at 6:27 pm

    Sam, Harold is very militant about politics. Very. He’s a good guy I have been friends with him for many years, I do like him, but politics diviides us. I don’t hate him but I know he hates me because my politics and religion are the opposite of his. He can’t tolerate Trump and conservatism, he starts going crazy about white supremacism and turns into a frothing maniac. White supremacism is a media construct white people. I never knew a single white supremacist. Whites fight back from being genocided with forced diversity and the left screams white supremacism. It’s insane. But that’s where we are now. Certain people want to minoritize whites in white nations and whites are resisting. Out of shadows is the most important film ever made. I will watch your film…

  • Scoop Malinowski · April 25, 2020 at 6:30 pm

    Vit D is important for health too. But the left wants everyone locked up inside. Stay at home they tell us. I tell you go outside and enjoy fresh air and the sun, it’s healthy. Djokovic is smart and he cares about people. He has a lot to offer. He’s agreat champion. He is resisting the gates vaccine despite being attacked by the leftist media wartheim and rottenberg.

  • Scoop Malinowski · April 25, 2020 at 6:31 pm

    ITS Bradenton update. Lorenzo totally dominated, winning 14 out of 15 matches. I started Facing Djokovic this week by asking Lorenzi for his Facing Djokovic memories.

  • Sam · April 25, 2020 at 7:54 pm

    “I don’t hate him but I know he hates me because my politics and religion are the opposite of his.”

    Scoop, how exactly can you be “friends” with someone who hates you? 😉

    “He can’t tolerate Trump and conservatism, he starts going crazy about white supremacism and turns into a frothing maniac.”

    Oh, I thought you meant that he’s a white supremacist. LOL. Well, my sister has a friend who thinks everybody’s a “male chauvinist.” Those kinds of people are very difficult to be around.

    “I never knew a single white supremacist.”

    Don’t believe I have either.

    “I will watch your film…”

    Great, hope you find the time. It’s a brand new documentary about Covid-19 that I haven’t even finished watching myself.

    “Vit D is important for health too.”

    Concerning Vitamin C, so much of the stuff on the market comes from China. 😛 The highest quality supplement I’ve been able to find is called Pure Radiance C (in powder form). Expensive but worth it.

    “But the left wants everyone locked up inside. Stay at home they tell us.”

    As Janet Jackson once put it: “It’s all about control.” 😉

    “Djokovic is smart and he cares about people. He has a lot to offer.”

    I think so too.

    “He is resisting the gates vaccine despite”

    And did you realize that Bill Gates refused to vaccinate his *own* kids???

    “I started Facing Djokovic this week by asking Lorenzi for his Facing Djokovic memories.”

    Hope you found out some juicy stuff from Lorenzi. 🙂

  • Scoop Malinowski · April 25, 2020 at 9:54 pm

    I’d trust gill bates as far as I can kick him!

  • catherine · April 26, 2020 at 12:44 am

    Scoop – you’ve said that before. It’s getting tedious.

    BTW, I saw the post from Harold which was deleted. Doesn’t sound as though you’re friends. Politics divide us, sadly.

    No big tennis action but quite a lot going on which is worth comment. Let’s go back there. I’ll try to, even if no one’s reading it.

  • Vijay · April 26, 2020 at 12:56 am

    Catherine, I second your last thought.

    It’s true most tennis books are poorly written. Unfortunately, so are a lot of books being published nowadays. I recently re-read Pride and Prejudice. Found it a revelation, once again.

    You should think about your anonymous book of life on the tour. Sure, some may be narcissist, but you’re sure to find and equal number of narcissists in any walk of life. Roughly, any big fish in some pond. It’s easy to lose perspective. But it’s the details that are of interest. Hopefully you have time on your hands now. I know you’re not watching tennis on TV.

  • catherine · April 26, 2020 at 1:47 am

    Vijay – Jane Austen ? I prefer the Brontes. All that wuthering. And there was a family which faced mortality.

    I watch tennis on youtube. That can be pretty interesting. As for tv, I haven’t had one in years. For the kind of tennis I follow these days, it doesn’t matter.

    I did a tennis book a few years ago which was on Amazon, but it was just a collection of old articles. Historical interest to me really. And then a very short story on createspace but under a pseudonym. I just feel sport in general, and tennis in particular, is not easy to write about.

    I like to write here on tennis and personalities, but one has to be polite. I think many people have no idea of how much they reveal through postings on twitter and IG. Easier in the old days to conceal your true self.

  • Vija · April 26, 2020 at 7:54 am

    Catherine, there are time, such as these, when Tom Sharpe seems like much more appropriate reading.

    I think instead of another book, there needs to be a work of fiction, but based on real events and people, much like Pride and Prejudice (which was loosely based on dear Jane). Follow the lives of a young Russian in the US, and some prodigies in Europe, their lives, loves, idiosyncrasies, the works. Throw in some stuff about snakes in handbags. The weirder the characters, the better. Bhutan the important thing is to know what these people care about, and the extents to which they will go to see things through. You could even start as a collection of short stories before compiling it as a book. Tom Wolfe did something similar, if I recall correctly, in the New Yorker.

  • Jon King · April 26, 2020 at 8:16 am

    Cahill has given the merging of the tours some thought it seems. The tours are going to look different. Some sponsors will be gone, some venues closed, fan loss that was occurring anyway accelerated by the virus.

    If they do not merge the ATP will be a good deal smaller and the WTA will be a whole lot smaller in the near term. Thats why Fed was saying 1 tour might be better than 2.

    It sounds great for the men to just say back the ATP and the heck with the women. But before the virus there were many more girls playing juniors than boys and they pay attention to the WTA not the ATP. Its a trend we have seen grow the past 5 years. So tennis fans in 10 years will be a much higher percentage of females. Short term thinking by the ATP is not smart. The day may come where they will be wishing for a merged tour as the percentage of male fans continues to lessen.

    As I said before, I hope these players outside the top 100 are thinking about other ways to make money. Its going to be even more of the players at the very top making money and many others not.

  • Scoop Malinowski · April 26, 2020 at 8:40 am

    Catherine. No we are not friends now. We were before. Trump pizzagate Epstein island marina abramovic the satanic witch wedged us apart to dislike each other. Politics turns him into a frothing, raving, paranoid lunatic. I asked him who he’d rather have dinner with satan or Jesus Christ? Still waiting for the answer.

  • catherine · April 26, 2020 at 8:58 am

    Jon – re other ways of making money, from ubitennis :

    ‘Kevin Krawietz, who claimed his maiden grand slam doubles title less than a year ago in Roland Garros, is filling in his free time by working in a local supermarket. The German currently has a doubles world ranking of 13th and has achieved six wins on the ATP Tour this season prior to the suspension.

    The 28-year-old is currently earning 450 euros per week in his supermarket job to help out during the lockdown in his home country. Speaking with Der Spiegel about his new venture, Krawietz has said his job has helped give him ‘more appreciation.’

    “In general, I had been planning to look into a normal job for a long time. With Corona, I now have the opportunity to do this,” he said.
    “Some of the colleagues here get up at five in the morning and are in the store from half past five to fill the shelves. In my life, on the other hand, I had the luxury of being able to turn my hobby into a job.”

    The tasks he does range from shelf-stacking to disinfecting trolleys in a store located in the area of Munich. According to Eurosport Germany, he came across the job after hearing from a friend that they were in need of staff to work during the pandemic.

    “I replenish shelves and I make sure that the sausages and cheese are in sight,” Krawietz said of his duties
    “I sort the empty boxes.”
    “I’ve also done security at the entrance, spraying the shopping trolleys with disinfectant.”

    Despite his taste of life as a retail worker, Krawietz isn’t giving up on his tennis dream anytime soon. Due to a relaxation in Germany’s lockdown rules, he has been given a permit to train at a local sports facility nearby. He says he currently trains there three to four times a week.

    Krawietz peaked at a ranking high of No.7 on November 4th 2019. Last year he qualified for the season-ending ATP Tour Finals along with compatriot Andreas Mies. They were only the second all-German team to ever play at the event and first since 1975.’

    No one has an absolute right to make a living playing tennis and if they are not making enough money to survive then perhaps they should look around for alternatives. A lot of low ranked players I’ve seen over the years clearly do not have a future in the game. It’s like showbiz.

  • Jon King · April 26, 2020 at 9:59 am

    A year ago the Facebook page of low ranked players yelling at the ITF for trying to shrink the tour so at least 700 men and 700 women could make money in tennis was all the rage. Players who literally won a match a year wanted to continue to enter tournaments and pretend to be pro players.

    Noah Rubin was using Behind the Racquet to try and force the tours to send more money down to low ranked players. Alison Riske, who has friends who are low ranked, was calling for low ranked players to unionize.

    What a difference now. Like you said, no one has a right to earn money from tennis. Real world reality is nasty.

    Lots of these tennis players grew up playing at the local club, everyone kissing their butts when they won junior matches, flying around like mini celebrities to fun tournaments around the world. The entitled attitudes of many of these players was off the charts. We would see USTA high performance juniors throw their trash on the ground at Evert Academy, knowing the workers would clean it up.

    They will now learn about the real world. No, mommy and daddy and grandpa can not pay for you to play pro tennis player and be ranked 1057th in the world. Only a small number of very tough and very talented players will make a living from tennis. The rest will go work for those brilliant Asian and India kids who spent their childhoods doing 6 hours of homework a day instead of flying around playing tennis.

  • catherine · April 26, 2020 at 1:07 pm

    Domi’s comments are of course causing squeals of outrage:

    “None of the lower-ranked players have to fight for their lives. I’ve seen players on the ITF-Tour who don’t commit to the sport 100%. Many of them are quite unprofessional. I don’t see why I should give them money,” Thiem told Krone Sport.
    “I’d rather donate to people and institutions, who really need it. There is no profession in the world, where you are guaranteed success and high income at the start of your career. None of the top players took anything for granted. We all had to fight our way up the rankings,” he added.

    I get idea that a lot of scrabbling players have the feeling that because it’s tennis and they are encouraged to think of what they’re doing as a regular job with all the benefits accrued, then somehow they’re entitled to support from the game – which of course they are not because they are actually self-employed and any insurance against unemployment (for whatever reason) is up to them.

  • Scoop Malinowski · April 26, 2020 at 1:36 pm

    Thiem has a lot of courage tp say this. Nobody else has the guts to speak this. He’s absolutely right.

  • Scoop Malinowski · April 26, 2020 at 1:42 pm

    Nice to read that about kk. Honorable man. I worked jobs like that in life…limo driver, security guard, McDonald’s burger flipper and bun toaster operator, movie theater snack bar, dairy queen, car wash, auto detailing business, life insurance peddler…valuable experiences.

  • catherine · April 26, 2020 at 3:02 pm

    Gauff (aged 16) chosen as a People magazine ‘Woman of the Year’. What year ? Why ?

    All those precociously pretentious comments she comes out with – who’s scripting them ? She should act her age.

  • Scoop Malinowski · April 26, 2020 at 4:46 pm

    Catherine please tell me you’re kidding. Why don’t they just put her in the hall of fame now and just script her career. Pay off every opponent like mayweather and wilder in boxing.

  • Andrew Miller · April 26, 2020 at 5:43 pm

    Gauff can’t control this PR/People Magazine mistake/”double fault”. Personally I hope her team downplays it. As said many times before Gauff has made the most of the spotlight and performed pretty darn well at times, and for her age is quite excellent.

    But, as far as performance on the court goes, there’s a gap between where she is now and whatever comes next, and after the tennis world recovers from this coma we’ll see how the dust settles and whether Gauff or anyone will have an intact game. It’s hard to think about.

    One of the ideas I really think has some merit is the idea of a rotating US Open, where it takes place in a different city every year. I get it that it’s nearly impossible and completely and utterly unlikely. That said I think it would be pretty cool and it would probably lead to a wider variety of players winning titles.

  • Andrew Miller · April 26, 2020 at 5:50 pm

    Thiem: “I hereby declare open season on me. Please, here is more than enough extra motivation to come after me when we play. I welcome the extra MPH you put on your serve as well as the extra effort you use to determine my weaknesses and stick it to me.”

    Thiem is welcome to say what he wants. But he probably doesn’t get that he just gave a lot of other players extra motivation to get their first career win over a top five player.

    I don’t want to talk too much about Thiem and his problems in saying too much. His remarks were pretty bad on Muster, on Mladenovic, and now on other players on tour, even if they are generally cannon fodder set up to be beaten easily in the first round when they get there. I know top players often have egos and many of them make their entourage do everything (including laundry). But Thiem is a guy that shows he is and there’s not much humility there.

    Not to get Jackson’s hopes up with a positive comment about his boy Rafa Nadal, but Nadal would never do this. He’d never put down other players or diminish them unless they were hostile towards him, which is rare.

    Maybe this Thiem comment is more of the bad boy tennis that has re-emerged on tour. I can’t call myself a Thiem fan, but given what he says I can’t say I’ll ever be one.

  • Scoop Malinowski · April 26, 2020 at 6:18 pm

    Andew, I like Thiem speaking out on this like he has. For his whole career he has been a politically correct pacifist. Now in one interview he has gone totally renegade. Not one other player in the world or tennis figure in the world had the guts to say this. He’s actually right. You have to win to earn the dough ramey. The money is there but these players have to win. The ones who get the money EARNED it. Why should the winners throw bones to their enemies? Borg said you have to hate everyone you play. Higueras hated wildcards, he said getting a wildcard means you’re not working hard enough, you’re not good enough. Thiem is right. These low ranked beggars need to work harder. It sounds cruel and un PC to say that but it’s the bitter ugly truth. The low ranked players are begging for charity now. Will it make them play better? Work harder? Probably not. I support Thiem’s right to say this. And give him credit for bravery.

  • Scoop Malinowski · April 26, 2020 at 6:22 pm

    Gauffmania should decline this award. I appreciate the award and the gesture but please give it to someone else who deserves it. I’m not a hero, I’m just a tennis player. Give the award to a media hero like Tiffany Fitzhenry or Liz Crokin or Margaret Court.

  • Scoop Malinowski · April 26, 2020 at 6:31 pm

    My proposition is for the tennis powers that be create a new minor league tour like the Cicma ITS series, pay each player a weekly salary to play sets to 4. Maybe made ATP points available too. But not to just give the low ranked players money, make them earn it. Increase prize money in Futures and Challengers but just a little.

  • Jon King · April 26, 2020 at 8:30 pm

    In normal times I would be the first one yelling about the Gauff award. But tennis is going to battle to be relevant going forward. I will take anything that brings attention, even a silly award for a player who has not won a damn thing yet.

    Thiem is 100% correct. The reason lower ranked players do not make money is because they are replaceable. Thats the real world.

    10000000000 people are talented/willing to work enough to park cars, 10000000 are talented/willing to work enough to be nurses, 100000 are talented/willing to work enough to build businesses, 1000 are talented/willing to work enough to play amazing tennis and get pro ranking points….and 10 are talented/willing to work enough so that people will fill the stands and turn on the TV and make money for advertisers.

    Of course the numbers are just for effect, but in most cases, the rarer the ability/work ethic, the more the compensation. No one comes to watch the 89th ranked player play tennis.

  • Jon King · April 26, 2020 at 8:53 pm

    Scoop, in a free market system there is no need to have a minor league or pay more at futures and challengers. The top players generate the revenue.

    The system will always be full of lower ranked players, parents will pay for them to play. Some will go to college and then go pro. When they quit they will be replaced by a new crop. So the tennis powers have zero need to pay more to lower ranked players.

    One thing I learned from running businesses, no one with money gives any to those below them. Thats wonderful in charity, but never happens in business competition and pro sports is a business. Higher ranked players will not truly give up money to pay more to futures or challengers. Neither will advertisers or sponsors. Going forward the haves at the top will be even further ahead of the rest of the players.

    There will never be a shortage of players to populate the lower ranks. If Noah Rubin quits tomorrow, 10 others right behind to play those events. May be harsh, but thats why no one at the top truly gives a dang about it.

1 2 3



Find it!

Copyright 2010
To top