Sydney, June 27 : Veteran tennis star Margaret Court has accused Tennis Australia of ripping talent away from junior coaches.
Reacting after Australia's Samantha Stosur had lost in the first round of Wimbledon 2012, Court said that unless Stosur produces something special, it will be Australia''s worst performance in the Wimbledon since
1938, which was the last time no Australian male reached the second round.
Court, a 24-time grand slam champion, said Tennis Australia put too much stock in placing talented juniors in large squads and was dulling its brightest prospects by making coaching less personal.
"I think they''re taking them too early. You throw children, little kids at 13 into a squad, I believe that''s where you lose them. They take them off (their coaches) so early and you never see them again. If I look at my coaches, they sewed their life into me," the Herald Sun quoted Margaret, as saying.
"You wonder why the people don''t stay in the game so long, it becomes like from such an early age they''re so focused, they''re like robots," she added.
However, Tennis Australia director Craig Tiley defended the direction of the game in Australia and claimed the failure was not a fair reflection of the `promising signs on the horizon'.
"Our focus has been on long term development and there''s some real positive signs there. We have players who are the best in the world for their age coming through. So it''s not as bad as it looks," Tiley said.
Tiley said no one involved in the game in Australia would be satisfied with the results, but believes one night of horror should not overshadow the positive results the top Australian players have achieved over the last two years.
"We don''t define success based on one moment of the year. Everyone is disappointed obviously. I''ve spoken to all the players and coaches over there and they''re all disappointed," he clarified.
"We have a lot more players making it to the starting line and getting into a position where they can make progress at the major events," he added. (ANI)
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