Re: Damir Dzumhur
ITF has made its decision:
Olympics without Bosnian and Herzegovinian tennis
Or, how International tennis federation rewards long gone and already charged credits (Lleyton Hewitt), while it punishes talent and current results (Damir Džumhur)
We would love to understand what criteria was used when heads of the International tennis federation decided to offer Wildcard for Olympics in London to Australian veteran and, by all means, former tennis player and not to, say, best young European player? Why this reward for long gone and already charged credits, and at the same time true punishment for talent and good result? It is clear that one of the heroes of this story comes from a tennis superpower (albeit, in decline!), which will anyhow be represented at this competition (Bernard Tomic secured it with his ranking), but someone at ITF believes that one Australian in Olympic tournament is not enough. Should that be enough for an Olympic wild card? Of course not! But, ITF thinks differently…
Reward for the veteran
Thus, even if we accept someone’s wish to help Australians, it is again a question why not give a wild card to some of younger Australian guns rather than to a player who is in the process of departing from the tour, although he was No. 1. In any case, this will be a third appearance for him on Olympic Games (after Australia and China), which means that he had his chances. On the other side, top tennis is hungry for young and talented players (average age in top 100 is above 27) and one would expect that ITF would take that into account in order to balance things out somewhat – and in addition to (or instead, whichever) the veteran would look out for a fellow who has made a mark on the ITF professional tennis scene (winning 9 titles in 10 finals played!).
ITF will probably try and hide beyond the story that ranking was too low as one of impediments, however the point of the wild card is exactly there to help jump these obstacles. Anyhow, the difference between the two we are talking about on June 11th was only 24 places in favor of Australian (205 vs. 229), while today that difference is almost non-existent (202 vs. 204).
Punishment for talent
So, this is a story of departing Lleyton Hewit and arriving Damir Dzumhur and about ITF as top organization which should be sensitive to small and big and for rich and poor and for good ones and those little less good. ITF should know how to value big steps of small tennis nations, just as it should understand slowdown of former playing superpowers. Unfortunately, today’s ITF has empathy only for playing woes of some former great tennis superpowers.
For Bosnia and Herzegovina it can be hardly said that it is a tennis superpower, but is certainly not a tennis province, especially if we take into account how many Bosnians and Herzegovinians play under different flags.
Especially strong are young Bosnian guns, led exactly by Dzumhur, which are continually improving, we fear perhaps too fast, making someone obviously want to slow them down or even punish.
Therefore they will not be in London! Ugly, especially when such intentions and decisions come from the office of the head organization!
ITF on a wrong path
We believe that ITF should make sure that young talents have opportunity to develop their talent, regardless of where they come from. However, these move by ITF support the long established error in the world of professional tennis and that is that it recognizes only two types of players – ones who come from tennis superpowers or are under the wings of powerful protectors (academies, agencies or equipment producers) from these same countries and those on the margins who can be limitlessly talented, but an invitation for a significant tournament (even the Olympics) will never be seen by them.
Such attitude of current ITF executives can be lethal for development of tennis: Why?
Well perhaps because such people already now do not have the support in the playing body, and tomorrow will have even less. In short, playing and coaching base today do not see their reflection in the managing bodies of the International tennis federation. Or, heads of ITF for most players is foreign because it takes care of other’s (read: Hewitt’s), and not theirs (read: Dzumhur’s) problems!
Amer Ismar Aldin Siniša Tomo Mirza Vedran Aco Zlatan Mladen Jasmin Franjo Damir Orhan Jovan Alen Sven Adnan Dario Aziz