Yeah I will do my best, I read the forum a fair bit and have watched Frank at Wimbledon a few years back when he played Koubek. Went and spoke to him after the game was cool.
Im not saying he doesent put the effort in, but for a guy who is clearly very talented I cant understand why he doesent just enter a few more challengers instead of bigger tournaments to just solidify his ranking. Lots of players make it into the top 60s by only really entering challengers, generally clay courters but still. Thats how you start and then are able to establish yourself in tour matches. Many challengers you can win about 90 ranking points which is the same as what Frank got for making the semis this week beating some much tougher players.
Even if he entered something like the Granby challenger thats about 50 points and he would do very well not to win that as its in his own country and is significantly better than virtually all of the players that enter.
Franks problem is looking at his ranking breakdown he has some decent results, Final of Eastbourne, semis in Indy, final of lubock challenger but out of his "best 15" he has at least 3 or 4 results with no points. Even a few 2nd and 3rd rounds in challengers can boost that by around 50 points to get him up into the top 100.
Sure the money isnt good, but your playing for your future. I just dont want to see Frank turn into someone like Kevin Kim who is just a steady player who drifts between the 80-120 mark for years and years, Frank is better than that and I have high hopes for him after watching many of his matches.
Yeah you make some good points but remember, as you say, he tends to play better against better opponents. After the Open last year he played something like 8 Challengers. He got to a couple semis and one final. It did essentially nothing for his ranking. Just because they're Challengers doesn't mean he's guaranteed wins. Even if he does lose to Baggy I still think going to LA was the right call.
And I have to take issue with the idea that somehow, if players like Dancevic or Kim don't step it up their talent has been wasted. Frank has been as high as 65 in the world. I don't know about you but I have never been the 65th best in the world at anything, let alone something as competitive as a pro sport. At age 24 he is about to eclipse 1 million dollars in prize money earned. I'm two years older than him and I certainly don't have a million dollars. Even if he failed to ever win another match, he's had an exceptional career that the vast majority of people who try to do what he's done will never come close to achieving.
Plus, not all athletes have a Federer or Sampras-like devotion to their sport. I think as sports fans we tend to lose perspective and can forget that tennis is a job for these guys. They have girlfriends and families and hobbies and lives outside of tennis and it's not really fair or realistic to expect them to devote every waking moment to training and practicing (I'm speaking generally here, I have no idea how hard Frank does or does not work off the court). These athletes are people, not robots. Guys like Dancevic and Kim and others who are around 100-200 may not be household names but they still have a pretty sweet life, getting paid plenty of money to travel around the world and play tennis while suckers like me are stuck behind a desk for 60 hours a week.
Haha okay, so I got a little bit off track there. Sorry for the rant.