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Forum Umpire:, Gaston Gaudio,
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
The Argentine Legion speak about the other side of the professional tour
This is a very well written piece about the side of the tennis tour that most people don't see and it gives a great insight into what the players are feeling and it's not always a good thing, though many of us would love to play on the tour.

Best of all these are written in their own words and that is rare these days and this was a good sample of opinions there.

Thanks of all thanks to Michelle and Em for translating this excellent piece.

Yes, there will be the usual clowns in here with the trolling, but that is to be expected.

http://espndeportes.espn.go.com/news/story?id=628128&s=ten&type=story

The legion speaks and says a lot

The Legion talks is the new book of Ediciones Al Arco in which 12 of the best Argentine tennis players surprise all with their confessions.

Says Gaston Gaudio: "For a tennis player, family is the worst to have." For Jose Acasuso: "Tennis is an ambience of egoism and much jealousy." Juan Monaco continues: "You always hope that something happens to your rival, even if it were your friend or the one that you shared a room with the night before."

The book of journalists Ignacio Uzquiza and Fernando Bianculli consists of a series of interviews with Jose Acasuso, Agustin Calleri, Guillermo Cana, Guillermo Coria, Juan Ignacio Chela, David Nalbandian, Juan Martin Del Potro, Gaston Gaudio, Juan Monaco, Mariano Puerta, Martin Vasallo Arguello y Mariano Zabaleta.

"If the books serve to illuminate, La Legion habla enlightens one about the most valuable surface (aspect) of tennis: the experience of the players. I have read practically every book regarding the theme: some seemed good, others not as good, and the rest not worth anything. The value of La Legion habla resides in the WORD of the players. They tell their stories, offer up their opinions, transmit to us their (life) experience," opinions Guillermo Vilas, author of the prologue.

As Vilas indicates (signals,) the book trides to show, from the mouth of the protagonists, that tennis isn't just prestige, fame and money. It is also egoism, extreme competition and almost constant loneliness.

These 12 Argentine tennis players leave no theme without discussion and also expound up on their visions of the work of the Argentine Tennis Association and the conclusions that came about following the series of Argentines sanctioned in doping cases.

The following is a selection of some of the most compelling fragments from the interviews.

"What is tennis?" Its my way of life, my job, even though I have had the privilege of doing so because I like it. When I had to leave school to dedicate myself fully to tennis I began to take it more as a job than as a pleasure. With time I came to believe, that even if i like it, I am not passionate about the tennis." (Jose Acasuso)

"Did the Association give you a hand when you were an amateur?" In this moment, no. To the contrary. The boys from the Interior (of Argentina) have always been treated with prejudice. This (current) leadership, I don't know how it treats them because since I have been with Morea I have not been an amateur so I have not really been involved, but I can assure you that it used to be that the boys from the Interior were always screwed (treated like shite.) (Agustin Calleri)

"Is the ATP discriminatory?" Its discrimination from an economic standpoint, like any multinational corporation. Its just another of millions that there are in the world. Point being that I accept it, but I'm not buying into it that it is a group of players that decide (players union) because it isn't like that. (Guillermo Cañas)

"What are the pros and cons of being a professional tennis player?" "The main con is the falseness of your surroundings, not just from the players, but from everyone. In tennis, it's very normal to go from being the worst to the best and vice versa. In Argentina you're either God or you don't exist. When you're doing well, everyone surrounds you, and if you don't get the results, you're left all alone, or in other words, surrounded by the people who really care about you. That's why sometimes I may have been aloof or conceited because I never let anyone enter my circle of trust. You know how it goes and that there are heaps of people who latch on to you during the good times and then disappear". (Guillermo Coria)

"Is the Davis Cup one of your goals?" "Yes, for me, yes, it's one of my goals. But, I mean, there are lots of things...you might go and play Davis Cup and earn 10 000 dollars and you go to a tournament and earn 50 000, that's why it's difficult and I understand those who refuse to play a tie. I understand them and I have also sometimes said no. People don't see that side; you say no and they accuse you of not playing for your country. I have put aside a lot of things for the Davis Cup and nobody knows that. When I played in Canada with el Gordo (Agustin) Calleri, several guys had said no, and we weren't even in the World Group. I lost money for playing that tie because we didn't earn a cent in prize money and I travelled with my coach and had to pay for everything - his hotel, his fare. I remember that the captain at the time, Franco Davin, had to pay the meals with his own credit card. There are heaps of cases like this. I was always the alternate and I never complained. Another time, I was on my way to Punta del Este and they paged me at the airport because Cañas had got injured. And then I refused the call-up to play in Belarus because the clay season was approaching and it was just one week before, and they killed me!" (Juan Ignacio Chela)

"At one point you said you felt like giving up. Why?" "Because there started to be pressure, sponsors; I was 16 and people considered me to be a rising star, they started talking about me and that scared me a bit. Giving up school was also quite hard for me because I started to miss my friends, and the long trips made me miss my family a lot, we only spoke once a week. So I started to think: "What am I doing distancing myself from everything I love at such a young age?" and I stopped playing for a month. But that period made me realise that tennis was for me and that, since I had the opportunities, I couldn't waste them." (Juan Martin Del Potro)

"Are there schools of ideology in tennis like there is in football, for example?" "I, in particular, am of an ideology which I'm not sure is good for tennis. In footballers terms, it's closer to Menottism than Bilardism. (Menotti, the beautiful game and Bilardo played a more structured and pragmatic style for the non football lovers in here.)

When Nadal beat Federer in the 2006 Roland Garros final, he said later in the press conference: "I didn't play well but I knew that if I was courageous and strong, I could win." I don't believe in that, and it's bad. But it's an ideology that is so deep within me that I can't get rid of it. It's even a point of permanent discussion with my coach. He says to me: "there'll be thousands of times you won't play well" and now, after a ten year career, I realise I probably played well ten times in my whole life." (Gaston Gaudio)

"Did you ever have to share a room with someone you had to play against the next day?" "At a professional level, no, we each have our own room. But at a Challegers and Futures level, I often had to sleep in the same room as the guy I had to play against the next day. I wanted to kill him! It's a really weird feeling because, if nothing else, you think: "I hope this kid sleeps badly so I have more chances of winning". And you think that even if they're your friend. You always hope something happens to the other person". (Juan Monaco)

"There is often criticism towards you because of your approach to tennis: always professional but perhaps a bit too relaxed". "I live life. I think that helps but anyway, there are people who don't think so..." (David Nalbandian)

"Why did you come back to play?" "Because I wanted to end my career on the court, I deserve it, and to do the impossible to finish with a good ranking. I had dreamed of it since I was a young boy. I always wanted to be the one who stopped the tennis, and not have the tennis stop me. That's why I fought so much for all this. And I came back to play to be up there. Because I always felt I was going to come back and play". (Mariano Puerta)

"What does Guillermo Vilas mean to you?" "Guillermo is a role model we all had at one time or other, which has been torturous for many people, including me. He was the best at everything, as a role model and professional. He trained eight hours a day. His image is so deep rooted that at one point, I ended up hating him because all my coaches would tell me I had to train longer and not just four hours." (Martin Vassallo Arguello)

"There are some things which are normal, much more so than for other people. For example? The facilities you have to be able to get anything. From things to do with money to celebrities. For example, I remember once I was practising in Madrid and they invited me to the Real Madrid training session. I think that would be a dream for a lot of people, and I, thanks to tennis, had the chance to be with all the Argentinian and foreign players from the team.

You might think that this is normal, but when you stop and think about it, you say: "What am I doing here eating with Ronaldo or Beckham?" I even played tennis with the prince of Monaco. I was training in Monte Carlo one day and they came and told me he wanted to play, so he came and we played for a bit. Over time, these things become so normal that they end up being insignificant. In any case, they're things that happen to elite tennis players, there are heaps of players who don't even come close to experiencing these situations..." (Mariano Zabaleta)
 

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Re: Article : Nalbandian, Coria and others speak about the other side of tennis

:yeah:
 

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Re: Article : Nalbandian, Coria and others speak about the other side of tennis

This is pretty interesting, thanks. I had to laugh, when reading Monacos quote about sleeping with your next opponent in the same room. :D
 

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Re: Article : Nalbandian, Coria and others speak about the other side of tennis

When Guillermo Coria will play on his high level as he used to play?
 

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Re: Article : Nalbandian, Coria and others speak about the other side of tennis

Very interesting stuff and of course with sport psychology is key.
 

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Re: Article : Nalbandian, Coria and others speak about the other side of tennis

Good read :yeah:

*picturing Mariano playing with prince Albert* :lol:
 

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Re: Article : Nalbandian, Coria and others speak about the other side of tennis

That quote from Gaudio explains why I'm a fan of his and it basically explains my whole philosophy of tennis as well. It's strange, I tend to get attracted to the players who are more concerned about aesthetics than the ones who are concerned about results so I'm always happy when they win, it's like a bonus. It makes for a lot of heartbreak (I'm a Gasquet fan, after all) but the moments when they win beautifully makes it all worth it, I guess.

Also fitting that the quote comes from the most memorable Slam winner of the last few years.
 

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Re: Article : Nalbandian, Coria and others speak about the other side of tennis

Excellent article
 

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Re: Article : Nalbandian, Coria and others speak about the other side of tennis

Interesting read, indeed.
 

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Re: Article : Nalbandian, Coria and others speak about the other side of tennis

the other side of the equation. nice to hear about the things that nobody wants to talk about really.
 

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Re: Article : Nalbandian, Coria and others speak about the other side of tennis

"Is the ATP discriminatory?" Its discrimination from an economic standpoint, like any multinational corporation. Its just another of millions that there are in the world. Point being that I accept it, but I'm not buying into it that it is a group of players that decide (players union) because it isn't like that. (Guillermo Cañas)

A very sane point of view in my opinion
 

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Re: Article : Nalbandian, Coria and others speak about the other side of tennis

Very informative article. Thank you PMKI for posting :yeah:
 

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Re: Article : Nalbandian, Coria and others speak about the other side of tennis

Jose Acasuso acts like a dummy 86% of the time. why?
 

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Re: Article : Nalbandian, Coria and others speak about the other side of tennis

Gaudio as positive as ever i see ...
 

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Forum Umpire:, Gaston Gaudio,
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Re: Article : Nalbandian, Coria and others speak about the other side of tennis

Jose Acasuso acts like a dummy 86% of the time. why?
I don't ask why you are a dummy 100% of the time, but I accept it.
 

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Re: Article : Nalbandian, Coria and others speak about the other side of tennis

When is this book coming out?
 

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Re: Article : Nalbandian, Coria and others speak about the other side of tennis

Thanks for posting the article. As usual, Nalbandian appears hardly bothered to answer. Chela was the one who surprised me the most but then he's often been under estimated on court.
 

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Forum Umpire:, Gaston Gaudio,
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Re: Article : Nalbandian, Coria and others speak about the other side of tennis

Nalbandian actually said quite a lot, just didn't need too many words to express it.
 
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