Speaking after the latest Davis Cup debacle, former NZ tennis champion Onny Parun (right) is dead right: the Augean stables of Tennis New Zealand desperately needs a cleanout. “Parun sees no change ahead unless there is an overhaul of the sport's administration as he believes the people at the helm do not know what they are doing,” reports Newsalk ZB.
The people he is talking about are the same ones who decided that Chris Lewis, a Wimbledon singles finalist in 1983, ands a former coach of Ivan Lendl (World # 1) and Carl Uwe Steeb (World #14), should take coaching direction from a former Australian bowls player. Lewis got the message, and left instead, but not before pointing out where the blame for Davis Cup failure lay: squarely in the laps of the pink-gin drinkers.
Parun’s message was supported today by local coaches like John McMahon, who decries what I would call Tennis New Zealand’s “coach by numbers” insistence.
“McMahon says if a player or coach is offside with Tennis New Zealand life can be very difficult . . . Tennis New Zealand is trying to be too controlling and does not leave it up to the player and the parents of the player and individual coaches to decide what is best for the player.”
Tennis New Zealand is hardly looking good for New Zealand tennis, is it. So with no Davis Cup success on the horizon and no NZ man playing at a grand slam tournament for nine years, it’s looking high time to clean out that stable. It’s starting to smell.