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Anna Kournikova
( Photo credit: Art Seitz ©2009 )

Anna Kournikova

June - September, 2005

September 12, 2005: "I think the [ATP] are just trying to get rid of doubles and they're doing it slowly. I think they're going at it completely the wrong way. I completely agree with the players because they had no say in the matter. The players are against it. The fans are against it. They want to see doubles. It's just a very near-sighted decision by the tournament promoters."

Martina Navratilova, blasting the impending rule changes to men's doubles, saying they will hurt the sport of tennis as a whole.
August 21, 2005: "As for the ATP doubles debacle, what a colossal error those knuckleheads have made this time. I approached both my bosses at ESPN and NBC during Wimbledon, and I asked them if the new format for doubles would get doubles more air time. Both network execs laughed at the notion. The ATP has dropped the ball so many times so many ways, but this could be the stupidest 'innovation' of all."

Mary Carillo, award-winning TV tennis analyst
August 1, 2005: "Doubles is too great a game to destroy. With the help of the player, fans, officials, media, sponsors and the rest of the tennis world, we'll stop these rule changes from ever happening. We'll save doubles!"

Mike Bryan, who has reached all three Grand Slam doubles finals with his twin brother Bob this year, mobilizing to stop the much-denounced ATP's doubles reforms from going into effect in September.
July 15, 2005: "I'm shocked to the core about the proposed doubles changes. Anyone who believes that shortening sets, No-Ad scoring, etc., will enhance the game of doubles is a bloody idiot. And there's no way these changes will allow more doubles matches to be played on centre court early in the week.... I fear for the doubles game."

Mark Woodforde, who won 17 career Grand Slam doubles titles, on some of the ATP Tour's wrongheaded rule changes for doubles that will go into effect after the U.S. Open
July 4, 2005: "My motto is: I'm alive, so that means I can do anything."

Venus Williams, after staving off a championship point to overcome No. 1 Lindsay Davenport, 4-6, 7-6, 9-7, for her third Wimbledon title and first Grand Slam title in almost four years.
June 26, 2005: "I said 'most' of Britain's tennis journalists don't know what they're talking about. A lot of people agree with me. I'm pissed off, I say it, and what happens? It's been a pain in the arse."

—British star Tim Henman, telling it like (he thinks) it is, in The Times (UK)
June 16, 2005: “Sharapova making the kind of money [reportedly $25 million in
endorsements this year] she does is great. But there is a trade-off for these girls. They have financial security. But what sort of legacy will they leave? Everything is about outer success. When I was 15, I wanted to be the best at something. Girls today want to be famous. I think all of us realize something isn’t quite right with that."

Billie Jean King, all-time great and women's tennis pioneer, in ESPN The Magazine
June 1, 2005: "Not since the days of Boris Becker have I seen such intimidation on a tennis court. Rafael Nadal is on clay what the German phenomenon was on grass.”

John McEnroe, 1980s superstar and now an NBC-TV analyst, after the Spanish teen easily beat Richard Gasquet at the French Open, in his column in The Telegraph (UK)


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