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Post Info TOPIC: Fitzy Update


Tennis legend

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Fitzy Update


Ok.  Fitzy has now authorised me to let you all know what is happening with him.  He is very busy at the moment but will be back on tour (and on the forum) very soon.  He has handed in his notice at work.  By the sounds of it, 8am to 8pm Monday to Friday didn't suit him !!

Basically, the reason he hasn't entered the early season tournaments is that he is currently suspended by the ITF pending payment of a fine.  Those who follow his posts will be aware of his problems last year in Vietnam and then the fact that he was left in the lurch in Japan by his "couch-surf" hosts, who failed to turn up at the airport.  He was stranded in the airport in Tokyo with no money and consequently flew straight home, missing the Japanese tournaments.

The ITF have seen fit to fine him 400 dollars for his "failure to turn up".  Fitzy is contesting that and thinks that he will win his case but as nobody is in the ITF office until 2nd Jan, the fine is still technically outstanding and therefore he is unable to enter tournaments.  He hopes to have the situation cleared up in a few days.

If it all works out, his plans will then be to play on the British Tour in Bilesley before heading for Glasgow where he will request a WC.  He then plans to play the next 2 weeks in the UK.

Re his longer term plans, he is going to be linking up with the Soto Academy here in Spain where he will be able to share coaching and travelling costs with others at the academy.  He has landed some sponsorship for 2013, but is still in need of further financial support.  Any ideas are always welcome !! 

It would be great to see him have a good season.

Bob



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County player

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Thanks Bob - good to hear why Fitzy hasn't been around and that he's not given up on his tennis dream!

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Tennis legend

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Thanks for that update. I'm glad he's found a way to get back on tour again.

You'd have thought that, hearing his story, the ITF would accept that he has suffered enough financially by getting there and then having to turn around and go home.

What's really shocking though, even if the fine does end up getting waived in this case, is that the fine is so high - $400 is only just less than what a semi-finalist gets at a 10K, hence it is a bit like like fining a player about a quarter of a million dollars for a late withdrawal from Wimbledon! (*)

(*) less if the fine was for more than one tournament or the Japanese Futures were 15Ks, but still a very large amount

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Admin:Moderator + Tennis Legend

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I hope all goes well for him and is sorted out soon.

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Club Coach

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Typical gutless sport admin going after the little guy

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Tennis legend

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From what I can gather with regard to the fine, the ITF seem to have verbally accepted Fitzy's explanation of "extenuating circumstances" but have requested this in writing so that their administration wheels can turn. I am hoping it is just a "rubber stamping" operation.

As for Fitzy himself, he seems fired up and ready to go for the new season. It certainly seemed to me that the second half of the 2012 season was a difficult one for him with a number of distractions, both tennis related and otherwise. His results in the last 6 months or so seem to suggest this and we didn't perhaps see the same focus that we saw from him in the earlier part of the season.

It now seems as though many of those distractions have been resolved and Fitzy now has a clear plan on how he wants his tennis career to move forwards. I am expecting to see a refocused and reinvigorated Fitzy this year, although we shouldn't forget that he has not had the benefit of the pre-season training that many of the others have had.

Time will tell.

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Hi Korriban

I think with your point 2 above, there was more to it than meets the eye and I don't think the LTA was entirely blameless in that situation. But rather than going over old ground, let's just look forward to 2013 and wish all our players well.

I see you are a particular Neil P fan. I was down at La Manga a couple of weeks ago watching Neil slug out a 5 setter with Kyle, and I know you will be pleased to hear that Neil looked fully fit and was playing well - even though Kyle sneaked it in the 5th.



-- Edited by Bob in Spain on Tuesday 1st of January 2013 08:58:17 AM

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All-time great

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new year. clean slate. good luck to him

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Admin:Moderator + Tennis Legend

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I'll second that.

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Intermediate Club Player

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When I saw Bob's post appear, I was half-expecting Fitzy had retired and had decided to concentrate on his new job. Considering what he had to put up with in the latter half of 2012 and then the insult from the ITF,who would have blamed him? Glad you're in a much better place again, Fitzy. I look forward to seeing you, hopefully, in Sheffield in the not-too-distant future and also, to follow your progress on bet365 or live scores. Here's hoping you pick up where you left off in the summer of 2012 and keep climbing those rankings and making us all proud again. Good luck for the whole of 2013, not just the first half



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Challenger level

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Fitzy seems like one of the nice guys of GB tennis, so we should all wish him well. I always loved reading his blogs from the front line, which usually gave it to us warts and all, so it's great news he's not giving up. And there was definitely some real progress at the front end of last year, which is very satisfying given some of the struggles he's had on and off the court.

A few observations/reflections that might be useful for 2013.

1. It was going really well in 2012 until Fitzy received a WC into the Nottingham Challenger main draw, which I think he felt was a big deal. He played against Freddie Nielsen, and to say it was a bad day at the office, doesn't really do justice to bad days at the office! As we know Freddie is a good pro, but at singles he is steady and solid, nothing more. Fitzy seemed to freeze: he simply couldn't serve (well into double figures in 2 short sets), lost all fluency on his groundstrokes, was moving poorly, and seemed to have no anticipation. It was really hard to watch, and I was gutted for him - clearly this was not the same excellent player of the previous 3-4 months. So whatever he did to prepare for that match mentally, physically, food/drink, routines, etc............please please please do something completely different for the next Challenger or ATP "clutch" match! It didn't work, and I think it really knocked him back for a while.

2. He's going to need some friends at the LTA for WCs and support at key times (it seems a shame to "waste" a WC so early in the year on such an insignificant tournament in January that he would have walked into normally, but that may be his only option). I'm sure relations with the LTA are good, but he should avoid any repeats of the situation in 2012 when he withdrew from a British Tour tournament having reached the final to fly off for a weekend break - I remember the discussion about whether he'd lose his prize money or not......I'm sure one or two bods at the LTA wouldn't have been that impressed about that incident. I wouldn't have been personally .

3. I presume Fitzy must have contacted the ITF and the local tournament BEFORE flying home from Japan - if only to tell them he wasn't turning up, because he has an obligation to do so. If he didn't, even if he can hardly be blamed for coming home (we'd all probably do the same), I think he might need that LTA support even sooner than just on WCs, because the ITF might stick to their guns on principle. If this has been dragging on, I'd seriously consider paying the fine and seeking to recover it retrospectively (with LTA support), just to get things moving and allowing him to play again quickly. Obviously, I don't know all the facts, but it did all happen quite a while ago really.

Wishing Fitzy all the best for 2013 (except against Neil Pauffley, if they happen to play each other!).     

 

 



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Tennis legend

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Nice article on the life and times of Fitzy

www.sportinglife.com/tennis/news/article/25363/10239320/net-talk-andy-schooler-on-andrew-fitzpatricks-rise-from-futures-tour-to-hitting-with-caroline-wozniacki-and-coaching-naomi-broady

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That is a good article, thanks Paulisi!   I'm pleased to hear that he is enjoying and succeeding in his coaching career. 



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Tennis legend

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I'll second that.   Quite an eye-opener.  Pleased he seems to have found his true calling.



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