Cut Richard Gasquet Some Slack

 As you know by now, French player Richard Gasquet has been suspended for testing positive for cocaine back in Miami this spring.  I am by no means suggesting drug use is appropriate, only that this punishment seems a little harsh for him.

How many athletes use drugs or alcohol off season when they aren’t being tested, when they are away from the public eye?  That’s right.  You can claim they probably don’t.  Honestly, you don’t know what people, these role models, are doing around the end of tournament season.  All we know of these players is how they conduct themselves at press conferences.

Worse, why is there a double standard in sports that partying with alcohol is given a “cool” pass while drugs are “bad?”  For anyone wanting to make the argument about being a good role model for kids, I want to hear your side on why overdoing alcohol is acceptable for NBA and MLB stars at the same time when Michael Phelps gets grilled in the media over one pot incident, possibly losing huge sponsors.

Hollywood actors can make comebacks after a few stints in rehab and if Britney can return with a concert tour, come on, give Richard Gasquet a chance.  I personally would have banned the guy from a few tournaments until he cleans up his act.  Keep in mind, this is a young man who probably spends most of his life not acting his age to become a top player.  Cut him a break and see if he can keep his promises.  If by then, he is still doing drugs, that is when you need to think about long term bans.

Krystle Clear: Book review, somewhat….casual

I’m the new Oprah with a book review for you guys.  I’ve been reading up on Roger Federer and stopped at a portion in the definitive book on him – The Roger Federer Story, Quest for Perfection ($24.95, New Chapter Press, – where he is quoted about frustrations.  He is quoted about saying he expected too much, too soon as a junior, and he’s the kind of guy to spend all night on the computer rather than a trendy bar.

That’s going on about tennis.  The core of it is what you can learn about real life.  The amazing Mr. F is a champion because he focused and tried, despite his frustrations.  He quit letting small things bother him to see what happens in the long run, spending his energies on tennis.

What does that tell us, the non-tennis playing world?  It makes me remember by days in high school/college being frustrated over “x” small teen girl problem.  In the long run, I barely remember, but it seems important at the moment.  When you worry about little things, you lose
your focus on what it is you really want to accomplish.  You get so wound up in minor drama that you succeed in allowing other people – bosses, jealous people, whatever your case – earn satisfaction by seeing you fail.  And don’t get me started on his second point about partying.
I love socializing for networking purposes, though notice I get more done when that is left to an occasional hobby.

He made his life tennis, and whatever it is you want to do, you have to make your life that goal.  That’s the part I need more work on, like most of us for sure.  And never be afraid to take a risk.  His life is really the story of a guy saying, “I don’t have a shot anyway, I don’t have much to lose, so I’ll go for it.”  The worst someone can say is no, and you go on to the next thing.

I get ticked off on occasion about not always getting what I want, and it’s usually for the best.  I sit and think about it.  Was it something I really wanted to do in the end?  No, for example, I may not have enjoyed writing for that publication in that specific role, or maybe something good happened to me after I was late somewhere, because it led me to meeting someone or doing something else.

This is an interesting read for anyone who likes tennis history or wants a good biography.  My personal favorite genre is biographies, because I always say we relate to people so different than we are in more ways than we ever expect, Mr. F being a perfect example.  Enjoy the book!


Krystle Clear: Are tennis players all work and no play?

You are probably watching the Tennis Channel’s European tournament coverage this week.  Rafael Nadal in his muscle shirt!  Glamour and fame!  Fans!

What TV matches don’t tell you is what each guy out there goes through.

These guys have to miss a lot of school and times they could’ve spent  hanging out with friends as teens.  They train 9 to 5 days, sort of a  day at the office without paperwork.  Imagine if you had to run on a  treadmill over an hour, huh?  OK.  We all realize nobody likes to go to  the gym, and much less doing that for a living.

You don’t go out partying on weekends.  Nope.  You can’t drink too  heavily if you want to stay in shape.  Beer translates into more sugar
into your body, aka. fat.  Late nights out throw out your body’s schedule, so you might find the balance harder returning to regular  practice.  Movies?  Sure.  But be home early enough.  When traveling,  sight see, but you can’t taste the city like regular tourists do.  You have a day job to put on the next day at a match.

Forget about time off.  Travel is essentially part of your job.  Back  home, you can’t leave.  You must train.  You need to study your  opponents, learn new techniques to improve your serve.  It’s like taking a college course on tennis, graded F or A+ according to how you play at  your next tournament.

By the time you get done driving home from practice, you hang out, maybe talk with friends, listen to music, eat and call it a night.  You go on  the computer and watch as everyone else believes you’re blessed, which though you are as a pro player, you don’t get the spare time everyone  else does to be goofy, take time to discover what it is you want to do in life.  Because for now, your life is tennis, and if you want to succeed, it has to be.