Reuters - Tue, 08 Jun 20:37:00 2010
After eight fleeting appearances at Wimbledon, British number two Alex Bogdanovic has paid the price for failure and has been left off the guest list for this year's event by the All England Club.
Wimbledon's wildcard committee finally ran out of patience on Tuesday with Bogdanovic, who at 166th in the world is ranked way behind British number one and world number four Andy Murray.
"I've had a lot of wildcards in the past, and I was always appreciated. Even though I did meet the criteria (of being inside the top 250) ... they felt like I didn't make use of the wildcards," the 26-year-old said after losing in the first round at Queen's.
"I found out they obviously didn't believe in me anymore."
Having won only three of 27 sets contested at the grass-court major from 2002-2009, Wimbledon officials felt he was no longer a sound investment and have instead handed the wildcard to Jamie Baker, who is ranked almost 100 places behind Bogdanovic.
To add insult to injury, Bogdanovic has also seen his funding slashed by almost 80 per cent - from at least £19,000 pounds in 2009 to just 4000 pounds so far this year - and hence feels he is being singled out by the governing body of British tennis (LTA) for failing to follow in Murray's footsteps.
"My money was cut. (LTA player director) Steven Martens basically said the reasons for that is I wasn't working hard enough throughout the whole year," said Bogdanovic.
"I thought that was just so disrespectful because that's very untrue. He said my intensity wasn't good enough and that hurt me a lot because I'm out there trying to give it my best shot to break the top 100 for maybe the last eight years.
"If it was as easy as that, everyone would be top 100, as good as Andy Murray is. But it's not. He (Martens) just said 'You're 25 and you should have been in the top 100, and now you're not. The chances are less and less'.
To try and deal with the rejection, Bogdanovic turned to a 'mental coach' and hopes he can now prove Wimbledon and LTA officials wrong by getting his ticket to the grass-court major through qualifying.
"Whenever they (officials) lose hope, they don't believe in you anymore, and you're kind of all alone so basically I've got to play quallies and earn my way into the main draw," he added.
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