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2004 Apr 16 - Bogdanovic dropped by LTA

The Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) have given up on British prospect Alex Bogdanovic and withdrawn assistance with his career progression - including £80,000 per year of LTA funding, coaching by Martin Bohn and free use of the tennis facilities at Queen's Club.

Alex's progress has stalled over the past year and the LTA believe his attitude and lack of commitment are to blame. But they have left the door open for Alex provided he can prove himself over the next 3 months.

Mark Petchey (LTA Manager of Menís National Training) said:

"Ultimately, it is Alex's career and he has got to take responsibility for himself.

"There are two ways for him to go. He can either be totally frustrated and not apply himself or recognise he hasn't stepped up to the plate and double his effort."

The decision to drop Alex came following his withdrawal from the Sarajevo Challenger Series event due to food poisoning which then led to his refusal to play in the $15,000 ITF Menís Futures Event in Athens (Greece) the following week. Mark Petchey asked Alex to fly to Athens anyway and if he felt better he could still play, but Alex refused to go so the LTA decided to withdraw the British No.4 from the national squad.

Mark Petchey added:

"The top players have huge desire and commitment. It is not just about forehands and backhands.

"Only the toughest survive. Pete Sampras played while throwing up at the US Open a few years ago and won his 14th Grand Slam there last year despite having shin splints and being unable to train.

"This isn't something that's happened overnight. We have tried very hard with Alex and six months ago I laid things on the line for him, but he didn't improve."

Of the disagreement with Mark Petchey regarding his refusal to fly to Athens, Alex said:

"I was so ill. I had a fever and was shaking. There was no way I could travel!"

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