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TENNIS

War of words erupts over career of Guccione

Adelaide, Australia (dpa) - Chris Guccione will be in the hot seat as he begins his 2008 ATP season on Monday after a war of words over his future erupted over the holiday.



The world number 91, who lost the final at last year's New Generation Hardcourts to Novak Djokovic, will be playing on a wild card at the Australian Open tune-up event which begins the new ATP campaign.

 But the 22-year-old will be under pressure to perform after former  Aussie great John Newcombe slammed Tennis Australia for the player's  so-far lacklustre career.

 Tennis Australia is keeping any reaction to the hiding well under wraps.

 Newcombe unleashed his barrage to Australian media, criticising the federation for not putting the big-hitting youngster to work with legendary coach Tony Roche, who also deals with Lleyton Hewitt.

 The former star says that "Gooch" has not lived up to potential that his lethal left-handed game could produce.

 "If I was in charge of Chris, I would take him off the circuit for two months and I'd get the best athletic trainer I could find and teach him how to run and move and to build his stomach muscles and his leg muscles up so that he's got lateral movement," said Newcombe.

 "I just want to see the best possible thing done and I don't see the best possible thing being done in some very important circumstances."


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