UPDATED 4:57pm: High Performance Sport New Zealand's defending its stance over training funding for top tennis player Marina Erakovic.
Erakovic asked for funding for a fitness trainer of her choice and access to the Millennium Institute facilities ahead of the new season.
However, as she's not a 'carded' athlete, HPSNZ instead offered one of its own strength and conditioning coaches and entry to facilities on a user-pay basis.
That was rejected by Erakovic and CEO Alex Baumann says it's one of the realities of Tennis NZ not being a targeted sport.
"We have to target and prioritise. It is a difficult process, Tennis New Zealand is welcome to apply to support individuals and they're perhaps not there yet but I think in the very near future there may be.
"She wanted to have her own fitness trainer, but ultimately the facility is for our carded athletes but we tried to help as much as possible. But unfortunately in the end weren't able to satisfy that request."
Erakovic has shelled out for an American trainer out of her own pocket.
No apologies for hard-line stance
High Performance Sport New Zealand's making no apologies for its hard-line stance.
Because tennis is not a funding targeted sport, Erakovic is not a carded athlete and therefore doesn't have free access to trainers and facilities.
Baumann says there isn't enough money to satisfy every request.
"I'm happy to have that discussion with Tennis New Zealand.
"We've tried to help them with their high performance plan in terms of providing expertise. And eventually I do think that they will get support, but they're not there yet."
Erakovic has instead recruited a trainer from America at a personal cost of $12,000.
HPSNZ believes it was as helpful as possible to the top tennis player.
Baumann says they had someone ready for Erakovic.
"She wanted a fitness trainer specifically. We had one lined up that could have done the job.
"But she may be looking at specialist expertise specifically from a tennis point of view."
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