America, Tennis, Money and Popularity
This whole US Open series thing by the USTA is part of a five year plan to get three million more people playing tennis. It strikes me that that's exactly the wrong thing. The American market ALREADY dominates tennis. No other country comes close to having the same number of Tier I and Tier II tournaments. The EU, taken as a block, is probably comparable. But the EU doesn't ACT as block, in terms of tennis.
It shouldn't MATTER if non-American players aren't popular in the USA. There such be sufficient revenue streams that that becomes irrelevant. Russia has financial constraints that prevent it from exploiting, for now, the emerging excellence of their players. The EU is NOT similarly constrained. With three of the top five players being from EU countries, shouldn't most of the WTA's money be coming from there anyway? Shouldn't their most popular players worldwide BE form the EU? In fact, let's be honest. If this WERE true, would Americans even know?
Ai Sugiyama is bravely showing the flag for all of Europe, by with only one top twenty player, it's not that shocking that relatively little revenue comes in from that part of the globe.
MOre of the major dollars have to flow from the EU. More of the 40 and 50 million
dollar euro endorsement deals have to flow from the EU. (What IS the exchange rate, anyway?) Lord knows anyone with Eurosport sees more tennis than I ever do. Let's say the accusation that Americans will only watch American players is true. Shouldn't that be irrelevant?
Proud to be an American
Not blind. Not uninformed. We are party to atrocities. But the response of the world after 9/11 is worth noting. Even our most dire enemies offered aid. We should all be so lucky.