Originally Posted by Experimentee
I think most tennis fans would rather see a competitive final between Kremer and Domachowska, than a 6-1 6-1 thrashing. If I was at this tournaemnt I would have avoided all Sharapova's matches in favour of some decent competition.
But in fact, even after it became clear all her matches would be blow-out, and the #2-#7 seeds all lost their first or second match, Sharapova's matches all sold out, or close-to. So obviously people over there didn't feel the same way you did.
I think this is actually something the WTA should consider instituting on a regular basis. Offer new
Tier IV's a STAR player, and further, guarantee them four matches BY that star player. The player could play exhibitions on the days they would have played if they get eliminated early. Naturally, that star player would have to be compensated appropriately.
This might involve creating a 'Platinum Exempt' level, for players in the top twnety, who's popularity outstrips their ranking, plus the #1 player. (The words 'World #1' will always draw crowds, to an extent) Such a group would be the Williams sisters, Sharapova, Capriati and Davenport right now. The point however, is that such a group would be STARS, in the celbrity sense, who are playing well. Kuznetsova is a better player than Sharapova, but she just won't draw the casual fan and non-fan the way Sharapova or Serena Williams will.
You can argue about who should be IN such a group, but remember, the point is to get new tournaments off to a strong start, not to say one player is better than another. If Anna Kournikova came back, and cam back as a player who consistently made it to last eight of Tier I and II tournaments, she'd be in that group for sure. No more of this losing her first or second match crap.
Sharapova showed exactly what you'd want of such a player. She went out and won the tournament easily, as she should have. No tanking, be nice to the crowds, get the tournament a chance to become a regular stop on the tour by getting them off to a good start.