Originally Posted by tennisbum79
China wanted to raise the profile of this tournament because their long term goal is to steadly increase the quality of the rating and eventually reach tier I rating. Then make it a 2 week tournament, and finally push for a 5th grand slam status. i have watched few interviews where chinese reporters are trying the gage the reception this idea might get in the tennis world.
An Interview with the CEO's of the ATP and WTA about the China Open (2004):
We are excited about being here and the future about tennis in China. We feel like a lot of work has been done. and Lincoln has been part of it along with the friends of CTA back to the beginning of 90s. Now we are at a point for the the 2nd generation to happen.
To us the collaboration between Beijing Municiple Governemtn , Beijing Sports Commission and private sectors and CTA are the perfect receip where all the ingredients come together and grow something for the long term.
And we think especially for the tennis, mens' and women's players play here in Beijing. We will take your questions in a moment. Here is the turn for Larry.
Distinguished organizing committee, it is a privelage to commentory on the closing ceremony of the first China Open.
It has been 10 years since I first came here. It reminds that I was here in 1993 when the men's professional Salon opened here. To be here now in 2004 to see what has been built and to see the tremondous success and pretisge at this first China Open to show that tennis open is very success in China. and I want to congratulate to the organizing committee and CTA in their vision, and successful organization of the first Chian Open.
To get this day takes many years, on planning and development.There is also great potential to get this event much bigger with increated determination of putting it into one of the best tennis events in the world.
I say that also because in womens' tennis never has there been a more exciting time in terms of the success of the Chinese players of the gold medal, first in Olympics then Zheng Jie breaking into top 16 at French Open. I truly see Chinese players develop very quickly and with major event on the calendar plus the sucess of players. I am hoping to believe that will inspire the great success in Chinese tennis.
We will have the final with the best players, Kuznetsova and Serena who is probably the best player in the world when she tries her best to play great tennis
this week. so we will have fantastic match today.
We look forward to the great development on China and we look forward to the great success of Chinese tennis in the future.
1. What do we need to do to turn China Open into one of the Grand Slams? What do you see of this objective?
It is not possible to be at the very highest level in one year. I run my tournament in my city in the States since the beginnig of the prefessional tennis. It has been around more than 30 years.
It never happened a hundred thousand people, it never had so many hours in the national television, it never had a grest facility like this one. I am sure as I can be that China Open is on the right path.and I think it will take a very few years to be on the highest level of the game.
2. the differences between China Open and 4 Grand Slams?
About Beijing tennis, the first difference is about public appreciation for tennis. I remember very well being here in 1993 and it was clear to me that the audience had very little idea of what to expect and how to appreciate the game even fundamentally. they did not have much knowledge about rules of the game. Thankfully in Shanghai and here, it is clear that they are knowledgable about the game, a real appreciate. I think both mens' and womens'are much much better, the power, the skill in 10 years is a better product, if i can think of a sprots product. and I think the fans in Chian appreciated that.
I also like the fact like any international sports even in the case of the men they have not had tough players yet, happend but not yet. you see the Chines fans respecting and admiring champions like Safin, Ferrero and all the west guys here. Even they didn't do as well as they like in the early tourament, clearly they are educated fans we see here in China. It would not have been true 10 years ago.
The depth of the women tennis has greatly increased in the last 10 years. A perfect example is this year where we have different winners of each of the Grand Slam events. We got 10 or 12 players in the world that are capble of being No. 1 or winning a slam.So there has never been more success in women's tennis. I think your critism could have been right for a few years ago, but not for today.
4. Shang hai has got the 4-year holding right for the ATP's master final, I heard Beijing is applying for the WTA's, what are the advantages do you think Beijing has? Who are the competitors to Beijing?
The WTA championship is in LA in 2005 so we are starting to explore the championships after 2005. so first year could be 2006. one of my purposes this week is to see the development of tennis in China, BJ especially, and meet the officials and other tennis promoters to see if the time is right to see if the WTA championship could come to China. I am very impressed with the interest in women’s tennis and that is something we will discuss. But it is very early. This is something we will talk about over the next month.
5. Do you think US players are losing the power in the world?
My understanding is Andy Roddick shot 250km just two days ago. My view was tennis like football, it is the most international sport in the world. the ATP is designed to operate globally and effectively. I happend to be from US but I also live and work from one of our offices in Monte Carlo, Larry Scott as the 2nd person from ATP also lives in France and Florida. We have organized events in Europe, in other countries.
14 years ago there are not so many good players as today. In the US there are over 20 million amature players. Changes are happening and the strength is the internationalism.
6. Are you satisfied with the commercial operation in China Open?
The first difference is the 4 grand slams have over 100 years history. This is the sport with tradition, history. You can’t develop it over night.
China has the largest market with great love of sport, tremendous appreciation for the tennis.
Beijing is going to host 2008 Olympic Games. So there is no question that China has the capability to host the best highest level of sport events. With those ingredients and great players starting to emerge there is no reason to believe that China can’t hold best tennis event in the world. Over time as it continues to develop with the commitment fit in there of this sport.