Lindsay's Withdrawal Was About WTA Tour Politics
According to this article, Lindsay's withdrawal had more to do with WTA tour politics than the status of her back. If this is the case, why are the Williams sister taking the brunt of the criticism when they may have legitimate health issues? It does seem that she less critical in this article.
Star power in Carlsbad
The Acura Classic boasts a strong field, even without the injured Williams sisters.
By JANIS CARR
The Orange County Register
CARLSBAD – Love them, hate them or feign indifference. But wherever Serena and Venus Williams play, they create a buzz among fans and tournament organizers.
That's because their appearance usually means great tennis, increased media coverage, higher ticket sales and more revenue. In Cincinnati two weeks ago, the last place Serena was seen, tournament officials told the Cincinnati Post attendance rose 13percent over the previous year.
That is, however, whenever they play.
Acura Classic promoter Raquel Giscafre was left with two sizable holes in the 56-player draw when the Williams sisters announced Friday that because of injuries they were not playing this week's event at the La Costa Resort and Spa.
Venus apparently reinjured her wrist, while Serena was "advised" by doctors not to play too much too soon. She recently returned from a six-month absence at Cincinnati, where she reached the semifinals.
Lindsay Davenport also pulled out, but that had more to do with WTA Tour politics than the status of her back, which she has said is fine. The Laguna Beach resident has been out since March because of a bulging disc.
"The Williams sisters are definitely a draw," Giscafre said. "They are great players, and Venus has won it three times but Serena never got to play a whole tournament (she withdrew before the quarterfinals in her lone appearance in 2004). But we have a lot of players who also will bring in the fans."
Even without Davenport or the Williamses, the Acura Classic, which begins today at 10 a.m., still has six of the world's top 10 players, led by second-ranked Kim Clijsters, the tournament's top seed.
Clijsters, who successfully defended her Stanford title on Sunday, will be looking to avenge her only hard-court loss of the summer at La Costa. She lost to Shuai Peng in the quarterfinals, the lone blemish on a 36-1 record.
Defending champion Mary Pierce, ranked No. 9, is making her comeback after missing the past six months because of a foot injury. She is seeded sixth, behind No. 2 Maria Sharapova, No. 3 Nadia Petrova, No. 4 Elena Dementieva and No. 5 Patty Schnyder.
Nicole Vaidisova is seeded seventh and former champion Martina Hingis is eighth. All top eight seeds receive a first-round bye.
"Yes, it makes a difference when the Williamses pull out because a tournament loses credibility with the fans," Giscafre said. "But we're catching up nicely (in ticket sales)."
Keeping players in the draw isn't Giscafre's only concern at the moment. She and co-tournament director Jane Stratton reportedly have given the Carlsbad event back to the WTA Tour and more than likely will stage their final tournament in 2007.
The promoters had put the tournament up for sale but apparently were unable to find buyers.
"It's not yet certain what will happen after '07, but we will be here for '06 and '07," said Giscafre, who added negotiations are ongoing."