New WTA Roadmap may force alternative rival tennis tour. - TennisForum.com
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post #1 of 42 (permalink) Old Dec 4th, 2006, 11:41 AM Thread Starter
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New WTA Roadmap may force alternative rival tennis tour.

This article came out, and it's really interesting. There's talk about a rival tour against the WTA in the USA, since they want to demote alot of the current Tier II's III's, and even a few Tier I's in their new "Roadmap".

http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/sports/4376862.html


Dec. 4, 2006, 12:36AM
TENNIS NOTEBOO USTA finds itself 'at a crossroads'
WTA initiative might ultimately prompt rival tour


By DALE ROBERTSON
Copyright 2006 Houston Chronicle

The future of its clay-court tournament isn't the only uncertainty facing the USTA as both pro circuits try to restructure themselves to enhance spectator interest and keep their stars on the court instead of in the infirmary.

With the decision by Jim and Linda McIngvale to stop hosting the U.S. Men's Clay Court Championships at their Westside Tennis and Fitness Club after 2007, the USTA may not have an easy time finding a suitable new home for the event unless perhaps it were to get paired with one of the WTA's existing spring clay-court tournaments in Charleston or Amelia Island.

But it's the WTA and not the McIngvales that is causing the governing body of American tennis the most heartburn at present. The Tour's so-called "Roadmap" for remaking itself by 2010 could negatively impact the USTA's successful summer U.S. Open Series as well as the two Series tournaments, Los Angeles and New Haven, that it co-owns.

Based on what the WTA is proposing, the aforementioned tournament in Amelia Island also could find it difficult to draw the elite players and the one in Charleston would have to significantly increase its prize money to keep its niche.

Although the new format is intended to improve fields, some of them could be decimated and the costs associated with the changes will be prohibitive, the USTA charges. To quote in part from a letter it sent to the WTA that was obtained by the Tennis Reporters newsletter:

"Your plans put the TV package and the race for the U.S. Open bonus prize money in jeopardy and, intended or not, stand to damage this successful and highly praised initiative. How can the USTA stand by and allow this to take place? ... Please take this as a formal notice for the tournaments owned or partially owned by the USTA, we have no intention of participating in this plan as currently structured. ... We are at a crossroads. ... If the WTA is unwilling to re-evaluate the plan based on the concerns expressed in this letter, the USTA will have no option but to re-evaluate its existing relationship with the WTA and explore other alternatives."

The last part of that suggests the USTA might consider launching a rival U.S.-based tour, which could turn Jim McIngvale, a big believer in that concept, into a player again. He has said previously that would be the only way he'd consider bringing an annual tournament back to Westside in the future.

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post #2 of 42 (permalink) Old Dec 4th, 2006, 11:45 AM
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Re: New WTA Roadmap may force alternative rival tennis tour.

Wow... what has the world come to?
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post #3 of 42 (permalink) Old Dec 4th, 2006, 11:51 AM
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Re: New WTA Roadmap may force alternative rival tennis tour.

USTA just try to put some pressure on Larry Scott
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post #4 of 42 (permalink) Old Dec 4th, 2006, 12:57 PM
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Re: New WTA Roadmap may force alternative rival tennis tour.

going back to the 70's now are we

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post #5 of 42 (permalink) Old Dec 4th, 2006, 01:05 PM
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Re: New WTA Roadmap may force alternative rival tennis tour.

I like when this guy writes Mary Sharp articles

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post #6 of 42 (permalink) Old Dec 4th, 2006, 01:09 PM
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Re: New WTA Roadmap may force alternative rival tennis tour.

wow... hope this won't happen though it would suck

This can't last. This misery can't last. I must remember that and try to control myself. Nothing lasts really. Neither happiness nor despair. Not even life lasts very long. There'll come a time in the future when I shan't mind about this anymore, when I can look back and say quite peacefully and cheerfully how silly I was. No, no, I don't want that time to come ever. I want to remember every minute, always, always to the end of my days.
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post #7 of 42 (permalink) Old Dec 4th, 2006, 01:12 PM
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Re: New WTA Roadmap may force alternative rival tennis tour.

With tennis becoming more and more international, and with Americans lacking top players, it's no surprise that the WTA wants to get rid of US Tier I and II in the middle of nowhere with average attendance.

A parallel tour isn't going to happen, or work.

Roadmap is what tennis fans asked (shorter season, higher price money, a more international tour), so Scott is doing a fine job. There are points to be improved, but we haven't heard of the final version of his project.
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post #8 of 42 (permalink) Old Dec 4th, 2006, 01:14 PM
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Re: New WTA Roadmap may force alternative rival tennis tour.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheBoiledEgg View Post
going back to the 70's now are we
Honestly, I don't think the USTA could pull off a rival tour when the women in the WTA don't have the guts to boycott Wimbledon for unequal pay.

Also, the lack of top American women in the game today vs the '70's will not bode well for the USTA in attempting a rival tour.

Unless the players have overwhelming negative sentiment about the Roadmap, the USTA can kiss their rival tour goodbye.
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post #9 of 42 (permalink) Old Dec 4th, 2006, 01:31 PM
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Re: New WTA Roadmap may force alternative rival tennis tour.

And which players will play on US Tour?

Davenport who is near retirement? The sisters who play like 6 tournaments a year? Or maybe "grand dammes" like Shaughnessy, Perry, King and others?

Please...
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post #10 of 42 (permalink) Old Dec 4th, 2006, 02:06 PM
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Re: New WTA Roadmap may force alternative rival tennis tour.

A rival American-based circuit will not attract enough sponsors or fans to generate enough revenue for prize money that can compete with the WTA. So they can forget about drawing any stars from the WTA - including the Americans.

This new tour would end up being comprised mostly of NCAA graduates who aren't good enough to compete at WTA events anyway.

I can understand why the USTA is afraid to travel the path the WTA intends to take, but making an empty threat like this isn't constructive.

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post #11 of 42 (permalink) Old Dec 4th, 2006, 02:33 PM
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Re: New WTA Roadmap may force alternative rival tennis tour.

Larry Scott is going to get fired long before he can implement that "Roadmap" thing anyway.

The calendar is not really the cause of the injuries, greed and bad schedule management is. And in a few years from now there could be new leading American players on the scene.
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post #12 of 42 (permalink) Old Dec 4th, 2006, 02:45 PM
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Re: New WTA Roadmap may force alternative rival tennis tour.

I think the WTA is smart to move Dubai and Doha to A. And have a 2 week tournament in China.
The USTA can still have A events in the summer, but the USTA has to be involved with these tournaments. Instead of whining about it.
New Haven is the week before the USO, it will always get players who want match play that week.

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post #13 of 42 (permalink) Old Dec 4th, 2006, 02:59 PM
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Re: New WTA Roadmap may force alternative rival tennis tour.

if the USTA do go along that path then:

the players who do play in that "circuit" wont be allowed to play the regular WTA tournaments. (probably the other 3 slams will follow suit)

whats gonna happen with the US Open is that is with the USTA means that only the rebel players will be allowed to play it.

Good luck to my favs

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post #14 of 42 (permalink) Old Dec 4th, 2006, 03:02 PM
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Re: New WTA Roadmap may force alternative rival tennis tour.

I don't think that will happen. There is too much money in Dubai, Doha, China.
That would actually turn out good for the players. They could choose which tour to play on.
The majors or the tour with big money new events.

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post #15 of 42 (permalink) Old Dec 4th, 2006, 03:02 PM
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Re: New WTA Roadmap may force alternative rival tennis tour.

interestingly the ITF President called the moves by the WTA and ATP totally stupid
"trying to fix something that wasn't broken."

Good luck to my favs

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