Article:Serena triumph clouded by fears over WTA health, wealth -
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 2 (permalink) Old Nov 2nd, 2009, 11:32 PM Thread Starter
Senior Member
Lin Lin's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: A Happy Land
Posts: 27,849
Article:Serena triumph clouded by fears over WTA health, wealth

DOHA: Serena Williams heads for 2010 as world number one, WTA Championships, Australian Open and Wimbledon champion, but there's a worrying storm gathering over women's tennis.

The new year should spark a celebration of marquee match-ups where the Williams sisters renew their epic rivalry with the returning Kim Clijsters and Justine Henin.

Hopes are also high for a fully-fit Maria Sharapova to grace more tennis courts than red carpets, while Caroline Wozniacki and Victoria Azarenka lead the new generation.

Williams pocketed US$1.55 million for relieving sister Venus of her WTA Championships title here on Sunday, but it wasn't the only mind-boggling sum giving the WTA headaches.

The deadline for a renewal of the tour's US$88-million, six-year agreement with title sponsor Sony Ericsson is the end of the year, but the global financial crisis is never far from sports' front doors.

"We are looking at our sponsorship seriously. We haven't made any decision yet, and all options are open," said Aldo Ligouri, vice-president and head of global communications at Sony Ericsson.

When the deal was signed in 2005, it represented a much-needed boost for the WTA, which had been without a title sponsor in 2003 and 2004.

However, Ericsson recently reported a 74-per-cent fall in net profit blamed on falling sales and problems at its Sony Ericsson venture.

If that wasn't enough, there are signs that the WTA Roadmap, designed to protect the long-term health of its top stars, may not be having the desired effect.

The US$4.55 million WTA Championships featured the world's top eight players.

By the end of the week, however, 10 had taken part with one alternate even being replaced by another.

Tearful Dinara Safina lasted just two games and 12 minutes, losing her world number one spot while Wozniacki and Azarenka quit before the end of their involvement.

Serena played the final with her left thigh bandaged; Venus needed protection for her left knee.

"We definitely weren't physically a 100-per-cent today. But it just shows you how much we try," said Serena, who blamed physical exhaustion on her decision to withdraw from the US team to face Italy in the Fed Cup final.

In 2009, players saw their WTA tournament commitment cut from 13 to 10.

Both Williams sisters have played 16 events, including the four Grand Slams; Wozniacki played 90 matches in a year which saw her reach the US Open final and reach four in the world.

"We were asking the athletes to play 13 commitments, and they're down to 10," said Stacey Allaster, the WTA chief executive.

"If we don't have healthy athletes, you know, we can't have a level of product that we want."

While Serena flies into 2010 as world number one, 29-year-old Venus knows time is ticking.

The holder of 41 titles, it's been eight months since she last held up a trophy and she looked sluggish in Doha, squeezing into the semi-finals despite losing two of three round-robin encounters.

However, she will enter her 14th year on the tour determined to prove that she still has a role to play.

"I hope I will be completely healthy. Hopefully, some luck will be with me and bad luck with someone else," said the American.

Lin Lin is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #2 of 2 (permalink) Old Nov 2nd, 2009, 11:57 PM
Senior Member
tennisbum79's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Planet Venus
Posts: 38,222
Re: Article:Serena triumph clouded by fears over WTA health, wealth

Hopefully the WTA board can review the road map and make adjustments in 2010.

As for wealth, it does not look good.

Venus Williams Grand Slam VII
Serena Williams Grand Slam XXI

Nadia Petrova Grand Slam Hope Is Fading
Updated: Jan 31. 2015
Next Update Date: Post 2015 RG
Rest in peace, Elena Baltacha.
tennisbum79 is offline  

Quick Reply

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome