Buchholz: Scott will serve women well
March 19 2003
By Charles Bricker
KEY BISCAYNE · Nasdaq-100 Open Chairman Butch Buchholz reacted positively Tuesday to the news that the WTA was close to naming Larry Scott, the No. 2 executive of the men's tour, as its next chief executive officer.
"I think the women will be very impressed with his knowledge of the sport and the challenges that face the WTA," said Buchholz. "He'll be very forthright with that. He's a guy who has gone through some minefields."
But Buchholz acknowledged that some women might question why their tour is tapping a man from the ATP to run their organization.
"That's an issue that can happen in the locker room," said Buchholz. "But I hope everyone looks at Larry and understands he's a very professional guy, a very bright guy and someone who is going to an asset to the WTA."
Scott, who played at Harvard and who had a brief pro career, has been active in men's tennis for 15 years. As chief operating officer, he is second in command to ATP chief executive officer Mark Miles.
"Obviously, there would be an easy communication between Mark and Larry because Larry worked there 10 years," Buchholz said. "I think that's good for tennis. I think it's a positive thing.
"I hope the women will see they have someone who is very qualified and who will understand their issues, who is capable and who has the skills to get through the different issues facing them. And there are some major challenges there, including how the ATP and WTA can work together.
"I for one am not concerned about the ATP and WTA getting closer together," Buchholz said. "I've always felt it could be National League and American League."
Qualifiers march on
Shenay Perry, an 18-year-old from Coral Springs, will have to wait for the Sarasota Open to make her WTA Tour main draw debut. She was beaten in the second and final round of qualifying 6-3, 6-1 by former Australian Open junior champion Jelena Jankovic.
Because Perry won the St. Paul challenger earlier this month, she gets an automatic "feed-up" spot in the main draw at Sarasota, a 32-draw, Tier IV clay event at the Meadows Country Club.
Perry was one of seven Americans in the qualifying draw. Only Mashona Washington of Houston, who is the younger sister of MaliVai Washington (runner-up at the 1996 Wimbledon and at Key Biscayne in 1993), fought into the main draw.
On the men's side, 11 Americans were in the 48-draw qualifier, and five are still in the running for main draw spots with their final matches today: Robert Kendrick of Orlando, Hugo Armando of Bradenton, Rajeev Ram of Carmel, Ind., Justin Gimelstob of Delray Beach and Jeff Morrison of Tampa.
Qualifying is running into a third day today, which is also the first day of the main draw, because of the rin Monday rain.
He's No. 1, she's No. 1
Lleyton Hewitt, beginning his 70th consecutive week at No. 1 after winning last week at Indian Wells, will have an easier time holding the top spot this week because No. 2 Andre Agassi, the defending champion here, has 500 points to defend at Nasdaq while Hewitt has 225.
That means that Agassi, with 4,295 ATP points, starts the tournament 560 points behind Hewitt.
On the women's side, no one is going to catch Serena Williams, who begins the tournament with a 1,945-point lead over sister Venus.
former champs abound
There could be as many as seven former champions in this tournament's 19th year -- four on the men's side. Agassi has won the tournament five times, and Richard Krajicek, Marcelo Rios and Michael Chang once each. Serena and Venus Williams and Monica Seles, if she plays, have won this event. ...
Taylor Dent doesn't like weighing himself, but he got on the scales last week and checked in at 190 pounds, down about 10 pounds from his heavier days. "I can't remember weighing 190 since I got to be this tall," Dent said. The weight loss has improved his movement and endurance and helped him win a title at Memphis in February. ...
Andy Roddick of Boca goes into the Nasdaq leading the men's tour in aces with 230, 19 more than second-place Jan-Michael Gambill. Roddick is averaging 12.8 aces per match and last week at Indian Wells slammed one at 147 mph, which was a personal best and 2 mph under the tour mark.
Charles Bricker can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org