Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: A galaxy far far Away
Tier One's Mandatory Next Season
WTA to introduce mandatory tournaments
Tired of the withdrawals from top named tennis players, the WTA will make its Tier 1 one tournaments mandatory for qualified players beginning in 2004. The 10 tournaments will now be called the WTMS (Women’s Tennis Masters Series) and will be comprised of events in Asia, North America and Europe.
Regardless of the increase in injuries, the WTA believes forcing players to compete in the biggest tournaments is healthy for the game. Unlike the men’s tour, the women will not be required to exceed 17 tournaments. A woman competing in the Grand Slams, WTMS and Tour Championships will only be required to enter 2 additional tournaments. This new change has left many tournament directors fuming.
“How the heck am I going to get the big names to show up to my tournament? What about me? What’s going to happen to me?” said one nervous tournament director.
For each WTMS event missed, a player will be fined up to $500,000 and will also be given a mandatory “zero” towards rankings. A player missing five or more WTMS events will be slapped on the wrist and sent to bed without any supper.
Said Maria Sharapova, “I can’t believe these guys have the nerve, to force us to enter all those tournaments. I mean, a lot of people don’t play Tokyo because it’s right after the Australian. I’d like to choose my own (expletive) tournaments.”
Chimed Lindsay Davenport, “I think this change will only increase the number of injuries on the tour. Plus, I really don’t want to play Berlin and Rome. I hate playing on those damn bricks.”
Ana Ivanovic however, thinks the change is good for the tour. “I think it’s a great decision on the WTA’s part. Actually, I think everything the WTA does is just wonderful.”
Jelena Jankovic said, “I don’t really see any difference. I play every week anyway.”
The WTA will produce WTMS memorabilia starting at the Tokyo event in February. Items will include pink WTMS t-shirts, Maria Sharapova dolls clad in a pink WTMS outfit and posters of popular players wearing pink WTMS shirts.
WTA CEO Larry Scott said, “I think the WTMS will be a tremendous success. I think this is a huge step for women’s sports.”
The WTA believes the WTMS will help improve television ratings. “I think networks will now feel much more comfortable broadcasting tournaments. Now we know the big names will show up.”
Says Scott, “You can’t go wrong with the WTMS. It’s a win-win situation.”
Last edited by JennyS; May 5th, 2008 at 04:02 AM.