USTA should be doing it anyway with that profit from the US Open they make.
If its free to watch then it doesnt matter how many people are there.
The more people that come to an event the more people see the advertising, buy refreshments ect. Notts challenger always has a burger van, coffee and ice cream van too. If no one turned up they wouldn't be there and wouldn't have paid for a pitch to be there.
Exactly. The USTA make plenty of money and they can afford to fund additional ITFs as well as upgrading the prize money of existing ITFs. That they chose not to threatens in time to severely damage the quality at the top tier as many players will not be able to afford to make it through the early days of the tour who would have otherwise been very successful players.
The USTA doesn't really fund much of the prize money itself as is. The USTA pays 50% of the total prize money for the tournament in its first year, then 40% the second year, 30% the third year, etc. They also making the umpires/officials available for use, but the tournament pays their expenses. A tournament like Midland has no funding from the USTA, whether or not their Pro Circuit logo is in the background.
The LTA is worse than the USTA. I have no idea how much money are spent on British Tour tournaments each year, but I know several players who play them just to pick up an easy £750.
Scrap British tours and instead make funding of players based purely on results and make 10 more UK challengers. So the top 30 UK female players say get 20k each to travel, the top 20 30k, top 15 35k, top 10 50k. Instead of selectively deciding who to give the money to.
Add in the extra challengers so a UK player can play 20 to 25 weeks of the year in the UK and then see the competition between the girls mount as they all want to be in the top 30/20 ect to get the funding. Make chasing those ranking points worthwhile, rather than some of the lower ranked brits who it makes more sense to never really try and get higher as they have to travel so just play more Brit tours instead.
In turn the challenger tour as a whole would be stronger, having a country like the UK with a full schedule of challengers going on throughout the year.
You're right that it's unrealistic to expect the public to take a day off work to watch Irina Falconi play, but there are other ways around it. These challenger tournaments should be having schools come out for every single day of the main draw. No excuses. Most of these challengers don't even charge for tickets, so it's in their best interest to get people out there by any means necessary.
If nothing else, they need to increase the prize money at these tournaments somewhat. It's been decades since that has happened. Winning a $25K now doesn't offer nearly the same financial help that it did in the '90s. Unless the tournament offers free housing, you pretty much have the reach the semifinals of the singles just to have any chance of breaking even.
I agree with you. I think it would be great for schools to take children to see ITF tournaments - also to show them what the different levels of the tour are as they see grand slams on TV anyway. But the moral of the story is that we should all be supporting our local tournaments, whether they are ITFs or WTAs so that they carry on.
I have been to the Wimbledon qualifying and the $100k ITF in Athens (which had top 100 players to watch) and really enjoyed both, so I would agree with what Sarah says.
One of the things that is really shocking about the tennis circuit is that there are still $10k events at all. The prize money has been the same since the 1980s!!!! No-one else on earth would be expected to live on the same wages for 25 years - of course, there has been an increase in $25ks and other ITFs but I really don't know how players can be expected to survive on that prize money even if they travel within their own country, but it seems ludicrous to expect anyone to have an international schedule at that level. Players only receive $98 for losing in the first round of a $10k...do they not receive anything if they lose in the qualies? No wonder some have to end up in the Mexican brothel....
Remember the ITF take the view that if you are not top 300 you are not "professional" - you are not supposed to be able to make a career out of playing $10ks, although hundreds of players try to do so for years. It is not the ITF's job or wish to make it possible for someone ranked 900 in the world to make a living out of playing tennis full-time.
The difficulty though is that it can quickly 'price' people out if they don't break through in 12-18months. Sarah believes that if you go to college and do well, that you can move up the rankings far quicker and break the top 300 in around 12 months, bypassing the most expensive and depressing part of the tour where most get stuck in their late teens/early 20s. Her research largely backs this up.
It also enables people to realise in a safer environment that they aren't good enough - so many people who would have hovered round 600-800 for 5 years then quit often don't even both going out on the tour as they realise that they are only fairly average college players.
I think what she means is that players ranked around 170 or so can easily challenge Top 50 players which Puig, Keys, Bouchard or Putintseva etc. have been good examples of in recent months. It just now takes much longer to crack Top 100 even for the most talented players as the competition in ITFs is much tougher than before and even the best lower ranked players have surprising losses every now and then. And as money is an important issue, only players who can afford to travel to remote places (like Vekic) or can get WCs into big events (like Keys) are able to reach Top 100 sooner than players that are just as talented but without enough money or WCs (like Puig).
oh yes I agree with you and it is tougher for those more talented youngster coming up but they have the talent to not stay in the top 150 for a long time. Most player ranked outside the top 100 specially the ones around 200 to 150 are not all that talented tho. Let's say there is far more players who will always stay around those spots than there is players like Bouchard, Putintseva or Puig who are likely to reach the top 100 in a relatively short period. I do think she's right, but her explication is just not as strong with that comment. I mean how many players like herself is there in the top 200? MANY. Lots of players will never reach the top 100 or will only flirt with it for a few months but will fall back where they truly belong. Someone like Dubois,GLatch, Cohen, Feurstein, Coin, Rogowska, Camerin, Fichman. They are all players who might have one or two good wins a year but rarely enough to be consistent threat for top 100, therefore unable to be top 100 in the long run. There is quite a gap with their game and a top 50 game. The good way to expose the money issue for lower ranked players is not by comparing their abilities to top 50 players. It would be more by simply exposing the difficulties for those players to earn a living. Maybe she should find a player who's gonna be willing to show their weekly budget or yearly budget. I'm sure she can't do that since she's not really playing anymore.
Wozniak~ElTabakh ~Marino~Eugenie Bouchard...and the other Canucks!
Maria Sharapova~Anna Chakvetadze~Jelena Dokic~Laura Robson ~Sabine Lisicki
"You're wasting your time,Go home and have a beer!" - Maria Sharapova-