Re: Stacey Allaster: "We believe our athletes are playing for their country every day
I think Stacey is kind of right about the playing for their country thing, but I think she draws the wrong conclusions about who benefits from that. The fact that fans often identify with players from their own country is something that benefits the WTA, because it helps to pull in fans who would otherwise not get interested in tennis.
The Fed Cup (and perhaps to a lesser extent the Olympics, although I'm doubtful about that) is an integral part of that, because Fed Cup ties are the events that motivate patriotic fans to come along and support their country. The football-match atmosphre that goes along with that means that Fed Cup is also often a lot more fun than regular tournaments. But that will only apply if the Fed Cup ties continues in more or less the current format.
The two-week proposal will pretty much kill the goose that lays the golden egg. The fact that Allaster proposed it suggests she doesn't understand that, and rather sees the Fed Cup as a burden on the tour that has to be reduced as much as possible. In fact they should do the opposite: streamline the tour to make more room for players to represent their country in Fed Cup more, without that placing undue burden on their tour commitments
All of this!
A lot of people who are mainly fans of other sports are often general sport fans as well. That means in tennis they follow basically the slams and Davis Cup/Fed Cup. So having a properly working team event is good for the sport. This year's final was sold out in a few hours, which is absolutely amazing.
Reducing it to a one week event would be a bad decision imho. Maybe they should be more flexible with the schedule, say the second round, which is in the middle of the clay season, should always takes place in Europe if possible.
I would like to see a team event in the olympics as well, using both weeks of the olympics, first week a single competition, second week team competition or something similar. In return no Fed Cup in olympic years.