View Full Version : For how much longer will Tournament Directors take this

Doris Loeffel
Oct 15th, 2001, 02:42 PM
Some how I can understand when the tournament directors are getting angry about late withdrawls. (And the fans as well)

And it seams that it's getting worse and worse. Almost each tournament now has to face late cancellations. Due to sometimes really strange excuses. (No injuries or illness which is acceptable. Not sure if I'll accept fatigue in this categorie as well. The players should know their body good enough to know how many tournaments they can play before they need a longer rest.)

A lot of players are always asking for more and more pricemoney but at the otherhand they don't show up at tournaments where they have comitted before. O.K. the players are supposed to get fined for not showing up at a tournament but does that really hurt the players?? What else could be done to avoid this bad habit of late withdrawls?? Could tournament directors not accept an entry of a player when they haven't shown up say the the last two or three tournaments where they were supposed to play?? I mean tennis became such a big business now that you can expect some profesionalism from each side as well. When I don't show up at work with no valid reason more than once I risk to get fired as well.

O.K. maybe my point of view can't be realised but what could be done better to avoid this encreasing amount of late withdrawls with IMO no valid reason??

Oct 15th, 2001, 02:59 PM
I don't think anything really can be done, because the tournament is nothing without the players. If you ban a player from playing in your tournament, then you are basically shooting yourself in the leg, because they can generate lots of ticket sales and revenue for the tournament. Are the directors willing to take that loss in revenue, when there is a slight possibility that the player will play. And where does the cycle end. If a player misses two tournaments and tries to enter another and is denied access, then the next tournament will have to deny access because they missed three tournaments, and so forth. I really don't see what the directors can do, they are preatty much at the mercy of the players.

Doris Loeffel
Oct 15th, 2001, 03:34 PM
You got a point there. How if like once they've been denied to a tournament it starts at zero again. So missing two tournaments with no obvious rasons you'll be suspended at the third one but will be alowed to play at the next one again.

I do understand it's important for the tournament directors to have players actually playing their tournament and the higher ranked they are the better for the tournament. And for the public. Of course it's easier to advertise a tournament with a big name. But how much does it help to have a great entry-list when you can't be sure who really is going to show up?? The fans are getting suspicious about this as well. They wait till the last moment to buy their tickets as they don't want to spend big money if they're not sure if the expected players really show up. (Well that's how I'm doing it.) And when the players don't show up (especially big names) it's no good for the day cassier as well.

Oct 15th, 2001, 03:49 PM
It is a big problem for tournaments, but I think it's going to be hard to fix! I just hope most players will come to the Aussie Open next year! <IMG SRC="smilies/smile.gif" border="0">

Oct 15th, 2001, 04:41 PM
There should be a rule put on the "fatigue" excuse. If a player has played a lot of matches in a certain time period (WTA would have to come up with the # of matches and time period) then I'd deem it acceptable but if there are players citing fatigue that have only played a few matches then I believe it should be deemed unacceptable.

**Sonja points finger at Amelie on this particular excuse** I would have believed it at the beginning of this year but using this as an excuse to get out of Zurich was simply not valid.

I agree with Doris but don't have a lot of input on how to fix the problems.

Oct 15th, 2001, 05:05 PM
Medical Withdrawl/Excuse procedure.
A player may only withdraw through injury or illness twice each calendar year without incurring an automatic penalty , provided an independent medical certificate is submitted to the appropraite Entry Authority stating that the player concerned is unable to play in the tournament due to specified injury or illness. If the injury has occured during the event , the appropraite WTA medical certification form must be used. If a Medical Certificate is only to cover one week of tournament play it must be submitted to the Referee immediately. Should the injury occur off-site and prior to the event, the Medical Certificate must be submitted to the Referee before the sign-in closes. Medical Certificates must be dated no more than one day later than the date of withdrawl. Medical Cerificates must be faxed to the Entry Office or Referee on site to be received no later than the Wednesday of the Tournament Week. Each Entry Authority shall regulary compile and send to the WTA updated lists of those players who have submitted Medical Excuses.
All Medical Certificates/Medical Withdrawl Forms must be filled in by a appropriately qualified Physcian. If a player sustains an injury which necessitates her withdrawl from subsequent events , no automatic penalty is levied. Following recovery, should a player participate in an event and have to withdraw to injury , a new medical certificate form will be required, even if the injury is a recurrence. In the case of an appeal or dispute , the final decision will rest with the WTA's committee.
A medical excuse is not valid in the case of a 'No Show' offence

A fine isn't much problem for the top players , but points will be.
This is what i think should be done

1st time: Fine
2nd time: Best 17 reduced to best 16
and so on

that will be a big problem for them and players will take notice.

Oct 15th, 2001, 05:47 PM
Thanks, TheBoiledEgg, thanks for the info.

Your suggestion is worth to think about it. I guess this "reduction of counting results" will last 52 weeks from the day/week it went into action.

Oct 15th, 2001, 07:17 PM
Sounds like a very good plan BE!

Oct 15th, 2001, 07:52 PM
I think it's an excellent idea as well.

<font size=1>Hmmmm.....wonder if a certain player has a "physician" on her payroll.... <IMG SRC="smilies/tongue.gif" border="0"> <IMG SRC="smilies/wink.gif" border="0"> </font>

Doris Loeffel
Oct 16th, 2001, 07:17 AM
Thanks TBE for the info.
Quite like your idea about counting less and less tournaments for the ranking.
The only thing I would change is which tournament would be taken away. I mean when you go down from best of 17 to best of 16 a player may not loose that many points as only the weekest tournament will fall out of the counting. How about taking off the points from the best tournament played?? That for sure would hurt more.

Oct 16th, 2001, 08:12 AM
I like BE's and Doris' ideas! <IMG SRC="smilies/smile.gif" border="0"> Great thinking... now we just need to get the WTA to put it in place! <IMG SRC="smilies/wink.gif" border="0"> hehe

Oct 16th, 2001, 08:17 AM
Well... great idea TBE, but I don't like Doris' idea. Imagine a player like Dementieva wins a grand slam, and it's her only good result in the year... where will she end on the ranking if you would take away those points???

The idea of TBE is good, the players will certainly try to avoid it.

Oct 16th, 2001, 08:20 AM
Venus and Serena has already use both. If they withdraw again this year, What can happen?


Oct 16th, 2001, 10:35 AM
well thats a great idea if you want the people who moan about the rankings being difficult to understand and having huge problems to moan all 24 hours of the day instead of their usual 23.

Oct 16th, 2001, 10:53 AM
Doris..... The thing about making it best 16 it won't affect players like Venus /Serena as they already don't play enough .... so no change.
If you couldn't count best result .... that would not work and be fair. Just by making it best 16 can do alot of damage.

The ATP had a ruling that if a player got defaulted for a warning for the 3rd time in a match then that player had a 0 pt and that tourn had to count for next 52 weeks in its best 14 results but thats now been discontinued since 2000 following ranking changes and the "Race" system.

Lucas.... nothing more than a fine will probably be given to Venus/Serena if they withdraw again .... but thats like taking a pice of straw out of a haystack (its not going to hurt them).

I don't think they will listen to my idea but I'm gonna give it a try

Williams Rulez
Oct 16th, 2001, 01:24 PM
LOL... Serena only played 9 tournaments this year. So she can withdraw from 8 tournaments without any effect. But then again, she doesn't even sign up for that many tournamets <IMG SRC="smilies/wink.gif" border="0">

Brian Stewart
Oct 16th, 2001, 01:54 PM
I've always advocated the idea of a points penalty system. That not only hits their professional pride as players, but is an indirect fine as well, as many players have sponsor bonuses tied to rankings. Rather than have it tacked on as a mandatory penalty of a 0 point tournament (which won't affect anyone with less than the minimum number anyway), they would have their lowest tournament on their ranking chart zeroed. If they later get a new 17th best tournament result (which would have to beat the previous 17th's actual point total to be added), the new tourney will carry the zero. Each new offense would carry an additional 0. This way, players would be punished only for those occurences. They'd still get to play other events they entered, which is good for those tournaments. The "0" would be like a tennis version of "the Scarlett Letter".

Oct 16th, 2001, 02:23 PM
Why not do something even easier, like subtract 75 points from their overall total for the first late withdrawal (done without a medical reason). 100 pts for the 2nd w/drawal in a 52 week period. 200 for the 3rd so on and so forth. I bet that will have an impact on players withdrawal.

Oct 16th, 2001, 02:29 PM
This is the answer I got from the WTA

As far as your solution goes, something like this would have to be presented to the Board and the Players, then approved and voted on by the player reps, etc. Also, it would involve reprogramming the computer system in order to allow for the unique handling for certain players when the Ranking process was run. From my point of view it's quite a complicated solution requiring considerable expense on our part for the few times that it might develop into a situation where the player is held accountable.

I don't think the players would "vote" for themselves to get a kick in the teeth.

It looks like a no go area.

[ October 16, 2001: Message edited by: TheBoiledEgg ]

Oct 16th, 2001, 03:04 PM
God forbid the players be held accountable <IMG SRC="smilies/rolleyes.gif" border="0">

Well Eggy, it was worth a try!

Doris Loeffel
Oct 16th, 2001, 03:49 PM
Thanks for the info Eggy

Looks like the players are always the winners.... When they even are able to vote for their own rules there's no way that they would accept something against them.

Don't have a good idea how we fans could help changing this. I mean when you're angry with you're fav. football, soccer or whatever team you just don't show up to their games. First they have to play almost with no public second they loose monney till they play better again and the fans will come back. But such things won't work for a tennis tournament as it's not the fault of the tournament when players don't show up...

So I guess we just have to live with it that players will withdraw in the last minute for no valid reason <IMG SRC="smilies/frown.gif" border="0"> grrrr

Oct 17th, 2001, 03:37 PM
Players are always the ones that hold all the cards , its the same in most sports.

Sometimes it would be better if they tried to reason.

Oct 17th, 2001, 11:01 PM
I got a good laugh at the WTA's response to TBE's suggestions:

"would involve reprogramming the computer system "

It made me think of the WTA's message board that used to say something like "it will be back in 24hrs" for weeks at a time!