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franny
Mar 28th, 2005, 02:53 AM
You know, I was just wondering, what makes a tournament prestigious? Is it longevity? Is it the amount of prize money? Is it the quality of players who enter the tournament? If so, how does a tournament get the very best players to enter? Does that go back to how much money is given out? Or is it the venue and accommodations? How do we separate the "popular" tournaments from "the prestigious" tournaments. The Australian Open is known as the most popular grand slam yet it is considered the least prestigious. Why? Is it because the other grand slams hold more tradition and history? How did the Nasdaq-100 tournament become known as the fifth major then? It's only been around for 20 years. Is it simply because of the amazing environment and hefty purse? I guess that what I'm trying to gather at here is which tournaments are considered "prestigious" and which tournaments are merely "popular." Just something aside from Serena and Maria for people to think and talk about. Oh, and one last note, in the 20 year history of the Nasdaq-100 Open, there has only been 9 winners. I find that astonishing. Everyone that has won the tournament can be considered greats of the game(well except maybe Sabatini). Look at these winners: Navratilova(1), Evert(1), Graf(5), Sabatini(1), Seles(2), Sanchez-Vicario(2), Hingis(2), V. Williams(3), and Serena Williams(3). I find it amazing that the list of winners bolds only hall of fame and hall of fame certained to be players. Is there any other tournament that bodes a more impressive winners list? Does this alone make the Nasdaq-100 a "prestigious" tournament, arguably the most pretigious non-slam tournament?

Volcana
Mar 28th, 2005, 03:13 AM
OZ is the youngest of the slams. And for quite a while, the overpowering dominance of Margaret Court, among other things, discouraged other top players from even making the trip. The fields just weren't as strong. And of course, travel to OZ is far more convenient than it was. But I worked with a guy from OZ a couple years back, and he said the commercial flight home was 22 hours. Imagine what it was like 30 years ago.

When the women broke away from the ITF, and organized their own tour, the event that eventually became their flagship was Miami. So all the top women played there. And they made sure that the event offered big money. There were a couple years when it offered more prize money than OZ. But since the women's tour was committed to building it up, it by definition acquired prestige.

I think it was CBS that, in the 70's, used to televise 'The Old World Triple', Rome, Roland Garros, and Wimbledon. (Please forgive if I got the channel wrong. It was a long time ago.) You'd have expected that to build up the prestige of Rome, but ultimately, it didn't. This was a period when Italy had a couple top ten players onthe men's side. Adriano Pannatta and Corrrado Barrazudi. (I KNOW I just butchered those guys names.)

Anyway, my point is sometimes, you have to be good AND lucky. Miami is in a very good place in the schedule. The clay court players are coming to Florida anyway.