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GogoGirl
Jul 5th, 2005, 12:17 AM
Hey All,


I agree w/most.


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Tennis | Wimbledon 2005

Comment

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'Players need control to bring about change'

Martina Navratilova outlines her 10-point plan, in no particular order, for how she would shake up the game for the good of the players and fans

Saturday July 2, 2005
The Guardian

1. Ban screaming
It is one thing grunting but screaming is another. Definitely, definitely disallow the screaming. Some of the guys are doing it but the women are louder than the guys. Why can two players hit the ball just as hard as each other, yet one is quiet and the other is yelling and screaming?

Players are taught that it would help relax them but it has gone too far. It's an intimidation factor, gamesmanship. And for players at the net, it is essential they hear the sound when the racket hits the ball - you first hear the ball, then you see it - so the screaming puts them at a disadvantage. But, most of all, it is not attractive and takes away from the game. I mean, I would rather have people wondering who hits the ball harder, not wondering who screams louder, wouldn't you?


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2.The game must be more simple and accessible
The first changeover has gone now to speed things up. Keep going. Do away with the let once and for all as it is an old rule that makes no sense. You could just carry on playing ball and you'd have no expensive machinery on the net or a person sitting there getting hit on the head all the time.

Tennis should be made more spectator friendly and must not be afraid of innovation. There are different scoring systems being tried out and that's a good thing. I've heard they're bringing in sets to five games in the doubles in a best of five-set format and that might be the way they should play the singles as well. It would mean there's more big points because everything's more compacted.

We want more drama and excitement. If it wasn't for progressive-minded people we wouldn't have tie-breaks and would still be playing 15-13 sets. Speaking of which, all tournaments and the US Open have tie-breaks in the final set, so why not the other grand slams? Let's get a resolution to the match already and, while we're at it, why not play the no-ad system which would speed it up. You could add the intrigue of letting the receiving player choose whether to return in the deuce or the ad court.

3. Minimise players' injuries, short- and long-term

There are three ways to do this:

a) Change the calendar. Tennis must have an off-season. At present we finish in the middle of November and start again in the first week of the year. That is not enough time to let the body and mind recover from the wear and tear, relax for a while - go on a vacation (I had three vacations between 1976 and 1994) - and then get ready in great shape for next year. We must have three months off - what a concept!

b) Standardise hard surfaces. We should be playing on softer hard courts. There is a big difference in "give" of the surface on the hard courts and we should be playing on either Rebound Ace or Decoturf only: the cement courts are much too hard on the body.

c) Play with the same balls year round. Going from one surface to another, one time-zone to another is bad enough. Why not give it one constant and at least use the same balls? It can take just one week with heavy balls to develop tendinitis in the shoulder or wrist and can take months or even years to get rid of it. I am definitely speaking from personal experience here.

4. Increase sponsorship opportunities

The tournaments make so much on merchandising and the potential sale of their tournament but the players don't get a slice of the action .

We have stupid rules imposed by the WTA and the ITF about the size of the sponsors' patches we can wear and where we can wear them. There's a three-inch limit on the shirt logos, so companies with long names won't sign players because they know they'll lose out if no one can read their advertising.

You can only have the name of a clothing company on the shirtfront and no patch deals with other companies' names. The patch has to be on your sleeve unless you have a sleeveless top, in which case it can be on the front of the shirt or dress.

There's no writing allowed on the hats, only the logo - so you can have a Swoosh but no brand names like Nike. So companies without a recognisable, well-known logo are penalised. Why can't you have writing on a hat?

Sony Ericsson sponsor the WTA tour and we wear patches with Sony Ericsson WTA Tour on our clothing but not at the grand slams. This is crazy, the tour is the heart and soul of the tennis year and yet we can't promote it at grand slams. I mean, who makes up these rules? How short-sighted can you be?

I was forced to put duct tape on my racket bag at the Australian Open because I had one logo too many on it. But at the French Open and here at Wimbledon the same bag is apparently OK. Crazy.

All of this is why golf is so far ahead of tennis on sponsorship. Someone on the golf tour you've never heard of winning in a minor event earns £500,000 in a week.

Take Annika Sorenstam for example: she has two sponsors' names on the front of her shirt, yet another one on her hat, and these puppies are a lot bigger than three square inches. Tell me, does this make her sport worse for it? No, it brings sponsorship possibilities in; we in tennis keep them out and I have no idea why.

5. Make sure drugs laws catch the cheats, but don't go overboard with it

Despite what people might think, tennis has become so stringent in its drugs rules as to have gone too far. It's not catching the cheats and the people who are not cheating are so paranoid about it that they can't take care of their body as much as they should.

They're kitchen-sinking the drugs. Everything is in there. Some drugs might help in one sport but not in another but they're all banned to everyone.

If you have a terrible cold and are stuffed up, all you want to do is clear your head but you can't take anything from over the counter in case it's illegal. You just want to feel normal, not to cheat, but you can't take anything to help. Vitamin supplements, energy bars, protein powders, electrolyte replacement drinks, anything: you're afraid of it all.

I drank someone else's Evian water bottle by accident in Melbourne this year thinking it was mine. I had a couple of sips and it tasted sweet. I thought, "Crap, whose bottle was this and what's in it?" So I took the bottle to the drug testing people and they said there was nothing they could do. So all I could do was keep the bottle and hope all was OK. If I'd tested positive, I would have been banned.

What if there's a crank out there, someone playing a sick joke and spiking your food or water bottles? You just have to be so careful. For all that, though, there is doping going on and only a handful of players have been nailed.

6. Make grand slam events more generous

The grand slam events are where the players are supposed to make their money but the vast majority don't and the rewards should be redistributed a little more equally.

In the average tournament 20 to 30% of the net income goes into prize money while for the grand slams this is between five and 10%. It sounds amazing that the winner gets around $1m but, while that is a lot of money, it is won over two weeks, not one like normal tournaments.

Seventy-five per cent of players are out after the first two rounds and they are barely breaking even over the tournament. When you consider that most travel with coaches and trainers, that's two hotel rooms and only one is paid for by the per-diem allowance. Players still have to pay for the air fares and expenses for themselves and their team. Some players are still having to put themselves up in B&B accommodation and can't even afford to rent a car.

The slams are nickel-and-diming the players. You get a £22-per-diem allowance for the players' restaurant and the food is marginal at best. That £22 will get you two meals if you're lucky: if you don't spend it, you can't carry it over to the next day. It's gone and it seems to me they're trying to make money from the players' food.

But this is nitpicking. The big deal is the prize money and the unwillingness of the slam organisers to share the pot. When the ATP wrote a letter to the International Tennis Federation, which controls the game, two years ago about wanting a lot more prize money at the slams, the ITF just laughed it off. Players should be getting a percentage of the net gain, not small yearly increases in prize money.

The ITF has too much power. The grand slam events have too much power and money and they don't share it with the players.

7. Take bids for tournament ownership

Every week on the tournament calendar is owned by a different promoter. Octagon and IMG own about half a dozen tournament weeks each and they encourage their clients to play in their events. But no players have a financial stake in any tournament, at least that I know of.

So when the WTA or the ATP asks a player to help promote a tournament, why should they? Financially they are helping the promoter make the tournament more marketable and profitable but what do they get for the time they could have spent training or practising or going to a movie?

The players have no real incentive to help market the tour because they have no financial stake in it as every week on the tournament calendar is owned by a different promoter.

But le's assume the men's and women's tours owned the tour and all the weeks in it. Then let's say the WTA rents the week out - for three years' time, let's say to Rome. If it does well, it can stay there; and, if not, then after three years you move it to the next high bidder - anyone want to go to Beijing? If the tournament does well the WTA has a direct stake in it - a percentage goes to the pension plan, players want to promote the event now and everybody wins. And by highest bidder I mean rent and prize money, which has been rather stagnating for women.

8. Raise prize money

If it is guaranteed by the WTA that five of the top 10 players will show up for a given event, the tournament organisers know they will get the players anyway, so they have no incentive to raise the prize money or to pay guarantees like the ATP. Prize money would go through the roof if the tournaments were bidding as suggested above.

I am not sure what the grand slams give to the WTA but I know the WTA takes 10% of our grand slam prize money. So out of your total goes the WTA's cut, the tax from the country the slam is played in - at least 10% yet again - plus your own country's income tax. You then pay your overheads. Do the math: you'd be astonished how little is left for a great majority of the players.

9. Increase egalitarianism

Why is there no grass-court tournament for the women wheelchair-tennis players? This year is the first year of an official wheelchair tennis tournament at Wimbledon, in the doubles. But it's men only. Why no women?

10. Unionise

The WTA merged with the tournament directors, so the WTA is now a combination of them and the players. Larry Scott, the WTA's chairman and CEO, represents the players and the tournaments, so he doesn't want to make anyone mad. So what happens then? Not much and certainly not enough. The changes he is trying to implement are going at a snail's pace.

Tennis governance needs reform. The women players should start a union so they can take control of their sport. They should have the power the old women's tennis association used to have and make the changes necessary to make the sport better. The way it is going, well, it's just not going nearly as well as it could.

Can all of this be done? Absolutely. How? By the players from both the WTA and ATP tours getting together and demanding changes from the ITF and the grand slams for the long-term good of the sport and by making adjustments on their own tours.

Remember, if you try to make the changes for the right reasons, the money will take care of itself and everybody wins.


http://sport.guardian.co.uk/tennis/comment/0,10070,1519422,00.html

http://www.tennisnews.com/index.php

xan
Jul 5th, 2005, 12:37 AM
I wondered when this load of twaddle would turn up on the boards. Martina is turning into a publicity-hungry bore.

Tennis doesn't need "saving", and certainly not by these changes.

1. Ban screaming? How? This has been put in just to make the article seem topical. What constitutes screaming? Are you banning all noise when anyone makes an effort hitting the ball? That should handcuff tennis. Are the men included in this? If not, why not? What is an acceptable grunt? Who measures this? Are there to be gruntmeters on the side of every court, beeping when a grunt gets too loud - or is the wrong pitch? Twaddle.

2. Get rid of net-cords, ad points, have 5 game sets. Why? What's wrong with the game now? This seems to be dumbing-down to US WTT standards. Yeuk.

3. Some good ideas for a change. Standard balls, softer hard courts, a longer off-season. OK

4.More advertising? No. there is more than enough. We don't want players as walking billboards. They make enough money already.

5. Ease up on drugs. No way! If drugs are tolerated, they soon become mandatory in order to compete with the users.

6. More money to the players. They already get enough. Money should go toward facilities for new players

7. Rent out tournaments. money goes to players. More greed here. Also it would ruin local ownership of tournaments, and long-term public support. If a town lost its tournament to a higher bidder elsewhere it would cause resentment.

8. Raise more money for players. Greed again! Less for everyone else.

9. Women wheel chair tournaments. Okay.

10. Unionise. ie Players run tour. I'm suspicious of the reasoning behind this.

Rtael
Jul 5th, 2005, 01:11 AM
...You are a moron.

xan
Jul 5th, 2005, 01:19 AM
...You are a moron.
Did you manage to type that in yourself - or did a monkey do it for you?

Another troll, incapable of forming a sentence without personal abuse, or engaging in rational discussion. Where are these Neanderthals coming from?

joz
Jul 5th, 2005, 01:21 AM
Wow... STUNNING ABOUT PRIZE MONEY... I am always stunned when I look at year-to-date prize money and see SO MANY PLAYERS with horrible LOSING RECORDS making TONS of money... IMO there are too many players... why are some palyers ranked in the 1000's? BECAUSE the tour allows them to BE ON THE PRO TOUR! They should not allow them to be! People who win less than 30% of their matches SHOULD NOT BE earning close to 200,000 dollars U.S.... yet they do...
Players could make more money if the draws were smaller. Maybe the GS's should be one week and regualar tournaments only 16 deep. That would keep the rif-raf off the tour and allow more money to go to the top players.

Those of you on this board know that I LOVE certain older players lie Maggie and Conchi, but when I look at the draw and can see that they should easily get to the third round of a GS, should those opponents even be in the draw? AND NO, I'm not talking just Wimbledon... and NO I'm not slamming them... I would love to see them win GS's, but reality is reality.

Martina's stance on drug testing should strip her of at least two crowns... give me a break... look at Argentine male currently being looked at... the players KNEW... and don't you think the players know about the top woman? Who are the top women who've always been against strigent drug testing??? Well some of the more publicized ones seem to be those that are injured often. We have one resurgent vertan this year, that has admitted to taking at least one of the drugs that baseball's McGuire took, though it wasn't banned at the time.

I love Martina and I am always facinated when she goes deep into the draw, but I am sooo turned off by these suggestions. DID SHE REALLY SAY THIS? Where did it appear?

Why should the balls be the same? Should a TOUR endorse a private PROFIT MAKING company that makes a particular ball without putting out the specifcations and giving each a chance to manufacture a ball to meet tour specificatiosns?

The season being shorter is one of the few points I agree with, though I've got to tell you... DECEMBER DRIVES ME NUTS WITH NO TOURNAMENTS!

Rtael
Jul 5th, 2005, 01:23 AM
Lay off the caps lock sweety.

Rtael
Jul 5th, 2005, 01:24 AM
Did you manage to type that in yourself - or did a monkey do it for you?

Another troll, incapable of forming a sentence without personal abuse, or engaging in rational discussion. Where are these Neanderthals coming from?

I calls 'em as I sees 'em dear. Really, all of your points are so idiotic, it's hard to even know where to start arguing them. So I won't.

xan
Jul 5th, 2005, 01:27 AM
I calls 'em as I sees 'em dear. Really, all of your points are so idiotic, it's hard to even know where to start arguing them. So I won't.

If my points are so idiotic perhaps you have the intelligence to refute them? But obviously you don't. You're just here to sling childish insults.

Go back to your toys, and stop troubling the grown-ups.

Geisha
Jul 5th, 2005, 01:32 AM
I calls 'em as I sees 'em dear. Really, all of your points are so idiotic, it's hard to even know where to start arguing them. So I won't.

What was wrong with xan's post? I, for one, enjoyed reading it, even though I didn't agree with some of his points. At least he mentioned something relating to the topic.

switz
Jul 5th, 2005, 01:33 AM
ewww!! tie-breaks at the US Open were not a good innovation at all.

i'm too important to read the rest :lol:

switz
Jul 5th, 2005, 01:35 AM
i was not important for a moment so i read it. i agree with some of what she said but for the most part i feel like she wrote the title first and then realised she only had a few points and filled the rest up with silly suggestions.

arcus
Jul 5th, 2005, 02:01 AM
Hmmmm, martina sure likes to create a stir, but everyone needs to read the post CAREFULLY b4 judging (no apologies for the capsloc :-)).

Some very interesting points struck me.......

1] Martina implied that, despite lots of testing, there is juicing going on, but that the cheats have not been cought!!!!!! Take that message home. Not that there is to much testing, but that its not working.
I believe that she is right, its a question of some players being too cleaver for the testers. I wonder how badly the WTA would want to publically shame a big name? I dunno....
Anyway, there are drugs on the banned list that have no preformance enhancing effect, including some asthma-treatment drugs for example as well as certain cold remedies, that would adversely affect ur performance rather than improving it.


2] screaming..... well this one was a bit of a headline grabber, for sure. But, on the other hand, watching the mens final, federer thumped the ball round with rare authority, but without so much as a door-mouse squeek. So apparently, u dont need to scream to hit well. I have heard that screaming while hitting the ball masks the suond of the ball being hit, which can deny an opponent an important 'timing' cue. Plus it sends a 'psyche' message to the opponent "wow, im really hitting really hard". I could go either way, but, on balance, i think its gone too far. A class act like federer says to me that u shouldnt need to "psych" and opponent, you should just be better than them.

3] hard to appreciate the comment re advertising/prize money, unless your a pro. I imagine that she is getting at the fact that the tour and tournaments go to town, make a packet, exploit the players, while the player personal endorsements are limited. I can understand that, but not for the top ten players who (IMHO) make an obscene amount of $ for playing a game. Remember though guys that the non-top ten players only last for 10-15 years at best, so earning time is limited.... Id like to see the slams give more back, but to th elessor ranked players. The winners will make a ton in endorsements, so the prize money is less important.

4] Shorter season- good idea in principal. I'd like players to be able to reinvent their games over an off-season, but in reality, it would probably just mean a "make a lot of cash doing exhibitions" season.

Scotso
Jul 5th, 2005, 03:14 AM
Most of these I agree with. Banning screaming seems pointless.

franny
Jul 5th, 2005, 06:18 AM
Banning "screaming" is stupid. How do you do that? Have a measuring device for the umpire and if a certain player goes over a certain mark he or she gets a warning? So the players are supposed to mentally measure how loud they are allowed to exhale without it being considered a scream?

The prize money thing, it's true. What I think needs to happen is raise the prize money for the early rounds so that those poor players who lose early can at least make some money. Or instead of raising the prize money, give players better accomodation, like pay for them and their coach's hotel room, provide private shuttle services or something, and give them more for their meals.

I don't know what to think about the women's wheelchair tennis comment.

Sponsorship for tournaments are fine the way they are. If anything, they need to let players have more sponsors, which means letting them wear more labels instead of limiting the size and number. So I guess I agree with Martina on that one point. We need more commercials too. Shit we see golf commercials on timeslots where golf isnt aired, yet the only time we see the Maria Sharapova commercial is during tennis. And she's supposed to be tennis' biggest and most marketable star.

rrfnpump
Jul 5th, 2005, 06:29 AM
I commented this points before when there was a thread up last week.

What Navratilova really neglects are the players outside 200! They dont profit from her 10-point-plan!
Most of the points are useless, but some are interesting.

Orion
Jul 5th, 2005, 06:44 AM
I agree with Navratilova on the prize money comment. If you look at the system in place now, only the top 50 or so players can earn enough to survive without any sponsors, and only the top 20 can earn enough to really last their lifetime. I'm going to break down what a typical good (not great) player (around 60 in the world) has to do with their money.

140,000 dollars, gross

55,000 for taxes
40,000 for tennis (entry fees, trainer/coaching fees [more in many cases], etc.)
10,000 for travel (room, board, airfare, etc.)

They make about 35,000 dollars not spent on tennis/taxes each year. A tennis career of a good player stays in the 60ish range for about 10 years (generously). 350,000 dollars isn't a ton, compared to a 60ish in the world golfer, baseball player, soccer player, etc. The top 10 women make, combined, around 25 million a year, so I think distribution shouldn't be so heavy towards the winners circle. Sure, the further you go, the more you deserve, but really, 2-3 million a year? When someone in the next tier down won't be able to retire until they're 60, or they marry? That's unfair. Winning distribution should be altered, and the easiest way to do that: attract more sponsors of the tour, for more money, and pump it into the winnings of QF'ists and down.

When is Fed-cup week?

Yasmine
Jul 5th, 2005, 06:58 AM
Are we supposed to feel sorry for them not getting enough money and sponsorship??? :rolleyes: £22 a day for food oh dear! some people don't even spend that in a week or a month, stop moaning! And no we don't want sponsor's names all over their shirts like they have in other sports thanks!

JonBcn
Jul 5th, 2005, 08:35 AM
The prize money thing is disgusting, much as I love Martina. The money the ITF and Grand Slams make goes toward the development of the sport, not as players would have you believe, shiny Mercedes for executives. The ATP and WTA do nothing for the development of the sport and I dont believe for one minute that if they got a higher percentage of the revenue they would suddenly start contributing to the funding of school tennis schemes in Albania or installing public courts in Botswana.

Szymanowski
Jul 5th, 2005, 11:44 AM
I wondered when this load of twaddle would turn up on the boards. Martina is turning into a publicity-hungry bore.

Tennis doesn't need "saving", and certainly not by these changes.

1. Ban screaming? How? This has been put in just to make the article seem topical. What constitutes screaming? Are you banning all noise when anyone makes an effort hitting the ball? That should handcuff tennis. Are the men included in this? If not, why not? What is an acceptable grunt? Who measures this? Are there to be gruntmeters on the side of every court, beeping when a grunt gets too loud - or is the wrong pitch? Twaddle.

2. Get rid of net-cords, ad points, have 5 game sets. Why? What's wrong with the game now? This seems to be dumbing-down to US WTT standards. Yeuk.

3. Some good ideas for a change. Standard balls, softer hard courts, a longer off-season. OK

4.More advertising? No. there is more than enough. We don't want players as walking billboards. They make enough money already.

5. Ease up on drugs. No way! If drugs are tolerated, they soon become mandatory in order to compete with the users.

6. More money to the players. They already get enough. Money should go toward facilities for new players

7. Rent out tournaments. money goes to players. More greed here. Also it would ruin local ownership of tournaments, and long-term public support. If a town lost its tournament to a higher bidder elsewhere it would cause resentment.

8. Raise more money for players. Greed again! Less for everyone else.

9. Women wheel chair tournaments. Okay.

10. Unionise. ie Players run tour. I'm suspicious of the reasoning behind this.
I agree 100% with you. Btw, ignore that troll. If he/she is not even gonna give you a reason why he/she insulted you, they're not worth wasting your time on ;)

Dawn Marie
Jul 5th, 2005, 12:59 PM
The 10 point plan doesn't concern me as I am a tennis fan.

1). Let the tennis fan have a courtside seat, treat tennis as a baseball game. Only the rich get the good seats and most of the time they are not even sitting in them.

GoDominique
Jul 5th, 2005, 01:09 PM
Shut up Navra.

Rtael
Jul 5th, 2005, 01:10 PM
Are we supposed to feel sorry for them not getting enough money and sponsorship??? :rolleyes: £22 a day for food oh dear! some people don't even spend that in a week or a month, stop moaning! And no we don't want sponsor's names all over their shirts like they have in other sports thanks!

Dear, you are severely misguided. They don't get to go down to the grocery store and spend that 22 pounds, they have to spend it at the tournament's restaurant which is overpriced and not necessarily comparable to reality. Not to mention that this is ONE tournament and most tournaments give alot less than Wimbledon does.

Rtael
Jul 5th, 2005, 01:12 PM
I commented this points before when there was a thread up last week.

What Navratilova really neglects are the players outside 200! They dont profit from her 10-point-plan!
Most of the points are useless, but some are interesting.

Yeah, you know, exceptfor the place where she says to increase prize money, and all.

Kart
Jul 5th, 2005, 01:14 PM
Fortunately this time Martina's not raising the issue of screaming in a Wimbledon semi final :tape:.

Although I take her point that it is intimidation and gamesmanship, it's the women's fault that they get intimidated - after all it's only a tennis match :shrug:.

Until the lower ranked players adopt some real mental strength they're always going to be vulnerable to that kind of play - be it in the form of screaming, fist clenching, stare downs or whatever.

Volcana
Jul 5th, 2005, 01:17 PM
I wondered when this load of twaddle would turn up on the boards. Martina is turning into a publicity-hungry bore.YOu've immediately undercut any actual validity of your criticisms, by making it clear it's based on being anti-Navratilova. Too bad. Maybe you actually wrote something intelligent, but now no one will ever know.

Volcana
Jul 5th, 2005, 01:36 PM
1. Ban screaming
It is one thing grunting but screaming is another. Definitely, definitely disallow the screaming. Some of the guys are doing it but the women are louder than the guys. Why can two players hit the ball just as hard as each other, yet one is quiet and the other is yelling and screaming?

Players are taught that it would help relax them but it has gone too far. It's an intimidation factor, gamesmanship. And for players at the net, it is essential they hear the sound when the racket hits the ball - you first hear the ball, then you see it - so the screaming puts them at a disadvantage. But, most of all, it is not attractive and takes away from the game. I mean, I would rather have people wondering who hits the ball harder, not wondering who screams louder, wouldn't you?The tournament referees are allowed to do something about it, IF the opponent complains. Why aren't the opponents complaining? On the whole, I disagree.2. Let cords, scoring systems, no ads, etc.

We want more drama and excitement. If it wasn't for progressive-minded people we wouldn't have tie-breaks and would still be playing 15-13 sets. Speaking of which, all tournaments and the US Open have tie-breaks in the final set, so why not the other grand slams? Let's get a resolution to the match already and, while we're at it, why not play the no-ad system which would speed it up. You could add the intrigue of letting the receiving player choose whether to return in the deuce or the ad court.I LIKE 15-13 sets. The third set tiebreaker in the USOPen final is awful. We'd have missed some pretty thrilling tennis if the Wimbledon final had to end 7-6, instead of 9-7.

3. Minimise players' injuries, short- and long-term

a) Change the calendar. Tennis must have an off-season.The players control their own schedules.

b) Standardise hard surfaces. We should be playing on softer hard courts. There is a big difference in "give" of the surface on the hard courts and we should be playing on either Rebound Ace or Decoturf only: the cement courts are much too hard on the body.There's some validity to this, but the softer 'hard courts' are must more expensive to maintain.

c) Play with the same balls year round. Going from one surface to another, one time-zone to another is bad enough. Why not give it one constant and at least use the same balls? It can take just one week with heavy balls to develop tendinitis in the shoulder or wrist and can take months or even years to get rid of it. I am definitely speaking from personal experience here.She's right, but this conflicts with the sponsorship issues raised ....

4. Increase sponsorship opportunitiesShe right.
5. Make sure drugs laws catch the cheats, but don't go overboard with it

For all that, though, there is doping going on and only a handful of players have been nailed.Proof they AREN'T going 'overboard'.

6. Make grand slam events more generous

The ITF has too much power. The grand slam events have too much power and money and they don't share it with the players.True. But why should the ITF be interested in sharing power with the players? It douesn't help them.

7. Take bids for tournament ownership

Every week on the tournament calendar is owned by a different promoter. Octagon and IMG own about half a dozen tournament weeks each and they encourage their clients to play in their events. But no players have a financial stake in any tournament, at least that I know of.

So when the WTA or the ATP asks a player to help promote a tournament, why should they? Financially they are helping the promoter make the tournament more marketable and profitable but what do they get for the time they could have spent training or practising or going to a movie?

The players have no real incentive to help market the tour because they have no financial stake in it as every week on the tournament calendar is owned by a different promoter.

But le's assume the men's and women's tours owned the tour and all the weeks in it. Then let's say the WTA rents the week out - for three years' time, let's say to Rome. If it does well, it can stay there; and, if not, then after three years you move it to the next high bidder - anyone want to go to Beijing? If the tournament does well the WTA has a direct stake in it - a percentage goes to the pension plan, players want to promote the event now and everybody wins. And by highest bidder I mean rent and prize money, which has been rather stagnating for women.Good idea, but HIGH risk.

8. Raise prize moneyWell, if you enhance revenue, this is good. Even expected.

9. Increase egalitarianism

Why is there no grass-court tournament for the women wheelchair-tennis players? This year is the first year of an official wheelchair tennis tournament at Wimbledon, in the doubles. But it's men only. Why no women?If there are enough players, sure.

10. Unionise

The WTA merged with the tournament directors, so the WTA is now a combination of them and the players. Larry Scott, the WTA's chairman and CEO, represents the players and the tournaments, so he doesn't want to make anyone mad. So what happens then? Not much and certainly not enough. The changes he is trying to implement are going at a snail's pace.

Tennis governance needs reform. The women players should start a union so they can take control of their sport. They should have the power the old women's tennis association used to have and make the changes necessary to make the sport better. The way it is going, well, it's just not going nearly as well as it could.Good idea. If the top players want to do it. If they don't take the lead, such an idea will fail.

SelesFan70
Jul 5th, 2005, 01:40 PM
Ironic that Navratilova now says "grunting" is okay. :o I'd like to know how she would propose to stop the screaming? What decibel should a player be fined a point or a game or a set? :confused:

Yasmine
Jul 5th, 2005, 01:49 PM
Dear, you are severely misguided. They don't get to go down to the grocery store and spend that 22 pounds, they have to spend it at the tournament's restaurant which is overpriced and not necessarily comparable to reality. Not to mention that this is ONE tournament and most tournaments give alot less than Wimbledon does.
Oh dear and that's supposed to be making me feel sorry for them :rolleyes: poor them they can't do anything else but spend these £22 to eat there or what? Yes I forgot they don't earn enough money to do so... :rolleyes:

Martian Willow
Jul 5th, 2005, 01:52 PM
I wondered when this load of twaddle would turn up on the boards. Martina is turning into a publicity-hungry bore.

I posted it before. Nobody replied. I was hurt.

It was funny she suggested a tiebreak in the last set for every slam the same day the Wimbledon final went to 9-7. Silly moo. :)

Fingon
Jul 5th, 2005, 02:07 PM
1. Ban screaming
It is one thing grunting but screaming is another. Definitely, definitely disallow the screaming. Some of the guys are doing it but the women are louder than the guys. Why can two players hit the ball just as hard as each other, yet one is quiet and the other is yelling and screaming?

Players are taught that it would help relax them but it has gone too far. It's an intimidation factor, gamesmanship. And for players at the net, it is essential they hear the sound when the racket hits the ball - you first hear the ball, then you see it - so the screaming puts them at a disadvantage. But, most of all, it is not attractive and takes away from the game. I mean, I would rather have people wondering who hits the ball harder, not wondering who screams louder, wouldn't you?


ok, she really started it wrong here, especially for people that remember how she complained against Monica. She is supposed to be raising serious concerns and comes up with this as point # 1?


2.The game must be more simple and accessible
The first changeover has gone now to speed things up. Keep going. Do away with the let once and for all as it is an old rule that makes no sense. You could just carry on playing ball and you'd have no expensive machinery on the net or a person sitting there getting hit on the head all the time.

Sorry, but that's ridiculous, then don't have ballboys because they are hit some times. The let exists for a reason and Martina should know it. If they allowed it to be played it could even be hit in purpose, as the direction of the serve is unpredictable, plus, it doesn't really happen that often.

Tennis should be made more spectator friendly and must not be afraid of innovation. There are different scoring systems being tried out and that's a good thing. I've heard they're bringing in sets to five games in the doubles in a best of five-set format and that might be the way they should play the singles as well. It would mean there's more big points because everything's more compacted.

yeah, you would have players blown out in 15 minutes. One lapse in concentration and you are out.

We want more drama and excitement. If it wasn't for progressive-minded people we wouldn't have tie-breaks and would still be playing 15-13 sets. Speaking of which, all tournaments and the US Open have tie-breaks in the final set, so why not the other grand slams? Let's get a resolution to the match already and, while we're at it, why not play the no-ad system which would speed it up. You could add the intrigue of letting the receiving player choose whether to return in the deuce or the ad court.


yes, and we could toss a coin as well


3. Minimise players' injuries, short- and long-term

There are three ways to do this:


how can the first relevant point be # 3?

a) Change the calendar. Tennis must have an off-season. At present we finish in the middle of November and start again in the first week of the year. That is not enough time to let the body and mind recover from the wear and tear, relax for a while - go on a vacation (I had three vacations between 1976 and 1994) - and then get ready in great shape for next year. We must have three months off - what a concept!


I agree, the WTA needs more planning and think it through, the problem is not he # of tournaments but how they are distributed, and the obsession of the wta to tap into new markets all at once.


b) Standardise hard surfaces. We should be playing on softer hard courts. There is a big difference in "give" of the surface on the hard courts and we should be playing on either Rebound Ace or Decoturf only: the cement courts are much too hard on the body.


that would be good, no idea if it's possible though.

c) Play with the same balls year round. Going from one surface to another, one time-zone to another is bad enough. Why not give it one constant and at least use the same balls? It can take just one week with heavy balls to develop tendinitis in the shoulder or wrist and can take months or even years to get rid of it. I am definitely speaking from personal experience here.


agreed


4. Increase sponsorship opportunities

The tournaments make so much on merchandising and the potential sale of their tournament but the players don't get a slice of the action .

We have stupid rules imposed by the WTA and the ITF about the size of the sponsors' patches we can wear and where we can wear them. There's a three-inch limit on the shirt logos, so companies with long names won't sign players because they know they'll lose out if no one can read their advertising.

You can only have the name of a clothing company on the shirtfront and no patch deals with other companies' names. The patch has to be on your sleeve unless you have a sleeveless top, in which case it can be on the front of the shirt or dress.


I don't think that's right, that's a Nike's rule, not a wta rule, some players wear logos on the front.

There's no writing allowed on the hats, only the logo - so you can have a Swoosh but no brand names like Nike. So companies without a recognisable, well-known logo are penalised. Why can't you have writing on a hat?


good question, it would look horrible if you ask me but if they want to wear it...

Sony Ericsson sponsor the WTA tour and we wear patches with Sony Ericsson WTA Tour on our clothing but not at the grand slams. This is crazy, the tour is the heart and soul of the tennis year and yet we can't promote it at grand slams. I mean, who makes up these rules? How short-sighted can you be?


no clue

I was forced to put duct tape on my racket bag at the Australian Open because I had one logo too many on it. But at the French Open and here at Wimbledon the same bag is apparently OK. Crazy.

All of this is why golf is so far ahead of tennis on sponsorship. Someone on the golf tour you've never heard of winning in a minor event earns £500,000 in a week.

Take Annika Sorenstam for example: she has two sponsors' names on the front of her shirt, yet another one on her hat, and these puppies are a lot bigger than three square inches. Tell me, does this make her sport worse for it? No, it brings sponsorship possibilities in; we in tennis keep them out and I have no idea why.


sorry, but that's not a valid comparisson, does she think that by making the logos bigger tennis will compete with golf?.
Golf is marketted better, aims to richer audience, there are tons of merchandise associated with it. More important, people with money to spend and very good physical shape (normally the case) can play golf, but they can't play tennis, they feel identified with golf, know the rules. Golf is not really more popular, it just gets the attention of the right people.
About Annika Rorenstam, she is using the most popular by far female golf player, then compare her to Maria or Serena, not with the wta tour as a whole. How much money obscure golf players get from sponsorship? I don't think someone "you never heard of winning" makes 500000 pounds a week, that's ridiculous, not even the top golf players make that

500000 pounds/week = 30,000,000 pounds, does she really think an ignote golf player makes 50 million dollars a year?

5. Make sure drugs laws catch the cheats, but don't go overboard with it

Despite what people might think, tennis has become so stringent in its drugs rules as to have gone too far. It's not catching the cheats and the people who are not cheating are so paranoid about it that they can't take care of their body as much as they should.

They're kitchen-sinking the drugs. Everything is in there. Some drugs might help in one sport but not in another but they're all banned to everyone.

If you have a terrible cold and are stuffed up, all you want to do is clear your head but you can't take anything from over the counter in case it's illegal. You just want to feel normal, not to cheat, but you can't take anything to help. Vitamin supplements, energy bars, protein powders, electrolyte replacement drinks, anything: you're afraid of it all.

I drank someone else's Evian water bottle by accident in Melbourne this year thinking it was mine. I had a couple of sips and it tasted sweet. I thought, "Crap, whose bottle was this and what's in it?" So I took the bottle to the drug testing people and they said there was nothing they could do. So all I could do was keep the bottle and hope all was OK. If I'd tested positive, I would have been banned.

What if there's a crank out there, someone playing a sick joke and spiking your food or water bottles? You just have to be so careful. For all that, though, there is doping going on and only a handful of players have been nailed.


agree in general, I would leave the details to doctors.


6. Make grand slam events more generous

The grand slam events are where the players are supposed to make their money but the vast majority don't and the rewards should be redistributed a little more equally.

In the average tournament 20 to 30% of the net income goes into prize money while for the grand slams this is between five and 10%. It sounds amazing that the winner gets around $1m but, while that is a lot of money, it is won over two weeks, not one like normal tournaments.

Seventy-five per cent of players are out after the first two rounds and they are barely breaking even over the tournament. When you consider that most travel with coaches and trainers, that's two hotel rooms and only one is paid for by the per-diem allowance. Players still have to pay for the air fares and expenses for themselves and their team. Some players are still having to put themselves up in B&B accommodation and can't even afford to rent a car.

The slams are nickel-and-diming the players. You get a £22-per-diem allowance for the players' restaurant and the food is marginal at best. That £22 will get you two meals if you're lucky: if you don't spend it, you can't carry it over to the next day. It's gone and it seems to me they're trying to make money from the players' food.

But this is nitpicking. The big deal is the prize money and the unwillingness of the slam organisers to share the pot. When the ATP wrote a letter to the International Tennis Federation, which controls the game, two years ago about wanting a lot more prize money at the slams, the ITF just laughed it off. Players should be getting a percentage of the net gain, not small yearly increases in prize money.


and how do you do that? I am surprised she comes up with that, she should know you cannot make the GSs do anything, they are their own owners, the GSs were there before the WTA, the ATP and even the ITF, they don't obey the wta or the atp.

The ITF has too much power. The grand slam events have too much power and money and they don't share it with the players.


in fact, the ITF has too little power, they only set the rules of tennis and coordinate challenger events and GSs, they don't have a say in the organization of any event. The challengers are called ITF events but they are not, they are owned by the federations. And the GSs are completely autonomous, the ITF has no say at all, it's the organizers who decide everything, they might listen to the WTA/ATP/ITF but it's up to them.
7. Take bids for tournament ownership

Every week on the tournament calendar is owned by a different promoter. Octagon and IMG own about half a dozen tournament weeks each and they encourage their clients to play in their events. But no players have a financial stake in any tournament, at least that I know of.

So when the WTA or the ATP asks a player to help promote a tournament, why should they? Financially they are helping the promoter make the tournament more marketable and profitable but what do they get for the time they could have spent training or practising or going to a movie?

The players have no real incentive to help market the tour because they have no financial stake in it as every week on the tournament calendar is owned by a different promoter.

But le's assume the men's and women's tours owned the tour and all the weeks in it. Then let's say the WTA rents the week out - for three years' time, let's say to Rome. If it does well, it can stay there; and, if not, then after three years you move it to the next high bidder - anyone want to go to Beijing? If the tournament does well the WTA has a direct stake in it - a percentage goes to the pension plan, players want to promote the event now and everybody wins. And by highest bidder I mean rent and prize money, which has been rather stagnating for women.


sorry, but this is tennis, not tv prime time, with tournaments like Berlin and Rome struggling to meet their financial needs, does she really think she will get into a bid war? and what about the venues?, does she really think somebody will invest 50 million dollars to build a stadium, then go on a bid war? when at current levels many tournaments are not financially stable?


8. Raise prize money

If it is guaranteed by the WTA that five of the top 10 players will show up for a given event, the tournament organisers know they will get the players anyway, so they have no incentive to raise the prize money or to pay guarantees like the ATP. Prize money would go through the roof if the tournaments were bidding as suggested above.

I am not sure what the grand slams give to the WTA but I know the WTA takes 10% of our grand slam prize money. So out of your total goes the WTA's cut, the tax from the country the slam is played in - at least 10% yet again - plus your own country's income tax. You then pay your overheads. Do the math: you'd be astonished how little is left for a great majority of the players.


well, and what's the solution?, taxes are taxes, the wta or the atp can't do anything about it, I hate paying taxes but life sucks.

Yes, it sounds good to ask for more money, where is it coming from?

9. Increase egalitarianism

Why is there no grass-court tournament for the women wheelchair-tennis players? This year is the first year of an official wheelchair tennis tournament at Wimbledon, in the doubles. But it's men only. Why no women?


no idea

10. Unionise

The WTA merged with the tournament directors, so the WTA is now a combination of them and the players. Larry Scott, the WTA's chairman and CEO, represents the players and the tournaments, so he doesn't want to make anyone mad. So what happens then? Not much and certainly not enough. The changes he is trying to implement are going at a snail's pace.

Tennis governance needs reform. The women players should start a union so they can take control of their sport. They should have the power the old women's tennis association used to have and make the changes necessary to make the sport better. The way it is going, well, it's just not going nearly as well as it could.

Can all of this be done? Absolutely. How? By the players from both the WTA and ATP tours getting together and demanding changes from the ITF and the grand slams for the long-term good of the sport and by making adjustments on their own tours.

Remember, if you try to make the changes for the right reasons, the money will take care of itself and everybody wins.



this is the single most important point, and it's # 10, this is the whole issue, the wTA was supposed to represent the players, but it represents the owners, pretty much like if the NBA was also representing the players.

Now, how do you do this with players from different countries that rarely get together is a different matter, but it's certainly a very valid point.

Dawn Marie
Jul 5th, 2005, 02:14 PM
I am suprised she didn't state wta players CANNOT have two different careers while they are on the WTA tour.

Lol, Vee proves Martina N. wrong again.

GogoGirl
Jul 5th, 2005, 02:30 PM
Hey All,

I'd like to amend my original statement that I agreed with most of what Martina stated. I agree with some. After all, surely most of us could sit down and come up with some things about the tour that we'd like to see changed, or improved upon. Some of you make some really good points.

I remember my father used to make a noise when he moved or lifted something heavy. He also tightened his lips. LOL! I think the noises made by some players are far from being used as an intimidation tactic. I think is is a gut reflex and usually happens upon them exerting their shots/actions. I also agree that when Monica was muted back in the championship where she lost - it was partly because she was not grunting - and may haps she could not even completely get over the fact that she was criticized and asked to play muted. Venus was very quiet for most of that 1st set, and in the second she cranked up the volume. One would think that by the point where players play pro tennis, they should be able to ignore the noises coming from across the net, but then again, noises might irritate some. If it doesn't bother the players that don't make noises, then perhaps we on the sidelines should try not to find it offending. The question remains, when and if other players start to complain?

I also agree with the ones that feel a longer grass court season would be nice. One point I'd like to make though, and it is that, Venus has won more hard court titles than grass, so granted she excels on the grass, but she also does on the hards. "Summer of 2001", goes down in her/story.

Again, Martina makes points that in some cases have already been made, and she has the right to her suggestions. I'm all for a bathroom break after the sets are tied 1 and 1. Heck with my bladder, I'd probably need to be excused to pee after the first set. LOL! At times, I find myself wondering, if these players are told to drink plenty of liquids when it is hot, then why don't they have to use the restroom more? How can they hold it in? It must be a terrible way to play if one has to go.

mboyle
Jul 5th, 2005, 03:19 PM
Don't you dare change to that idiotic WTT scoring format:fiery: ...

DA FOREHAND
Jul 5th, 2005, 04:05 PM
a) Change the calendar. Tennis must have an off-season. At present we finish in the middle of November and start again in the first week of the year. That is not enough time to let the body and mind recover from the wear and tear, relax for a while - go on a vacation <b>(I had three vacations between 1976 and 1994)</b> - and then get ready in great shape for next year. We must have three months off - what a concept!

Yeah and you're still clinging to the tour for a life...perhaps it's time you STFU and take a vacation already, you don't have to work until you're 62.5 .