PDA

View Full Version : New WTA Roadmap may force alternative rival tennis tour.


Greenout
Dec 4th, 2006, 12:41 PM
This article came out, and it's really interesting. There's talk about a rival tour against the WTA in the USA, since they want to demote alot of the current Tier II's III's, and even a few Tier I's in their new "Roadmap".

http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/sports/4376862.html


Dec. 4, 2006, 12:36AM
TENNIS NOTEBOO USTA finds itself 'at a crossroads'
WTA initiative might ultimately prompt rival tour

By DALE ROBERTSON
Copyright 2006 Houston Chronicle

The future of its clay-court tournament isn't the only uncertainty facing the USTA as both pro circuits try to restructure themselves to enhance spectator interest and keep their stars on the court instead of in the infirmary.

With the decision by Jim and Linda McIngvale to stop hosting the U.S. Men's Clay Court Championships at their Westside Tennis and Fitness Club after 2007, the USTA may not have an easy time finding a suitable new home for the event unless perhaps it were to get paired with one of the WTA's existing spring clay-court tournaments in Charleston or Amelia Island.

But it's the WTA and not the McIngvales that is causing the governing body of American tennis the most heartburn at present. The Tour's so-called "Roadmap" for remaking itself by 2010 could negatively impact the USTA's successful summer U.S. Open Series as well as the two Series tournaments, Los Angeles and New Haven, that it co-owns.

Based on what the WTA is proposing, the aforementioned tournament in Amelia Island also could find it difficult to draw the elite players and the one in Charleston would have to significantly increase its prize money to keep its niche.

Although the new format is intended to improve fields, some of them could be decimated and the costs associated with the changes will be prohibitive, the USTA charges. To quote in part from a letter it sent to the WTA that was obtained by the Tennis Reporters newsletter:

"Your plans put the TV package and the race for the U.S. Open bonus prize money in jeopardy and, intended or not, stand to damage this successful and highly praised initiative. How can the USTA stand by and allow this to take place? ... Please take this as a formal notice for the tournaments owned or partially owned by the USTA, we have no intention of participating in this plan as currently structured. ... We are at a crossroads. ... If the WTA is unwilling to re-evaluate the plan based on the concerns expressed in this letter, the USTA will have no option but to re-evaluate its existing relationship with the WTA and explore other alternatives."

The last part of that suggests the USTA might consider launching a rival U.S.-based tour, which could turn Jim McIngvale, a big believer in that concept, into a player again. He has said previously that would be the only way he'd consider bringing an annual tournament back to Westside in the future.

MyskinaManiac
Dec 4th, 2006, 12:45 PM
Wow... what has the world come to?

matthias
Dec 4th, 2006, 12:51 PM
USTA just try to put some pressure on Larry Scott

TheBoiledEgg
Dec 4th, 2006, 01:57 PM
going back to the 70's now are we :o

goldenlox
Dec 4th, 2006, 02:05 PM
I like when this guy writes Mary Sharp articles :p

^bibi^
Dec 4th, 2006, 02:09 PM
wow... hope this won't happen though :( it would suck :(

King of Prussia
Dec 4th, 2006, 02:12 PM
With tennis becoming more and more international, and with Americans lacking top players, it's no surprise that the WTA wants to get rid of US Tier I and II in the middle of nowhere with average attendance.

A parallel tour isn't going to happen, or work.

Roadmap is what tennis fans asked (shorter season, higher price money, a more international tour), so Scott is doing a fine job. There are points to be improved, but we haven't heard of the final version of his project.

Mother_Marjorie
Dec 4th, 2006, 02:14 PM
going back to the 70's now are we :o

Honestly, I don't think the USTA could pull off a rival tour when the women in the WTA don't have the guts to boycott Wimbledon for unequal pay.

Also, the lack of top American women in the game today vs the '70's will not bode well for the USTA in attempting a rival tour.

Unless the players have overwhelming negative sentiment about the Roadmap, the USTA can kiss their rival tour goodbye.

AnnaK_4ever
Dec 4th, 2006, 02:31 PM
And which players will play on US Tour?

Davenport who is near retirement? The sisters who play like 6 tournaments a year? Or maybe "grand dammes" like Shaughnessy, Perry, King and others?
:lol:
Please...

Gnaag
Dec 4th, 2006, 03:06 PM
A rival American-based circuit will not attract enough sponsors or fans to generate enough revenue for prize money that can compete with the WTA. So they can forget about drawing any stars from the WTA - including the Americans.

This new tour would end up being comprised mostly of NCAA graduates who aren't good enough to compete at WTA events anyway.

I can understand why the USTA is afraid to travel the path the WTA intends to take, but making an empty threat like this isn't constructive.

vogus
Dec 4th, 2006, 03:33 PM
Larry Scott is going to get fired long before he can implement that "Roadmap" thing anyway.

The calendar is not really the cause of the injuries, greed and bad schedule management is. And in a few years from now there could be new leading American players on the scene.

goldenlox
Dec 4th, 2006, 03:45 PM
I think the WTA is smart to move Dubai and Doha to A. And have a 2 week tournament in China.
The USTA can still have A events in the summer, but the USTA has to be involved with these tournaments. Instead of whining about it.
New Haven is the week before the USO, it will always get players who want match play that week.

TheBoiledEgg
Dec 4th, 2006, 03:59 PM
if the USTA do go along that path then:

the players who do play in that "circuit" wont be allowed to play the regular WTA tournaments. (probably the other 3 slams will follow suit)

whats gonna happen with the US Open is that is with the USTA means that only the rebel players will be allowed to play it.

goldenlox
Dec 4th, 2006, 04:02 PM
I don't think that will happen. There is too much money in Dubai, Doha, China.
That would actually turn out good for the players. They could choose which tour to play on.
The majors or the tour with big money new events.

TheBoiledEgg
Dec 4th, 2006, 04:02 PM
interestingly the ITF President called the moves by the WTA and ATP totally stupid
"trying to fix something that wasn't broken."

ayusania
Dec 4th, 2006, 04:11 PM
hope this doesnt happen again....

xan
Dec 4th, 2006, 04:19 PM
It would be stupid to have a war in tennis. It would just harm both sets of events.

The USTA position isn't as weak as some people here seem to think. They are the official body and in with the ITF who run the slams the Fed Cup and other events. With most of the WTAs big stars non-Americans, the USTA might be able to make an alternative circuit work - especially if they got people like Seles, Capriati and the Williamses on board, and held joint events with the male players

Larry Scott would do better to negotiate than start stonewalling.

vogus
Dec 4th, 2006, 04:23 PM
interestingly the ITF President called the moves by the WTA and ATP totally stupid
"trying to fix something that wasn't broken."


one or two of the big tournies (like Paris Masters and San Diego Tier 1) probably need to rotate to every second year, but for the most part the calendar is not the real issue. Any calendar they can think of will still have top players pulling out of events. Thats just a fact of life in pro tennis.

TheBoiledEgg
Dec 4th, 2006, 04:32 PM
It would be stupid to have a war in tennis. It would just harm both sets of events.

The USTA position isn't as weak as some people here seem to think. They are the official body and in with the ITF who run the slams the Fed Cup and other events. With most of the WTAs big stars non-Americans, the USTA might be able to make an alternative circuit work - especially if they got people like Seles, Capriati and the Williamses on board, and held joint events with the male players

Larry Scott would do better to negotiate than start stonewalling.


the Grand Slam Committee run the slams :wavey:

USTA is pretty big and influencial,
but if the players who sign up to play the "rebel" circuit, they wont have an actual "official" rank and there will be mega-trouble when the slams come around.

In a few years it might be recognised officially but to start off with its gonna cause big big problems.

could lead to strikes if any of the "rebels" get "invited" to play in the slams.

xan
Dec 4th, 2006, 04:44 PM
the Grand Slam Committee run the slams :wavey:

USTA is pretty big and influencial,
but if the players who sign up to play the "rebel" circuit, they wont have an actual "official" rank and there will be mega-trouble when the slams come around.

In a few years it might be recognised officially but to start off with its gonna cause big big problems.

could lead to strikes if any of the "rebels" get "invited" to play in the slams.
Maybe.

But WTT has coexisted with the WTA and ATP tours for a long time now, sharing a lot of the same players.

MrSerenaWilliams
Dec 4th, 2006, 04:56 PM
:rolleyes: More drama than "Laguna Beach"....Why couldn't Larry just leave well enough alone.....

goldenlox
Dec 4th, 2006, 05:41 PM
If I was running the WTA, I would want to be strong in China, Dubai and Doha. How can the WTA and ATP refuse all that money?
Imagine if Kentucky horse breeders decided not to sell to the Maktoums. It would never happen, because they would be giving up millions in profit for the same product.

Look at the money they spend on sports -

The consortium, led by Sheik Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, is offering a reported 450 million pounds (US$891 million; €666 million) for the five-time European and 18-time English champions.

rrfnpump
Dec 4th, 2006, 06:41 PM
Maybe.

But WTT has coexisted with the WTA and ATP tours for a long time now, sharing a lot of the same players.

what has WTT to do with that? :confused:

USTA :rolleyes:

The USTA has like a challenger tournament like every week and lots of WTA tournaments, and still they have like 0 junior players who could do some damage later. They want to rescue a thing that is already hopeless. They dont need so many tournaments, they need better support of young, talented player, they need to make tennis popular again.

hurricanejeanne
Dec 4th, 2006, 08:42 PM
This article came out, and it's really interesting. There's talk about a rival tour against the WTA in the USA, since they want to demote alot of the current Tier II's III's, and even downgrade a few Tier I's in their new "Roadmap".

http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/sports/4376862.html


Dec. 4, 2006, 12:36AM
TENNIS NOTEBOO USTA finds itself 'at a crossroads'
WTA initiative might ultimately prompt rival tour

By DALE ROBERTSON
Copyright 2006 Houston Chronicle

The future of its clay-court tournament isn't the only uncertainty facing the USTA as both pro circuits try to restructure themselves to enhance spectator interest and keep their stars on the court instead of in the infirmary.

With the decision by Jim and Linda McIngvale to stop hosting the U.S. Men's Clay Court Championships at their Westside Tennis and Fitness Club after 2007, the USTA may not have an easy time finding a suitable new home for the event unless perhaps it were to get paired with one of the WTA's existing spring clay-court tournaments in Charleston or Amelia Island.

But it's the WTA and not the McIngvales that is causing the governing body of American tennis the most heartburn at present. The Tour's so-called "Roadmap" for remaking itself by 2010 could negatively impact the USTA's successful summer U.S. Open Series as well as the two Series tournaments, Los Angeles and New Haven, that it co-owns.

Based on what the WTA is proposing, the aforementioned tournament in Amelia Island also could find it difficult to draw the elite players and the one in Charleston would have to significantly increase its prize money to keep its niche.

Although the new format is intended to improve fields, some of them could be decimated and the costs associated with the changes will be prohibitive, the USTA charges. To quote in part from a letter it sent to the WTA that was obtained by the Tennis Reporters newsletter:

"Your plans put the TV package and the race for the U.S. Open bonus prize money in jeopardy and, intended or not, stand to damage this successful and highly praised initiative. How can the USTA stand by and allow this to take place? ... Please take this as a formal notice for the tournaments owned or partially owned by the USTA, we have no intention of participating in this plan as currently structured. ... We are at a crossroads. ... If the WTA is unwilling to re-evaluate the plan based on the concerns expressed in this letter, the USTA will have no option but to re-evaluate its existing relationship with the WTA and explore other alternatives."

The last part of that suggests the USTA might consider launching a rival U.S.-based tour, which could turn Jim McIngvale, a big believer in that concept, into a player again. He has said previously that would be the only way he'd consider bringing an annual tournament back to Westside in the future.

Good God.
Both parties (in my opinion) are whining like babies. Both the WTA and USTA need to sit down and COMPROMISE this Roadmap out. Along with the supervision of the ITF.
We have two to three years before this roadmap is to go into affect, there is plenty of time to work out of compromise.

The calendar is fine, players need to be able to set up schedules that are appropriate so they can (for the most part) remain healthy and play the best tennis they can play.

And I really cannot see a "rebel" tour surviving if it were to happen. If it came down to who can and cannot play the other three slams and ranking, it ain't gonna work. I cannot see any player pass up those things.


You're going to have to pardon my language but, Larry Scott is a fucktard who needs to get the hell out of the tour one way or another before he destroys the WTA.

goldenlox
Dec 4th, 2006, 09:11 PM
I don't remember the old days of rebel tours. But tennis in the US is dying. Nobody watches.
I can't believe the USTA is such a powerful organization.

serenafan08
Dec 4th, 2006, 09:17 PM
Wow...that's crazy. Rival tennis tours? How would that affect rankings and seedings at tournaments? Would players from either tour be able to play in Grand Slams? There's too many questions to be answered.

franny
Dec 4th, 2006, 11:49 PM
If the USTA wants to make their own tour, they can. They can just do it as a purely 'American tour," with its own stars and such. Sure, at first it might be slow, but even if they have just a few superstar who participates in it, it will grow. Surely Davenport, who is not on good terms with the WTA, would love this idea. She can win loads of tournaments, stay within the U.S., and be an icon for "American" tennis' own tour. It'd be like just having another NBA, MLB, etc. Arent' there international leagues for soccer, basketball, baseball? And yet the U.S. still draws heaps of international stars because guess what, the U.S. is where the money is. The USTA can offer a lot more money to its players, so we may get people like Sharapova, like the Williams, and other bonafide stars in America to participate in it. Who knows, it may work, it may not. Personally, I would not mind America having its tour. I personally think it will help the growth of tennis' popularity, get more American players, etc. And then maybe Fed Cup would start to count for something again.

goldenlox
Dec 4th, 2006, 11:51 PM
That's an interesting idea. But is there an audience for that in the US?

saki
Dec 5th, 2006, 12:26 AM
What I don't really understand is.. If the reason why they want to split is because they can't put up the money to make lots of the U.S. tournaments A tournaments, how do they think they can come up with the money to market and launch a rival tour?

goldenlox
Dec 5th, 2006, 12:42 AM
I agree with you. If the USTA helped US tournaments, instead of issuing threats, they would be helping US tennis a lot more, imo.

go hingis
Dec 5th, 2006, 12:44 AM
I think the USTA should stop taking it so personally, they act like they own the tour. Most tournaments and countries will be changing, deal with it.

Mother_Marjorie
Dec 5th, 2006, 01:33 AM
I just like the fact that Larry is getting challenged from his own home base. Let's see him bully the USTA like he tries to do players in the WTA. ;)

goldenlox
Dec 5th, 2006, 01:45 AM
It's not surprising that the challenge comes from the US. One of the goals of this roadmap is to expand to China. The US is not the center of the tennis world.

DutchieGirl
Dec 5th, 2006, 04:01 AM
With tennis becoming more and more international, and with Americans lacking top players, it's no surprise that the WTA wants to get rid of US Tier I and II in the middle of nowhere with average attendance.

A parallel tour isn't going to happen, or work.

Roadmap is what tennis fans asked (shorter season, higher price money, a more international tour), so Scott is doing a fine job. There are points to be improved, but we haven't heard of the final version of his project.

:haha: I'm sorry: WHAT? :haha: Tennis FANS asked for a shorter tour (no, tennis players did), higher prize money - why the hell would the FANS ask so much for that - I assume the players would have more so than the fans, more international tour...ok fans might have asked for that one at last.

And Larry Scott doing a fine job? :spit: Come on, you don't really believe that do you... and I'm not just talking about the roadmap either. :lol:

DutchieGirl
Dec 5th, 2006, 04:03 AM
What I don't really understand is.. If the reason why they want to split is because they can't put up the money to make lots of the U.S. tournaments A tournaments, how do they think they can come up with the money to market and launch a rival tour?

I think part of the problem is that there will only be a certain number of A tourneys...

DutchieGirl
Dec 5th, 2006, 04:05 AM
Larry Scott is going to get fired long before he can implement that "Roadmap" thing anyway.

The calendar is not really the cause of the injuries, greed and bad schedule management is. And in a few years from now there could be new leading American players on the scene.

God I hope so, but I doubt it, unfortunately. ;)

DutchieGirl
Dec 5th, 2006, 04:08 AM
I think the WTA is smart to move Dubai and Doha to A. And have a 2 week tournament in China.
The USTA can still have A events in the summer, but the USTA has to be involved with these tournaments. Instead of whining about it.
New Haven is the week before the USO, it will always get players who want match play that week.

OMG! :o :o :o She mentioned New Haven!!!

DutchieGirl
Dec 5th, 2006, 04:10 AM
If I was running the WTA, I would want to be strong in China, Dubai and Doha. How can the WTA and ATP refuse all that money?
Imagine if Kentucky horse breeders decided not to sell to the Maktoums. It would never happen, because they would be giving up millions in profit for the same product.

Look at the money they spend on sports -

The consortium, led by Sheik Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, is offering a reported 450 million pounds (US$891 million; €666 million) for the five-time European and 18-time English champions.

:yawn: - sorry, so tired of hearing this same thing all the time.

No one EVER said they couldn't or shouldn't expand into Asia/Middle East, but why do they have to screw around alot of other tourneys to do so? :rolleyes:

DutchieGirl
Dec 5th, 2006, 04:14 AM
It's not surprising that the challenge comes from the US. One of the goals of this roadmap is to expand to China. The US is not the center of the tennis world.

Yeah but I think it's fair for the USTA to have a problem with the roadmap when it's gonna ruin alot of their tourneys. The WTA Tour could Both expand into China and NOT ruin the US Open series if it wanted to...

goldenlox
Dec 5th, 2006, 11:31 AM
Yeah but I think it's fair for the USTA to have a problem with the roadmap when it's gonna ruin alot of their tourneys. The WTA Tour could Both expand into China and NOT ruin the US Open series if it wanted to...You're right. The WTA, ATP and USTA should work together. They can save most of these tournaments.

New Haven will be fine. Just like Sydney and Eastbourne. Because a lot of players want to play that week.
There still will be a strong US summer schedule before the USO.

I think the green clay tournaments after Miami are in trouble.

DutchieGirl
Dec 6th, 2006, 03:09 AM
You're right. The WTA, ATP and USTA should work together. They can save most of these tournaments.

New Haven will be fine. Just like Sydney and Eastbourne. Because a lot of players want to play that week.
There still will be a strong US summer schedule before the USO.

I think the green clay tournaments after Miami are in trouble.

The green clay tourneys really serve no purpose. It would be a shame for them to go, but if they were on red clay they may have been better. But there was alot said about the USO series too.

And Sydney won't be OK if they wanna put an A tourney somewhere else before the AO. (which is think is kinda dumb too, as the players are meant to be complaining how long the season is already - starting off with an A tourney, and then a GS in a row doesn't sound like good scheduling).