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tennisIlove09
Oct 17th, 2007, 11:30 PM
http://www.bangkokpost.com/sportsplus/sportsplus.php?id=122711

Entrepreneur wants to turn Madrid into fifth tennis Grand Slam
By Sebastian Fest

Madrid (dpa) - It was only last month that Ion Tiriac found out Madrid will host a tournament with the best male and female tennis players in the world in 2009.

However, the Romanian is the most powerful businessman in world tennis, and he already has another goal, a gigantic plan: He wants to create a fifth Grand Slam in the Spanish capital.

"I see for the future, with all due respect for Grand Slams, that you have to have the chance to compete. In prizes, in quality, in infrastructure... In everything," Tiriac told Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa in an interview in Madrid.

The plan is revolutionary. For as long as tennis has been tennis there have been four Grand Slam tournaments, and they are played in London, Paris, New York and Melbourne.

Nobody ever thought it possible to add another city to that list, nobody ever wanted to create tournaments that gave out as much money and points as those four greats.

But that is precisely Tiriac's idea. He thinks sport is different, he thinks the world has changed and you have to change the parametres.

He talks and talks, and praises himself: "In five years I turned Madrid into one of the greatest social events there is in Europe."

Sick of the rain at Wimbledon, Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone - Tiriac recalls - once asked him whether it would be possible to pay organizers 50 million pounds (102 million dollars) to take over control and manage the traditional tournament a different way.

At that time, Wimbledon did not even dream of the roof its centre court is set to have from 2009.

To argue why Madrid could host a Grand Slam, the Romanian, 68, lists three points. The first is that tennis should allow free competition.

"What I am still not satisfied about is the fact that they do not let tournaments compete. I want to compete. Tomorrow I go and ask how much are prizes at Roland Garros. Fifteen million? I go and put down 15 million, but I want to be at the points level of Roland Garros, not at the level of a '1,000.' Let me compete! But the Grand Slams will not let me compete. And neither will the ATP."

The second point of this former tennis player, former coach, former manager, former Romanian Olympic Committee chairman, businessman and banker is that Grand Slam tournaments have reached their limits.

"Unfortunately I don't think that (French President Nicolas)Sarkozy is going to let them build in the Bois de Boulogne to expand, because they already took a lot from the woods. And also they no longer have the (Olympic) Games, that the English took," Tiriac describes the challenges for Roland Garros.

London too faces obstacles.

"You cannot allow that, when you have 200 countries watching on television, the explanation is 'this is London when it rains.' Sport is no longer what is was, it is different from 20 years ago."

And Madrid is the city that according to Tiriac, incarnates more than any other this "new sport," the city that can go beyond the limits of Paris and London. The Magic Box, the fantastic tennis complex that French architect Dominique Perrault designed in the Spanish capital, is his third point.

"Madrid has a very great future, and it is going to have facilities like no other tournament. There is no other which can close three courts in five minutes and keep playing despite the rain," Tiriac stresses.

He notes he has ruled out the Asian option that he contemplated a couple of years ago.

"I do not need to move Madrid. It is likely that in Shanghai I could have made money, a lot of it. But I am lucky enough not to be about to starve to death," he says.

The Kaz
Oct 17th, 2007, 11:35 PM
:rolleyes:

Good Luck!

friendsita
Oct 17th, 2007, 11:39 PM
plop... I like just 4 slams.

FrchTwst
Oct 17th, 2007, 11:45 PM
spanish crowds are horrible.

fangoria
Oct 17th, 2007, 11:47 PM
Given the number of spanish players there has been at the top for more than two decades, it would be fair.

But, i think it would be VERY difficult to give a new tounament the same aura as a century-old one like the four GS.
I think giving the YEC to Madrid on a permanent basis would be a good idea, or at least a tournament of the same level as Miami.

ptkten
Oct 17th, 2007, 11:50 PM
:rolleyes:

Apparently he doesn't understand that you need tradition to be a Grand slam, you can't just create a major out of thin air. If any tournament would have any claim to being the fifth slam it would be Rome, but obviously that will never happen.

Nicolás89
Oct 17th, 2007, 11:57 PM
Given the number of spanish players there has been at the top for more than two decades, it would be fair.

But, i think it would be VERY difficult to give a new tounament the same aura as a century-old one like the four GS.
I think giving the YEC to Madrid on a permanent basis would be a good idea, or at least a tournament of the same level as Miami.

REALITY CHECK!!!! there isnt and never were any "great" spaniard player (ASV being the one exception) and the only reason why there are so many tournaments on spain is because they paid they way into tennis not because of the quality of its players.:wavey:

fangoria
Oct 18th, 2007, 12:01 AM
REALITY CHECK!!!! there isnt and never were any "great" spaniard player (ASV being the one exception) and the only reason why there are so many tournaments on spain is because they paid they way into tennis not because of the quality of its players.:wavey:

i was including the men too, since GS are mixt! ;)

and i don't think you're being fair, look at the ATP rankings and count the number of spaniards in the TOP50. ;)

but of course, that's no reason enough to make a new GS in Madrid.

Nicolás89
Oct 18th, 2007, 12:12 AM
i was including the men too, since GS are mixt! ;)

and i don't think you're being fair, look at the ATP rankings and count the number of spaniards in the TOP50. ;)

but of course, that's no reason enough to make a new GS in Madrid.

i was talking mostly about the men tour.
not only because there are a lot of players of one country on the top 50 the tour should have more tournaments than other countries, for example russia has one tournament on the women tour, the difference between spain and russia is $$$$$$$.

ZeroSOFInfinity
Oct 18th, 2007, 01:49 AM
Might as well make the Sony Ericsson Open (a.k.a Miami Open) the 6th Slam...

GoDominique
Oct 18th, 2007, 02:08 AM
Might as well make the Sony Ericsson Open (a.k.a Miami Open) the 6th Slam...
IW would feel neglected then. Let's make IW the 7th Slam.

lecciones
Oct 18th, 2007, 12:50 PM
Hmm interesting, but it would ruin all our statistics!!!!!!! 4 grandslams is the way I like it already.

tae04
Oct 18th, 2007, 01:23 PM
No Thanks

Keaka
Oct 18th, 2007, 01:24 PM
They should make a half clay-half hard Slam :) :hehehe:

Vut
Oct 18th, 2007, 01:36 PM
hope not...

stevos
Oct 18th, 2007, 01:46 PM
Although he has made some interesting points, tennis still needs tradition. Tradition goes a long way for it, I know a lot of people that watch Wimbledon, not because they really care about tennis, but because they know how famous and important it is, and there is an aura (or tradition) there.

But it's true, if he has the money, why can't he compete to become a bigger tournament?

Can you imagine if someone wanted to make another golf major? That would be blasphemy!

Renalicious
Oct 18th, 2007, 01:49 PM
I'd like the idea of a 5th slam but it should be in Asia.

goldenlox
Oct 18th, 2007, 01:52 PM
They are companies and wealthy sportspeople who want their tournament to have more prizemoney than the majors.
The ATP and the WTA have to work with the ITF, but I don't see why Madrid can't give slam points if they are willing to pay slam prizemoney.

~Cherry*Blossom~
Oct 18th, 2007, 01:57 PM
He can go fly a kite. I don't want this happening.

MistyGrey
Oct 18th, 2007, 02:01 PM
God No!

jochem
Oct 18th, 2007, 02:12 PM
Asia already has a Slam...The Australian Open! Ok it;s not really Asia but i've heard they wanted to make some adjustments and make it more into the Asian Slam instead of Asian/Asutralia...still I think with al the new technologies,new tournaments, new players etc it's nice to know there are four traditional tournaments that will never be changed, I mean what will happen if Madrid will host a fifth Grand Slam? Then Serena Williams would've to win that to achieve the career slam it's BS. Hopefully they'll keep it like this for as long as I live.

sfselesfan
Oct 18th, 2007, 02:14 PM
If there were another slam, which there won't be...it should be located in South America. There are enough majors in Europe. Enough talent comes from South America for them to have a major.

SF

jochem
Oct 18th, 2007, 02:14 PM
They are companies and wealthy sportspeople who want their tournament to have more prizemoney than the majors.
The ATP and the WTA have to work with the ITF, but I don't see why Madrid can't give slam points if they are willing to pay slam prizemoney.
Ýou cannot buy everything for gods sake!!!! :o Tradition is so much more worthy than some paperwork... Please these people are so focused on the material side of life and think you can actually buy a Grand Slam. How pathetic :rolleyes:

goldenlox
Oct 18th, 2007, 02:22 PM
The ITF sucks. Just look at TA, they pay less than US$1 million to the winners.
They're probably making US$30 million in profit.

Competition is good. Most of the traditions in this sport are bad.

pepsi
Oct 18th, 2007, 02:42 PM
Bold idea from Tiriac. If Madrid is going to be the 5th slam, just take the TMC/YEC and let Madrid have it and make that the 5th slam. The "Masters" is already a semi-slam. It has some tradition and it is linked to the slams in its origin. In fact at one time in the ATP it awarded the same amount of points as the slams.

The TMC/YEC now is similar to the status of the Australian Open in the past. The Australian Open was the lesser slam in the past which players regularly skipped. But now it has gained prestige with the other slams. It's not unforeseeable for the "Masters" to take the same road.

Ntour
Oct 18th, 2007, 03:05 PM
they shouold make it like the Sony ericsson open, there shold only evver be 4 slams

cypher_88
Oct 18th, 2007, 03:16 PM
:lol: so funny comments... well, considering i know Tiriac, him being friend with my father, i can assure you, that he will not stay put until he finds a way to make this reality.

Direwolf
Oct 18th, 2007, 04:28 PM
nope..
cuz it would be unfair to the other people who have won
their slams playing it only four tmes a year

Maharhar
Oct 18th, 2007, 04:53 PM
Traditions have to start somewhere. Who's to say that 100 years from now, the 5th Slam won't have its own air of history?

The Daviator
Oct 18th, 2007, 05:07 PM
Traditions have to start somewhere. Who's to say that 100 years from now, the 5th Slam won't have its own air of history?

But then the other 4 will have 200 years of tradition and history :p Seriously, you can take an event and give it the same amount of money and points as the Slams, but no-one will ever view it on the same level, heck, even the AO is sometimes not viewed in the same light as the others, so you can imagine how the 'new' Slam would be perceived :o

DragonFlame
Oct 18th, 2007, 05:23 PM
5 slamchampions every year:help: And it will feel totally different to the people who win it, just not as exiting as winning 1 of the others.

hacberto
Oct 18th, 2007, 07:14 PM
Mmmm I don't like this idea
But why not? It'll be cool but not as exciting as the other slams

TheBoiledEgg
Oct 18th, 2007, 08:02 PM
What do you think happened when the Lipton Champs started (Miami)

the men played 5 sets from start to finish
but it soon ended, and now not even the final is played over 5 :o :o

goldenlox
Oct 18th, 2007, 11:05 PM
I went into this topic in more depth on MTF.
I hope Tiriac does it. He's supposed to be a billionaire, and I'd love to see a mega-tournament with bigger prizemoney than the majors. And slam points.
I'm sure they'll get most of the high profile players, and sell tickets, worldwide tv rights, and get plenty of sponsors.