PDA

View Full Version : Should the Aussie Open be moved down on the calendar?


Monique
Mar 19th, 2003, 04:18 AM
http://news.ninemsn.com.au/Sport/story_46787.asp

Summit thrashes out tennis' future


World tennis chiefs have taken the first step towards a revamped tournament calendar which could have the Australian Open a month or two later than its January slot.

The theory that the first grand slam event of the year is played too early has gained credence in recent months and was addressed at a summit in Lausanne last weekend.

Rescheduling the Australian Open to March would allow players "to build to a peak at the four Grand Slams" although such a move could not take place before 2007 at the earliest.

"There are a lot of interested parties in the dates of many tournaments," Tennis Australia boss Geoff Pollard said in January.

"We've made it quite clear there would be no possibility of any change at least before 2007.

"The determination of the circuit in the end is a multi-dimensional exercise."

Other items on the agenda of the Grand Slam Committee included a multi-million dollar year-end tournament, a longer off-season and a new series of elite events featuring the sport's top names.

The Grand Slams and the International Tennis Federation said on Monday they had met "to discuss how to generate meaningful change to ensure the long-term health and growth of tennis".

One of those "meaningful changes" is a bid to stave off fatigue - for both players and fans.

The committee said it wanted to ensure a player-friendly, rational and clear tennis calendar that offers "a longer off-season, not less than two months, for the benefit of both players and fans".

Currently, there is a window of just four weeks between the Davis Cup final and the opening tournament of the following season in Australia - allowing top players only a handful of days rest before they begin preparations for the new campaign.

Earlier this year, former world No.1 Marat Safin said: "We have the shortest vacations in any sport. In every other sport they have ... time to recover, vacations with their families and time to prepare themselves for the next season.

"We have nothing. This year I had two weeks of vacation so I mean there is nothing. If you want to fly somewhere to have vacations, you can spend like 10 days."

Plans for a combined year-ender featuring both a men's and women's tournament along the lines of a Grand Slam would be a huge boost for the women's showpiece in particular.

Much has been made of the poor attendances at the women's championships in Los Angeles where the Staples Center was almost empty for many of the early matches last year.

The men's event, by contrast, had fans flocking to Shanghai to witness the biggest professional sports event held in China.

The committee also reaffirmed commitment to team competitions and said it would promote international team competition and representation "through calendar priority for Davis Cup, Fed Cup and the Olympics".

SerenaSlam
Mar 19th, 2003, 04:22 AM
It should be the first or second week in February. Giving them enough time to rest. Seeing there are some tournies played at the very beginning of January, they should give them enough time to perform there, and give them a 2 or 3 weeks to work on their game and head to the slam :)

DutchieGirl
Mar 19th, 2003, 04:25 AM
I see, so they are basically tyring to kill the Aussie Open are they?

If the attendance at the year end champs was so bad, why don't they move it earlier, and then the players can still have a longer off-season!!!

Havok
Mar 19th, 2003, 04:27 AM
i say that they should have the Australian open during the second and third week of february
and Tokyo will get a boost of top players because that will be a warm up tournament for the Oz Open

DutchieGirl
Mar 19th, 2003, 04:28 AM
It should be the first or second week in February. Giving them enough time to rest. Seeing there are some tournies played at the very beginning of January, they should give them enough time to perform there, and give them a 2 or 3 weeks to work on their game and head to the slam :)

Do you know why Jan is so good for the AO...coz it = SCHOOL HOLIDAYS!!! It's our summer! The kids go back to school in Feb (at the beginning). Good luck trying to get all the staff you need with them all back at school. Plus if you start to push it back, it interferes with other sports in Oz... the basketball finals are in Feb/March, and then the F1 is at the start of March, and AFL pre-season is starting in February too.

DutchieGirl
Mar 19th, 2003, 04:29 AM
i say that they should have the Australian open during the second and third week of february
and Tokyo will get a boost of top players because that will be a warm up tournament for the Oz Open

No, I think Geoff Pollard said that one of the proviso's of moving the AUssie Open would be that no new tourneys would be formed BEFORE the AO, and so I think that they would also have to move the tourneys that were gonna be in those weeks back a bit! It's not really fair for Sydney if you also have Tei 1 Tokyo on, plus two other tourneys in Oz as well!

DutchieGirl
Mar 19th, 2003, 04:31 AM
It should be the first or second week in February. Giving them enough time to rest. Seeing there are some tournies played at the very beginning of January, they should give them enough time to perform there, and give them a 2 or 3 weeks to work on their game and head to the slam :)
btw, you realise if the AO moves, the whole Aussie circuit moves, and so then the tourneys after the AO have to get moves, etc etc!

Mateo Mathieu
Mar 19th, 2003, 06:06 AM
Also do you realise February is the hottest month of the year in Australia! :rolleyes:

~ The Leopard ~
Mar 19th, 2003, 06:23 AM
Also do you realise February is the hottest month of the year in Australia! :rolleyes:

Yeah, it's in January because that is the best time to run a successful sporting event in Melbourne. Of course, Melb will always deliver good crowds at night or on the weekend - it is sports-crazy city - but the festival atmosphere for two solid weeks can only be delivered during the summer school holidays. Moving it to another time would basically kill off the crowds.

I'm amazed at the way people who don't live here like I do think you can just shift the Oz Open around with no ill effects on its success as a tournament. As if there's not a *reason* for having it at that time. :rolleyes:

Crazy Canuck
Mar 19th, 2003, 08:03 AM
While we're at it, why don't we just move the US Open to an inconvenient time of NYC residents as well. It would only be fair, right? If we don't give two shits about the state of the Aussie Open, then why care about the US Open?

Now that I think about it, why don't we just cancel ALL the other tournaments, and have them play the 4 slams - They will play Australia in February, followed immediately by the US Open at the end of February, seeing as the weather in NYC is just ideal at that time. Then we'll play Roland Garros and Wimbledon at whichever time of the year that those places have shitty weather and are likely to have very low attendance.

Why this sounds like a fabulous idea.

Micky
Mar 19th, 2003, 08:06 AM
no one would go if it moved to feb or march.

Do you know why Jan is so good for the AO...coz it = SCHOOL HOLIDAYS!!! It's our summer! The kids go back to school in Feb (at the beginning). Good luck trying to get all the staff you need with them all back at school. Plus if you start to push it back, it interferes with other sports in Oz... the basketball finals are in Feb/March, and then the F1 is at the start of March, and AFL pre-season is starting in February too.

- i totally agree

Dava
Mar 19th, 2003, 08:16 AM
I think that it would make more sense to start with the indoor events in Europe and then move to Australia, but it would be ridiculous to play AO, Indian Wells and then Key Biscayne, it would be too much.

DutchieGirl
Mar 19th, 2003, 09:52 AM
I think the whole calendar's messed up. I mean maybe you could push the AO back a week and it might not affect it so bad, but to have it mid-Feb would really affect it. And perhaps then they could try to move the year ending champs two weeks earlier or something - maybe "truncating" some weeks through out the year then it gives players three extra weeks. That gives them almost two months. I think that's fine.

Really, something DOES need to be done with the calendar, but I just hate how whenever something should be moved it's the AO - no one ever suggest moving the year end champs earlier - or even having a month off mid-year after Wimby or something instead of having two months at the end of the year.