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moby
May 6th, 2003, 12:10 PM
Is it just me?

But I really feel that the WTA tour is undergoing a mini-crisis right now. Basically, the really good players (venus and serena) are not committed enough and the really committed players are just not good enough.

Dont get me wrong, because I think Kim and Justine and all the rest of the top ten play well, but they are not quite in the league of venus and serena yet (though they may in time to come)

And then of course, on top of these, players nowadays are starting to lack in personality. Some one who is really good, is committed and HAS personality is really hard to come by nowadays.

And this is why the WTA tour is failing...

Mercury Rising
May 6th, 2003, 12:14 PM
LOL this is too funny. Kim hasn't played in a month, and because of Justine not winning every tournament she plays in, the WTA tour is failing. LMAO.

Volcana
May 6th, 2003, 12:17 PM
And this is why the WTA tour is failing...

What measure are you using to establish 'failure'? I would say rather that the WTA is succeeding despite being possibly the most mis-managed professional sport in the world. The very best players are as good or better than any other players in history. (Not their CAREERS, their performance level.) Players 11-20 are ridiculously better than players 11-20 even ten years ago. Tournaments that are even marginally well run do well in attendance. And the tour has failed to exploit regional cable, meaning they have an entirely new, near totally unexploited revenue stream.

WHAT 'failure'?

moby
May 6th, 2003, 12:19 PM
I disagree. While the number of people gaining interest in tennis is increasing, we must note that we may be able to attribute this in general to societal advancement.

Tennis isnt reaching out anymore because the interest level has really dipped...

irma
May 6th, 2003, 12:35 PM
tennis seems indeed a little dead right now even serena seems to feel that way. well I got that idea in her last two tournaments. that was not the 2002 serena!

rikvanlooy
May 6th, 2003, 01:09 PM
tennis seems indeed a little dead right now even serena seems to feel that way. well I got that idea in her last two tournaments. that was not the 2002 serena!

This statement doesn't suprise me. The dutch female players are not really the best.

irma
May 6th, 2003, 01:18 PM
what has that to do with it?

irma
May 6th, 2003, 01:26 PM
oh you think I dislike Belgians and that's the reason I say what I say?

nope I like kim a lot and I want her to win the french with all my heart!

*JR*
May 6th, 2003, 02:51 PM
I disagree. While the number of people gaining interest in tennis is increasing, we must note that we may be able to attribute this in general to societal advancement.

Ya tryin ta piss off selesrules? It's all due to Anna!!!!!!!! :p

moby
May 6th, 2003, 02:56 PM
lol no!!!

i dont think this is a belgians issue at all and i'm shocked at all those who think so! kim and justine are my favorite active players right now!
In fact, it is not an issue directed at any player in particular! It is just a comment on the WTA

irma really summed it up for me.
It seemed as though the tour isnt so fiercely competitive anymore
and the players lack that "fire" to compete

Serendy Willick
May 6th, 2003, 03:08 PM
My Serena will be back to shoot some fire in the tours bellys in another week :bounce: ;)

moby
May 6th, 2003, 03:10 PM
My Serena will be back to shoot some fire in the tours bellys in another week :bounce: ;)

Lets hope so :D

joaco
May 6th, 2003, 03:49 PM
:rolleyes: @ this thread

Doraemon
May 6th, 2003, 04:24 PM
If only I had played longer....

TonyP
May 6th, 2003, 04:42 PM
I like Kim and Justine, especially Kim. But in my mind there is no question right now that the tour has lost steam. It just isn't generating the kind of "heat" it did a couple of years ago and the TV ratings in the US are proving it. So is the loss of a title sponsor and the upheavals in the WTA front office.

Part of this is because the media has become dominated by the 15 minutes worth of fame mentality. The media now follows a herd instinct. Whatever is "hot" gets saturation coverage these days and anything else gets whatever attention the media has left over.

But a big part of the problem, in my opinion, is the departure from the sport of Martina, the most colorful player on the tour, and the complete decline of Kournikova, the most glamourous player on the tour. And that, of course, eliminated "The Spice Girls," the most colorful, glamourous act tennis had. They could fill up a stadium on their own.

For now, the romance of women's tennis is gone. Its all about power and women's tennis needs more than power, because physical power is assocated in most people's minds with men. Women's sports need sex appeal.

Lelu
May 6th, 2003, 05:16 PM
I agree. I've been following tennis (both women and men) for longer than than some of you have lived. And yes, the tour is in a down period. That could be attributed to several factors and the ones listed by TonyP and easy are very important. How can fans be passionate about their sport if the tour's teo best players are not? Serena still beats everyone else regularly and when she plays, there is fire in her game, but her focus is shifting from tennis to more glamorous stints like movies and modelling. Even she admitted that herself. Venus seems to be going through the motions and brings an impression that she'd rather be anywhere else but on the tennis court. And no matter how good Kim and Justine are, they don't have the necessary ingredient to be bona fide superstars: engaging personalities. There is simply no drama, no exciting rivalries in tennis these days. Even Richard Williams has been quiet as he doesn't really have anything to say.
Let's not forget that the US and world economies have been struggling for the last couple of years, add to that 9/11, the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and it is not difficult to see that the casual fan does not have the same interest in tennis as he did when the tour was a more exciting place both on and off the court.

TonyP
May 6th, 2003, 05:50 PM
Lelu:

Some excellent points on your part! To add to the list is the fact that in the US, tennis has never reached the heights it attained in the 1970s and early 80s.

For awhile, it was thought the lack of US domination was the problem and I am not convinced that the WTA didn't do its best to help the US players get back on top.

But even complete US domination for a time of the men's tour didn't restore tennis to its past glory.

There are a lot of complex sociological factors at work on success and failure in today's world. There are also a lot of complex "market forces" at work in our society.

But in the age of reality television and instant celebrity, often for people of pretty questionable talent, tennis finds itself in many ways unable to compete. The irony is, golf, a sport that is in many ways less accessible to the common man because of the outrageous costs, none the less moved into the stratisphere in the 90s. But that was largely because one man captured the attention of the press and thus the public.

Despite a huge press build up for the Williams sisters, the numbers just don't match, maybe because the Williams sisters seem like a mismatch compared to most people.

And with Hingis gone, there is simply no one who seems capable of really challenging Serena. Venus may be a whole other story, though.

Dava
May 6th, 2003, 07:49 PM
I think the tour is in the best state it has been since 2001, I mean, we have two dominant figures, yet they are now being contested! Its excellent, we know V and Rena are the better players, yet there is a chance they could now loose against certain players.

Also the top 15 is now gridlocked and harder to get into then the tate gallery. I think the fact that we have people like Dokic and Hantuchova who play week in week out is great as they are popular and people watch them play.

I also think that its fantastic that there is now so much depth that people like Elena, Maggie, Ai and Patty are winning tournaments.

griffin
May 6th, 2003, 08:08 PM
They could fill up a stadium on their own.


With all due respect to the "Spice Girls" - who certainly were a draw, Serena and Venus just sold out an entire weekend of Fed Cup. In a matter of days. In friggin' Lowell.

And I think you're mixing up cause and effect when looking at the mess in the WTA's front office/lack of title sponsor and the alledged "loss of steam"

Current events certainly are making a dent in TV ratings - there are a lot of people who can't get their minds around watching people trade stokes on a court when CNN is showing people trading live fire 24/7. If you think Hingis or Kournikova could have changed that you are out of your minds.

To be certain, tennis is probably less engaging for a certain group of fans, just as it became less engaging for some people when Graf retired, and when Chrissy or Martina retired. But it's a mistake to project your own relative lack of interest on the tennis public as a whole.

Jakeev
May 6th, 2003, 08:23 PM
Lelu: And with Hingis gone, there is simply no one who seems capable of really challenging Serena. Venus may be a whole other story, though.

If that is not one of the most ridiculous statements I have read this year on this board, I can only compare to some "funny" thread Car Key Little Boi tries to come up with.

Lelu is correct, tennis is going through a slight down time because the top players are not consistently playing in the big events. But it's still an exciting sport to be watching right now so I would not be crying doomsday just yet.

persond
May 6th, 2003, 08:39 PM
:cool: I've finally read a post by Jakeev that I "honestly" agree with...!!! Surely I must be "dreaming"... :cool: :cool:

*persond wonders to himself...could this become habitual...???*

Jakeev
May 6th, 2003, 08:46 PM
:cool: I've finally read a post by Jakeev that I "honestly" agree with...!!! Surely I must be "dreaming"... :cool: :cool:

*persond wonders to himself...could this become habitual...???*


If people start saying it's love persond we are gonna have a little discussion about it........ :kiss:

TonyP
May 6th, 2003, 11:00 PM
Griffin: FYI, in the second week of the war, NCAA basketball and "American Idol" were getting higher ratings in the US than the war was.

Rollo
May 7th, 2003, 01:09 AM
Interesting posts Tony and Lelu. There are a lot of factors behind the current state of women's tennis , but the current #1 factor IMO is simply a lack of stars who appeal to European audiences. Serena, Venus, Jennifer and company sell enough tickets in North America-it's Europe where events are in trouble-and Germany in particular, where interest has imploded since Graf retired.

I'd be curious to know how many fans are coming to events on the European tour. I saw reports that Warsaw sold out, which is certainly a good sign. Antwerp was a real success this year with 12,000 in the finals. We can hope non-German Euro tour events will eventually replace
the big money German events, but it might be a slow process.

The lack of variety in styles hurts too, but that's unlikely to change anytime soon. Hard court tennis rules. For women's tennis to thrive again in Europe it will need a European female to win a slam. A Navratilova, a Graf, a Seles, a Hingis.

A decent German woman would help too. Anke Barna or Marlene Weingartner aren't go to fill up the Rot-Weiss club.

Becool
May 7th, 2003, 01:38 AM
The tour has lost it's essence.. Who will forget those fights in 1999-1998? The great rivalry between the players?

They used to have personality, they were excentrical, they had an attitude. Now the today's girls are very boring, with no attitude at all.. And makes the game look boring.. Not everyone in the top ten are that interesting to watch.. For example, I don't think Kim's exciting to watch or Daniela.. And they don't even make it interesting, by provoking or saying something crazy on their interviews, they act like saints.. it's damn boring..

Well, for those who follow tennis before 2000 know what i'm talking about.. These girls are boring. They can even have an good game, but they don't try to make it interesting.. Maybe wearing crazy outfits, like Serena, would help.. or saying bitchy things like Alexandra would too :angel:

The players, who used to be the real business from the past are getting older, they don't have to play this role again.. it would look boring.. that's why I don't see nothing interesting in this new guns..

Some people can call Alexandra an asshole for saying the things that she say, but seriously, if she doesn't speak it out, who will? Jelena also does sometimes... I find it interesting what they say, and most of the times they're true..

I don't see Kim and Justine acting like bitches ;) Well, but Juju's game helps to bring the attention for the game, but Kim? She's too of a saint for me.. and her game :p....

I don't know if you guys got my point. All I'm saying is that the tour is passing through a crisis, and the players itself, don't try to make it better.. Who doesn't like a bit of controversy? That's why I miss Hingis now. She would have the guts to answer Richard's accusations and etc.. See.. Richard just made a statement last week about their daughters having an easy road everytime they enter in a tournament.. or saying that WTA is racist.. People don't like? But I'm sure the WTA Tour likes it.. It's more attention for them.. Of course they expect some player to answer.. they did? No.. :rolleyes:

Rollo
May 7th, 2003, 01:46 AM
LOL-good points Becool:)

Lets face, for a few fans (and LOTS of "casual" fans who drive TV ratings up or down) the "bitch" factor in women's tennis is a major draw.
It's the whole drama off the court package that creates drama on the court as well.

moby
May 7th, 2003, 11:54 AM
good posts from Tony, Lelu and Rollo

griffin
May 7th, 2003, 02:17 PM
Griffin: FYI, in the second week of the war, NCAA basketball and "American Idol" were getting higher ratings in the US than the war was.

And again, if you think having Hingis or Kournikova play would have enabled tennis to pull that off, you are out of your mind. Tennis is not March Madness or "reality" tv and it never has been.

The WTA does, and always has done, a crap job of promoting itself. The front office is a bit of a mess. We can agree on that. I just don't think you can hang a long-term problem like that on the current players.

As an aside, I just noticed the comment about the Tour needing to "sell sex appeal." I find that interesting given how much flak the Williams sisters have taken from some quarters for their interest in fashion, and their fashions on-court which have been deemed by some to put too much emphasis on sex appeal (whether it appeals to you personally is another story).

Rollo
May 7th, 2003, 02:40 PM
Griffin wrote:

The WTA does, and always has done, a crap job of promoting itself. The front office is a bit of a mess. We can agree on that

We sure can agree there. It's a bloody mess.

I'm not a Serena fan or hater, but c'mon that cat suit or her possibly dating a football player doesn't hurt in drawing more interest, just like Chris Evert dating Burt Reynolds got non tennis fans talking and watching her.

"Sex appeal" is a double-edged sword though. In the end results have to back it up. Serena backs it up-while Kournikova hasn't been for quite a while. Anna still sells tickets and generates excitement when she sticks around long enough to reach the semis. If Kournikova could get back to that level (where there's some TV exposure) it would add a lot to tour events.