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tennisIlove09
Feb 15th, 2004, 01:34 AM
Serena out, and really no sign of coming back.
Venus out, and no sign of coming back.

Amelie injured one week, healthy the next. Back to injured the next

Capriati out, and looks to return in Dubai, but who knows.
Seles out, no idea when or if she will/can return.

Davenport is healthy...but realistically, for how long?

Kournikova is basically retired; Hingis has retired.

Has the WTA ever been so injury-infested before??? No offence to Kim and Justine, but this could be the reason many think less of their "domination"

moby
Feb 15th, 2004, 01:49 AM
of course it's stupid to say that kim and justine haven't benefitted from all this
but kudos to them for taking care of themselves (and playing through illness/injuries) to keep the tour together :)
couldnt imagine if the world no. 1 and 2 are off the tour at this point

and of course i think this slight weakness in the tour is just what some players need to "breakthrough", so it isnt a complete loss

Greenout
Feb 15th, 2004, 02:03 AM
I seriously doubt that Justine nor Kim would agree with what's being
said in this thread. They've worked their little butt's off since 1999
to be where they are now...#1, and #2. The same people who aren't
doing well, injured, lame, worried, no match fit were there all
these years ago; but just aren't able to keep up with them
anymore. Is it there fault that they improved beyond everybody else?

The quality and standard of tennis is higher than ever. If you can't
keep up, you'll miss the train. That's just the way it is.

Give them credit!!!!!!!!

Couver
Feb 15th, 2004, 02:05 AM
Depends on who you ask ;)

ktwtennis
Feb 15th, 2004, 02:37 AM
Yes, b/c I've never been more interested in men's tennis!

AjdeNate!
Feb 15th, 2004, 02:40 AM
Yes, b/c I've never been more interested in men's tennis!
:yeah:

RedFilaJ-Cap#1
Feb 15th, 2004, 02:42 AM
You can't help getting injured sometimes it just happens. Everyone that is injured would be making a big difference if they were back!!!

tennnisfannn
Feb 15th, 2004, 02:44 AM
Remember the not so distant past when we had quartes like Serena vs lindsay, Venus vs Kim, Jen vs Amelie, Justine vs Myskins, competition all through to the finals. Will we ever have that again?

Jericho
Feb 15th, 2004, 02:53 AM
yeah its pretty bad at the moment...Serena, Venus, Capriati, Mauresmo, Seles, Rubin and there are like 2 retirements per week

LindsayRocks89
Feb 15th, 2004, 02:56 AM
we just have to hope it will get better :D

~ The Leopard ~
Feb 15th, 2004, 03:04 AM
At this exact moment it's ridiculous. When all the current players are fit, it's a murderously good array of talent, even without the Spice Girls (assuming, for the moment, that Marti's retirement really is permanent and that Anna K won't ever return). But with Venus, Serena, Amelie, Cappy, and Monica all out of action right now, and Mary Pierce still working her way back to her best, that only leaves three players whom I'd consider truly elite. I.e. Juju, Kimmie, and Lindsay. Three is not enough.

If even a couple of those on the injured list returned in the next few weeks it would make a huge difference. If Momo and Venus were back in action, at least we'd have five elite players competing. That's.....hmmm....67% better than only three. ;)

tennisIlove09
Feb 15th, 2004, 03:10 AM
This thread was in no way trying to degrade Justine or Kim. I was just stating the obvious: this is the reason why some people will "attack"/question their rise.

Rothes
Feb 15th, 2004, 03:10 AM
Has the WTA ever been so injury-infested before??? No offence to Kim and Justine, but this could be the reason many think less of their "domination"
Well their achievments over the last seveal months have been exceptionable, no doubt about that, But with a few players missing and not in contention during that time of "domination" it does somewhat question their ascendancy might of been given a little "helping hand" as of their injuries. I do believe that in a respective term.

fammmmedspin
Feb 15th, 2004, 03:30 AM
Whisper it quietly but those of us with a view have had some good matches to watch in Paris. We also have two youngsters making breakthroughs and one of them may be the best 16 year old we have seen for a long time. The point about your list of missing players may be the Americans - the French now have Sandrine back, Mary on form and a new star. The Russians have 10-20 Annas in production. Team USA is a real problem. Where/who is the US Golovin?

Jericho
Feb 15th, 2004, 03:51 AM
Whats with all this its Americas problem BS?!?! We are talking about top players, nothing to do with nationality...Venus, Serena, Capriati, and Seles are American but also GS champs the cream of the crop, we are also talking about Mauresmo as well who isnt American :rolleyes:

fammmmedspin
Feb 15th, 2004, 04:52 AM
Whats with all this its Americas problem BS?!?! We are talking about top players, nothing to do with nationality...Venus, Serena, Capriati, and Seles are American but also GS champs the cream of the crop, we are also talking about Mauresmo as well who isnt American :rolleyes:
The point was that the French didn't miss Amelie this week as they had Mary and Tatiana to root for. Four of the top 5 Americans are injured and the other one wasn't here and may not be fully fit anyway so Americans had zilch, nada, rien to root for. No americans makes US tennis coverage even less likely and supports the idea in the US that nothing is happening when actually the tennis is pretty good quality stuff.

The longer term suggests this situation will only get worse. Monica. Lindsay and Jennifer look unlikely prospects for many more years. Venus and Serena might stay for years or pack up this year. If I was the USTA I would be looking very hard for my Golovin, Safina, Shrpova or Sprem.

tennisIlove09
Feb 15th, 2004, 05:23 AM
I'm Canadian, so I really don't have top players to root for. Frankly, I'm just missing the true stars of the WTA. No offence to the Dementieva, Myskina, Sugiyama's but they are ranked based on other's injuries. There's no way in hell Monica or Venus would be ranked so low if they haven't been injured for close to a year now.

I just want EVERYONE healthy. The tour will be much better then. Until then, it's the Clijsters-Henin-Hardenne show--and that's getting old, quickly.

Dawn Marie
Feb 15th, 2004, 05:29 AM
At this exact moment it's ridiculous. When all the current players are fit, it's a murderously good array of talent, even without the Spice Girls (assuming, for the moment, that Marti's retirement really is permanent and that Anna K won't ever return). But with Venus, Serena, Amelie, Cappy, and Monica all out of action right now, and Mary Pierce still working her way back to her best, that only leaves three players whom I'd consider truly elite. I.e. Juju, Kimmie, and Lindsay. Three is not enough.

If even a couple of those on the injured list returned in the next few weeks it would make a huge difference. If Momo and Venus were back in action, at least we'd have five elite players competing. That's.....hmmm....67% better than only three. ;)



I agree with this post.


The WTA tour is really lacking at the moment. :)

~ The Leopard ~
Feb 15th, 2004, 06:07 AM
Cool, DM. :)

I stress that my comment was about the situation right now, so it takes nothing from the achievements of Justine and Kim over the past ten or twelve months.

Dawn Marie
Feb 15th, 2004, 06:13 AM
Agree again, but the only one who is doing alot of damage is Justine Henin. She won OZ and another tourney. She is beating some tough people this year imho and is the only one who right now is stepping it on up.

We need alot of the injured elite back and healthy.

Venus
Serena
Monica
Amelie
Jennifer
Chanda

and more that i am sure that I missed.:)

bigshow21
Feb 15th, 2004, 06:15 AM
This is not the worst the WTA has ever benn. When Jen was out it was boring. But now that she is back it is going to be so much more fun and exciting. 8 days and counting, I cant wait!!!!!!! :) :)

Pamela Shriver
Feb 15th, 2004, 09:37 AM
Could be worse. I could still be playing.

hingis-seles
Feb 15th, 2004, 09:47 AM
I think it was worse in 1994.

This is pretty bad as well, though.

paellapan
Feb 15th, 2004, 10:00 AM
I really agree with fammmmedspin. I can imagine the tour really sucks right now for "Team America", with the injuries of those top 6-7 players... but the feeling would not be that bad if some young talent ala Golovin, Sharapova,... was coming thru. But is there ?

gmak
Feb 15th, 2004, 10:17 AM
the 1994 season was just :yawn:
the only real excitements were mary's run to the RG final and Martina's run to the Wimbledon final..

1999-2000 we saw some great tennis ( especially the 1999 US Open )

Stefwhit
Feb 15th, 2004, 10:44 AM
Whenever the top names are absent from competition both the quality and interest are bound to suffer- how could it not? If your under the illusion that the WTA is booming and things are moving along great, then ur severely mistaken. Tennis isn't just about being the best though, it's also about being opportunistic and rising to the occasion. Hingis' accomplishments aren't diminished just cuz Graf wasn't there to challenge her, same goes for Steffi when Monica was out, and this also applies to both Justine and Kim. Who knows what would have happened if things were different, that's beside the point cuz the show must go on regardless. Kudos to Justine for being the most opportunistic of all the players on tour. Do I think things would have been different with a higher level of competition, yes I do, but they weren't so the best at the time came through. (But) Some new life is definitely needed cuz tennis is becoming a major snoozefest...

GoDominique
Feb 15th, 2004, 10:48 AM
It's pretty bad right now, but IMO we should leave Monica out of this.

Greenout
Feb 15th, 2004, 11:06 AM
It's interesting to note that year's ago we were all boasting that
the WTA had more stars than the ATP. I do believe many of us feared
that the WTA promoted and ran the tour based on star power; which
could bite them in the ass if they didn't push the promo around more.
We mock Anna; but the WTA have been riding on her coattails for years.
She's been so exploited, and as we see from SI magazine has decided to
use her own fame for herself now. Justine and Kim? The WTA was
too busy working promoting Stevenson and worrying about Dokic to
even notice that they were rising quicker than the WIMBLEDON class of
1999 semi finalists. Let's not even go into how they failed to save
Lucic's career.

We all have to agree that Venus and Serena is a once in a lifetime tennis
thing and will never happen again.

I'm just wondering if anybody at the WTA has actually noticed the
ages of Monica, Ld, Jenn, Lindsay, Mary and Chanda? Really. Do
you even have to be a tennis or sports critic to figure out that a new
generation needs to be groomed from somewhere if not from the
USA where else? If the WTA wasn't so American based things might
not be so grim as it seems now. They totally missed the boat on
the all court tennis that seems to have taken over the top 10 with
Justine, Amelie, Kim and Myskina.


Well...look what happened. I'm thinking about how positive American
tv is toward men's tennis with, if you really think about it, only Roddick
grand slam material. It's not like Dent, Blake or Fish are going to win
WIMBLEDON or RG, right? Yet, they lump Blake,Fish and Dent along
with Roger, JCF, Marat, despite the American's not even near the
level of the Euro's.

Looking at it objectively USA women's tennis really has no one that
could even touch the mantel of Venus, Serena, LD, Jenn or Monica.
Ashley? Alex Stevenson? Meghan? Laura Granville? Lisa Raymond?

So, what will the WTA do now? The ball is truly in their corner.

sartrista7
Feb 15th, 2004, 11:10 AM
and of course i think this slight weakness in the tour is just what some players need to "breakthrough", so it isnt a complete loss

Except no one except Justine has remotely broken through... no one is stepping up, no one is taking their chances except Justine. An inevitable conclusion is that this is because Lindsay and Jenn are done (tell us something we didn't know this time last year), and everyone else is either a mental midget, a baby or permanently injured.

I'm not impressed with the injuries... yes, bad luck plays its part, but it's the job of a pro athlete to avoid injuries. If you keep getting hurt... you need to change the way you approach the game. If you don't change that... too bad.

And yes, I am currently more interested in the men's game (the first time that's happened since I started following tennis). Then again, I am more interested in Challengers than the Kim-and-Justine show at the moment.

Stefwhit
Feb 15th, 2004, 11:24 AM
....I'm just wondering if anybody at the WTA has actually noticed the ages of Monica, Ld, Jenn, Lindsay, Mary and Chanda? Really. Do
you even have to be a tennis or sports critic to figure out that a new
generation needs to be groomed from somewhere if not from the
USA where else? If the WTA wasn't so American based things might
not be so grim as it seems now. They totally missed the boat on
the all court tennis that seems to have taken over the top 10 with
Justine, Amelie, Kim and Myskina.

Well...look what happened. I'm thinking about how positive American
tv is toward men's tennis with, if you really think about it, only Roddick
grand slam material. It's not like Dent, Blake or Fish are going to win
WIMBLEDON or RG, right? Yet, they lump Blake,Fish and Dent along
with Roger, JCF, Marat, despite the American's not even near the
level of the Euro's.

Looking at it objectively USA women's tennis really has no one that
could even touch the mantel of Venus, Serena, LD, Jenn or Monica.
Ashley? Alex Stevenson? Meghan? Laura Granville? Lisa Raymond?

So, what will the WTA do now? The ball is truly in their corner.
Good post, except that I think you're bringing up two seperate issues. The current state of tennis and the next generation of athletes to carry on, and the state of American tennis and it's future. I don't think the WTA needs to conern itself with finding the next American hopefuls, tennis doesn't need Americans it needs great rivalries, exciting quality matches, and some minor restructuring (rankings, length of season...etc..). Justine and Kim are GREAT for the sport and there is a huge interest in them- well sorta.... One of the most exciting things I can think of is seeing Justine and Serena going at it again and a lot of casual tennis fans would be anxious to see that match up as well. The problem is when the top players aren't in action and aren't producing exciting matches. Outside of Justine fans, no one wants to see her routinely winning without being challenged- that's not going to bring fans in. But a healthy group of top quality opponents going at one another time and time again can do wonders. As for the future of the sport I agree that things look a little bleak, but when a new sensation comes through it usually doesn't take long for them to make waves and start making things interesting. It didn't take Hingis, Monica, Justine, Kim, or Serena long to establish their presence in tennis- so just because we don't see it around the corner doesn't mean it's not there (although we did see Hingis coming).

Greenout
Feb 15th, 2004, 11:25 AM
Except no one except Justine has remotely broken through... no one is stepping up, no one is taking their chances except Justine. An inevitable conclusion is that this is because Lindsay and Jenn are done (tell us something we didn't know this time last year), and everyone else is either a mental midget, a baby or permanently injured.

I'm not impressed with the injuries... yes, bad luck plays its part, but it's the job of a pro athlete to avoid injuries. If you keep getting hurt... you need to change the way you approach the game. If you don't change that... too bad.

And yes, I am currently more interested in the men's game (the first time that's happened since I started following tennis). Then again, I am more interested in Challengers than the Kim-and-Justine show at the moment.


If I did not happen to be a J2H fan,I'm sure I would feel the exact way
you do. The Kim and Justine show is like the English Premier League
with it always being only about MAN U and ARSENAL.

Greenout
Feb 15th, 2004, 11:30 AM
Good post, except that I think you're bringing up two seperate issues. The current state of tennis and the next generation of athletes to carry on, and the state of American tennis and it's future. I don't think the WTA needs to conern itself with finding the next American hopefuls, tennis doesn't need Americans it needs great rivalries, exciting quality matches, and some minor restructuring (rankings, length of season...etc..). Justine and Kim are GREAT for the sport and there is a huge interest in them- well sorta.... One of the most exciting things I can think of is seeing Justine and Serena going at it again and a lot of casual tennis fans would be anxious to see that match up as well. The problem is when the top players aren't in action and aren't producing exciting matches. Outside of Justine fans, no one wants to see her routinely winning without being challenged- that's not going to bring fans in. But a healthy group of top quality opponents going at one another time and time again can do wonders. As for the future of the sport I agree that things look a little bleak, but when a new sensation comes through it usually doesn't take long for them to make waves and start making things interesting. It didn't take Hingis, Monica, Justine, Kim, or Serena long to establish their presence in tennis- so just because we don't see it around the corner doesn't mean it's not there (although we did see Hingis coming).

American's only want to see American's, and if this means James Blake,
Mardy Fish and Taylor Dent they'll take it. Where are the WTA
versions of these guys? There's so many hardcourt events, and the
US Open's huge prize purse that it's a must to have a least one
great top contender that's American. I think Amelie -vs- Justine
could be a huge great rivalry; but American's wouldn't give two
shits for this as a final because they're French speakers. Forget about
the quality or the the incredible shot making. American's want to
see American's winning.

propi
Feb 15th, 2004, 11:32 AM
I miss great seasons as 1994 (I disagree with almost all :lol: ) with new people coming, huge surprises in GS and different champions :D
What wta needs now is healthy people and a huge surprise GS winner maybe called Myskina, the one noone used to give a **** some months ago :p

Stefwhit
Feb 15th, 2004, 11:34 AM
Well...look what happened. I'm thinking about how positive American tv is toward men's tennis with, if you really think about it, only Roddick
grand slam material. It's not like Dent, Blake or Fish are going to win
WIMBLEDON or RG, right? Yet, they lump Blake,Fish and Dent along
with Roger, JCF, Marat, despite the American's not even near the
level of the Euro's.
That's not necessarily a bad thing because it's important to help build an interest with young Americans and what better way to do that then building up the up and comers. It's a fine line because it's important to build up the new generation and help fans get acquanted with them, but when there's too much focus primarly due to hype and nationalism well that's not such a good thing. It's kinda what you were wanting the WTA to do- the problem is that when you focus on these guys at the expense of more quality guys the sport suffers as a whole. Tennis is an international sport like no other, and when US tv solely tries to market it as an American sport than they're putting themselves in a really risky position. It's as if they don't quite get that some little boy at home watching tennis can equally be inspired to play by watching Federer as he could by watchin' Rodick- and that's a shame...

sartrista7
Feb 15th, 2004, 11:37 AM
If I did not happen to be a J2H fan,I'm sure I would feel the exact way
you do. The Kim and Justine show is like the English Premier League
with it always being only about MAN U and ARSENAL.

I am a Justine fan! And it's still boring me to tears. This has a lot to do with Kim, who is quite possibly the most dull person ever to play a professional sport. Actually, no - make that the most dull person ever. Her game, her personality... everything makes me want to tear my hair out.

bee
Feb 15th, 2004, 11:40 AM
I don't think its the worst.... I guessed the right term is just "boring",,,,,
No williams.. hingis... half of the top 10 seems injured... No interesting personalities...

Stefwhit
Feb 15th, 2004, 11:43 AM
American's only want to see American's, and if this means James Blake, Mardy Fish and Taylor Dent they'll take it. Where are the WTA
versions of these guys? There's so many hardcourt events, and the
US Open's huge prize purse that it's a must to have a least one
great top contender that's American. I think Amelie -vs- Justine
could be a huge great rivalry; but American's wouldn't give two
shits for this as a final because they're French speakers. Forget about
the quality or the the incredible shot making. American's want to
see American's winning.That's not entirely true. Lendl (sp?), Becker, Bjorg, Goran, Steffi, Sabatini, these players were just as popular as the American counterparts. When it comes down to it I believe Americans would love to root for an American but the absence of them doesn't necessarily hurt things. You example of Amelie vs Justine is a good one and you're right the level of interest in the match wouldn't be huge by any strech, but who's fault is that. I honestly believe that the problem is created by the tennis coverage and the fact that only American stars are used to promote the sport to US viewers, that's the real problem. The problem is one that we're creating. We need to market the best of the best regardless of what country they come from. If that was done more regularly I think the problems you're bringing up wouldn't be as big of a deal as it currently is- just my thoughts....

faste5683
Feb 15th, 2004, 12:10 PM
American's only want to see American's, and if this means James Blake,
I think Amelie -vs- Justine
could be a huge great rivalry; but American's wouldn't give two
shits for this as a final because they're French speakers. Forget about
the quality or the the incredible shot making. American's want to
see American's winning.

Hold on a second, partner. I'm an American AND a Justine/Amelie
fan. If you're any sort of a tennis player, you can't help but notice (and admire)
their all court games. Please refrain from such sweeping generalizations in the
future :)

:wavey: :rolls:

Greenout
Feb 15th, 2004, 12:26 PM
Hold on a second, partner. I'm an American AND a Justine/Amelie
fan. If you're any sort of a tennis player, you can't help but notice (and admire)
their all court games. Please refrain from such sweeping generalizations in the
future :)

:wavey: :rolls:



I feel the same way as you do;but I think we're in the minority
here. Look at this board. The majority of American tennis fans
like Venus, Serena, LD, Monica and Jenn.

faste5683
Feb 15th, 2004, 01:27 PM
I feel the same way as you do;but I think we're in the minority
here. Look at this board. The majority of American tennis fans
like Venus, Serena, LD, Monica and Jenn.

Here, on this board, perhaps. But in my exprience as a tennis *player*, competing and training with other players, we all have respect and admiration for the top players, regardless of their nationality. What I've noticed among experienced players is that they tend to identify with pro players with a similar style of game. Thus, if you're an aggresive baseline player you would be partial to Venus, Lindsay, or an
Andre Agassi. An allcourt player would be fired up over watching an Amelie, Justine, or a Rodger (FedEx) Federer. Just something I've noticed.

:wavey:

bandabou
Feb 15th, 2004, 01:29 PM
The best thing for tennis would be the return of a healthy Serena and Venus to tennis. Right now they are the only ones who have AND the game AND the mentality to challenge Justine. Sorry Kimmie-fans, but Kim doesn´t get it and I´m afraid will never get it done when it matters.

How can someone blaze through draws double-bageling people left and right, then choke THAT badly in finals?! Amazing....

JennyS
Feb 15th, 2004, 01:32 PM
Women's tennis is really bad right now and the WTA needs to figure out why there are so many injuries at the moment. Has the WTA figured out the "right" number of tournaments for players to play? (I doubt there is such a thing since all players are different). Is 17 too many tournaments for a top 10 player? Is it too little? Is it the one week tournaments, which require players to play as many as 5 or 6 matches in one week that are too tough on the top players? Is it the travel? Do the players train too hard during the miniscule off-season? Is it the hardcourts? The power game? Or simply a coincidence?

The point is that the WTA will not be able to go on like this forever. If tournament fields continue to weaken out, the tour will probably have to cut tournaments.

sartrista7
Feb 15th, 2004, 01:36 PM
Training too hard is probably not the issue... Justine probably trains harder than anyone out there, and she's remarkably injury-free (despite her fragile health). Training in the wrong way is more likely to be the answer.

None of the players play too many matches... it's certainly not OVER-playing which injured Venus and Serena, at any rate. Most of them have poor scheduling though, and I'm sure the WTA needs to take some of the blame for this.

Experimentee
Feb 15th, 2004, 01:41 PM
I agree, it is the worst its been since I started following tennis. Every tournament is so predictable with all these injuries.

In Tokyo, we had Davenport winning a Tier I without beating a top 15 player, now this week we have Kim winning a Tier II beating only one top 20 player, and that was #20 Farina.

There were at least 5 retirements/walkovers this week and last week combined. All these injuries are really weakening the draws badly :(

TonyP
Feb 15th, 2004, 02:00 PM
One of the American tennis magazines is even raising the issue of whether it is time to consider merging the men's and women's tours. This comes at a time when men's tennis is getting much better publicity than women's tennis, so the men would probably NOT be receptive to that, especially since the women have gotten all the good press in the last seven or eight years.

But duel events for men and women draw the best and provide the best chance of seeing good matches, especially in the early rounds, so it might not be a bad idea.

But the large number of injuries afflicting the men's game needs to be looked into.

It does not do a lot of good to have mega-star women players who rarely turn up to play. And it is just amazing that the four brightest lights in women's tennis of the mid to late 90s are all missing in action now. Martina, retired, Anna, perhaps about to retire, Venus and Serena, on the disabled list for more than half a year. No disrespect to Kim and Justine, but the WTA tour has lost most of its luster, in part because those four girls were also the most glamorous, most charismatic players on the tour, the ones that brought it the most publicity.

Sports, including tennis, have weathered down periods before, and I think you have to be hiding your head in the sand if you don't think this is a down period for the WTA. The difference between now and before is, TV is more important than every, many sports are struggling economically in the United States and unlike WNBA basketball, no one is going to subsidize women's tennis.

This tour could be in for a rough ride if the Williams sisters do not return and do not begin playing great tennis, even when facing each other.

fammmmedspin
Feb 15th, 2004, 03:28 PM
One of the American tennis magazines is even raising the issue of whether it is time to consider merging the men's and women's tours. This comes at a time when men's tennis is getting much better publicity than women's tennis, so the men would probably NOT be receptive to that, especially since the women have gotten all the good press in the last seven or eight years.

But duel events for men and women draw the best and provide the best chance of seeing good matches, especially in the early rounds, so it might not be a bad idea.

But the large number of injuries afflicting the men's game needs to be looked into.

It does not do a lot of good to have mega-star women players who rarely turn up to play. And it is just amazing that the four brightest lights in women's tennis of the mid to late 90s are all missing in action now. Martina, retired, Anna, perhaps about to retire, Venus and Serena, on the disabled list for more than half a year. No disrespect to Kim and Justine, but the WTA tour has lost most of its luster, in part because those four girls were also the most glamorous, most charismatic players on the tour, the ones that brought it the most publicity.

Sports, including tennis, have weathered down periods before, and I think you have to be hiding your head in the sand if you don't think this is a down period for the WTA. The difference between now and before is, TV is more important than every, many sports are struggling economically in the United States and unlike WNBA basketball, no one is going to subsidize women's tennis.

This tour could be in for a rough ride if the Williams sisters do not return and do not begin playing great tennis, even when facing each other.

I would think that the experience of Sydney and the AO would demonstrate why playing with the men would be fatal for the women. Women appeared on centre court relatively rarely and the womens matches were replaced by doubles in the peak time evening slots in the AO. At Sydney they managed to keep the mens tour on time with its longer matches but the women ended up being shunted off court to play 2 matches in one day to get to the final.

Frankly, the health of the tour is not dependant on the presence of the Williams sisters - indeed if they were both dominating again we would have headlines about total predictability all over again. What the tour needs in terms of watchability is a few good matches and someone to provide competition to the very top players - which could be Serena but might be someone else. The real problem is financial and it is about what the US sponsors and TV need - a US star who plays and wins. That could be Serena, but her injury and playing record does not suggest she is a long term solution. If Sharapova or Golovin were Americans, I suspect the US media would already be treating them like Jennifer in the early nineties and few people would be worrying about Serena's absence. As it is , Ashley is going to have to get an awful lot better to take a place in the post serena top 10.

sartrista7
Feb 15th, 2004, 03:35 PM
I don't think it's a problem that Sharapova and Golovin aren't American... as we saw with Kournikova, the US media has no problem with promoting the hell out of pretty blonde girls. The problem is that *they* have learnt from Kournikova as well, and aren't willing to be promoted in that way yet. Also... they're not ready to challenge for Slams yet. To the casual fan, the only players who matter are those who have either won Slams in the past or can win them at the moment. Sharapova and Golovin are still babies... they won't be the solution for a few years yet.

Having said that... in another five years' time, when the Williamses and the Belgians are the veterans and Sharapova and Golovin (and Vaidisova and Karatancheva if they're as good as their results so far suggest) are coming into their own... women's tennis could very well shine again.

bandabou
Feb 15th, 2004, 03:39 PM
I would think that the experience of Sydney and the AO would demonstrate why playing with the men would be fatal for the women. Women appeared on centre court relatively rarely and the womens matches were replaced by doubles in the peak time evening slots in the AO. At Sydney they managed to keep the mens tour on time with its longer matches but the women ended up being shunted off court to play 2 matches in one day to get to the final.

Frankly, the health of the tour is not dependant on the presence of the Williams sisters - indeed if they were both dominating again we would have headlines about total predictability all over again. What the tour needs in terms of watchability is a few good matches and someone to provide competition to the very top players - which could be Serena but might be someone else. The real problem is financial and it is about what the US sponsors and TV need - a US star who plays and wins. That could be Serena, but her injury and playing record does not suggest she is a long term solution. If Sharapova or Golovin were Americans, I suspect the US media would already be treating them like Jennifer in the early nineties and few people would be worrying about Serena's absence. As it is , Ashley is going to have to get an awful lot better to take a place in the post serena top 10.

Well, at least you were realistic enough not to name Baltacha as the hope for the WTA. ;)

Filip!
Feb 15th, 2004, 04:14 PM
Look at the Antwerp-field this year... it's terrible!

Richie77
Feb 15th, 2004, 07:00 PM
Women's tennis is really bad right now and the WTA needs to figure out why there are so many injuries at the moment. Has the WTA figured out the "right" number of tournaments for players to play? (I doubt there is such a thing since all players are different). Is 17 too many tournaments for a top 10 player? Is it too little? Is it the one week tournaments, which require players to play as many as 5 or 6 matches in one week that are too tough on the top players? Is it the travel? Do the players train too hard during the miniscule off-season? Is it the hardcourts? The power game? Or simply a coincidence?

The point is that the WTA will not be able to go on like this forever. If tournament fields continue to weaken out, the tour will probably have to cut tournaments.
Cutting tournaments is not the answer. There were tennis tournaments going on year-round back in the 1970's and 1980's (albeit with smaller fields and less competition), and nobody was complaining about the season being too long.

Changing the ranking system so that players aren't encouraged (if not out-and-out mandated) to play 20-plus events per year is the answer. Think about it...before 1997, when the average system was used, you never heard about injury epdiemics devastating the Tour like they are now.

Back in the 80's and early 90's, a top player getting injured was big news. And never did you see four or five top players injured at once. Nowadays, it's almost a surprise to hear that a top player isn't injured. And four or five Top 10 players injured is common. When did that start happening? In the late 1990's, when the Best of 18 or 17 system started.

If you play 21 tournaments a year, as opposed to 14 or 15, your body's going to be undergoing more pounding, you have to train more, travel more, endure more stress...no wonder people are getting injured!

If the WTA wants to fix the problem, it's simple. Change the ranking system back to average points. Players will play less tournaments, but they'll be much fresher and less prone to injury.

for-sure
Feb 15th, 2004, 07:04 PM
people seem to forget that Venus was at the Aussie open and "ready to take it"

bandabou
Feb 15th, 2004, 07:06 PM
people seem to forget that Venus was at the Aussie open and "ready to take it"

yeah and so was Kim too...

JennyS
Feb 15th, 2004, 07:28 PM
I agree that the old ranking system would be much better than the one being used now. Maybe they could have an average of all tournaments played with a lower minimum of tournaments (14 maybe?) I also think that it would help if the big events weren't so spread out.

The PGA season is very long too, but the "big" events are not as spaced out. Tiger Woods only played one tournament in January and Phil Mickelson didn't play until the third week of the season. Golfers never complain about the season being too long because the big tournaments are mostly played in the middle of the season.

I don't see why the WTA couldn't hold the WTA Championships in September and then hold tier 3's, 4's and 5's in October and November.

Richie77
Feb 15th, 2004, 08:22 PM
I agree that the old ranking system would be much better than the one being used now. Maybe they could have an average of all tournaments played with a lower minimum of tournaments (14 maybe?) I also think that it would help if the big events weren't so spread out.

The PGA season is very long too, but the "big" events are not as spaced out. Tiger Woods only played one tournament in January and Phil Mickelson didn't play until the third week of the season. Golfers never complain about the season being too long because the big tournaments are mostly played in the middle of the season.

I don't see why the WTA couldn't hold the WTA Championships in September and then hold tier 3's, 4's and 5's in October and November.
I like that idea! Maybe take a week off after the U.S. Open, then have the WTA Championships. Makes sense to me.

I also like your other idea (lower-tier tournaments in October and November). That way lower-ranked players can have a chance to bump up their rankings before the end of the year.
Expanding on that, how about a series of local Challenger tournaments in December? Have three weeks of $25Ks, then a big $75K event for the fourth week.

Smart
Feb 15th, 2004, 08:23 PM
I seriously doubt that Justine nor Kim would agree with what's being
said in this thread. They've worked their little butt's off since 1999
to be where they are now...#1, and #2. The same people who aren't
doing well, injured, lame, worried, no match fit were there all
these years ago; but just aren't able to keep up with them
anymore. Is it there fault that they improved beyond everybody else?

The quality and standard of tennis is higher than ever. If you can't
keep up, you'll miss the train. That's just the way it is.

Give them credit!!!!!!!!I agree. credits to Greenout.

Richie77
Feb 15th, 2004, 08:36 PM
It's up to players to choose the adequate number of tournements they should play per year.

It has nothing to do with the ranking system or the season being too long.

Change the ranking system, make the season shorter, Seles, Williams x 2 and co would still be injured.I don't know about that.

Here's the 1989 year-end list of Top 20 players, with the number of tournaments they played
1. Steffi Graf, 16
2. Martina Navratilova, 16
3. Gabriela Sabatini, 16
4. Zina Garrison, 18
5. Arantxa Sanchez (not yet Vicario), 15
6. Monica Seles, 10
7. Conchita Martinez, 12
8. Helena Sukova, 16
9. Manuela Maleeva, 15
10. Chris Evert, 10
11. Jana Novotna, 19
12. Mary Joe Fernandez, 15
13. Helen Kelesi, 18
14. Hana Mandlikova, 19
15. Katerina Maleeva, 14
16. Catarina Lindqvist, 20
17. Pam Shriver, 14
18. Belinda Cordwell, 13
19. Laura Gildemeister, 14
20. Larisa Savchenko, 16
Average: 15.3

Now let's compare that with the 2003 Year-end Top 20:
1. Justine Henin-Hardenne, 18
2. Kim Clijsters, 21
3. Serena Williams, 7
4. Amelie Mauresmo, 17
5. Lindsay Davenport, 16
6. Jennifer Capriati 18
7. Anastasia Myskina, 24
8. Elena Dementieva, 27
9. Chanda Rubin, 21
10. Ai Sugiyama, 26
11. Venus Williams, 6
12. Nadia Petrova, 23
13. Vera Zvonareva, 23
14. Paola Suarez, 24
15. Jelena Dokic, 30
16. Anna Smashnova-Pistolesi, 23
17. Meghann Shaughnessy, 24
18. Conchita Martinez, 21
19. Daniela Hantuchova, 23
20. Francesca Schiavone, 23
Average: 20.75 (And that IS counting Venus and Serena's numbers)

I truly believe that if the ranking system was different, you wouldn't see so many players playing 20+ tournaments per year.

bandabou
Feb 15th, 2004, 08:40 PM
I don't know about that.

Here's the 1989 year-end list of Top 20 players, with the number of tournaments they played
1. Steffi Graf, 16
2. Martina Navratilova, 16
3. Gabriela Sabatini, 16
4. Zina Garrison, 18
5. Arantxa Sanchez (not yet Vicario), 15
6. Monica Seles, 10
7. Conchita Martinez, 12
8. Helena Sukova, 16
9. Manuela Maleeva, 15
10. Chris Evert, 10
11. Jana Novotna, 19
12. Mary Joe Fernandez, 15
13. Helen Kelesi, 18
14. Hana Mandlikova, 19
15. Katerina Maleeva, 14
16. Catarina Lindqvist, 20
17. Pam Shriver, 14
18. Belinda Cordwell, 13
19. Laura Gildemeister, 14
20. Larisa Savchenko, 16
Average: 15.3

Now let's compare that with the 2003 Year-end Top 20:
1. Justine Henin-Hardenne, 18
2. Kim Clijsters, 21
3. Serena Williams, 7
4. Amelie Mauresmo, 17
5. Lindsay Davenport, 16
6. Jennifer Capriati 18
7. Anastasia Myskina, 24
8. Elena Dementieva, 27
9. Chanda Rubin, 21
10. Ai Sugiyama, 26
11. Venus Williams, 6
12. Nadia Petrova, 23
13. Vera Zvonareva, 23
14. Paola Suarez, 24
15. Jelena Dokic, 30
16. Anna Smashnova-Pistolesi, 23
17. Meghann Shaughnessy, 24
18. Conchita Martinez, 21
19. Daniela Hantuchova, 23
20. Francesca Schiavone, 23
Average: 20.75 (And that IS counting Venus and Serena's numbers)

I truly believe that if the ranking system was different, you wouldn't see so many players playing 20+ tournaments per year.

good point and that´s exactly the average the sisters tend to play. Quality, quality!

Brαm
Feb 15th, 2004, 08:46 PM
I am a Justine fan! And it's still boring me to tears. This has a lot to do with Kim, who is quite possibly the most dull person ever to play a professional sport. Actually, no - make that the most dull person ever. Her game, her personality... everything makes me want to tear my hair out.
Please, do tear your hair out :D