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spiceboy
Aug 15th, 2005, 07:52 PM
Divas appear only on posters
Tennis no shows surprise no one

DAVE FESCHUK (http://www.thestar.com/NASApp/cs/ContentServer?pagename=thestar/Render&c=Page&cid=968867503640&ce=Columnist&colid=1059689060047)

In one of the many gift shops at the Rexall Centre, home to the Rogers Cup, they're selling a book: Venus and Serena ... 10 Rules For Living, Loving and Winning.


Not that the spine's been cracked by this self-help enthusiast, who remains on page-a-day pace to finish Vince Carter: Choose Your Course before the library fines get unaffordable, but one assumes the 10 commandments from Mount Williams include a version of their familial competitive creed. That is: Never, unless you really, really feel like it, show up to the same non-Grand Slam tournament as your sister.



The Williamses, to wit, have rarely competed in the same event outside the tennis's four major championships. But that little fact — that there was a better chance of Tie Domi throwing a Botox party for his pals in the media than of Serena and Venus commandeering adjoining Yorkville suites for this week's hostilities — didn't stop organizers from featuring both sisters in the advertising campaign.



The ads, which show images of as many as six players — the famous siblings plus Maria Sharapova, Justine Henin-Hardenne, Amelie Mauresmo and Kim Clijsters — came with the tag line: "Live and unscripted. Tennis doesn't get any better than this."



But the tennis got significantly worse yesterday, when it was announced that Sharapova, the world No. 2 and the tour's most popular player, was withdrawing because of an injury to a "chest muscle," this after Friday's announcement that Venus Williams was withdrawing — surely not because Serena plans to attend — but because she has the "flu."



Now a full third of the tournament's official poster girls won't be here, and exactly no one is surprised.



The stars of women's tennis show up for work in the fashion that Allen Iverson shows up for practice — that is, unreliably and only after painstaking hours in a hairstylist's care.



The chances of both Williams sisters landing (and playing) in Toronto were slim to none. The chances of all six players featured in the ads showing up were nearly nil.



I'm no ethicist, but isn't advertising something you can't possibly deliver deceptive and more than a little wrong?



Yesterday tournament director Stacey Allaster — who has perhaps the worst job in sports, her success as an executive depending so much on the whims of teenage (and teenage-minded) prima donnas — was forced to spin tall tales about the vagaries of injuries and the majesty of the remaining field (which is also missing world No. 1 Lindsay Davenport, who is also injured).



But only the naïve didn't raise eyebrows. You could buy Venus Williams' excuse this week if she hadn't made a mockery of the tour's so-called commitment system last week, when she jetted to a Tier IV event in Sweden while a higher-calibre tournament in Los Angeles bemoaned her absence. That, of course, was the equivalent of a major league baseball player demoting himself to Double A just to relax.



Worse, Venus appears to have contracted a particularly nasty bug in the bush leagues, one which forced her to withdraw from the Swedish tournament on Aug. 6 and, though she wouldn't have had to begin play in Toronto until Wednesday, doesn't figure to abate in an 11-day recovery window. We've heard of the 24-hour flu. But the 264-hour strain? Send your get-well-soon emails to venus@restingupfortheusopen.com.



It's no secret that the Rogers Cup is particularly vulnerable because it comes exactly two weeks before the U.S. Open. Allaster et al have, in the past, attempted to move up in the schedule, but to no avail.



"I'm sure a lot of the girls, if they have a few little aches and pains, they don't want to take a risk for the U.S. Open," Clijsters, the world No. 10 who is expected to play this week, has said.



What's distressing is that Sharapova, the sport's marquee player, has already earned a name as a questionable no-show. Two weeks ago she withdrew from a Tier I event in San Diego with a mild back strain.



Larry Scott, the WTA Tour chief executive, was perturbed enough to interrupt a vacation and promise tournament organizers that Sharapova will attend next year.



But how can he make that promise knowing that Sharapova's presence, is a system in which the six-figure fines for not honouring commitments are a pittance to a woman who made a reported $18.2 million (U.S.) last year, depends solely on Sharapova's whim, er, health?



How can a tournament sell tickets on the sexy assumption of Sharapova's impending appearance when she's far from a lock to show up?



Another tournament just did, and yesterday there was no mention of impending refunds for those not amused.

http://www.thestar.com/NASApp/cs/ContentServer?pagename=thestar/Layout/Article_Type1&c=Article&cid=1124056210761&call_pageid=968867503640&col=970081593064&t=TS_Home

fifiricci
Aug 15th, 2005, 08:30 PM
Ouch! They have a point though .............

TomTennis
Aug 15th, 2005, 08:44 PM
yes, true but i really feel like sending him an email to put him in his place! Why would Vee withdraw just because Serena is playing. They have BOTH decided to play this event from Janruary 1st when their schedules were released!

This David can just fuck right off!

Rocketta
Aug 15th, 2005, 08:47 PM
hmm, I guess if you've been sick for a couple of weeks then you automatically are ready to play championship level tennis despite not having practiced. :yawn:

hmmm, that's probably why Vee's a champion and all he can do is write about it. :rolleyes:

ampers&
Aug 15th, 2005, 08:50 PM
:yawn: and :rolleyes: @ that article.

Black Mamba.
Aug 15th, 2005, 08:52 PM
This guy acts like he's on the USTA or the WTA's payroll.

StarDuvallGrant
Aug 15th, 2005, 08:58 PM
This writer really pushes the idea that it is the Williams Tennis Association with other players as a sidenote.

XPaneruX
Aug 15th, 2005, 09:00 PM
Cry me a river! :cool:

gentenaire
Aug 15th, 2005, 09:00 PM
Yes, it's harsh but he does have a point. I can't recall a single non grand-slam tournament lately where every top player who'd signed up actually came. It's become normal for one third of the top players to withdraw before the event. No is surprised when a player withdraws.

XPaneruX
Aug 15th, 2005, 09:04 PM
This writer really pushes the idea that it is the Williams Tennis Association with other players as a sidenote.

Really, and made all more comical seeing as both sisters
are said to be on the decline and bad for tennis.

Not to mention that at this time two months ago none
of these people gave two scoops about Venus Williams.

And now all of the sudden they want to throw this stuff
and her doorstep. And correct me if I'm wrong, but wasn't
she only contacted by Scott about playing San Diego
after he found out Davenport, Sharapova, & S.Williams
had all withdrawn and Venus' schedule having been known
for months by that time?

Interesting.

Rtael
Aug 15th, 2005, 09:06 PM
Wow, look at the people who disagree with this article. :yawn:

faboozadoo15
Aug 15th, 2005, 09:07 PM
it seems ridiculous that sharapova and venus are criticized here. venus has the flu and even withdrew from a tournament in europs, and sharapova most definitely has a pectoral injury. anyone who saw her try to play her third round match with that bogus tape/wrap on her chest and armpit HAD to know she was going to pull out.

SelesFan70
Aug 15th, 2005, 09:12 PM
He was wrong in that article because Venus DIDN'T go to that tournament in Sweden either. :cool:

darrinbaker00
Aug 15th, 2005, 09:15 PM
hmm, I guess if you've been sick for a couple of weeks then you automatically are ready to play championship level tennis despite not having practiced. :yawn:

hmmm, that's probably why Vee's a champion and all he can do is write about it. :rolleyes:
Since Vee isn't going this week, Fair Maiden, I hope she takes a WC at New Haven next week. I'd like to see her get some match play in before the Open.

Martian Willow
Aug 15th, 2005, 09:34 PM
This writer really pushes the idea that it is the Williams Tennis Association with other players as a sidenote.

Particularly when he says Sharapova is the sports most popular player, and the sports marquee player.

StarDuvallGrant
Aug 15th, 2005, 09:54 PM
Particularly when he says Sharapova is the sports most popular player, and the sports marquee player.

And yet the majority of the article mentions Venus and her circumstances then goes into the marquee player. But if it makes you feel better, Venus with Serena opened up the piece and they ended with Maria :)

raquel
Aug 15th, 2005, 10:09 PM
We've heard of the 24-hour flu. But the 264-hour strain? Send your get-well-soon emails to venus@restingupfortheusopen.com.
I tried to but I got a "Delivery Status Notification: Failure" email back. Damn! :(

WF4EVER
Aug 15th, 2005, 10:40 PM
He seems awfully bitter, but bitterly honest nonetheless.

The only thing I have issue with in this article is him and the TD from JPMorgan chastising Venus for opting to play in Sweden instead of the JPM. What gives them the right to choose which tournament she should play? I am sick of the wothdrawals though, but some of them are legitimate, I must admit.

I believe Sharapova would have played if she could, but when I realized what her injury was and where it was, I couldn't fathom her even considering playing Toronto. It just wasn't worth it.

As for Venus I would be shocked as hell if she didn't pull out of Toronto because Serena had opted to play. This is bullshit and if Venus and Serena can't compete on the same tour one of them needs to get off. They're always claiming they're professionals so act like professionals.

auntie janie
Aug 15th, 2005, 10:41 PM
Hey! That was the OLD Allen Iverson. The NEW Allen Iverson does show up for practice.

And that is my only beef with the article. :angel:

Infiniti2001
Aug 16th, 2005, 01:06 AM
:tape:

As for Venus I would be shocked as hell if she didn't pull out of Toronto because Serena had opted to play. This is bullshit and if Venus and Serena can't compete on the same tour one of them needs to get off. They're always claiming they're professionals so act like professionals.

This makes absolutely no sense , because both Venus and Serena were entered at Amelia Island which is a tier 2. Toronto is a tier 1 for crying out loud--- more points , more money, not that they're lacking in that department. :eek: Like I said before, you expect way too much from Venus, hence the reason you get pissed off often :tape:

SJW
Aug 16th, 2005, 01:10 AM
if players dont want to play they dont have to.
that's the beauty of being your own boss.
and if he was a better writer, he could be his own boss too :)

Ceecor
Aug 16th, 2005, 01:20 AM
This guy acts like he's on the USTA or the WTA's payroll.

Truth is stranger than fiction. Lots of journo's have agenda's (photo ops, exclusives etc)...agree ,disagree..they do get paid for voicing an opinion.

In the end the idea is to get people talking by raising the debate level on a subject....that sells n'papers and mags and keeps them solvent. :lol:

XPaneruX
Aug 16th, 2005, 01:24 AM
As for Venus I would be shocked as hell if she didn't pull out of Toronto because Serena had opted to play. This is bullshit and if Venus and Serena can't compete on the same tour one of them needs to get off. They're always claiming they're professionals so act like professionals.

Nothing but assumptions! :wavey:

You obviously don't know your facts. As someone said, they
both played in a T2 event this year. So your comment falls flat!

Then again, I've noticed that many here tend to
Slam many players on nothing but assumptions.

Veenut
Aug 16th, 2005, 03:55 PM
:bigcry: Boo hoo!!! Venus is doing what is best for her, which is the smart thing to do. She has the flu and is entitled to take as much time as possible to recover. He should get a little more original and drop the "sisters don't want to play the same tournament" line. :bs:

pinkfrog
Aug 16th, 2005, 04:53 PM
i didnt know that it was maria, venus and serena's job to carry the whole wta. i guess they're the only ones playing.........

DA FOREHAND
Aug 16th, 2005, 05:04 PM
Yes, it's harsh but he does have a point. I can't recall a single non grand-slam tournament lately where every top player who'd signed up actually came. It's become normal for one third of the top players to withdraw before the event. No is surprised when a player withdraws.


I agree, I wish the Williams Tennis Association, would adopt a system like the ATP's masters series, where ea. and every event attr. a stellar field. IT would be good for the fans, ratings, and ultimately the strength of the tour.

Angel_Mars
Aug 16th, 2005, 05:36 PM
Particularly when he says Sharapova is the sports most popular player, and the sports marquee player.


:D :devil:

faboozadoo15
Aug 16th, 2005, 06:09 PM
i just don't ever understand why people get so caught up in players pulling out. it's their ass out there (npi :tape: ), and they want to do what's best for themself and their career. if a player pulls out it's usually for a good reason. why wouldn't they show up for the money and points? i don't believe there are too many players on the wta who feel like a diva and wouldn't be bothered to play tennis that week, nor do i think many wta players are lazy. that's just a retarded cop out.