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tennisIlove09
Mar 10th, 2006, 11:51 PM
Davenport: Tour Policy Puts Withdrawal Rap On Players
http://www.sportsmediainc.net/tennisweek/DavenportFedCup05SMullane.jpg
Photo By Susan Mullane By Tennis Week
03/10/2006

During the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour Championships in Los Angeles last November, Lindsay Davenport declared her intention to play a shortened schedule in 2006 and suggested she was considering condensing or skipping the clay-court season. In her 14th season on the WTA Tour, the 29-year-old Davenport is completely candid in acknowledging the aches and pains she feels from years of pounding on the court prevent her from committing to a full schedule.


Davenport has informed the WTA Tour of her schedule plans, but the Tour continues to tune her out.

"At the end of Australia, I'm not playing 13 plus the slams. I can't play 17," Davenport told the media in Indian Wells yesterday. "It was still given to me, 'you have to.' 'You mean to tell me you're going to make me enter tournaments and I'm going to have to look bad pulling out even though I'm telling you I'm never going to play it,' and the answer we get is 'yeah, basically.' "

Consequently, the Tour, whose rules require players to commit to 13 events in addition to the Grand Slams, is essentially requiring players like Davenport to enter tournaments they may well have no intention of playing. Tournaments can promote top 10 players as participants in their draws, fans may buy tickets in the belief a top player will play only to later learn the player has pulled out.

"It's a tough position to be in," Davenport said. "I know they've said before, 'We don't want to do that.' Ultimately we're the ones who look bad, even when, at this moment, we tell them we're not going to play." In the aftermath of her loss to Mary Pierce in the 2005 WTA Tour Championships semifinals at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, Davenport announced she planned to play a reduced schedule in 2006. "I really, really am not going to play next year a full schedule anywhere near like I did this year," the 2005 year-end No. 1 said in November. "I think I managed to play in 16 or 17 tournaments. So in that regard, I am not going to try to play for the ranking or whatever. So I am going to see how I feel after those hard court tournaments. This year, with Miami mandatory, after Miami, I am just going to see what happens if I go to the clay or not go to the clay... At the (2005) French (Open), I got to the quarters and I would be surprised if I went back (to the French Open in 2006)."

Slumpsova
Mar 11th, 2006, 12:00 AM
so Lindsay is not going to play Roland Garros, i guess.

blumaroo
Mar 11th, 2006, 12:07 AM
I want Lindsay to play at RG.
I could care less about the regular tournies but a slam is a slam. You shouldn't skip slams if you're not injured. And Lindsay played awful last year and still got to the quarters.

CoryAnnAvants#1
Mar 11th, 2006, 12:20 AM
I want Lindsay to play at RG.
I could care less about the regular tournies but a slam is a slam. You shouldn't skip slams if you're not injured. And Lindsay played awful last year and still got to the quarters.

I feel like she'll play RG. She's scheduled to play Amelia Island, so it would make zero sense to play that and then not follow it up any with any other clay events. Besides, Lindsay has said all along that she plays for the Grand Slams. Even though she doesn't like clay and she has by far the worst odds of winning RG out of any major, she's enough of a contender to justify going to give it a shot.

Meesh
Mar 11th, 2006, 12:27 AM
I didn't interpret her comments as skipping any slams.

Andrew..
Mar 11th, 2006, 12:28 AM
The world number 4 only wants to play 10 events a year. I can see why the WTA would come down hard on her.

Sabatinifan
Mar 11th, 2006, 12:58 AM
I think she should at least play all four GS but she shouldn't be forced into a minimum number outside that.

LH2HBH
Mar 11th, 2006, 12:59 AM
The world number 4 only wants to play 10 events a year. I can see why the WTA would come down hard on her.


I disagree. If the tour won't shorten the season (which I don't think they should), then it should be up to the players to decide whether or not they are over-extending themselves. Also, it's not fair to fans to buy tickets for a player that is not planning to show up.

If Lindsay plays 10 tournaments a year and can play for two more years I am sure the tour would prefer that over her playing 17 events and having to retire early due to burnout or injury.

Morrissey
Mar 11th, 2006, 01:25 AM
The WTA is hard on Lindsay because the top players are supposed to support the tour. The rules are the rules.

Mark Spruce
Mar 11th, 2006, 01:29 AM
Totally agree with you

Something along these lines

TO PLAY LESS IS TO PLAY MORE

regards

Mark

I disagree. If the tour won't shorten the season (which I don't think they should), then it should be up to the players to decide whether or not they are over-extending themselves. Also, it's not fair to fans to buy tickets for a player that is not planning to show up.

If Lindsay plays 10 tournaments a year and can play for two more years I am sure the tour would prefer that over her playing 17 events and having to retire early due to burnout or injury.

hablo
Mar 11th, 2006, 01:36 AM
Shame on the WTA tour :rolleyes:
Do what you have to do, Lindsay :worship:

tennisIlove09
Mar 11th, 2006, 01:56 AM
The world number 4 only wants to play 10 events a year. I can see why the WTA would come down hard on her.

Right, but by the same token...maybe the WTA should come down harder on players that hardly ever play? I know Venus and Serena have been injured...but seriously, Serena's played in what 2 events since the US Open? Same with Venus?

Mark Spruce
Mar 11th, 2006, 01:59 AM
Mary is the same as Linz I think. Picking the tournaments SHE wants to play. So she can player longer.

When you are older you can't play as much as you were when you first started out.

Mark

Shame on the WTA tour :rolleyes:
Do what you have to do, Lindsay :worship:

SAEKeithSerena
Mar 11th, 2006, 02:06 AM
i don't want her to play. she never does well anyway, and she hates it. let her rest up for wimbledon, cause that is her best shot this year at finally getting her slam.

Ryan
Mar 11th, 2006, 02:31 AM
I disagree. If the tour won't shorten the season (which I don't think they should), then it should be up to the players to decide whether or not they are over-extending themselves. Also, it's not fair to fans to buy tickets for a player that is not planning to show up.

If Lindsay plays 10 tournaments a year and can play for two more years I am sure the tour would prefer that over her playing 17 events and having to retire early due to burnout or injury.


It is unfair to put the 'blame' on players, but it's not unreasonable to expect them to play a certain amount of events. As someone who makes millions of dollars playing on the WTA, Davenport should have a responsibility to play the slams, and try to play the required amount of events. Ok, something like 14 events is fine, but TEN? That's a little shady IMO.

darrinbaker00
Mar 11th, 2006, 02:33 AM
The WTA is hard on Lindsay because the top players are supposed to support the tour. The rules are the rules.
No, the WTA is encouraging players to enter tournaments they have no intention of playing so that we can buy tickets before they announce the "withdrawal" at the last minute. That's not a rule; that's the old "bait-and-switch" routine.

baleineau
Mar 11th, 2006, 02:56 AM
"last-minute" withdrawals is what has been hurting the tour for a few years now. you'd think the wta would learn that pushing the players to play x amount of events against their will is not going to work, especially for the top players who can afford to be picky about where they play.

there's a limit to how much top quality tennis a player can produce week-in, week-out. the way forward would be to reduce the season by about 1 month, and establish a clear set of elite, well-scheduled events that the top players will want to play because of the financial reward in terms of prize money and ranking points. keep draws at these key events limited to 32 players, and have them weeks apart. if a player doesn't want to play so much as 12-16 events, then so be it.

alwayshingis
Mar 11th, 2006, 03:04 AM
I feel like she'll play RG. She's scheduled to play Amelia Island, so it would make zero sense to play that and then not follow it up any with any other clay events. Besides, Lindsay has said all along that she plays for the Grand Slams. Even though she doesn't like clay and she has by far the worst odds of winning RG out of any major, she's enough of a contender to justify going to give it a shot.

Amelia Island is not the same as the European red clay. The US green clay is faster and easier on the body and basically more suited to Lindsay's game. She also has had success on US clay before. I'd be fine with her skipping the French if she wants to. I don't think her body is up to it anymore and I think it must be a blow to her confidence to be struggling against girls she would roll over on the faster surfaces.

RJWCapriati
Mar 11th, 2006, 03:06 AM
I think Lindsay has been on tour long enough to call the shots for herself.

venus_rulez
Mar 11th, 2006, 03:25 AM
I completely support Lindsay on this. I feel like the a big reason why some of the top players apparently feel no obligation to the tour is because the tour hasn't come to bat for them when the players have been under fire. When that incident happened at IndianWells or when the sisters were being accused of match fixing where was the tour to come to their aid? When that doping incident happened in Belgium with Svetlana, I don't recall too much press by the tour until after the fact about what was going on. Lindsay has always been one to support the tour and is now in her 14th season and the WTA tells her they won't make an exception for her??!! Part of this is the WTA has lost tremendous bargaining power now that for a lot of the young players, the prize money won in tennis is probably only a percentage of what they actually take in. Venus, Serena, and Maria's endorsements totally dwarf anything they makes on the tour in a year. These girls are so popular, that at least with Venus and Serena (and it will probably soon happen with Maria) tennis is almost an after thought because they're on commercials, and late night television. How many other female athletes are that famous? The WTA tour can't force them to play and people keep saying no on is bigger than the game. And that's very true when Venus and Serena decide to hang up the racquet, tennis will continue, just like it will when Lindsay leaves and when Maria eventually leaves...that doesn't mean that people will want to watch it though.

darrinbaker00
Mar 11th, 2006, 03:30 AM
"last-minute" withdrawals is what has been hurting the tour for a few years now. you'd think the wta would learn that pushing the players to play x amount of events against their will is not going to work, especially for the top players who can afford to be picky about where they play.

there's a limit to how much top quality tennis a player can produce week-in, week-out. the way forward would be to reduce the season by about 1 month, and establish a clear set of elite, well-scheduled events that the top players will want to play because of the financial reward in terms of prize money and ranking points. keep draws at these key events limited to 32 players, and have them weeks apart. if a player doesn't want to play so much as 12-16 events, then so be it.
If I'm a tournament promoter and you drop me from the schedule, you'd better get ready for a lawsuit. The season will never, repeat, NEVER be shortened.

DutchieGirl
Mar 11th, 2006, 03:39 AM
The world number 4 only wants to play 10 events a year. I can see why the WTA would come down hard on her.

:shrug: But you can't see why she would only want to play 10 tourneys? (where did she say 10 btw? She just said not 16 or 17).

She said she's getting on, and she has aches and pains from playing for so long. She can't keep pushing her body all the time. OK it sucks that she might not play as much, but hey... at least she's still wanting to play at all!

DutchieGirl
Mar 11th, 2006, 03:42 AM
I disagree. If the tour won't shorten the season (which I don't think they should), then it should be up to the players to decide whether or not they are over-extending themselves. Also, it's not fair to fans to buy tickets for a player that is not planning to show up.

If Lindsay plays 10 tournaments a year and can play for two more years I am sure the tour would prefer that over her playing 17 events and having to retire early due to burnout or injury.

:yeah: Although I honestly don't see in that article where Lindsay said she;d only play 10 events... :scratch:

fammmmedspin
Mar 11th, 2006, 04:16 AM
Difficult. You can see why she doesn't want to play much. The ranking system doesn't penalise you if you play enough big tournaments because they are weighted heavily so there is little incentive not to play little if you don't need the money.

On the other hand Lindsay sits back, rests up, practices on grass and turns up at Wimbledon fresh whilst everyone else turns up coming off clay and recovering from a clay season and GS - hardly a level playing field.

DutchieGirl
Mar 11th, 2006, 04:22 AM
Difficult. You can see why she doesn't want to play much. The ranking system doesn't penalise you if you play enough big tournaments because they are weighted heavily so there is little incentive not to play little if you don't need the money.

On the other hand Lindsay sits back, rests up, practices on grass and turns up at Wimbledon fresh whilst everyone else turns up coming off clay and recovering from a clay season and GS - hardly a level playing field.

Could say the same about Conchi though, who's waiting for the clay season to come back! ;)

Prizeidiot
Mar 11th, 2006, 04:41 AM
The whole mandatory event system is rubbish. Just go with the ATP points system, whereby instead of having the best 17 count, you only count slams, Tier I's and 5 best others. If you skip a Slam or Tier I, you get 0 points. That would certainly encourage players not to skip tournaments for the sake of it, but it would also allow them to pull out if they need to.

At the moment, players like Lindsay are getting injured all over the place and are getting no sympathy. And as Lindsay adds, fans who buy tickets expecting certain players end up disappointed.

DutchieGirl
Mar 11th, 2006, 04:43 AM
The whole mandatory event system is rubbish. Just go with the ATP points system, whereby instead of having the best 17 count, you only count slams, Tier I's and 5 best others. If you skip a Slam or Tier I, you get 0 points. That would certainly encourage players not to skip tournaments for the sake of it, but it would also allow them to pull out if they need to.

At the moment, players like Lindsay are getting injured all over the place and are getting no sympathy. And as Lindsay adds, fans who buy tickets expecting certain players end up disappointed.

yeah in other words: It's mandatory to play there unless you are injured if you don't want your ranking to suffer - same as the WTA anyway! ;)

darrinbaker00
Mar 11th, 2006, 05:00 AM
The whole mandatory event system is rubbish. Just go with the ATP points system, whereby instead of having the best 17 count, you only count slams, Tier I's and 5 best others.
4 GS + 10 Tier I's + 5 best others = 19 tournaments.
If you skip a Slam or Tier I, you get 0 points.
First you say the whole mandatory event system is rubbish, then you turn around and endorse it. Could you please make up your mind?

Martian Stacey
Mar 11th, 2006, 05:42 AM
I didn't interpret her comments as skipping any slams.
Her last comment:

At the (2005) French (Open), I got to the quarters and I would be surprised if I went back (to the French Open in 2006)."

That to me says she might not be playing the French Open, but i guess you interpreted it differently.

Martian Stacey
Mar 11th, 2006, 05:45 AM
I think it sucks that she has to commit to tournaments that she doesn't want to play in :( I'd be pissed if i bought tickets to a tournament so i could see a player and then find out later that pulled out because they didn't want to play. Its not fair on the fans or the players.

I hope this system doesn't force Lindsay into retirement earlier because she has to play more tournaments than her body can handle :(

Zauber
Mar 11th, 2006, 05:47 AM
money money money promotion promotion even dishonest ones.
Thank you Lindsey for speaking out.
It is allways tough to do.

VeeDaQueen
Mar 11th, 2006, 05:50 AM
I think the tour forgets that these players do this for a living, they should be able to make their own scheduele!

Prizeidiot
Mar 11th, 2006, 05:57 AM
4 GS + 10 Tier I's + 5 best others = 19 tournaments.

First you say the whole mandatory event system is rubbish, then you turn around and endorse it. Could you please make up your mind?
There's a difference. Even if you get 0 points, you don't get fined, and the WTA doesn't rip on you. And you can pull out of tournements for reasons such as needing a break after playing a heavy schedule.

And I could've sworn that GS and Tier I's didn't have to count for WTA (ie. if you fail at the big events, but win 19 smaller events, the smaller events would count)

Prizeidiot
Mar 11th, 2006, 05:59 AM
yeah in other words: It's mandatory to play there unless you are injured if you don't want your ranking to suffer - same as the WTA anyway! ;)
Similar, but I don't think the WTA accepts things like if a player played really long matches at IW and made the final, and wants to pass Miami to recover a little. Unless they have some specific injury, don't they have to play? (this is hypothetical of course, no one skips Miami)

ceiling_fan
Mar 11th, 2006, 06:02 AM
i don't think she meant she was going to skip RG. wtf? she's not crazy

Wannabeknowitall
Mar 11th, 2006, 06:03 AM
Her last comment:

At the (2005) French (Open), I got to the quarters and I would be surprised if I went back (to the French Open in 2006)."

That to me says she might not be playing the French Open, but i guess you interpreted it differently.

Yea. She did say it and Lindsay said it last year as well. We didnt know Lindsay was gonna play the French Open till the week before.
Lindsay will play French Open. She might say she hates it but she won her first tourni on clay. She is defending her Amelia Island win.
If she is still ranked in the top 4, she will play.

KoOlMaNsEaN
Mar 11th, 2006, 06:08 AM
The WTA is continuously forcing players to play too many tournaments. For example Kim last year

Leo_DFP
Mar 11th, 2006, 07:54 AM
Lindsay can play however many events she wants at her age and the tour can't force her to risk her health. Well said, LD. Fuck them, do what you have to do.

Martian Stacey
Mar 11th, 2006, 07:57 AM
Yea. She did say it and Lindsay said it last year as well. We didnt know Lindsay was gonna play the French Open till the week before.
Lindsay will play French Open. She might say she hates it but she won her first tourni on clay. She is defending her Amelia Island win.
If she is still ranked in the top 4, she will play.
I hope that she does :) But only if she wants to of course ;)

Leo_DFP
Mar 11th, 2006, 08:11 AM
4 GS + 10 Tier I's + 5 best others = 19 tournaments.

First you say the whole mandatory event system is rubbish, then you turn around and endorse it. Could you please make up your mind?

It's only 9 TMS events that are required. TMC is seperate; I think it goes in the 5 best others category.

CoryAnnAvants#1
Mar 11th, 2006, 08:56 AM
Although I admire Lindsay entering Amelia Island and likely giving Roland Garros another try this year, I wish she would just skip the clay season. Unfortunately, Roland Garros is not a tournament she is capable of winning. She's good enough to make the second week, but there are 6-7 players (Amelie, Justine, Elena, Patty, Mary, Martina, and possibly Nadia) that are just flat out better than her on clay and who she won't be able to beat. She would have to get an extremely kind draw or have these players fall apart when she played them in order for her to win RG.

She's been on tour long enough to know what is best for her, but if I were her I would skip the clay, practice on grass from the end of Indian Wells to Wimbledon, and play one of the grass court tune-ups leading in. Can you imagine Lindsay with 3+ months of grass court work under her belt? I guarantee you she'd be hoisting the trophy at the end of the fortnight.

Lindsayfan32
Mar 11th, 2006, 09:22 AM
I read this article and my first thought was what a dump policy. Lindsay has supported the tour for the best part of 15 years and the tour tells her she has to either play in tournments she doesn't want to and risk her long term health. Or just enter them and withdraw a fans buys tickets thinking they will get to see Lindsay play and she puts out and the fans are left out of pocket and she does this within a week of the tournment starting. Don't you think Lindsay and older players deserve a break and be expented from the 17 tournment rule. I don't know what the solution is bit their has to be some middle ground that the tour and the players can come to that keeps everyone happy.

thrust
Mar 11th, 2006, 10:08 AM
Leo DFP - Totally agree with you concerning Lindsay. She has done more than her share in supporting the WTA. Why should she be forced to play tired or hurt? She should regularly claim injury, like the Williams sisters do. They get away with it, so can she.

DutchieGirl
Mar 11th, 2006, 12:19 PM
Similar, but I don't think the WTA accepts things like if a player played really long matches at IW and made the final, and wants to pass Miami to recover a little. Unless they have some specific injury, don't they have to play? (this is hypothetical of course, no one skips Miami)

they don't HAVE to play... they can still pull out... I'm not saying there isn't a penalty, and they still get a 0. And btw, the Grand SLams are also mandatroy now for the women...

I don't like the mandatory system, but i must say, what you are proposing seems no better to me either...

Winston's Human
Mar 11th, 2006, 12:24 PM
The WTA should have a veteran's exemption which allows players over 28 or 30 to play a reduced schedule without penalty.

This would allow older marquee players to continue on tour without forcing them either to risk their health or alienate their fans.

TheBoiledEgg
Mar 11th, 2006, 01:38 PM
The only tournaments where the TOUR enters you are the 4 slams and Miami
your name is automatically included in the list and you have to withdraw yourself.

players dont sell tickets for those events anycase.
Most of the tickets for slams are sold out months before.

plus the WTA sanctions her ONE hard designation, which she is basically FORCED to play.
All other events, she enters herself.

No one forces players to play tournaments, even the mandatory ones.
You can still give it a miss but those events will leave a big fat 0 by your name.

Carmen Mairena
Mar 11th, 2006, 01:58 PM
WTA rules are :bs: :retard:

The Daviator
Mar 11th, 2006, 02:17 PM
Do what you need to do Lindsay :yeah:

In her 14th season on the tour she should be allowed to do her own thing...

danieln1
Mar 12th, 2006, 03:35 AM
She beat Kim Clijsters at last year Roland Garros, that was a fantastic match
She must return...

VeeDaQueen
Mar 12th, 2006, 05:40 AM
The WTA should have a veteran's exemption which allows players over 28 or 30 to play a reduced schedule without penalty.

This would allow older marquee players to continue on tour without forcing them either to risk their health or alienate their fans.

if they cared that much about their health, they would not be playing competitive tennis at 30 y.o.

DutchieGirl
Mar 12th, 2006, 05:45 AM
if they cared that much about their health, they would not be playing competitive tennis at 30 y.o.

wtf? You can still play competitive sport when you are 30! Hello!

VeeDaQueen
Mar 12th, 2006, 05:49 AM
wtf? You can still play competitive sport when you are 30! Hello!

I'm not saying they can't, but since they are so much more injury prone, if they are that worried about their health, they shouldn't play. don't put words in my mouth :)

DutchieGirl
Mar 12th, 2006, 05:52 AM
I'm not saying they can't, but since they are so much more injury prone, if they are that worried about their health, they shouldn't play. don't put words in my mouth :)

I'm not putting words into your mouth - you said "if they cared that much about their health, they would not be playing competitive tennis at 30 y.o."

so that means you either think they shouldn't be playing competitive tennis at 30 y.o. or that you think they don't care about their health? Maybe they do care about their health and still want to play, but with a reduced schedule, which they should be allowed to do! Nothing wrong with that.