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View Full Version : WTA Eliminating Tier IIs from Schedule --> Tier IIs To Become Tier I or Tier III


pierce0415
Jul 30th, 2006, 03:35 PM
The Acura Classic, a tennis fixture in San Diego since 1984, has sold its Tier I designation back to the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour and will more than likely see its last year of play in 2007, ******************** has learned.

Co-owners Raquel Giscafre and Jane Stratton had put the well-attended tournament at the La Costa Resort for sale and were apparently unable to find buyers. The tournament would have been forced to leave La Costa after 2007 anyway as the resort owners no longer desired to have the event there.
Giscafre and Stratton briefly looked into getting financing for a new stadium in San Diego, but we unsuccessful.

The WTA, which is reconfiguring its calendar for 2010, stepped in and bought the Tier I designation and will likely sell it to Cincinnati, which is looking to host a combined men’s and women’s tournament the same week that the women’s Canadian Open is now played.

The tour is looking to establish three “A-level” tournaments during the US Open Series, one that is almost sure to be Montreal, another that could be Cincinnati and another that could be Los Angeles or Stanford. The tour will opening up bidding on this new “A” designation, where the tournaments will be asked to provide at least $ 1 million in prize money in exchange for an increased player commitment from the tour’s stars. Currently, the Tier II tournaments at Stanford and Los Angeles offer around $600,000 in prize money.

At this point, any tournament that does not receive an "A" designation will be dropped to a “B” level, where they will only have to offer around $225,000 in prize money, but not be guaranteed any Top-10 players.
However, negotiations on the topics between the tour, the Slams, the ITF and the tournaments are still ongoing.

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This means the end of Tier I, Tier II, Tier III and Tier IV system as we know it

The WTA is copying ATP AGAIN and is attempting to create a "Masters Series" consisting of only "A" level events with prize money of 1 million or more. Then all other Tier II will be dropped to Tier III level with prize money of at most $225,000

so basically top players will (be required to) play at all the Tier A levels and then nobody will play the tournaments with prize money of $225,000 :tape:

MH0861
Jul 30th, 2006, 03:36 PM
The Acura Classic, a tennis fixture in San Diego since 1984, has sold its Tier I designation back to the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour and will more than likely see its last year of play in 2007, ******************** has learned.

Co-owners Raquel Giscafre and Jane Stratton had put the well-attended tournament at the La Costa Resort for sale and were apparently unable to find buyers. The tournament would have been forced to leave La Costa after 2007 anyway as the resort owners no longer desired to have the event there.
Giscafre and Stratton briefly looked into getting financing for a new stadium in San Diego, but we unsuccessful.

The WTA, which is reconfiguring its calendar for 2010, stepped in and bought the Tier I designation and will likely sell it to Cincinnati, which is looking to host a combined men’s and women’s tournament the same week that the women’s Canadian Open is now played.

The tour is looking to establish three “A-level” tournaments during the US Open Series, one that is almost sure to be Montreal, another that could be Cincinnati and another that could be Los Angeles or Stanford. The tour will opening up bidding on this new “A” designation, where the tournaments will be asked to provide at least $ 1 million in prize money in exchange for an increased player commitment from the tour’s stars. Currently, the Tier II tournaments at Stanford and Los Angeles offer around $600,000 in prize money.

At this point, any tournament that does not receive an "A" designation will be dropped to a “B” level, where they will only have to offer around $225,000 in prize money, but not be guaranteed any Top-10 players.
However, negotiations on the topics between the tour, the Slams, the ITF and the tournaments are still ongoing.

------------------------------------------------------------------------
This means the end of Tier I, Tier II, Tier III and Tier IV system as we know it

The WTA is copying ATP AGAIN and is attempting to create a "Masters Series" consisting of only "A" level events with prize money of 1 million or more. Then all other Tier II will be dropped to Tier III level with prize money of at most $225,000

so basically top players will (be required to) play at all the Tier A levels and then nobody will play the tournaments with prize money of $225,000 :tape:

I thought this was only for the US Open Series? And the WTA could learn a thing or five from the ATP... I say copy away! :tape: :lol:

Plus, if you read it carefully, it says the "B" tournaments will HAVE TO pay $225,000 in prize money... I believe that means they can provide more if they want.

pierce0415
Jul 30th, 2006, 03:38 PM
I am not sure if this is such a good idea ... Tier IIs in the WTA were always well attended by the top players despite the meager prize money

now the only way Level B tournaments with prize money of $225,000 or less will be able to get top players is with huge apperance fees

IceHock
Jul 30th, 2006, 03:38 PM
I like the fact of them pushing tournaments uo,but pushing mostly all of them down??Your crazy larry scott.Keep on ruining tennis.

MH0861
Jul 30th, 2006, 03:39 PM
I am not sure if this is such a good idea ... Tier IIs in the WTA were always well attended by the top players despite the meager prize money

now the only way Level B tournaments with prize money of $225,000 or less will be able to get top players is with huge apperance fees

I think this is just for the US Open Series!!! I think they will only be required to provide that much prize money but they can give more if they want.

pierce0415
Jul 30th, 2006, 03:41 PM
I thought this was only for the US Open Series? And the WTA could learn a thing or five from the ATP... I say copy away! :tape: :lol:

Plus, if you read it carefully, it says the "B" tournaments will HAVE TO pay $225,000 in prize money... I believe that means they can provide more if they want.

no it is for the whole year. The WTA is currently in the process of a major calendar overhaul

pierce0415
Jul 30th, 2006, 03:41 PM
If it is only US OPEN Series, why would there be negotiations with all the Slams over this topic?

MH0861
Jul 30th, 2006, 03:44 PM
If it is only US OPEN Series, why would there be negotiations with all the Slams over this topic?

Well, the article clearly states this is going to be implemented for the US Open Series -- they make no mention of doing this for all tournaments during the year (which may be the case, but it doesn't say so here). I would think if the status of a whole set of leadup tournaments were being changed, the slams (especially the US Open, of course), would have to be involved with the process.

hurricanejeanne
Jul 30th, 2006, 05:36 PM
okay...
they want A level tournaments with 1 million dollars in prize money for increased player commitment from the top stars...
hasn't the tour realized that yeah you can get them to commit, but that is not going to stop them from pulling out last minute?

I have a big problem with tier 2s that have been around longer than some of the tour's players that are on the verge of demotion. the concept of the tier 2 is a top tournament that has a couple of big names in areas around the world that don't often get to see that kind of top tennis. I understand if San Diego cannot find a venue within that city to maintain its tournament, but the more I hear about this "Roadmap 2010" the more I don't like it.
I didn't like the whole getting rid of quality points, I hate the concept of on court coaching, and now this. there are dozens of tournaments that are tier 2s that are going to get axed over this because they can only have so many tier ones, and what about some of those tier 3 that produce the big names, like Bali now has an amazing field lined up for this year?
There are already 10 tier 1s, and 15 (if I counted right) tier 2s, so who gets the axe by 2010, because some of these tournaments are going to die after this...(and with my luck, it will be my favorite tournaments as usual...)

^bibi^
Jul 30th, 2006, 05:38 PM
the good news is we're gonna have a A level tournament in belgium, replacing Antwerp and Hasselt :)

416_Man
Jul 30th, 2006, 05:44 PM
Love the idea. Tier IIs are the demise of the game, they steal from the Tier I's draws, and are rarely broadcast. I do think, like the ATP did, in that we need a "International Series GOLD", to seperate the Bs from the As.

I just wish the WTA was run by the ATP, then we'd actually see some success.

Slumpsova
Jul 30th, 2006, 07:17 PM
imagine Justine Henin-Hardenne playing tier III :tape:

TomTennis
Jul 30th, 2006, 11:33 PM
this wont solve a thing. Even if they changed the ENTIRE tournament calender into this system, it isnt going to solve the main problem....which is injuried.

This new idea could be all set up by next year, but the likes of Venus/Serena/Davenport/Sharapova and other BIG NAMES that are needed in womens tennis to attract the audiences can still pull out with injuries.

They need to compat that battle before starting with a whole different one. Changed a tier 1 to an "A" tournament isnt going to stop the big names gettin injured, which is stopping the WTA from living up to its full potential.

416_Man
Jul 30th, 2006, 11:46 PM
I'm guessing that along with bringing it to an A v. B status they'd follow the other methods the ATP does to maintain top entries in the Masters Series. This includes, no points rewarded on a manadatory ranking event, inability to enter events afterwards that are not at an A level, an ATP official/doctor examining the injury, fines, etc. The only players that could even afford to avoid that are the Williams and Sharapova. Apart from that, not many could survive.

fammmmedspin
Jul 31st, 2006, 12:05 AM
Given that several tier 2s are GS warm ups and others have been among the the most popular tournaments wheras several Tier 1s are treated like the plague this would need a complete rewrite of the tour and new sponsors that don't exist.Anyone who thinks Tier 3 Sydney will have a worse field than Tier 1 Tokyo is in cloud cuckoo land.

All it will do is encourage the players to ignore tiering and the current trend for players to play less, where they feel like it and not worry too much about their ranking as long as its within the top 10 or 20. Its probably just as well if it fails as the new tournaments needed to replace dying US and European ones will struggle to grow too if they can't get the money straight away to be a tier 1 and get no top palyers if they are not.

It doesn't actually deal with any problem as the lack of top US players remains undermining the US part of the tour and the lack of top 10 players is resolving itself as the ones that don't play much retire and the top 10 becomes indistinguishable from the top 15 anyway.

Martian Stacey
Jul 31st, 2006, 12:41 AM
Given that several tier 2s are GS warm ups and others have been among the the most popular tournaments wheras several Tier 1s are treated like the plague this would need a complete rewrite of the tour and new sponsors that don't exist.Anyone who thinks Tier 3 Sydney will have a worse field than Tier 1 Tokyo is in cloud cuckoo land.

All it will do is encourage the players to ignore tiering and the current trend for players to play less, where they feel like it and not worry too much about their ranking as long as its within the top 10 or 20. Its probably just as well if it fails as the new tournaments needed to replace dying US and European ones will struggle to grow too if they can't get the money straight away to be a tier 1 and get no top palyers if they are not.

It doesn't actually deal with any problem as the lack of top US players remains undermining the US part of the tour and the lack of top 10 players is resolving itself as the ones that don't play much retire and the top 10 becomes indistinguishable from the top 15 anyway.
Sydney is a tier 2 :p

Its always going to have a better field than Toyko, because it is the biggest lead up event to the Aus Open, and Toyko is straight after, when a lot of players want to have a break.

Monica_Rules
Jul 31st, 2006, 12:57 AM
Haven't the WTA and ATP been in talks to merge the masters series all into both sexes. i mean Indian Wells and Miami alreayd are but the other 7 would join aswell.

SAEKeithSerena
Jul 31st, 2006, 12:58 AM
i am very for this.....maybe certain players will actually committ to tournaments now:)

SelesFan70
Jul 31st, 2006, 01:03 AM
Why is everyone talking about "appearance fees"? Larry Scott has state there are NO appearance fees in the WTA! :tape:

( :haha: )

SelesFan70
Jul 31st, 2006, 01:11 AM
i am very for this.....maybe certain players will actually committ to tournaments now:)

:tape:

Philip
Jul 31st, 2006, 01:11 AM
yuck :(

UDACHi
Jul 31st, 2006, 01:12 AM
new haven better be a level.

416_Man
Jul 31st, 2006, 01:14 AM
new haven better be a level.

It'll be lucky to have "C".

UDACHi
Jul 31st, 2006, 01:15 AM
It'll be lucky to have "C".

not your boobs jesse, NEW HAVEN. :ras:

jenglisbe
Jul 31st, 2006, 01:38 AM
It's obviously for all tournaments as I can't believe they'd have a few weeks with A/B tournaments and then 1/2/3 for the rest of the year. I like the idea; I don't see it affecting too much with top players. If there are a few weeks of only B tournaments, then of course they will play some of them. They still want practice.

slk45
Jul 31st, 2006, 02:07 AM
This is such a stupid move. :mad:

I posted somewhere a while ago that it appears the WTA is going to end up being merged into the ATP. There is a major lack of vision and imagination at the WTA that results in these copycat changes. And what is there to learn from the ATP? Which of their brilliant strategies have produced a flock of top American players? It wasn't "new balls, please."

The paucity of top women American players isn't due to the tier structure. Part of it is economic motivations (with respect to East European and Russian prominence), part of it is an utter lack of public promotion over the last 2 to 3 years. You need to be televising tournaments to get public consciousness of them, not to mention young player interest in them.

The players have been complaining about a too crowded calendar for a couple or 3 years, and it appears this will be remedied, because the result of the apparent "roadmap" will be the extinguishing of Tier II, III and IVs.

Which means that professional women's tennis will disappear from many of the smaller venues, which doesn't seem to fit in with the mission of "promoting tennis," which the USTA is now chattering about in its TV ads. And this certainly does nothing to help up-and-coming players get exposure. Are we going to have 512-player draws? Let's see.... a month-long tournament -- don't think it will fly.

The South African Tennis Federation finally figured a way to get commercial backing for its tennis in order to help its players. Here in the U.S. they're going to start folding the tents.

re: San Diego. The Acura Classic is a hugely successful tournament, and generally speaking, the players love it. What can the LaCosta Spa & Resort new owners be thinking? The tournament brings a ton of money to LaCosta in that 9 day period.

cellophane
Jul 31st, 2006, 02:11 AM
I hate this idea.

No Name Face
Jul 31st, 2006, 02:14 AM
wow...changes are rampant in the wta

Stamp Paid
Jul 31st, 2006, 02:36 AM
This is a bad idea IMO.

Crazy Canuck
Jul 31st, 2006, 02:44 AM
I"m not sure that I understand why people have an issue with the WTA "copying the ATP". I mean, obviously "copying" any bad ideas that the ATP has had would be senseless, but it seems that most of you are bothered by the "copying" bit in general, regardless of the value of the idea being "copied".

Does it not make the most sense if both tennis tours follow the same general format? Seems logical to me.

416_Man
Jul 31st, 2006, 03:50 AM
I"m not sure that I understand why people have an issue with the WTA "copying the ATP". I mean, obviously "copying" any bad ideas that the ATP has had would be senseless, but it seems that most of you are bothered by the "copying" bit in general, regardless of the value of the idea being "copied".

Does it not make the most sense if both tennis tours follow the same general format? Seems logical to me.

:worship:

Wannabeknowitall
Jul 31st, 2006, 03:55 AM
This idea has likely been on the WTA's mind for years. There hasn't been a Tier V on tour for 18 months. So with this system there will only be Tier Is, Teir IIIs, and Tier IVs which will be changed to Level A, Level B, and Level C.

I like the idea. There needs to be a common ground if this US Open Series is going to stay around for decades.
The fact of the matter is that all of the men's hard court tournis played in North America during the summer are apart of the US Open Series.
The same cannot be said for the women's tournis. Something has to give. San Diego was the last to participate in the US Open Series of the big tournis and has had issues getting top players to play in the last couple of years as a Teir I. Cincy is there and there should be some point system for the tourni.

The Tier Is have had some pretty weak fields this year and part of last year.
The Tier IIs have had some pretty good field and have actually had better draws than many of the Tier Is.
I love Lindsay but she only won one Tier I tourni (a pretty weak Tier I at that) last year and got to number one at the end of the year. That should not happen.
There needs to be some way to get these players to play the big tournis, if it has to be this way then so be it.

SpikeyAidanm
Jul 31st, 2006, 03:56 AM
Not so keen on this, how would they expect a Tier I like Tokyo to be worth the same pts as Miami and both be mandatory when their spots on the calendar makes them highly differable in terms of availability of top players. I just hate how it has to follow the ATP, why can't the WTA do it it's own way, just my 2 cents.

DutchieGirl
Jul 31st, 2006, 06:26 AM
Sydney is a tier 2 :p

Its always going to have a better field than Toyko, because it is the biggest lead up event to the Aus Open, and Toyko is straight after, when a lot of players want to have a break.

exactly! And if they do upgrade, I guess Sydney would get upgraded... coz it always had a hella good field. ;)

Martian Stacey
Jul 31st, 2006, 06:31 AM
exactly! And if they do upgrade, I guess Sydney would get upgraded... coz it always had a hella good field. ;)
thats fine with me ;)

although if the prize money increases, maybe ticket prices will as well, which would suck :(

Derek.
Jul 31st, 2006, 06:32 AM
I'm not sure what to think of this idea.

I guess I'll have to wait to see how it works. :shrug:

DutchieGirl
Jul 31st, 2006, 06:32 AM
thats fine with me ;)

although if the prize money increases, maybe ticket prices will as well, which would suck :(

Well if they are doing that for the whole tour, I think it's a shitty idea, coz it means you'll have a few strong events, plus the GSs and then really weak events... :(

DutchieGirl
Jul 31st, 2006, 06:33 AM
why can't the WTA do it it's own way, just my 2 cents.

Because Larry Scott has no brain, and just copies the ATP? :lol:

CooCooCachoo
Jul 31st, 2006, 06:34 AM
Right.

A Tier I in Cincinnati at the same time the Canadian Open is being played. Right.

Volcana
Jul 31st, 2006, 06:34 AM
There are often threads asking what the WTA should do, but we never like their ideas. However, there is one approach that's been repeatedly successful. Get your best players to take leadership positions in the tour management.

That's a bit tough, since the kind of sheltered teenager who might be in the WTA top ten has exactly NO chance of going toe-to-toe with the advertising VP of a Fortune 1000 company. But the WTA has thrived best with BJK, and Chriz Evert, and Nav in leadership positions.

Having the players taking ownership of the tour, at least emotionally, has always paid big dividends.

CooCooCachoo
Jul 31st, 2006, 06:34 AM
And what is with all the language mistakes in the article? Had the editor been fired the day before or something :shrug:

Martian Stacey
Jul 31st, 2006, 06:47 AM
Well if they are doing that for the whole tour, I think it's a shitty idea, coz it means you'll have a few strong events, plus the GSs and then really weak events... :(
Thats true :( And it would really suck for the cities who are hosting the weak events, as it is unlikely they will get many top players there.

I would really like to know more about it. That article doesn't say much except that this will be happening for the US Open series. Its not guaranteed these changes will impact all tournaments.

I am also curious to know what they think are the advantages of this system.

DutchieGirl
Jul 31st, 2006, 06:51 AM
Thats true :( And it would really suck for the cities who are hosting the weak events, as it is unlikely they will get many top players there.

I would really like to know more about it. That article doesn't say much except that this will be happening for the US Open series. Its not guaranteed these changes will impact all tournaments.

I am also curious to know what they think are the advantages of this system.

I think it will be for the whole tour. They wouldn't change it just for the US Open series. That'd be a bit weird.

It would be good to hear more about the system, and how the schedule would look - like are they getting rid of tourneys, or moving them (location or date) - because yeah, I think it's gonna really suck for some tourneys.

Maria Croft
Jul 31st, 2006, 07:00 AM
The only problem I have with this, is that it's another change!
There are way to many changes coming to the tour in the last few months, we don't even get time anymore to get used to them.

Brian Stewart
Jul 31st, 2006, 08:39 AM
This seems like a bad idea. One of the best things the WTA has is the Tier II. As the system was originally set up, Tier I's were supposed to have about 7 of the top 10, and Tier II's were supposed to have about 4. That means over 2 dozen times a year that a group of top 10 players were in the same non-slam tourney.

Now, they want to eliminate them? We know all the Tier II's can't be upgraded. Even if they so wished, the tour can't have 25 Tier I's, especially if they want to make them mandatory. More likely, the maximum practical number is 12. That leaves most of them out in the cold. If they're downgraded, they'll get lesser fields, not to mentionlesser attendance, TV coverage, etc. It would have an adverse affect on the popularity of the tour.

They should have kept things the way they were, with top players required to play X number of Tier I's, and Y number of Tier II"s, and the rest being optional. Then let darwinism sort them out. If a lot of players flock to certain events, and avoid others, the former could be upgraded and the latter downgraded.

And what's with the $1 million in prize money? If they're going for super events, shouldn't that be higher?

And there's the related issue of mandatory events, which I wholeheartedly oppose. Can the tour mandate health? What conditions would qualify for an excuse from the tour doctors? Almost certainly, fatigue wouldn't. Yet, when one's body is worn down, that is when the succeptibility to injury is greatest. This new system won't solve the problem of injuries. The only effect it might have is to cause more.

hurricanejeanne
Jul 31st, 2006, 11:35 AM
This seems like a bad idea. One of the best things the WTA has is the Tier II. As the system was originally set up, Tier I's were supposed to have about 7 of the top 10, and Tier II's were supposed to have about 4. That means over 2 dozen times a year that a group of top 10 players were in the same non-slam tourney.

Now, they want to eliminate them? We know all the Tier II's can't be upgraded. Even if they so wished, the tour can't have 25 Tier I's, especially if they want to make them mandatory. More likely, the maximum practical number is 12. That leaves most of them out in the cold. If they're downgraded, they'll get lesser fields, not to mentionlesser attendance, TV coverage, etc. It would have an adverse affect on the popularity of the tour.

They should have kept things the way they were, with top players required to play X number of Tier I's, and Y number of Tier II"s, and the rest being optional. Then let darwinism sort them out. If a lot of players flock to certain events, and avoid others, the former could be upgraded and the latter downgraded.

And what's with the $1 million in prize money? If they're going for super events, shouldn't that be higher?

And there's the related issue of mandatory events, which I wholeheartedly oppose. Can the tour mandate health? What conditions would qualify for an excuse from the tour doctors? Almost certainly, fatigue wouldn't. Yet, when one's body is worn down, that is when the succeptibility to injury is greatest. This new system won't solve the problem of injuries. The only effect it might have is to cause more.


:worship: my thought exactly. there are going to be a lot of tournaments that are fan favorites that are going to die by 2010, when this plan is suppose to be ready to be put completely in effect(affect). and just because they can get all the name on an entry list does not make the top players play. see Miami 2006.

Vut
Jul 31st, 2006, 12:00 PM
big gaps between tier 1 and 3..

goldenlox
Jul 31st, 2006, 04:01 PM
Originally Posted by Brian Stewart
This seems like a bad idea

The WTA with a bad idea? Impossible

slk45
Jul 31st, 2006, 04:16 PM
They should have kept things the way they were, with top players required to play X number of Tier I's, and Y number of Tier II"s, and the rest being optional. Then let darwinism sort them out. It would appear we have reverse darwinism managing the back office.

goldenlox
Aug 1st, 2006, 03:49 PM
I can't believe the WTA will only pay $225,000 for tournies.
Where is all the Sony money?

DutchieGirl
Aug 2nd, 2006, 03:39 AM
I can't believe the WTA will only pay $225,000 for tournies.
Where is all the Sony money?

It doesn't technically say they will pay ONLY $225k...just that they have to pay that mch - they can pay more if they want, I assume. ;)