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View Full Version : Is it possible for there to be too many Tier I tournaments?


Volcana
Mar 6th, 2007, 05:34 PM
Tier I status is a simple trade really. The tournament provides a level of prize money (and certain other amenities), and the tour guarantees six top ten players. (I think they have to provide a certain number of Gold-Exempt and Silver-Exempt players too,but it's been a few years since I looked at that part of the WTA. Things may have changed.)

So the only theoretical limit of the number of Tier I's is having enough players to play them.

Doha becomes a Tier I next year. San Diego a couple years ago.

Meanwhile, there have been some disasters in terms of top players not showing up. Rogers Cup, Charleston, San Diego....

Add to that, all top ten players aren't created equal, in terms of fan appeal. Martina Hingis brings more eyes to the television set than Nadia Petrova. But the situation can be worse. And it is. The two biggest draw on tour, in terms of TV ratings, are Venus and Serena Williams. (Sania Mirza and/or the first Chinese GS singles winner will change that, of course.) I'm talking culmulative world TV ratings. Of course Henin likely gets better ratings than Serena in Belgium, and Mauresmo higher ratings in France. But the USA has more TVs per capita, and a huge fan base. There's a reason the USA can support three Tier I tournaments, and four Tier II tournaments, while the best any other country does is one of each.

So you can find investors to pony up the cash so you have a dozen Tier I tournaments. But what of the product? A Tier I tournament should have,at minimum, four of your star players. Not necessarily your BEST players. Your STAR players. I like watching Petrova play. She's not substitute for a Clijsters or a Mauresmo when it comes to TV ratings.

You wouldn't think over-expansion was even on the WTA horizon, but it seems to be. I guess you can can't reduce the number of Tier I's, as a practical matter. But as it stands, Tier I's are the showcase events. And some of them recently have been seriously devoid of star-power.

John.
Mar 6th, 2007, 05:41 PM
Great post.

Strongly agree with your last sentence.

Wojtek
Mar 6th, 2007, 05:43 PM
There're way too many Tier 1. We will have more injuries and weaker tier 1

Demska
Mar 6th, 2007, 05:48 PM
:)

Wannabeknowitall
Mar 6th, 2007, 05:50 PM
There's 10 Tier I now.
There will be 9 next year.
There hasn't been an outright recognition that a Tier I to replace San Diego will happen.
There's speculation about Cincinnati, Dubai, and Doha but the latter two have only upped their prize money without the recognition of a Tier I, likely in the case of bringing more big names to play.

Volcana
Mar 6th, 2007, 05:56 PM
There's 10 Tier I now.
There will be 9 next year.What's dropping out next year?

Also, I've believed for years that Dubai will eventually be a Tier I. I think the same group bought Berlin, and speculation the whole reason behind that move was to eventualy get the Middle East a Tier I.

lolas
Mar 6th, 2007, 06:03 PM
There should be a tier one on grass and at least 2 on clay...

John.
Mar 6th, 2007, 06:06 PM
There should be a tier one on grass and at least 2 on clay...

Charleston, Berlin & Rome are all Tier 1's on Clay.

Agree with you about a grass court Tier 1, but as the grass court season is so short, I can't see it happening

lolas
Mar 6th, 2007, 06:15 PM
Charleston, Berlin & Rome are all Tier 1's on Clay.

Agree with you about a grass court Tier 1, but as the grass court season is so short, I can't see it happening

Sorry, I meant red clay which is clay for me ;) I fear that Berlin will be downgraded soon and having only one tier 1 on clay would be a disgrace to this wonderful surface.

Maybe somehow they'll extend the grass season. There are way too many hardcourt tournaments, not tier 1's.

Corswandt
Mar 6th, 2007, 06:24 PM
The two biggest draw on tour, in terms of TV ratings, are Venus and Serena Williams. (Sania Mirza and/or the first Chinese GS singles winner will change that, of course.) I'm talking culmulative world TV ratings. Of course Henin likely gets better ratings than Serena in Belgium, and Mauresmo higher ratings in France. But the USA has more TVs per capita, and a huge fan base.

Got any figures to support that? The EU is now a bigger market than the US, even without adding Russia.

You've started a number of threads over the past couple of days, all of them boiling down to your same old mantra of "Vee and Ree are the biggest stars on the circuit". :yawn:

Why don't you just stick that on your signature, and save everyone a lot of time.