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View Full Version : Mandatory Events - The Best Idea?


Vanity Bonfire
May 14th, 2009, 06:39 PM
Is it only me who thinks that the mandatory events this year on the WTA Tour have sucked? I'm a fan of women's tennis so I am not trying to bash it but look:

Indian Wells: - Williams sisters don't show up; Jankovic, Dementieva, Safina and Kuznetsova all crash out very early; boring semi finals; horrific (OK, so it was very windy) final. Many players evidently didn't want to show up for this event and it showed - I didn't see one good-quality match.

Miami: - Serena gets injured and the final is dull - between two shriekers. Many plauyers again lose early. Tennis better quality than IW, but not by much.

Madrid: - Most of the seeds (including WS, Kuznetsova, Dementieva, Azarenka) crash out; pushers like Wozniacki and Bondarenko make it to the QF, most of the matches just boring UE fests. Only entertaining one is Mauresmo.

I have seen some good WTA Tour matches this season, it's just not one of these has come from the Mandatory Events and I think it's time the WTA gives up this idea and moves back to the old Tier I-II-III-IV system as that was much better. THe new scheduling for WTA tournaments is crappy also IMO. You get loads of tournaments which everyone plays in in one massive block and then you have to wait for ages before the next big clump of tourneys comes along.

Alex03Maccy
May 14th, 2009, 06:46 PM
i think it creates an immediate resentment of the tourn from some players because it kind of means they can't do their own schedules exactly how they want it.

TennisViewer531
May 14th, 2009, 06:53 PM
Let's just see how this year pans out. :)

terjw
May 14th, 2009, 06:54 PM
It's just the way it is nowadays. It's not the system / roadmap. It's the top players nowadays are often not good enough to make it through and they are often playing hard matches because the standard in the women's game is much deeper nowadays.

I mean we've hardly had a good match at the FO for years. And we had top players crashing out early at last years' Wimbledon and RG. But no-one seriously advocates not calling those tournament slams.

Vanity Bonfire
May 14th, 2009, 06:58 PM
Jankovic-Ivanovic was pretty good at last year's FO IMO.

Cp6uja
May 14th, 2009, 06:59 PM
This is just first year of new roadmap.
It works great for years in ATP, so no reasons to believe that will sucks at WTA. :shrug:

Dawn Marie
May 14th, 2009, 07:00 PM
Mandatory Events is a way to make players play. yet logically and realistically nobody can make a player play a tennis match. I think the idea is ridiculous.

Players, can and will get on aplane and withdraw and retire and tank. To conserve energy and money in the wallets.

The idea is dumb, because it's has many loopholes that players will only take advantage of and get around. If the system wants to beat you, then by any means necessary beat the sytem. :)

AndreConrad
May 14th, 2009, 07:33 PM
I think the idea is good, but the implementation is far from perfect. I believe there is an issue with scheduling. There are mandatory events and events that traditionally drew a lot good players even though they are not mandatory this year. They seem to plotted on the timeline in bunches and it frustrates the players. Whoever planned the schedule did not do a good job.

Irute
May 14th, 2009, 09:08 PM
The events seem to come in waves... Agree with the above

TheBoiledEgg
May 14th, 2009, 09:12 PM
only bad rule WTA have done is
for top 10 they cannot withdraw from any P5 or any Premier event they have entered or they get a 0 Pointer on their best 16 for 52 weeks.

darrinbaker00
May 14th, 2009, 09:47 PM
only bad rule WTA have done is
for top 10 they cannot withdraw from any P5 or any Premier event they have entered or they get a 0 Pointer on their best 16 for 52 weeks.
You don't think that's a small price to pay for the increase in prize money? I do.

DutchieGirl
May 14th, 2009, 09:53 PM
I don't like mandatories, but I have seen a few matches from Madrid, and most have actually been quite good.

duhcity
May 14th, 2009, 10:23 PM
Mandatory Events is a way to make players play. yet logically and realistically nobody can make a player play a tennis match. I think the idea is ridiculous.

Players, can and will get on aplane and withdraw and retire and tank. To conserve energy and money in the wallets.

The idea is dumb, because it's has many loopholes that players will only take advantage of and get around. If the system wants to beat you, then by any means necessary beat the sytem. :)

Players who hate the roadmap or the schedule can tank. But they don't have to. The men can play high quality tennis year round even though they hate to do so. The women I think simply are not consistent enough with their level of play, and that the lower tier of players are more capable of beating the top players than ever before.



Also mandatories are absolutely necessary. No mandatories means not enough players will show up. If they dont show up, spectators wont show up. Then sponsors pull out, the tour is downsized, prize money decreases thus less players on tour leading to less interest in womens tennis and even less sponsors, and eventually the end of women's tennis as a sport.

bobbynorwich
May 14th, 2009, 11:01 PM
The problem is it's a trade-off between flexibility for the players and the size of the purse ($$$). Only by getting the top players at the bigger tourneys can the organizers raise the revenue to pay the higher prize money that the players want. It's a partnership in that regard --- hence the revenue sharing that players get who make all the required events. Sponsors, advertisers, tv contracts, municipalities, and vendors all pay more money if more fans come to the event, and more fans come to the event if they expect more lower seeds such as 1-10. The WTA also needs to distribute the known players among the mid-level tourneys so they all stay financially viable, thus the 4/5 premiers.

In short, the players agreed to give up some of their flexibility in order to get a shot at much larger paydays. They may well collectively decide to go back to smaller prize money and more freedom after a trial with the Roadmap.

It makes sense that more top seeds will go out on the lower rounds of big events --- just on probability alone, there are more matches so more chances for flukes, young upstarts, or bad days. Plus all the best players are there compared to the MM tourneys, so tougher competition. And if the field is deep, there may be little meaningful difference between a player ranked 8th and one who is 20th. What looks like an upset (by comparing ranking alone) may actually not be one.

I think the idea is good, but the implementation is far from perfect. I believe there is an issue with scheduling. There are mandatory events and events that traditionally drew a lot good players even though they are not mandatory this year. They seem to plotted on the timeline in bunches and it frustrates the players. Whoever planned the schedule did not do a good job.

Agreed, this is a big problem. It's insane to have 2 premier mandatory events (IW and Miami) back-to-back, and then premier Rome one week before mandatory Madrid, which is just before a Slam. Yet other months are lightly scheduled such as Feb-March. My guess is that the tourney sites don't have much flexibility to drastically move their dates. There's got to be good reasons for this bunching and skipping pattern, or else the WTA would have solved it already.

darrinbaker00
May 14th, 2009, 11:10 PM
In short, the players agreed to give up some of their flexibility in order to get a shot at much larger paydays. They may well collectively decide to go back to smaller prize money and more freedom after a trial with the Roadmap.
That's all that really needs to be said about the subject. Moderators, you can lock this thread now.

goldenlox
May 14th, 2009, 11:12 PM
It's a different game than when players used wood rackets.
Players need some time between tournaments.
IW and Miami should be separated. Madrid shouldn't be this close to the FO.

If they want the best players at these events and playing well, they need to space them out, away from each other or majors

bobbynorwich
May 14th, 2009, 11:23 PM
It's a different game than when players used wood rackets.

Wow, how about a tourney with all '60s style wooden rackets? What fun! Bye-bye matches won on serves alone and bone-crushing baseline rallies. Might even see some serve-and-volleys. But probably half the current field would have a career-ending nervous breakdown and then the WTA would really be stuck in the mud.

http://www.murraysworld.com/forum/Smileys/default/icon_racquet.gif (http://javascript<b></b>:void(0);)-http://www.murraysworld.com/forum/Smileys/default/icon_racquet.gif (http://javascript<b></b>:void(0);)-http://www.murraysworld.com/forum/Smileys/default/icon_racquet.gif (http://javascript<b></b>:void(0);)

Elisse
May 14th, 2009, 11:24 PM
i think it creates an immediate resentment of the tourn from some players because it kind of means they can't do their own schedules exactly how they want it.

Exactly. I hate this mandatory tournament crap - unfair that they are forced to play places they don't want to play, and it makes it look very unprofessional when the top players (some obviously don't want to be there) lose in the early rounds and just seem to turn up because they don't want to pay the huge fines. And most of all it's sad for the fans who pay money to go to see these players...I would prefer to see a player who actually wants to play there, rather than someone who is just going through the motions because they have no way to get out of it :help:

Alex03Maccy
May 14th, 2009, 11:31 PM
prime example this week kuzzy. after going deep in the last 2 tourns she would much rather have take a couple of weeks off before the french but instead she went out and clearly did not want to be there.

Dawn Marie
May 14th, 2009, 11:47 PM
Players who hate the roadmap or the schedule can tank. But they don't have to. The men can play high quality tennis year round even though they hate to do so. The women I think simply are not consistent enough with their level of play, and that the lower tier of players are more capable of beating the top players than ever before.
Also mandatories are absolutely necessary. No mandatories means not enough players will show up. If they dont show up, spectators wont show up. Then sponsors pull out, the tour is downsized, prize money decreases thus less players on tour leading to less interest in womens tennis and even less sponsors, and eventually the end of women's tennis as a sport.
I disagree. The problem is that the WTA Tour refuses to promote their players. They only talk about the top ten and those who are attractive. They refuse to promote the personality and the backstory.
Fans love stories and personalities. Fans love tennis. People will watch tennis but when top players pull out and nobody has featured the lesser known player, nobody wants to watch the match. Showcase tennis and ALL players. CSN has anice game and story. I haven't heard of the kid before the Aussie Open?? Why is that?

bobbynorwich
May 14th, 2009, 11:55 PM
I disagree. The problem is that the WTA Tour refuses to promote their players. They only talk about the top ten and those who are attractive. They refuse to promote the personality and the backstory.
Fans love stories and personalities. Fans love tennis. People will watch tennis but when top players pull out and nobody has featured the lesser known player, nobody wants to watch the match. Showcase tennis and ALL players. CSN has anice game and story. I haven't heard of the kid before the Aussie Open?? Why is that?

You're on to something here. Lots of intriguing personalities and life stories that the WTA could promote. Every year they could take the top 30 and develop a marketing play, with stunts/appearances to promote the player, and not just the tourney. Good agents do this, but they won't take on the lesser players without some money stream already. But a good experiment for WTA, maybe a better one than the Roadmap.

QUEENLINDSAY
May 14th, 2009, 11:59 PM
Players needs to help WTA as much as WTA is helping making the sports more pupular.
They rules also states a lot of options for players in case they cant play for any reason.
The problem is, players wants to be treated like movie celebrities but dont want to pay price.

goldenlox
May 15th, 2009, 12:02 AM
Most players don't want to be treated as celebs.
They just want to make a schedule for themselves that they're comfortable with. Play tournaments they enjoy, take some weeks off here and there.
Too much of the schedule is now forced on them, especially top 10.

Alex03Maccy
May 15th, 2009, 12:06 AM
it may also cause them to miss tourns they really like playing or have been loyal to for years because they have a stupid mandatory the week before or after.

duhcity
May 15th, 2009, 01:33 AM
Most players don't want to be treated as celebs.
They just want to make a schedule for themselves that they're comfortable with. Play tournaments they enjoy, take some weeks off here and there.
Too much of the schedule is now forced on them, especially top 10.

Players want to be treated as celebrities.
I highly highly highly doubt that the players wouldn't mind having the perks taken away.

Since a normal person must work hard year round to gain a living, the tour would be extended and the prize money lowered so that everything is just enough to live a comfortable life. Sponsorships would give no benefits, there would be no photoshoots etcetc.

The players want to be treated beyond well. And I'd agree if they were playing well. But not one player can really say they did well the entire year. The closest to that was Jankovic last year, and she didn't do THAT well.

Serenita
May 15th, 2009, 01:42 AM
THE ROADMAP HAS FAILED!!!
whahahahahahaha

Direwolf
May 15th, 2009, 06:52 AM
replace

Indian Wells -> Dubai
Madrid -> Rome

DutchieGirl
May 15th, 2009, 07:13 AM
Players want to be treated as celebrities.
I highly highly highly doubt that the players wouldn't mind having the perks taken away.

Since a normal person must work hard year round to gain a living, the tour would be extended and the prize money lowered so that everything is just enough to live a comfortable life. Sponsorships would give no benefits, there would be no photoshoots etcetc.

The players want to be treated beyond well. And I'd agree if they were playing well. But not one player can really say they did well the entire year. The closest to that was Jankovic last year, and she didn't do THAT well.
Let's be clear that you are really only talking about perhaps the top 100 players here....go watch some challengers and see how most players outside of the top 100 live - those are the players who do barely get by on their earnings and certainly are NOT treated as celebs. Besides, the tour and the sponsors are the ones who started treating the players in such a way, so sure they are used to it now, but it's not from the players themselves that they are treated as such.

darrinbaker00
May 15th, 2009, 07:21 AM
Let's be clear that you are really only talking about perhaps the top 100 players here....go watch some challengers and see how most players outside of the top 100 live - those are the players who do barely get by on their earnings and certainly are NOT treated as celebs. Besides, the tour and the sponsors are the ones who started treating the players in such a way, so sure they are used to it now, but it's not from the players themselves that they are treated as such.
Were any of those players on the Challenger circuit forced to do so? I don't think so. Besides, if they don't like it, then they have two choices: get better, or find another line of work. I know quite a few young men and women here in the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Area who would give years off their lives to play Challengers. Playing tennis for a living is a privilege, not a right, and some of them need to be reminded of that fact.

DutchieGirl
May 15th, 2009, 07:24 AM
Were any of those players on the Challenger circuit forced to do so? I don't think so. Besides, if they don't like it, then they have two choices: get better, or find another line of work. I know quite a few young men and women here in the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Area who would give years off their lives to play Challengers. Playing tennis for a living is a privilege, not a right, and some of them need to be reminded of that fact.
Duh you totally MISSED my point - which was that ALL players ARE NOT treated like celebs as the other poster was talking about. Pretty muh it's only the ones in the top 50 for the most part, and in the bigger tourneys that gets extended to the top 100. I was not saying they should be treated as such either, I was merely pointing out that not ALL players are treated like celebs, certainly if they are not in the top 100. Get it?