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Sanneriet
Oct 7th, 2003, 06:36 PM
L.A. needs Williams in field
Published October 5, 2003


Venus Williams has entered the Advanta Championships in Philadelphia (Oct. 27-Nov. 2) and everyone involved in selling women's tennis is hoping she isn't just covering herself if she decides to play, but will, in fact, be there and will play the season-ending WTA Championships the next week.

Nothing is certain right now with the Williams sisters until the first day of the tournament. Venus is back on the practice court after a long bout with the abdominal injury that doomed her effort in the Wimbledon final. But the family is still coping with the shooting death of the eldest sister.

As for younger sister Serena, the Wimbledon champion who is recovering from knee surgery: She looks doubtful to play again this season.

If the WTA Championships are to avoid a second straight attendance disaster at Staples Center in Los Angeles, it has to have at least one of the Williams sisters in the eight-women lineup.

The two Belgians, Justine Henin-Hardenne and Kim Clijsters, can talk all they want about how competitive they've made women's tennis at the highest level, and no one would dispute that. But they're not enough by themselves, even at No. 1 and No. 2, to pull in more than the few thousand Staples entertained a year ago.

The tour has whittled the size of the championships from 16 to the best eight this year, and that was smart. There really are only a handful of players capable of winning a major title in women's tennis, and I'm no longer counting Amelie Mauresmo, who has had a very disappointing year.

On balance and looking at women's tennis on an international level, Henin-Hardenne, an anamoly at 5 feet 5 and 130 pounds, has probably been the best story this season. She won two Grand Slams (French Open and U.S. Open) with wins over Clijsters, who is physically bigger (who isn't?) and hits bigger.

But Henin-Hardenne understands the game better, has more variety in her shots, plays better defense and that's why she's No. 1.

Clijsters once dominated this matchup and she's a better player than she was a year ago. But confidence goes a long way in individual sports like golf and tennis.

"I think it's very hard to tell why it changed the last few months," Henin-Hardenne said. "I know the work I did, the physical work helped me be prepared mentally. I was just feeling comfortable on the court against Kim. But it's hard to tell when or why it changed.'

In some ways she reminds you of Lleyton Hewitt on the men's tour. Both smaller players. Both somewhat reclusive on the tour. Both the targets of criticism -- Hewitt because of his running battles with reporters and Henin-Hardenne because of the silly criticism some people aimed at her over the controversial moments in her French Open win over Serena.

And the best irony: Clijsters is romantically involved with Hewitt and is about the most open and upbeat player on either tour.

Like Hewitt, Henin-Hardenne realizes she has to keep evolving. The Williams sisters could stand still with the talent they have now and not be challenged for a long time. Not the little Belgian.

"I'll have to go a little bit to the net, for sure," she says. "Even if I have more power than last year, I'm not going to beat them on the fast surfaces. In the long run, I totally know that. It's just that I'm not afraid anymore of the rally. But I know that if I want to put a lot of pressure on them, I have to get to the net, be a little more aggressive.

"And I know my serve is the key in my game. I think in 2004 that's what I'm looking for. My serve is going to be more consistent and it's going to help me win easier points.'

Mustering a comeback

It's difficult to imagine 1995 French Open champion Thomas Muster at 53 pounds over his playing weight and, when he finally did something about it, he got rid of it in his usual maniacal way.

The weight gain started shortly after he retired in 1999 and moved to Australia to get away from the harsh Austrian winters and live the good life.

"I could do what I wanted to do. I hung out with friends and, you sit together, you drink a few beers and you smoke. I'm not saying smoking and drinking is a great thing to do, but it's something you do when you are hanging out and relaxing and that's what I did. It wasn't excessive, but after doing it year-in and year-out, I put on weight. " he said.

It took a year, but he looks once again like the man who won 34 consecutive clay-court matches in '95, winning consecutive titles at Estoril, Barcelona, Monte Carlo and Rome before taking the field apart at the French for his only Grand Slam title.

I remember Muster playing Key Biscayne at the time. He was relentless and his aggressiveness and stamina on court, especially on hot days, intimidated a number of players. While waiting for his match to start at the old Lipton, he was in the narrow passageway inside the stadium, throwing a medicine wall against the cinder block wall and catching it. Players would pass him and they weren't smiling.

Muster is now playing the Delta Masters Tour, which is exclusively in Europe. The Muster grunt is back and so is the desire to play.



Charles Bricker's tennis column appears Sundays. He can be reached at cbricker@sun-sentinel.com.


I am not sure they need them there to avoid a disaster. It did not help last year. The WTA is just inept. However, especially given how little they have been able to play this year, it would help tremendously to have them there. I think a lot of fans might come just to show their support for the sisters.

Justinefan
Oct 7th, 2003, 06:41 PM
The Championships pull in tennis fans... Not Venus and Serena fans.. with Capriati and Davenport.. and the other girls.. attendance will be just as great.

QUEENLINDSAY
Oct 7th, 2003, 06:49 PM
Well, A williams is really a big factor but I dont its not big deal as others are trying to impact.

Williams in YEC is good but if they wont show, I think we still have the 6 out of 8 best players in the world.

lizchris
Oct 7th, 2003, 06:51 PM
The facts are:

Venus and Serena are the best known tennis players in the top ten in America, probably the best known overall. CNN reported that any tournament they play in gets mroe attention from the media (at least in America). The same can't be said about the other players.

The sisters also bring in ratings in America. Note the low ratings in America for the FO and USO this year.

They might not be as needed in your mind, but in the minds of tournament directors and advertisers, they are.

BTW, it's good to hear that Venus is practicing again.

Justinefan
Oct 7th, 2003, 06:54 PM
Venus better be practicing.. she needs to get it back together.. btw they bring in a lot of American ratings b/c they are American... The low ratings for the french Open had ntohing to do with the williams sisters.. first of all .. they were there.. second.. it's b/c of the anti-french deal that was going on..

CapFan#1
Oct 7th, 2003, 06:54 PM
Capriati is America's sweatheart, and attendance at her matches are always huge. I would say Serena, Venus and Jen are the biggest draws in women's tennis. Along with Anna for obvious reasons!

Justinefan
Oct 7th, 2003, 06:55 PM
Jen and Lindsay definitely draw a lot of people in.. not so much Anna K.. just b/c she hasn't played like at all this year.. I heard she's done..

GANGSTABACKHAND!
Oct 7th, 2003, 06:56 PM
I beg to differ. Tennis is a business, it relies on the ability of Serena and Venus to bring a whole range of fans into the stadium. Not only V&S fans, but fans in general who loves to watch them compete against other players. It's true that there are other wta players who can bring fans out, but none of them attract fans like V&S does. Let's face it, if V&S retired today, interest in tennis would decline drastically. They've been away for a few months and interst in the game has declined since!

Lindsayfan
Oct 7th, 2003, 06:58 PM
last year all the best players in the world was there there was no crowd for all the week...it's not a Williams or not williams problem,it's a LA problem.

Justinefan
Oct 7th, 2003, 07:01 PM
I disagree... Tennis interest has not declined.. people are tired of Serena.. bring back Venus.. Serena can go ahead and retire.. it won't effect my love for tennis at all... LA is the problem... and prices and timing!

lizchris
Oct 7th, 2003, 07:03 PM
Venus better be practicing.. she needs to get it back together.. btw they bring in a lot of American ratings b/c they are American... The low ratings for the french Open had ntohing to do with the williams sisters.. first of all .. they were there.. second.. it's b/c of the anti-french deal that was going on..

How do you explain the low ratings for the USO?

Justinefan
Oct 7th, 2003, 07:08 PM
what low rankings.. i was there.. the last three days of the first week freakin sold out... despite rain there were sell out days for the second week.. Low rankings?? WHERE

CapFan#1
Oct 7th, 2003, 07:09 PM
How do you explain the low ratings for the USO?


No AMERICAN IN THE FINAL, and a weeks long rain diminished interest in the event on all sides!

Justinefan
Oct 7th, 2003, 07:11 PM
No AMERICAN IN THE FINAL, and a weeks long rain diminished interest in the event on all sides!
Bingo ;)

bandabou
Oct 7th, 2003, 07:13 PM
I disagree... Tennis interest has not declined.. people are tired of Serena.. bring back Venus.. Serena can go ahead and retire.. it won't effect my love for tennis at all... LA is the problem... and prices and timing!

Whatīs the matter with you?! Just because you donīt like Serena doesnīt mean she has to retire. I donīt like Justine, but do you hear me telling her to retire?!

Justinefan
Oct 7th, 2003, 07:14 PM
I didn't say she had to retire..someone said if she were to retired tennis interest would decline.. i said she can go ahead and retire.. i wouldn't care.. read the thread moron..

Volcana
Oct 7th, 2003, 07:15 PM
The Championships pull in tennis fans... Not Venus and Serena fans.. with Capriati and Davenport.. and the other girls.. attendance will be just as great.

You're either an eternal optimist, vastly delusional, or you didn't see the crowds last year.

cool bird
Oct 7th, 2003, 07:15 PM
Venus and Serena bring in sports fans. maybe they are not out and out tennis fans like most of us on the board. But still people out side the tennis click would pay to see just Serena and Venus. Thats just how it is. They are huge love them or not. People pay to see them.

Justinefan
Oct 7th, 2003, 07:16 PM
Venus and Serena bring in sports fans. maybe they are not out and out tennis fans like most of us on the board. But still people out side the tennis click would pay to see just Serena and Venus. Thats just how it is. They are huge love them or not. People pay to see them.
I'll give into that.. for non hardcore tennis fans.. the williams sisters are the american draw..
as for volcana.. everything i read from you is a pain in the ass.. take your comments elsewhere..

Toontje
Oct 7th, 2003, 07:16 PM
How do you explain the low ratings for the USO?


Which low ratings?.......rekord ticket sales in the first week for the USO....before all these rain delays in the second week!

Not a single grand Slam needs a Williams Sisters to sell tickets.

That doesn't only count for the Williams sisters.

Kart
Oct 7th, 2003, 07:16 PM
Thomas Muster 53 pounds over his playing weight sounds an interesting sight.

persond
Oct 7th, 2003, 07:21 PM
Venus better be practicing.. she needs to get it back together.. btw they bring in a lot of American ratings b/c they are American... The low ratings for the french Open had ntohing to do with the williams sisters.. first of all .. they were there.. second.. it's b/c of the anti-french deal that was going on..


You know, everytime you post a reply, it's ripe with "envy" that Justine doesn't have the "Q" rating the Sisters have. It's beginning to make you look like and "envious bag of wind"...!!!! Give it a rest already...!!! Whether you want to face it or not, the fact is the Williamses have a drawing power that Justine or Kim for that matter, don't have...!!! Da Nile" ain't just a river in Egypt...!!! :rolleyes: :rolleyes:

tennisluver99
Oct 7th, 2003, 07:23 PM
I agree with Lindsayfan, the Williams were there last year and attendance was low. I'm afraid that it might be the same this year, with the Williams there or not. Because of the WTA's bad promoting, or should I say lack of promoting. I have a friend who's not a fan of tennis, but she knows about the ATP's Tennis Masters Cup, because of the commercials. She didn't even know that the women had a year end championship.

bandabou
Oct 7th, 2003, 07:24 PM
You know, everytime you post a reply, it's ripe with "envy" that Justine doesn't have the "Q" rating the Sisters have. It's beginning to make you look like and "envious bag of wind"...!!!! Give it a rest already...!!! Whether you want to face it or not, the fact is the Williamses have a drawing power that Justine or Kim for that matter, don't have...!!! [b]Da Nile" ain't just a river in Egypt...!!! :rolleyes: :rolleyes:

Word!

Justinefan
Oct 7th, 2003, 07:24 PM
umm did you read that thread at all??? It was about Venus?? or can yiou n ot read.. I said she needs to get it back together?? That had nothing to do with Justine.. I'm saying Venus needs to come back strong.. in what thread have i said.. oh Justine is so much better than the ws...NONE.. the one you just quoted was supporting Venus andn focusing on ratings..nothing to do with Justine?? Go grow up

persond
Oct 7th, 2003, 07:26 PM
I didn't say she had to retire..someone said if she were to retired tennis interest would decline.. i said she can go ahead and retire.. i wouldn't care.. read the thread moron..


Of course you wouldn't care...Duh...!!! At least take your head out of your ass, or as they say, "wake up and smell the coffee...!!! No matter how much you deny it, the Williamses are "A BIG DRAW"... Justine on the other hand, well you can finish the sentence...!!! :rolleyes: :rolleyes:

bandabou
Oct 7th, 2003, 07:27 PM
umm did you read that thread at all??? It was about Venus?? or can yiou n ot read.. I said she needs to get it back together?? That had nothing to do with Justine.. I'm saying Venus needs to come back strong.. in what thread have i said.. oh Justine is so much better than the ws...NONE.. the one you just quoted was supporting Venus andn focusing on ratings..nothing to do with Justine?? Go grow up

Uhmmm, do I need to post the link of the thread where you call them overrated and not worthy, etc?!

persond
Oct 7th, 2003, 07:27 PM
Which low ratings?.......rekord ticket sales in the first week for the USO....before all these rain delays in the second week!

Not a single grand Slam needs a Williams Sisters to sell tickets.

That doesn't only count for the Williams sisters.


Another "delusional" Belgian...!!! :rolleyes: :rolleyes:

Justinefan
Oct 7th, 2003, 07:29 PM
Obviously you need to take your head out of your ass as well... you are doing the same thing?? read some other posts.. I've said that the Williams sisters are a draw to tennis for the american non hardcore tennis fans.. why do you stop being an asshole and accept other opinions....you are only ripping on me b/c my name is justine fan?? I haven't said anything about her.. i didn't say she was a draw.. she most certainly is not.. so grow up asshole

Justinefan
Oct 7th, 2003, 07:30 PM
Another "delusional" Belgian...!!! :rolleyes: :rolleyes:
Another delusional asshole :rolleyes: :rolleyes: ....she didn't say for the final.. she said for the overall us open..

cool bird
Oct 7th, 2003, 07:31 PM
I would say you are right but i still have to say i would hated to see what it was like if they had not of been playing.

When i watch the collins cup last year when Venus and Serena played the place was packed for them.
I mean no matter where you go everyboby knows who the williams sisters are.
To be honest I think the only other person as well know if not better know as them is Agassi. (with non tennis fans)

persond
Oct 7th, 2003, 07:32 PM
umm did you read that thread at all??? It was about Venus?? or can yiou n ot read.. I said she needs to get it back together?? That had nothing to do with Justine.. I'm saying Venus needs to come back strong.. in what thread have i said.. oh Justine is so much better than the ws...NONE.. the one you just quoted was supporting Venus andn focusing on ratings..nothing to do with Justine?? Go grow up
\

Why don't you let your"mouth speak for you...'cause your ass ain't saying shit...!!! I'd be willing to bet you a "fat man", that Venus with little or no prep will still "whup" Justines' ass...!!! :rolleyes: :rolleyes:

Justinefan
Oct 7th, 2003, 07:33 PM
I am excited for their return to see if there will be some new competition...yes everybody knows who they are and they are a big draw.. but tennis won't die without them... It woudlnt' be the same without them.. but the ws fans in here need to chill a bit..

servenrichie
Oct 7th, 2003, 07:34 PM
I disagree... Tennis interest has not declined.. people are tired of Serena.. bring back Venus.. Serena can go ahead and retire.. it won't effect my love for tennis at all... LA is the problem... and prices and timing!

Ever think of retiring yourself and save yourself some misery. Serena couldnt care less that you cant stand her :fiery:

Justinefan
Oct 7th, 2003, 07:35 PM
and i could care less you can't stand me! Post something worth reading..

persond
Oct 7th, 2003, 07:39 PM
I am excited for their return to see if there will be some new competition...yes everybody knows who they are and they are a big draw.. but tennis won't die without them... It woudlnt' be the same without them.. but the ws fans in here need to chill a bit..


From one "asshole" to another "asshole"..., you finally decided to talk with "your mouth", and not "outta your ass"...!!! :angel: :angel:

Couver
Oct 7th, 2003, 07:39 PM
I wish people were a little more sympathetic to what Venus & Serena need. These articles are so irratating, it's like they are trying to force them back. Perhaps they need more time, afterall their sister was murdered that's a huge deal!

I don't know what's with everyone and all this "oh they better come back, and they better be ready." Just let them deal and do whatever they want. Don't be so insensitive.

Justinefan
Oct 7th, 2003, 07:40 PM
From one "asshole" to another "asshole"..., you finally decided to talk with "your mouth", and not "outta your ass"...!!! :angel: :angel:
wish you could do the same..

Justinefan
Oct 7th, 2003, 07:41 PM
Those girls don't do anything they don't want to.. so don't worrry they won't let anyone force them back before they are ready..

servenrichie
Oct 7th, 2003, 07:44 PM
and i could care less you can't stand me! Post something worth reading..

Right as soon as you stop talking thru your ass, you moron :rolleyes:

Justinefan
Oct 7th, 2003, 07:46 PM
Do you just go around posts trying to bother me???...Back to the main point of this thread... are the Williams sisters needed in LA.. in my opinion no.. would it be nice to see them back on the tour.. sure why not.. Do they draw a crowd yes.. are the already unpopular tournaments going to die without them for one year.. no.

bandabou
Oct 7th, 2003, 07:50 PM
Do you just go around posts trying to bother me???...Back to the main point of this thread... are the Williams sisters needed in LA.. in my opinion no.. would it be nice to see them back on the tour.. sure why not.. Do they draw a crowd yes.. are the already unpopular tournaments going to die without them for one year.. no.

Why donīt add: Is it going to draw more fans with Justine as her focal point?! No.

alfajeffster
Oct 7th, 2003, 07:50 PM
LA needs Steffi Graf and Martina Hingis to come out of retirement and play an exhibition before the start of the final- now THAT would sell some seats and get some serious air time!!!

Justinefan
Oct 7th, 2003, 07:51 PM
oh man.. Did i say anything about Justine...NO... the thread is are the williams needed there.. not can we rip on justine even though no one is talking about her.

bandabou
Oct 7th, 2003, 07:52 PM
LA needs Steffi Graf and Martina Hingis to come out of retirement and play an exhibition before the start of the final- now THAT would sell some seats and get some serious air time!!!

Yeah sure....so that Graf can beat Hingis again no?! The girl can barely walk....leave it at that.

Justinefan
Oct 7th, 2003, 07:54 PM
that would never happen.

bandabou
Oct 7th, 2003, 07:56 PM
oh man.. Did i say anything about Justine...NO... the thread is are the williams needed there.. not can we rip on justine even though no one is talking about her.

If you rip, expect to be ripped back!

Justinefan
Oct 7th, 2003, 07:57 PM
I didn't rip on anyone.. i stated my opinion that the thread was asking for.. but you go ahead...whatever gets you off

servenrichie
Oct 7th, 2003, 07:59 PM
Yeah sure....so that Graf can beat Hingis again no?! The girl can barely walk....leave it at that.

:lol: :lol: :lol: besides the case about the feet damage has not been decided yet :tape:

maximus82
Oct 7th, 2003, 08:00 PM
Sigh...I am not a fan (at all) of the Williams sisters(primarily because they are TOO dominant and it's much more fun when you don't know who is going to win tournaments), but I agree with the original poster - If the sisters don't play the year end champs it will come off as a rather lackluster tournament. The year end champs should be about the best of the year duking it out for dominance and that means all the best players of the year being there.

But, then again, I also would think that the champs would be lame if both sisters and neither belgian showed up.

servenrichie
Oct 7th, 2003, 08:02 PM
I didn't rip on anyone.. i stated my opinion that the thread was asking for.. but you go ahead...whatever gets you off

This chick never even know when to stop. Post ignorant things and pretend to be offended when called on them. So tell us your opinion, you guru: would Justine sell out tickets as the focal draw in LA?

Justinefan
Oct 7th, 2003, 08:03 PM
Sigh...I am not a fan (at all) of the Williams sisters(primarily because they are TOO dominant and it's much more fun when you don't know who is going to win tournaments), but I agree with the original poster - If the sisters don't play the year end champs it will come off as a rather lackluster tournament. The year end champs should be about the best of the year duking it out for dominance and that means all the best players of the year being there.

But, then again, I also would think that the champs would be lame if both sisters and neither belgian showed up.
I agree.. I don't care for the Williams sisters.. but the championships would be so much more exciting with them there... ifthey can make it back.. plus the winner wouldn't be denounced just b/c neither ws was there.

bandabou
Oct 7th, 2003, 08:05 PM
I agree.. I don't care for the Williams sisters.. but the championships would be so much more exciting with them there... ifthey can make it back.. plus the winner wouldn't be denounced just b/c neither ws was there.

You see...you only want them to return to see them losing. Why, why?! Donīt them because they are good!

bandabou
Oct 7th, 2003, 08:06 PM
:lol: :lol: :lol: besides the case about the feet damage has not been decided yet :tape:

Yeah, but we all know that doesnīt stand a chance. FOUR years after you stopped wearing them?! Pluuzzz Martina....I love you girl, but come on!

servenrichie
Oct 7th, 2003, 08:17 PM
Yeah, but we all know that doesnīt stand a chance. FOUR years after you stopped wearing them?! Pluuzzz Martina....I love you girl, but come on!

Ssshh those damm shoes were supposed to have ended the poor girls career prematurely :tape: :tape:

bandabou
Oct 7th, 2003, 08:24 PM
Ssshh those damm shoes were supposed to have ended the poor girls career prematurely :tape: :tape:
:haha: :smash:

Toontje
Oct 7th, 2003, 08:47 PM
The tour has whittled the size of the championships from 16 to the best eight this year...........but they need the best eight to speak about a smart move.

Two maybe three topplayers are doubtfull to play at the Championships due to an injury.

How can you advertise when you're not sure to get the best eight players.


I want a strong field.......that's all!

Lindsayfan
Oct 7th, 2003, 11:05 PM
hey did u see last year Champs?the attendance was LOW even with the williams sisters in.
I already wrote this stuff on this thread and no one noticed it cos you are too much busy fighting if the williams sisters r the most attractive tennis players in USA or not!for once the problem isnt the williamses but LA poor crowd...u see the difference?

Serendy Willick
Oct 7th, 2003, 11:21 PM
hey did u see last year Champs?the attendance was LOW even with the williams sisters in.
I already wrote this stuff on this thread and no one noticed it cos you are too much busy fighting if the williams sisters r the most attractive tennis players in USA or not!for once the problem isnt the williamses but LA poor crowd...u see the difference?

Agreed

Justinefan
Oct 7th, 2003, 11:23 PM
Don't worry Lindsay fan I noticed.. Bascially the season ending championships never have a big turn out no matter who is in there.. and even with the top 8 as popular as they are.. it's just kind of an inconveniently timed tournament for spectators..

Serendy Willick
Oct 7th, 2003, 11:26 PM
Don't worry Lindsay fan I noticed.. Bascially the season ending championships never have a big turn out no matter who is in there.. and even with the top 8 as popular as they are.. it's just kind of an inconveniently timed tournament for spectators..

EHHHEH WRONG AWNSER! The season-ending champs were most sucessful at Madison Square garden, where it was removed in 2000. The stands were constantly filled.

tennischick
Oct 7th, 2003, 11:32 PM
the Sisters' presence made NO difference to attendance last year. (fans basically showed up for the finals). why would their possiblle absence make any difference to attendance this year? the problem with LA has everything to do with marketing (see ATP-Houston for how it's supposed to be done) and nothing whatsoever to do with the Sisters.

i agree. it's time to move the Championships back to NY where folks know how to appreciate tennis regardless of who is playing...

lizchris
Oct 8th, 2003, 02:32 AM
No AMERICAN IN THE FINAL, and a weeks long rain diminished interest in the event on all sides!

The highest rated women's final in the past ten yearss involved two non Americans (I forgot what year), so you should stop using that excuse.

I agree with the rain delays though.

SerenaSlam
Oct 8th, 2003, 03:10 AM
the proof is in the pudding when you look at ratings etc. its not like everyone is trying to muster up the williams and praise them left and right, its just the fact that they do draw crowds. just like anna. hell if anna was the ball girl through out the champs that would be a telling factor right there. the sisters are really needed it shows. but its not to hype them up and praise them left and right. its just facts people.

like i have said over and over about this board. most of yall are pussys and are afraid of the truth. it hurts soo much yall avoid it 24-7 :rolleyes:

absolut
Oct 8th, 2003, 03:17 AM
the Sisters' presence made NO difference to attendance last year. (fans basically showed up for the finals). why would their possiblle absence make any difference to attendance this year? the problem with LA has everything to do with marketing (see ATP-Houston for how it's supposed to be done) and nothing whatsoever to do with the Sisters.

i agree. it's time to move the Championships back to NY where folks know how to appreciate tennis regardless of who is playing...

great post, straight to the point! whoever is not blinded by favoritism will see the truth...In my personal opinion, I think the Championships will be poorly attended no matter who ends up playing in it, just like last year's.

SerenaSlam
Oct 8th, 2003, 04:18 AM
great post, straight to the point! whoever is not blinded by favoritism will see the truth...In my personal opinion, I think the Championships will be poorly attended no matter who ends up playing in it, just like last year's.
i also agree that last year it was a marketing and promotion problem for the championships. it was truly pitiful.

starr
Oct 8th, 2003, 06:04 AM
Plus LA sporting crowds are blase and laid back and the tennis crowds are even more so.

I don't like NY myself, but it seems to generate great crowds and it's closer to Europe so it's easier for the Europeans to come over for the finals too.

Brian Stewart
Oct 8th, 2003, 08:23 AM
Charlie Bricker seems to have missed the point. Granted, it is easier to sell a tournament with at least one Williams (or Kournikova) than without, but in order to sell anything you have to advertise. The alleged "promoters" for last year's tourney did virtually no advertising whatsoever. That and that alone was responsible for the low attendance. They could have Venus Williams, Serena Williams, Anna Kournikova, Martina Hingis, Jennifer Capriati, Maria Sharapova, Gabriela Sabatini and Steffi Graf all playing in their underwear, but no one will show up if they didn't advertise.

That's the key. (The advertising, not the underwear.) It's not the size of the field or how many players some writers feel can win major tournaments. At MSG, they regularly drew over 100,000 fans with a 16-player singles field, when Seles and Graf were considered the only 2 major contenders. (At least, until MSG got complacent and cut back their advertising.) Suppose Venus isn't able to play until Philly and, due to rust, and perhaps a bad draw, gets bounced by the quarters. There's a fairly good chance she would miss qualifying for the Championships, even if Serena skips. Likewise, Williams/Williams was sitting in the top 8 in the doubles standings, and could have qualified had the field not been cut in half (especially if they played Philly). Would having a healthy, eager-to-play Venus sitting on the sidelines, when she could have been playing in singles and doubles, make it seem like a smart move to reduce the fields?

No, the problem wasn't with the player field. It was with the promotion (or lack thereof). But, much like a sports front office will fire the coach to cover their own ineptitude, so these promoters tried to blame the players for their own mistakes. But it is they who deserve the blame. That is being borne out this year. They have (supposedly) spent about $400,000 on promotional advertising, including a big banner at the Staples Center. And ticket sales have already surpassed last year's. (Admittedly not the most prodigious of feats.) And this with the advertising blitz starting about a month before the event. (Gee, don't strain yourselves guys. Conversely, it seems like "Mattress Mac" has been running commercials for his event since 1987.)

The attendance will be higher this year. But it won't be because of the change in format (which forces weary players to play even more tennis, and leaves open the possibility of meaningless matches or matches whose legitmacy is called into question). It will be because of the change in promoting the event.

Stefwhit
Oct 8th, 2003, 08:49 AM
Do any of you who claim to know so much about the LA crowds even live in LA? Did any of you, who claim to know why the Championships had such low attendence last year, even go to the Championships last year? Well I live in LA and I went to the Championships last year as well and I think Lindsay said it best when she said that her friends were like "Why are you here this week?"- no one even knew about the Championships the promotion out this way was HORRIBLE! There are so many different venues out here (sporting events, concerts, etc...) it simply got lost in the shuffle. It was a brand new location and the promoters mistakenly assumed tennis would simply sell itself. Well this year they've gotten a little smarter but sufficient promotion is still lacking IMO. I've already got my tickets and if Venus and Serena aren't going to be there I'm going to be very pissed. The crowds have turned out in good numbers to support tennis in Cali and the only declines in ticket purchases have been due to new venue locations and lack of star power- Indian Wells has had decreases in attendance ever since Vee and Serena have decided not to play there. Stapples Center is NOT going to sell out even with Venus and Serena there, but if they were there it would surely be more of success than it would be without them. And each year (provided the all the top player play) I think you'll find that the attendance will steadily rise.

ktwtennis
Oct 8th, 2003, 11:57 AM
Yeah, just more pro-Williams writers thinking that the tour revolves around them...:rolleyes:

Volcana
Oct 8th, 2003, 12:25 PM
I'll give into that.. for non hardcore tennis fans.. the williams sisters are the american draw..
as for volcana.. everything i read from you is a pain in the ass.. take your comments elsewhere..

So nice to be recognized for my contributions to the sport.

the Sisters' presence made NO difference to attendance last year. (fans basically showed up for the finals).

The Williams sistsers matches were better attended than the other players at every round of the championships. (That attendance WAS low, abysmally low, until the semis.) But the presence or absence of the Williams sissters made a clear difference. But equally clearly, they can't sell out a venue in L.A. in November with no marketing support at all.

propi
Oct 8th, 2003, 12:31 PM
Tennis is more that 8 players...
The championship with only that 8 is a great mistake

Legends
Oct 8th, 2003, 12:38 PM
the Sisters' presence made NO difference to attendance last year. (fans basically showed up for the finals). why would their possiblle absence make any difference to attendance this year? ...


the sisters this year would bring needed depth (publicity, speculation, drama? ). In view of their current circumstances they will be somewhat of a curiosity, if nothing else.


Remember last year is not the same as this year..


Last year:

>there was no french open hand incident, with the resultant rivalry between justine and serena.

>there was no tragic circumstance surrounding the sisters (including the fact that this happened in LA) with this tournament potentially being one of their first playing in public.

>there was no friction between Justine and Kim or ex-friction if they are back to being friends ;) .

>there was no hollywood ex?-actor elected as governor - who knows maybe the main theme of the state will be entertainment entertainment entertainment.

> good or bad the format was different- the marketing different too?

too name but a few

to respond to your point Tennischick, LAST year and THIS Year are two different times and this may just have SOME impact on attendance and ratings not necessarily leaving it the same.