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Old Nov 16th, 2004, 12:33 AM   #1
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"Sexy legs" can't sway American fans

"Sexy legs" can't sway American fans



Not even Serena Williams' praise of Maria Sharapova's legs seemed to tempt Los Angeles fans to travel to the home of the Lakers last week for a closer view. The only inspection of the Russian came by way of maginified adverts on the side of highways plagued by traffic jams, writes James Buddell.

Even Serena's news outfits didn't boost ticket circulation and neither had Sharapova's liking for a L.A. Lakers tracksuit top.

The turnstiles were in no danger of breaking down and the only time the ticket touts were busy was when American representatives, Serena and Lindsay Davenport, were playing.

So what was the problem?



Five Russians in an eight-woman field are largely unfamiliar to an audience who often switch off their television sets when non-Americans are playing.

Even the U.S. television networks at the U.S. Open were criticised by viewers for showing highlights of American matches when 'other players' were on court live.

So when Jennifer Capriati and Davenport went out at the semi-final stage in the New York major it was only natural for their to be a nationwide turn-off.



While Florida-based Sharapova had the lions share of the attention, her major-winning compatriots Anastasia Myskina and Svetlana Kuznetsova don't have the star appeal just yet.

Only Amelie Mauresmo competed under a flag other than U.S. or Russian.

CHANGE FOR THE BETTER

The WTA Tour reverted to an eight-woman competition last year. A format that was last used in 1982, when Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova were sparring partners.

It is generally accepted that the WTA Tour have changed their season-ending championship, from a 16 to an eight-woman format, for the better.



But without the likes of the star names, Justin Henin-Hardenne , Kim Clijsters, Venus Williams and Capriati, the buzz of anticipation was missing.

If the tour wish for the event to stay in L.A. on a long-term basis it may be wise to take notes of the Masters Cup in Houston beginning on Monday.

Andy Roddick is the lone American in the field, which include players that can generate publicity and huge ticket sales themselves.

http://www.eurosport.com/home/pages/...to657734.shtml

_______

hmm.. interesting. I thought this was a funni article
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Old Nov 16th, 2004, 12:59 AM   #2
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quite interesting....
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Old Nov 16th, 2004, 02:10 AM   #3
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Thank god that came form an article from a European source, and one that's generally non-biased. We may actually have a sane discussion of the subject. The Master players are

Roger Federer
Lleyton Hewitt
Carlos Moya
Gaston Gaudio

Andy Roddick
Marat Safin
Guillermo Coria
Tim Henman

Certainly five names, maybe six that Americans are already familiar with. Lack of name recognition may have been a lot of the WTA's attendance problems. Noting that attendance IS up this year.
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Old Nov 16th, 2004, 02:45 AM   #4
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That's why they should market those non-American players a lot more. Now they're paying for it.
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Old Nov 16th, 2004, 03:04 AM   #5
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Americans only care about their fellow Americans, they dont give a damn about others, ....well not all of them though.
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Old Nov 16th, 2004, 03:23 AM   #6
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As an American who actually attended some of the matches (and Serena wasn't even playing on Friday ) I say to that article.

Here's something most of you tennis nerds fail to grasp.

There are only two charismatic players in the YECs and they're in the finals. You can't make "non-tennis nut" American's pay for boring tennis. Not when we have 100 other things we can be doing.

They'd pay for a great rivalry; WTA doesn't allow for that anymore. When Anna, Lindsay, Chucky, Venus & Serena were all vocal about wanting to beat each other you had headlines and rivalries. When Serena was dominating you just had complaints; when she stopped dominating you just had more complaints; tonight we are seeing the only marketable match in the WTA.

Because these are the only 2 players that effectively market themselves the way Anna, Chucky, Monica, Venus & Serena used to.

Americans will happily pay to see interesting foriegn players...

...so now its on the players to be interesting.

Cheers -
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