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Old Mar 10th, 2006, 10:51 PM   #1
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Davenport: Tour Policy Puts Withdrawal Rap On Players

Davenport: Tour Policy Puts Withdrawal Rap On Players

Photo By Susan Mullane By Tennis Week
03/10/2006

During the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour Championships in Los Angeles last November, Lindsay Davenport declared her intention to play a shortened schedule in 2006 and suggested she was considering condensing or skipping the clay-court season. In her 14th season on the WTA Tour, the 29-year-old Davenport is completely candid in acknowledging the aches and pains she feels from years of pounding on the court prevent her from committing to a full schedule.


Davenport has informed the WTA Tour of her schedule plans, but the Tour continues to tune her out.

"At the end of Australia, I'm not playing 13 plus the slams. I can't play 17," Davenport told the media in Indian Wells yesterday. "It was still given to me, 'you have to.' 'You mean to tell me you're going to make me enter tournaments and I'm going to have to look bad pulling out even though I'm telling you I'm never going to play it,' and the answer we get is 'yeah, basically.' "

Consequently, the Tour, whose rules require players to commit to 13 events in addition to the Grand Slams, is essentially requiring players like Davenport to enter tournaments they may well have no intention of playing. Tournaments can promote top 10 players as participants in their draws, fans may buy tickets in the belief a top player will play only to later learn the player has pulled out.

"It's a tough position to be in," Davenport said. "I know they've said before, 'We don't want to do that.' Ultimately we're the ones who look bad, even when, at this moment, we tell them we're not going to play." In the aftermath of her loss to Mary Pierce in the 2005 WTA Tour Championships semifinals at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, Davenport announced she planned to play a reduced schedule in 2006. "I really, really am not going to play next year a full schedule anywhere near like I did this year," the 2005 year-end No. 1 said in November. "I think I managed to play in 16 or 17 tournaments. So in that regard, I am not going to try to play for the ranking or whatever. So I am going to see how I feel after those hard court tournaments. This year, with Miami mandatory, after Miami, I am just going to see what happens if I go to the clay or not go to the clay... At the (2005) French (Open), I got to the quarters and I would be surprised if I went back (to the French Open in 2006)."
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Old Mar 10th, 2006, 11:00 PM   #2
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so Lindsay is not going to play Roland Garros, i guess.
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Old Mar 10th, 2006, 11:07 PM   #3
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I want Lindsay to play at RG.
I could care less about the regular tournies but a slam is a slam. You shouldn't skip slams if you're not injured. And Lindsay played awful last year and still got to the quarters.
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Old Mar 10th, 2006, 11:20 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by blumaroo
I want Lindsay to play at RG.
I could care less about the regular tournies but a slam is a slam. You shouldn't skip slams if you're not injured. And Lindsay played awful last year and still got to the quarters.
I feel like she'll play RG. She's scheduled to play Amelia Island, so it would make zero sense to play that and then not follow it up any with any other clay events. Besides, Lindsay has said all along that she plays for the Grand Slams. Even though she doesn't like clay and she has by far the worst odds of winning RG out of any major, she's enough of a contender to justify going to give it a shot.
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Old Mar 10th, 2006, 11:27 PM   #5
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I didn't interpret her comments as skipping any slams.
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Old Mar 10th, 2006, 11:28 PM   #6
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The world number 4 only wants to play 10 events a year. I can see why the WTA would come down hard on her.
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Old Mar 10th, 2006, 11:58 PM   #7
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I think she should at least play all four GS but she shouldn't be forced into a minimum number outside that.
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Old Mar 10th, 2006, 11:59 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew..
The world number 4 only wants to play 10 events a year. I can see why the WTA would come down hard on her.

I disagree. If the tour won't shorten the season (which I don't think they should), then it should be up to the players to decide whether or not they are over-extending themselves. Also, it's not fair to fans to buy tickets for a player that is not planning to show up.

If Lindsay plays 10 tournaments a year and can play for two more years I am sure the tour would prefer that over her playing 17 events and having to retire early due to burnout or injury.
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Old Mar 11th, 2006, 12:25 AM   #9
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The WTA is hard on Lindsay because the top players are supposed to support the tour. The rules are the rules.
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Old Mar 11th, 2006, 12:29 AM   #10
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Totally agree with you

Something along these lines

TO PLAY LESS IS TO PLAY MORE

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Quote:
Originally Posted by flyguydsl
I disagree. If the tour won't shorten the season (which I don't think they should), then it should be up to the players to decide whether or not they are over-extending themselves. Also, it's not fair to fans to buy tickets for a player that is not planning to show up.

If Lindsay plays 10 tournaments a year and can play for two more years I am sure the tour would prefer that over her playing 17 events and having to retire early due to burnout or injury.
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Old Mar 11th, 2006, 12:36 AM   #11
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Shame on the WTA tour
Do what you have to do, Lindsay
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Old Mar 11th, 2006, 12:56 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew..
The world number 4 only wants to play 10 events a year. I can see why the WTA would come down hard on her.
Right, but by the same token...maybe the WTA should come down harder on players that hardly ever play? I know Venus and Serena have been injured...but seriously, Serena's played in what 2 events since the US Open? Same with Venus?
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Old Mar 11th, 2006, 12:59 AM   #13
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Mary is the same as Linz I think. Picking the tournaments SHE wants to play. So she can player longer.

When you are older you can't play as much as you were when you first started out.

Mark

Quote:
Originally Posted by hablovah
Shame on the WTA tour
Do what you have to do, Lindsay
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Old Mar 11th, 2006, 01:06 AM   #14
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i don't want her to play. she never does well anyway, and she hates it. let her rest up for wimbledon, cause that is her best shot this year at finally getting her slam.
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Old Mar 11th, 2006, 01:31 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flyguydsl
I disagree. If the tour won't shorten the season (which I don't think they should), then it should be up to the players to decide whether or not they are over-extending themselves. Also, it's not fair to fans to buy tickets for a player that is not planning to show up.

If Lindsay plays 10 tournaments a year and can play for two more years I am sure the tour would prefer that over her playing 17 events and having to retire early due to burnout or injury.

It is unfair to put the 'blame' on players, but it's not unreasonable to expect them to play a certain amount of events. As someone who makes millions of dollars playing on the WTA, Davenport should have a responsibility to play the slams, and try to play the required amount of events. Ok, something like 14 events is fine, but TEN? That's a little shady IMO.
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