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Old Jul 30th, 2008, 01:17 AM   #1
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Roadmap will be formally unveiled next month

WTA plan: 40 percent pay raise, more mandatory events

Reuters

Updated: July 29, 2008, 8:35 PM ET

MONTREAL -- Women's tennis will get a 40 percent pay raise next year along with bigger fines, suspensions and responsibility for the leading players.
Road Map 2010, the WTA's masterplan to bring order to the sport's structure and schedule, will be formally unveiled at the U.S. Open next month.
But WTA president Stacey Allaster, during a visit to the Rogers Cup on Tuesday, revealed details of the ambitious overhaul, which will be rolled out next season, a year earlier than planned.
"The 2006 season was a disaster," Allaster said. "We failed to deliver on our player commitment to any of our top 10 events. We just felt something needed to be done now.
"We're trying to change a culture, where it's not an option but a commitment when you enter a top-level event," Allaster said. "The top players will be doing the heavy lifting so they should share in more of the rewards, more prize money, more bonus pool money, more ranking points."
Tour prize money will rise from $63.6 million in 2006 to $84.4 million next season, but it will come at a price with a more regimented system and greater accountability.
Under Road Map 2010, 26 Tier 1 and Tier 2 events will be combined into 20 Premiere tournaments with players committed to play in at least 10.
Four $4.5 million tournaments in Indian Wells, Miami, Madrid and Beijing will be mandatory for all players who qualify.
Below the mandatory events will be five $2 million stops in Canada, Dubai, Rome, Cincinnati and Tokyo, of which the top-ranked players must play at least four. The WTA has committed to having at least seven of the world's top 10 players at each of these events.
Players will complete their schedules by playing in at least one or two $700,000 events.
"They asked to put the best events in the right dates and we've done all of that," Allaster said. "We've given them breaks.
"Now we're saying, there's going to be a little less flexibility on where you play and if you don't play, then there's going to be really significant ramifications," Allaster said.
The WTA also laid out a list of penalties designed to hurt players where it matters most, in the pocket and the rankings.
There will be zero tolerance for withdrawals from tournaments players have committed to. If a player does pull out, even because of injury, she will forfeit bonus money ($5 million available to the top 10 ranked players) and receive zero ranking points for that event.
Maria Sharapova, one of the WTA's biggest draw cards, was a late withdrawal from last year's Rogers Cup and lost $125,000 in bonus pool money and was fined $20,000.
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Old Jul 30th, 2008, 01:58 AM   #2
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Re: Roadmap will be formally unveiled next month

I like it. Women's tennis will only become more and more popular if you have all the top players in the big events. AND I like that this gives lower ranked players more shots at some Tier 2's.
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Old Jul 30th, 2008, 02:35 AM   #3
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Re: Roadmap will be formally unveiled next month

Sounds great. But really they need to fix the sydney/melbourne problem. If they just put Sydney the tier 2 or 1 now? At the beginning of January it but benefit the tournament and the players alot. Players would actually show up because they have a weeks rest before the AO and the top players would get some match practice, because none of them want to go to a meaningless tier 3. But im sad to see the WTA hasnt changed that with this opportunity
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Old Jul 30th, 2008, 02:45 AM   #4
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Re: Roadmap will be formally unveiled next month

Hmmmm. Very interesting.
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Old Jul 30th, 2008, 02:50 AM   #5
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Re: Roadmap will be formally unveiled next month

Sounds promising, but the devil's usually in the details. Hope they can pull off something that brings sanity to the tour and ups the sadly lacking level of professionalism. I still say there should be some accommodation for Venus-Serena regarding Indian Wells. I can live with giving them a zero pointer, but I don't think they should be forced to miss Miami. And I seriously doubt that will happen. How about that increase in prize money -- that's significant!
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Old Jul 30th, 2008, 03:05 AM   #6
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Re: Roadmap will be formally unveiled next month

Very interesting
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Old Jul 30th, 2008, 03:24 AM   #7
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Re: Roadmap will be formally unveiled next month

Don't like it. I disagree with forcing the players to play a fixed schedule like this. They should be able to pick what events they want to play.

Also banning top players from playing a lower tier tournament is ridiculous and will hurt alot of the lower tiers on the tour.
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Old Jul 30th, 2008, 03:35 AM   #8
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Re: Roadmap will be formally unveiled next month

The best players SHOULD be at the top tournaments. So I have no problem with the Roadmap in that regard. The substantial increase in total prize money is very impressive as well. And it's about time that there was some accountability with regards to "questionable", player absences. But...

... I do agree that some of the smaller (non-GS/Premier) level tournaments will struggle without having any of the top 10 players there.

If this Roadmap pans out, and increases the popularity and exposure of women's tennis on a global scale, than I think the pros definitely outweigh the cons.
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Old Jul 30th, 2008, 04:47 AM   #9
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Re: Roadmap will be formally unveiled next month

They just need to follow the damn ATP. All GS and TMS/Tier I events get tacked on to your ranking no ifs ands or buts about it. Plus you can play as many optional events as you want; only your best 5 will count. This will force all the top players to commit to the Tier I events, and also it won't hurt the smaller events as you can still get some major points from them as well. It'll just make things a little more tough for those up and coming players since only 5 optional events will count; however I believe it will only make them stronger and more hungry to participate in these bigger events and become better players faster as they can't always rely on these low Tiered events.

Simple as that imo. There's a reason the ATP Tour runs rather smoothly. Their only beefs is the TMS events on clay since many don't show up for MC and also Berlin is right after Rome.
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Old Jul 30th, 2008, 06:50 AM   #10
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Re: Roadmap will be formally unveiled next month

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryan View Post
I like it. Women's tennis will only become more and more popular if you have all the top players in the big events. AND I like that this gives lower ranked players more shots at some Tier 2's.
Not necessarily sure this is the case. How many times do we have people whinging and moaning about Grand Slam finals and how crap they were, for example?
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Old Jul 30th, 2008, 09:16 AM   #11
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Re: Roadmap will be formally unveiled next month

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Originally Posted by DutchieGirl View Post
Not necessarily sure this is the case. How many times do we have people whinging and moaning about Grand Slam finals and how crap they were, for example?


The people who whine and bitch are...whiners and bitchers. They'll never be happy unless their ultimate favorite wins. The more you have top players face off, the more rivalries are created and IMO will flourish.
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Old Jul 30th, 2008, 09:19 AM   #12
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Re: Roadmap will be formally unveiled next month

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryan View Post
The people who whine and bitch are...whiners and bitchers. They'll never be happy unless their ultimate favorite wins. The more you have top players face off, the more rivalries are created and IMO will flourish.
Possible, but there still seems to be more "whiners and moaners" on here than people who think the finals are good. I'll wait and see what happens.
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Old Jul 30th, 2008, 09:27 AM   #13
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Re: Roadmap will be formally unveiled next month

Hmm.. As good as it sounds in the way it has been described in the article, we're just going to have to hope that they mahave made some changes since the last update since it was looking like a massive disaster waiting to happen.
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Old Jul 30th, 2008, 09:46 AM   #14
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Re: Roadmap will be formally unveiled next month

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Originally Posted by goldenlox View Post
"The 2006 season was a disaster," Allaster said. "We failed to deliver on our player commitment to any of our top 10 events. We just felt something needed to be done now.
Wow I had obviously forgotten this.... thats TERRIBLE. If the players disagree with any of it, they have only themselves to blame. Hopefully they won't though, as I don't think playing in X instead of Y will really push them into a deep depression, especially if they earn another 6 or 7 figure sum a year because of it.

I am looking forward to seeing some really packed draws at the top events, and events with interesting matchups and no clear winners at the other tournaments

Plus, as a result of this soon the stands will be more full, all those empty seats are upsetting.
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Old Jul 30th, 2008, 10:59 AM   #15
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Re: Roadmap will be formally unveiled next month

Quote:
Originally Posted by Naldo View Post
They just need to follow the damn ATP. All GS and TMS/Tier I events get tacked on to your ranking no ifs ands or buts about it. Plus you can play as many optional events as you want; only your best 5 will count. This will force all the top players to commit to the Tier I events, and also it won't hurt the smaller events as you can still get some major points from them as well. It'll just make things a little more tough for those up and coming players since only 5 optional events will count; however I believe it will only make them stronger and more hungry to participate in these bigger events and become better players faster as they can't always rely on these low Tiered events.

Simple as that imo. There's a reason the ATP Tour runs rather smoothly. Their only beefs is the TMS events on clay since many don't show up for MC and also Berlin is right after Rome.
Compltely agree. The way they ahve to get 7 out of the top 10 at some events and then in others only one out of the top 10 is stupid.
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