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Old Oct 13th, 2014, 11:17 PM   #1
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WTA prepared to introduce "game-changing" innovations

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WTA prepared to introduce "game-changing" innovations

By Douglas Robson

The No. 1 ranking isn't the only thing up for grabs when the women's tennis season reaches its conclusion at the year-end WTA finals in Singapore Oct. 20-26.

Plans to allow statistical analytics onto the court, and a broadcast strategy to make all 2,000 WTA-level matches available to fans, could also become realities by the time the elite field departs.

Both would be "game changers" in the words of WTA Chief Executive Stacey Allaster.

Allaster, speaking in a open-ended interview this month, depicted a women's tour on healthy financial ground but also striving for new ways to keep fans engaged and tap into new revenue streams.

By staging its signature event at the brand new, 86-acre Singapore Sports Hub, the WTA has its sights solidly set on Asia.

"It's exciting to be able go to such an innovative city with an inspirational field," she said.

Allaster, 51, has high hopes, and no wonder: The event is the biggest contributor to WTA coffers with a reported $70 million price tag over the five-year contract (2014-18).

Singapore is the crown jewel of the WTA's efforts in the region. A decade ago there were two tour events in China; today there are 10, with a total of 17 in Asia Pacific.

One of the most intriguing innovations being considered by the WTA is allowing real-time data collected by its technology partner, SAP, to be used during on-court coaching breaks.

The advanced analytics could be delivered via mobile app and brought to players on court, which would be unique in the sport. Allaster said the innovation would likely be voted on by its board in Singapore for use in 2015.

Some see that as a possible disadvantage for players who can't afford or don't have coaches that can come on court.

"It underscores if they have a coach or don't have a coach," said Bouchard's coach, Nick Saviano.

Others are reserving judgment.

"There are many questions," wrote Williams' coach, Patrick Mouratoglou, in an email. "I think they can still go much further, so I am looking forward to seeing what they will come with."

Countered Allaster: "Our approach with on-court coaching is that it is up to the coach and athlete if they want to use it. The data is available."

The tour also is putting together an in-house television deal that would ensure all WTA-level singles matches could be broadcast by 2017.

The WTA's current distribution partner, Perform, will produce about 700 in 2014, or roughly a third of all matches.

"Our overall strategy is to centralize all 54 tournaments' rights, maximize revenues, exposure, and most importantly bring our product closer to the fans," Allaster said.

Allaster said the tour's financial footing is sturdy and that the organization would stick with the diversified revenue model it has pursued since Sony Ericsson dropped its tour-wide title sponsorship in 2010.
I've edited this down to be more concise. You can read the full article here: http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports...ions/17212263/.
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Old Oct 13th, 2014, 11:25 PM   #2
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Re: WTA prepared to introduce "game-changing" innovations

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"It underscores if they have a coach or don't have a coach," said Bouchard's coach, Nick Saviano.
Net advantage for players who chose to call their coaches for advice.
And if you don't have a coach, tough luck.
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Old Oct 13th, 2014, 11:26 PM   #3
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Re: WTA prepared to introduce "game-changing" innovations

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"There are many questions," wrote Williams' coach, Patrick Mouratoglou, in an email. "I think they can still go much further, so I am looking forward to seeing what they will come with."
So Patrick is still the coach
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Old Oct 13th, 2014, 11:30 PM   #4
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Re: WTA prepared to introduce "game-changing" innovations

This sounds good!

and a broadcast strategy to make all 2,000 WTA-level matches available to fans, could also become realities by the time the elite field departs.
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Old Oct 13th, 2014, 11:36 PM   #5
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Re: WTA prepared to introduce "game-changing" innovations

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Originally Posted by tennisbum79 View Post
So Patrick is still the coach
I wasn't aware that we were in the middle of another round of the four-month-cyclical ritual that "Moratoglou is no longer her coach".
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Old Oct 13th, 2014, 11:38 PM   #6
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Re: WTA prepared to introduce "game-changing" innovations

We've seen this article a million times before and nothing has really changed. All talk, no action.
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Old Oct 13th, 2014, 11:49 PM   #7
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Re: WTA prepared to introduce "game-changing" innovations

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Originally Posted by Raiden View Post
I wasn't aware that we were in the middle of another round of the four-month-cyclical ritual that "Moratoglou is no longer her coach".
I am not familiar with the cyclical ritual you are referring, but I know is that Patrick has not been seen in Serena box for while.
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Old Oct 13th, 2014, 11:54 PM   #8
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Re: WTA prepared to introduce "game-changing" innovations

What innovations?
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Old Oct 13th, 2014, 11:54 PM   #9
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Re: WTA prepared to introduce "game-changing" innovations

Martina Nav had been pushing to do away with let, among other ideas she has, on serve.
I don't know if that feature will be considered.
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Old Oct 13th, 2014, 11:57 PM   #10
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Re: WTA prepared to introduce "game-changing" innovations

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Originally Posted by Tennisation View Post
What innovations?
God question.
Long article thin on specifics about actual significant proposals.

The availability of stats is only during non-slam events.
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Old Oct 13th, 2014, 11:57 PM   #11
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Re: WTA prepared to introduce "game-changing" innovations

More oncourt coaching. yuck.

if they can't think for themselves, they aren't tennis players.
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Old Oct 14th, 2014, 12:00 AM   #12
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Re: WTA prepared to introduce "game-changing" innovations

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Originally Posted by Volcana View Post
More oncourt coaching. yuck.

if they can't think for themselves, they aren't tennis players.
Yep, they will leave little choice to those who have resisted the idea so far but join.
Having coaches in possession of stats will raise the stake for players who were not using on-court coaching.
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Last edited by tennisbum79 : Oct 14th, 2014 at 01:25 AM.
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Old Oct 14th, 2014, 12:08 AM   #13
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Re: WTA prepared to introduce "game-changing" innovations

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Originally Posted by tennisbum79 View Post
I am not familiar with the cyclical ritual you are referring, but I know is that Patrick has not been seen in Serena box for while.
Yea and three or four months ago he wasn't at the training ground -- then a couple of month before that, he was noticed at a separate airport... then before that he was missing from a dinner party... etc etc.
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Old Oct 14th, 2014, 12:21 AM   #14
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Re: WTA prepared to introduce "game-changing" innovations

I'm also wondering how any innovations would work with joint or ITF events.
That being said, I would like to see changes as long as they're well thought out.

Can we get official streaming at all major WTA events please? ATP used to stream all of its Masters Series events + YEC
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Old Oct 14th, 2014, 12:24 AM   #15
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Re: WTA prepared to introduce "game-changing" innovations

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Originally Posted by Sammie18 View Post
Thank you Stacey, without you, the WTA wouldn't be as coddled, pathetic and weak as it is.
When is the WTA finally getting rid of this crazy woman who understands nothing about tennis??? The WTA needs a new president ASAP before the entire sport is destroyed.

Thank God we still have the ATP balancing Stacey's irrationality. If it was for Stacey, Wimbledon would be moved to ChangChing and the tennis court wouldn't have a net between the two players anymore.
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