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View Poll Results: Do you agree with Stacey Allaster?

Yes 16 34.04%
No 31 65.96%
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Old Oct 3rd, 2012, 06:36 PM   #1
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Stacey Allaster: "We believe our athletes are playing for their country every day"

Quote:
“They think that it is fair and they believe playing the Olympic Games is a reward for representing your country. That is where we have a philosophical difference. We believe our athletes are playing for their country every day. I know when Maria Sharapova was in the trophy presentation after winning the French Open at Roland Garros, the Russian flag was raised. Draw sheets always have the athlete’s country beside their name. Compared to other professional sports, athletes at the caliber of ours in tennis do not have the same eligibility requirements with their national associations or their international federations. We think that is unfair.”

Stacey also offers transformation of Fed Cup into a one-two week tournament

Quote:
Meanwhile, the WTA has put forth a proposal to the ITF for a revision of the Fed Cup format. The WTA would like to see a 16 team World Group played over a two week period, featuring eight teams competing in two different locations during the first week of that fortnight. Each of the two locations would conduct a single-elimination knockout for the quarterfinals, semifinals and final, with each tie consisting of two best of three set singles matches and one deciding double contest. Then the two location winners would advance to a home and away best of five final later in the season. That would be Option One.

Option Two would have the 16 teams in the World Group competing for one week at one location—or as many as nine days—rather than a full two weeks. As Allaster says, “The two week concept might be an alternative that could help everyone. If you speak to our top players, though, they would love Fed Cup to be one week. But we included two options because we know how challenging this is. We also have suggested no Fed Cup ties during an Olympic year. That is the one thing I heard loud and clear from the athletes. Particularly when you are in the Fed Cup Final, it is too tough. The Olympics are the Olympics: let that be the big international team competition that the world focusses on every four years.”
Much more in the Steve Flink's article

http://www.tennischannel.com/news/Ne...x?newsid=11595
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Old Oct 3rd, 2012, 06:37 PM   #2
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Re: Stacey Allaster: "We believe our athletes are playing for their country every day

Tell that to Voskoboeva, Shvedova, Putintseva, Oprandi, Jones & company
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Old Oct 3rd, 2012, 06:38 PM   #3
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Re: Stacey Allaster: "We believe our athletes are playing for their country every day

Oh gosh.

Well I like the idea of the group thing/making Fed Cup happen all at once
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Old Oct 3rd, 2012, 06:39 PM   #4
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Re: Stacey Allaster: "We believe our athletes are playing for their country every day

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Tell that to Voskoboeva, Shvedova, Putintseva, Oprandi, Jones & company
Ok, playing Fed Cup will make them more patriotic,right?
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Old Oct 3rd, 2012, 08:02 PM   #5
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Re: Stacey Allaster: "We believe our athletes are playing for their country every day

The idea of turning Fed Cup into a real tournament over a limited time has been floating around for a long time and is hardly original, but I do like it.

As far as players representing their country at every event, even the hyperpatriotic Lena D. said that Fed Cup and the Olympics were special to her because you played for your country and not for yourself.

I think many fans feel the same way. I like some American players, but I like a lot of tall, blonde Slavic foreign players, too. But I will always root for the US in Fed Cup.
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Old Oct 3rd, 2012, 08:06 PM   #6
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Re: Stacey Allaster: "We believe our athletes are playing for their country every day

Depends on the player
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Old Oct 3rd, 2012, 08:17 PM   #7
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Re: Stacey Allaster: "We believe our athletes are playing for their country every day

I agree with Pete Bodo on this (http://www.tennis.com/news/2012/10/t...t-oct-2/39638/):

Quote:
These remarks are disingenuous baloney. By Allaster’s novel interpretation, I could say I’m writing for my country every day, right? And you may think you’re just another schmo as you peruse this, but you’re actually reading for your country! Be proud, dang it, you’re doing your patriotic duty!

Besides, instead of grousing about how different it is in “other professional sports,” why wouldn’t Allaster celebrate some of the things that make tennis different, and that may distinguish and make it in some way better or more appealing than other sports? Along those lines, which sport does Allaster think tennis should emulate, and what makes players in that enterprise so much less put upon? Last I checked, women’s tennis is far and away the most successful female pro sport in history (with nothing else in second).

Asking a player to represent her nation in the official international team competition of tennis for one week, three times in the span of four years, isn’t an onerous demand. “Playing for your country” is still thought by most to be an honor; is it out of line to accept that a little sacrifice might go along with that honor? Fed Cup is going great guns these days—the upcoming final in Prague, pitting the Czech Republic against Serbia, sold out in six hours. Yet the WTA is making noise about starting a team competition to compete with Fed Cup?

As Victoria Azarenka would say, “Good luck with that.”
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Old Oct 3rd, 2012, 08:39 PM   #8
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Re: Stacey Allaster: "We believe our athletes are playing for their country every day

I agree with Allaster. Players do represent their countries whenever they step out onto court. To claim otherwise is ridiculous. In most other individual disciplines competing for oneself is also virtually synonymous with competing for one's country. Eg. whenever I watch cross country skiing I find out that Dario Cologna is a Swiss, be it during World Cup, World Championships or Olympic Games.

Obviously team disciplines are a bit different, and most individual disciplines have variations that involve several athletes working for one common goal (relay races etc.). But the idea of eg. Roger Federer playing a singles match in Davis Cup represents Switzerland more than he represents Switzerland in a Wimbledon final sounds preposterous to me.
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Old Oct 3rd, 2012, 08:47 PM   #9
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Re: Stacey Allaster: "We believe our athletes are playing for their country every day

Players represent their countries, because ATP/WTA insist on listing them, but they are playing for themselves for the most part unless it is a team event, and even then, they could be said to be playing for themselves and their countries.

Not sure what is the big deal about her saying this, but Bodo doesn't need much to go off on a rant.
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Old Oct 3rd, 2012, 08:49 PM   #10
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Re: Stacey Allaster: "We believe our athletes are playing for their country every day

I'm completely okay with Fed Cup being made into a one week event. There is no need for it to be dragged out for an entire year. It think that if they were to placed it at a good time, perhaps more of the top players would be able to play...
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Old Oct 3rd, 2012, 08:55 PM   #11
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Re: Stacey Allaster: "We believe our athletes are playing for their country every day

my point of view:

1) i was rooting fo Zvonareva in her GS Finals, despite never was her fan and wasn't rooting for her at other tournaments. Why? because I had a feeling that all Russian players at Grand Slams are defending status of Russia as a tennis power. Li Na having won FO didn't win it just for the prizemoney and personal glory but it's a Great achivement of the whole Chinese nation , first and wide step towards becoming a tennis nation.

2) just check TV coverage of ESPN or NBC , almost all analysts, commentators are discussing how many Americans are in the draw , got into 4th round of a Slam etc. For instance when American men do not advance into the QFs it's considered a failure of the American mens tennis , not a personal failure of Andy Roddick or John Isner
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Old Oct 3rd, 2012, 09:11 PM   #12
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Re: Stacey Allaster: "We believe our athletes are playing for their country every day

They should have the Fed Cup every two years or two years after each Olympics. Frankly having it every year is a waste. Perhaps they could improve its coverage. I agree limiting it to no more than two weeks or really shortening it to 9 days sounds best.

I do not agree though that the players are representing their country all the time. They are representing themselves, though they and their country can and do take pride in their achievements.
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Old Oct 3rd, 2012, 09:40 PM   #13
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Re: Stacey Allaster: "We believe our athletes are playing for their country every day

I like the Fed Cup idea...I just wonder how it would work for the zonal WGII and theprocess to relegate a country to the other groups? Would they all be played at the same time? Like Zonal and WGII played during the 1strd, QF and SF of the WGI? Then the relegation played during the final? I guess that'd be the best option and obviously for a 2 weeks length of time since i'm pretty sure 1 week would be too tight.

As for the topic of the thread..I don't think that a player plays for their country. The flag beside their names doesn't mean much to them. I mean they still would be playing even tho the flag wouldn't be there. They want to see their name in the draw before seeing their flag. Of course I'm sure most of the players are happy to represent their country. you hear alot of the players saying they are proud to be ____ citizens and that it's great for their country etc...but first and foremost they are playing for themselves. For a single player competition and a professional sport it's the way to be anyway. The flag or the country's initials next to their name is pretty much only a statistic such as their weight and height IMO.
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Old Oct 3rd, 2012, 09:43 PM   #14
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Re: Stacey Allaster: "We believe our athletes are playing for their country every day

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Originally Posted by aselto View Post
I agree with Allaster. Players do represent their countries whenever they step out onto court. To claim otherwise is ridiculous.
In fact it is the assertion that they do that is ridiculous. And obviously so. Is the country footing the bill for them? No. Are they there because their countries requested them to be? No. Do the players themselves see it as representing their countries? No. Are golfers representing their countries in PGA events?
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Old Oct 3rd, 2012, 09:48 PM   #15
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Re: Stacey Allaster: "We believe our athletes are playing for their country every day

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Originally Posted by Rolling-Thunder View Post

I do not agree though that the players are representing their country all the time. They are representing themselves, though they and their country can and do take pride in their achievements.
Well put. I'd go as far as to say that anyone who really thinks players are out there on the tour "for country" is deluded. Of course Allaster doesn't believe that. It's poli-speak to back up her position. What else can she say? "We don't care much about the country stuff, we're looking to maximize the WTA's financial gain" would start a firestorm.
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