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post #1 of 1 (permalink) Old Aug 26th, 2004, 11:46 AM Thread Starter
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Comment On That Please!

Please comment on that article from sun-sentinel.com
Larry Scott, the CEO of the WTA Tour, is close to wrapping up a yearlong study on his tour's age eligibility rules and, though there could be some liberalization at ages 16 and 17, there is not likely to be any substantive changes in the restrictions on 14- and 15-year-olds.

The rules greatly limit the number of tournaments 14s and 15s can play, and after watching Maria Sharapova win Wimbledon this year at age 17, the evidence suggests they're on the right track.

Sharapova and her representatives have been arguing for years that the rules have held her back, and certainly she is a very emotionally and mentally mature 17-year-old. But who could say if she would have won a Grand Slam this year if she'd been allowed to play a full schedule two or three years ago. Who's to say she was ready for the rigors of the tour before she was 16 or 17.

Now, there are two 15-year-olds out there and both of them are pressing for more tour playing time, Sesil Karatancheva of Bulgaria and Nicole Vaidisova of Russia, both of whom train at Bollettieri's in Bradenton.

Last week, Vaidisova won the tour stop in Vancouver. But the rules review committee is not going to recommend a major loosening of the restrictions, which were formulated after Jennifer Capriati went into emotional collapse more than 10 years ago.

"When I first met Maria, she was 16 and No. 90 in the world. I had a number of discussions with her about age eligibility and at times she expressed concern that she was being held back," Scott said. "But it gives me a sense of pride that a player that had come up under the rules has still been able to have a dramatic rise. I think we got the balance pretty near right."


What do you think of this decision??
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