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I meant that the Tier Is are going up in stature as Tier IIs are going down.

And also, the casual fans do rate the Tier Is quite highly. I mean, maybe not in the same way in every tournament, but IW, Miami, Rome, Canada, these are highly respected events. We're still talking about Bencic for winning Toronto. And if there is a widening gap between how we view slams and Tier Is, it doesn't negate the fact that there is a larger gulf growing between Tier Is and Tier IIs.
The Tier I is going up in stature RELATIVE to the Tier II, not in itself. There's absolut value and relative value. it's important to know the difference. I get your point now, and maybe I agree, but you should express yourself more clearly.
 

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The Tier I is going up in stature RELATIVE to the Tier II, not in itself. There's absolut value and relative value. it's important to know the difference. I get your point now, and maybe I agree, but you should express yourself more clearly.
I agree completely. Slams are still slams. But the premier 5/mandatory status has really taken a toll on the rest of the tour. We used to have Tier IIIs in Australia and clay that would have amazing fields. No longer. That's why everyone is so pumped for Lexington - haven't had an international field like this in a decade.
 

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I don't think the Tier Is have became more important to the players. The Tier Is actually have negative impact on the players because the events are mandatory for most top players and they cannot schedule freely to perform at their convenience.

To the players, the only important events are the 4 slams and winning your first singles title. All other events can be expensed.
 

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Grand Slams are not WTA events.

It is important for the WTA to have some key events on the calendar, and PMs are fitting the role well. Cincy, Canada and Rome are also well. Too many players skip or tank the Middle East P5 or Wuhan, though. Stuttgart should have been promoted to P5.

imho WTA should distinguish these key events more vigorously and conspicuously in their marketing.
 

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I agree with a lot of this, and there's definitely some truth that the slamless #1s and the furor that result from those moments helped create this perspective. But Kim and Amelie were slamless #1s and there was never any talk of the other events being meaningless when they were snatching the #1 slot.
Yes, that's why I also added that the denigration that the slamless #1s of the late 00s/early 10s was relevant too. Mauresmo and Clijsters were curiosities but not considered an affront to the sport in the same way that particularly Safina and Wozniacki would come to be. Mauresmo and Clijsters were helped by being fairly short lived #1s and the time not having an obvious "rightful #1". Safina and Wozniacki held the #1 ranking for extended periods when Serena was comfortably considered the best player in the world, and Serena willingly fed the drama in press conferences which made the topic bigger than it otherwise could have been.

There were a few things in that era which were just huge for public perception of slamless #1s. Serena's Rome and Madrid comment led to a lot of people losing respect for the credibility of winning even the biggest tour level events. Safina's evisceration by Venus in the 09 Wimbledon semi was completely unbecoming of a #1 player, and her reputation as a choker in late slam matches was too. Woznacki failing to make a single grand slam final in two seasons as the YE #1 was crazy, and people didn't feel like being kind about it so soon after they had destroyed Safina for lesser crimes. Both players were #1 because they won a lot of tournaments, but people wanted to consider both as bad players. So, winning lots of tournaments is something bad players do. Good players get their ranking by getting one or two huge results a year and chilling for the rest.

We came out the other end of that era with one thing very clear - if you want to be considered good, you win grand slams. Tour level results being a large part of your ranking is unbecoming of a truly great player. So if you want to be great, you focus on winning the slams, and grab a Tier I occasionally so you don't totally forget what it feels like to play a final in between your slam finals. Tier IIs are for people who can't do that. And again, given that this is now our criteria for greatness, why should a player destroy their body by giving everything week in, week out? They are better off taking it easy to increase the amount of years they can play grand slams for, realistically.
 

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Discussion Starter #26
The Tier I is going up in stature RELATIVE to the Tier II, not in itself. There's absolut value and relative value. it's important to know the difference. I get your point now, and maybe I agree, but you should express yourself more clearly.
Lol, I feel like I've done that, but glad to hear we've gotten somewhere despite the lack of clarity in my posts.

And there is absolute value attached to some Tier Is considering there is now the absolute requirement of competing in them if you're ranked high enough. If your rebuttal is that fan perception says otherwise, well that's actually much closer to something of relative value.

But now we're just going in circles.
 

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I think the only way for everyone to be happy would be is if there could be a well balanced tour full of popular players from a wide smattering of countries chalk full of tennis fans, who like to play a lot, and who stay healthy all the time. Obviously that's next to impossible.

The strategy that prevailed was to coerce the top players to square off at the same time and place as often as possible. Make the biggest tournaments mandatory, even the ones players don't want to play, if the checks coming in are big enough.

It's sad that the effects of this have been wiping out fan and player favorite tournaments. I think that's a part of why the premier level tournaments don't make the huge headlines.
 
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