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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
.. what are the most important tournaments, outside of the slams?

By 'development', I mean,
  • TV contracts, either Network, or 'standard package' cable (in other words, you don;t pay extra for it.)
  • bigger crowds at tournaments
  • higher TV ratings
  • bigger prize money
  • Faster, stronger, more skilled, better trained players
Some examples of where I'm going with this...

Among the Tier I's, Miami is the oldest, most prestigious WTA event. At one time, it offered more prize money than OZ or the French.

Moscow, given the preponderance of Russian players on tour, is going to be an important event for at least the next decade.

The Indian market could pump an awful lot of money into the tour. So it would be nice if Kolkata or Bangalore survived and thrived.

Same logic as to the importance of Beijing.

Rome is the premier WTA red clay event, and pretty prestigious in it's own right.

Toray Pan Pacific gets historically weak fields, but there's an awful lot of investment money in that part of the world.

Similarly, Charleston is a really nice venue for sponsors. Tennis-wise, I don't see losing it hurting, but you have to keep the money happy.

Speaking of which, either Dubai or Doha.

And Bogota, by default, since it's only tournament in South America. How is that even possible? They produce quality tennis players, and there isn't even a Tier V besides besides Bogota?

OTOH, if we lost one out of Indian Wells, or San Diego, or the Canadian Open, it doesn't do the tour all that much damage. I don't think losing Zurich or Berlin would do too much damage either. I'm NOT saying these events are unimportant. Just that the impact of them being cancelled outright would be relatively minimal to the tour as a whole.

These aren't comprehensive lists, nor am I committed to those choices. Just interested in launching the discussion.
 

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Volcana said:
Among the Tier I's, Miami is the oldest, most prestigious WTA event. At one time, it offered more prize money than OZ or the French.
Miami was first held in 1985.

Canadian Open in 1892.
Berlin in 1896.
Rome in 1930.
Charleston in 1973.
Zurich and Indian Wells in 1984.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
416_Man said:
Miami was first held in 1985.

Canadian Open in 1892.
Berlin in 1896.
Rome in 1930.
Charleston in 1973.
Zurich and Indian Wells in 1984.
The key words you missed were 'WTA event'.
Helen Lawson said:
I'm almost certain FCC was the first WTA tour event, i.e. first women only tournament.
You may be right about that.
 

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Hasnt the bank of the west classic been one of the longest women only tournaments? I rememer them saying that one year before the final.
 

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San Diego always looks crowded as hell with a lot of rich people, same with Indian Wells. You have to cater to people, to a certain extent, who can pay big money for tickets and spend the money at the resorts to support all the prize money and the tournaments for these players. Whenever I've seen Moscow on TV, it hardly looks like anyone's there and from what I read here, the tournament always stuggles to put together the prize money.
 

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They had a women's tournament in Brazil a few years back, it was a Tier II the last year, not sure about the year before. Monica won it one year, I think Myskina the next. But it didn't continue. I don't know if no money, no interest, or what. It did not have tip-top players, but Monica is a draw anywhere, and I think Daniela made the final the year she won Indian Wells and was quite popular.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Martina2 said:
Hasnt the bank of the west classic been one of the longest women only tournaments? I rememer them saying that one year before the final.
Actually, it turns out the first event was the 1972 tour championships. Of course, that was in the days of the Virginia Slims tour, the pre-cursor to the actually WTA, but I was including that in my initial post.

The first Virginia Slims event after that was Chicago, 1973.
There was a Virginia Slims of California in 1975, a Virginia Slims of Los Angeles in 1977.

So I'm definitely wrong about Miami being the oldest, but it did hit the ground running in 1985, with a 128 player field, and a $750,000 purse compared to $645,000 for OZ, and $800,000 for the French. (I may be off $30,000 on OZ.) The average Slims event at the time paid $150,000. Miami actually had a bigger purse than the VS Championships, though of course it was spread among way more players.
 

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The Year End Championships [YEC] are very popular also. Last years Final i believe drew a huge crowd, and was actually even reported on mainstream TV here, which never happens unless it's a slam (and even then, there is only like a 2 second clip).

I'm not sure if this will change as the tournament moves to Madrid.
 

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If only there was a tennis tournament below sub-sharahan Africa, then we could say Tennis was a truly global sport, with an event in every region of the world. Kenya, South Africa seems like reasonable location, plus there are well known Tennis players from Zimbabwe, RSA, and formerly Madagascar.
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
Helen Lawson said:
San Diego always looks crowded as hell with a lot of rich people, same with Indian Wells. You have to cater to people, to a certain extent, who can pay big money for tickets and spend the money at the resorts to support all the prize money and the tournaments for these players. Whenever I've seen Moscow on TV, it hardly looks like anyone's there and from what I read here, the tournament always stuggles to put together the prize money.
I can't disagree, but the USA has FOUR Tier I tournaments, and four Tier II's. If you lose San Diego or Indian Wells, those fans don't even have to leave the state to find another WTA event where the top stars play.
 

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416_Man said:
Miami was first held in 1985.

Canadian Open in 1892.
Berlin in 1896.
Rome in 1930.
Charleston in 1973.
Zurich and Indian Wells in 1984.
I think it would be a shame to lose the Canadian Open, like Volcana suggested, as it has been around for a long long time :D
 

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The tournaments of Antwerp and Dubai draw a lot of people as tier II's.
Antwerp has a very professional organisation and it attracts lots of top players and a huge crowd, even in 1st round matches.
Dubai also is organised in a pro-way, it attracts lots op top players too and it hands out a lots of prize money.
 

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Volcana said:
The key words you missed were 'WTA event'.
Whoops, read to quickly ;)

The first WTA Tour Tier I events:

1. Charleston - 1973.
2. Toronto - 1981
3. Indian Wells - 1984
4. Tokyo PPO - 1984.
5. Zurich - 1984.
6. Miami - 1985.

Still for being such a "prestigious" event, it's history is lacklustre, and that's not taking in consideration the entire history of these events.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
416_Man said:
Whoops, read to quickly ;)

The first WTA Tour Tier I events:

1. Charleston - 1973.
2. Toronto - 1981
3. Indian Wells - 1984
4. Tokyo PPO - 1984.
5. Zurich - 1984.
6. Miami - 1985.

Still for being such a "prestigious" event, it's history is lacklustre, and that's not taking in consideration the entire history of these events.
Being the biggest, and best paying event on the tour since it's inception is hardly 'lacklustre'. However, all this is neither here nor there. Cancelling Miami would be a difficult hit for the tour to take at this point. Cancelling Zurich, less so. Of course, I don't want to see the tour cancelling ANY events. I'd like to see it grow to where they could actually hold Tier IV's and V's the same week as a Tier II?

The question is, which of the current tournaments are most important for future growth? There's a lot of untapped market out there.
 

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Helen Lawson said:
Whenever I've seen Moscow on TV, it hardly looks like anyone's there and from what I read here, the tournament always stuggles to put together the prize money.
thats cos the venue holds upto 20000, and early matches are always pretty empty, and they always put the WTA matches on 1st.
you could say same for Arthur Ashe at US Open at 11am,
Moscow getting bigger crowds every year, had 10000+ for alot of the days last yr.
 

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Canadian Open is very big event in Montreal, don't know in Toronto but In Montreal they always sell more tickest every year and many "small court" are full even in a Suarez vs Jankovic match or an unimportant 1st ropund doubles with unknow players. Really one of the most sucessfull event in Montreal, near FI :)
 

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TheBoiledEgg said:
thats cos the venue holds upto 20000, and early matches are always pretty empty, and they always put the WTA matches on 1st.
you could say same for Arthur Ashe at US Open at 11am,
Moscow getting bigger crowds every year, had 10000+ for alot of the days last yr.
Yes, it never made sense to me that it wasn't more crowded given all the Russian players, but that does explain some of it.
 

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Wiggly said:
Canadian Open is very big event in Montreal, don't know in Toronto but In Montreal they always sell more tickest every year and many "small court" are full even in a Suarez vs Jankovic match or an unimportant 1st ropund doubles with unknow players. Really one of the most sucessfull event in Montreal, near FI :)
In Toronto, it's pretty weak. The only time people come in crowds is if you have the Williams and Maria, otherwise it's pretty mellow. Though Amelie attracted a lot of crowds this year.
 

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416_Man said:
Miami was first held in 1985.

Canadian Open in 1892.
Berlin in 1896.
Rome in 1930.
Charleston in 1973.
Zurich and Indian Wells in 1984.
They really pushed Chris Evert's Lipton, I mean, Miami when it first came around in the mid '80's. Not a lot has changed, except the name. Geographically speaking, it really shouldn't be considered the 5th slam because the US already has the US Open.

I always felt badly for the Canadian Open, renamed to Rogers Cup. If the tournament date wasn't so close to the US Open, it rightly should have been the 5th Grand Slam tournament.

Berlin Open??? Well, Germany has always had a difficult time maintaining interest and spectators in their country. WWII and the Nazi's killed it from ever becoming larger, in my opinion.
 
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