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Sarasota Clay Court Classic

645 Views 6 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  JennyS
Has anyone been to this tournament? It's never on TV, and for a Teir IV, it got quite good players last year. Mary Pierce, Myskina, Dementieva were there to name a few. We're going down for the whole tournament this year and we have no idea of what it is like, so help if you can! :D
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I hate to break it to you but there isn't going to be a Sarasota Clay Court Classic next year. The WTA had to take it out of the schedule.

Here's an article about it:

No space for Sarasota Classic
By KEITH NIEBUHR, Times Staff Writer
St. Petersburg Times
July 29, 2003

The Sarasota Clay Court Classic had the setting, field and fan support to thrive as a WTA Tour event. What it did not have was a spot on the calendar.

Not a viable one anyway.

After the WTA reworked its 2004 schedule to make room for the Olympics and better accommodate TV, the event was put in a crunch. Organizers had two options: go head to head with the Bausch & Lomb Championships in Amelia Island or with the Federation Cup, both more established events.

They did not think either date would work, so the tournament, a WTA event for two years, was disbanded.

"It's disappointing," tournament director Lesley Eckert said. "We looked at a lot of different options. I believe as the community got more and more behind it and it became more recognizable it was definitely going to become a bigger and bigger event."

The 2002 event drew 12,000 for the week. This year, the field improved (Jelena Dokic, Anastasia Myskina, Martina Navratilova and Anna Kournikova played) and attendance increased to 16,000, Eckert said.

"The tournament was an incredible success," Eckert said. "The fans came out in numbers and the players really enjoyed it."

Organizers are hopeful it can return.

"We're talking with the WTA to see if something will open up," Eckert said. "We're optimistic, but there are no guarantees."
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