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nor do I see any real way of fixing the problem. There are too many pwoer centers, and not enough cohesion.
  • The ITF oversees the slams, but the national associations run them.
  • The WTA isn't the players union anymore. The tournament directors are part of it as well.
  • The USTA is flexing it's muscles, in the particularly graceless way that is emblematic of charicatures of Americans.
  • The elite players have there own set of rules
  • The rest of the players have a vastly different set of interests than the elite players.
  • IMG
  • Octagon
  • And, like a giant, spinning ball of barbed wire in an unlit room, there's Team Williams.
Nav was right when she said they need to blow the whole thing up and start over again.

For most of the players, the more tournaments the better. It increases their chances of making a living. It gives them a chance to play events where the competition is mostly at their own level, so they have a chance to improve. For the elite players, fewer tournament, and fewer REQUIRED tournaments, would mean more of a chance to rest and stay healthy. But fewer required tournaments is the last thing the tournament directors want to hear. They need guarantee appearances by stars to sell tickets and run up fees for commercial time.

The USTA is bitching because players actually DARE to put their own health first, or, even worse, play in Europe!?!? The ITF names a world champion every year, virtually ignoring the WTA rankings. And of course, the Williams sisters do whatever they want.

Venus Williams can, of course, do no wrong in my eyes. However, I recognized that the adversarial nature of the relationship between Team Williams and women's tennis has not been a boon to the sport. The Disaster in the Desert', Indian Wells 2001, has truly led to some unexpected phenomena. First off, few, outside of Williams fans, expected the 'no play' policy vis-a-vis Indian Wells to last this long. On top of that though, it has opened the eyes of other players.

Lindsay Davenport realized that a two week break at home after Indian Wells could be really nice. Miami wasn't a requirement, even if you were the #1 ranked player. Instead of blasting Venus and Serena Williams for pulling out of tournaments, more and more top players pulled out late too. The elite players realized more and more that they are a power in and of themselves. The winningest of them can eat any fine the WTA chooses to lay on them. The tournament directors are happy to be able to use their names for advertising even if they DO pull out of tournaments. The best player don't even NEED to play, and they know it. The 2005 slams were won by players seeded #7, #10 and #14. (I think that's right. Help!) The ranking system still creates fair seedings, but people have an expectation that the ranking system shows who the best players are.

And of course, should the financial and athletic success of Maria Sharapova become as divorced from the rest of the tour as the Williams sisters, this whole chaotic situation will only grow worse.

There is no check on the elite players. The only entity with any power over them is the ITF, and the national associations. Or they WOULD have some, except for their slavish devotion to the WTA rankings when seeding. I'm not sure there's anything to be done. There is so little support for the players BY some of the national associations, it's not terribly surprising that some of them give nothing back TO the national associations. Does the WTA even provide health insurance for the players? Pensions? Or does the player ranked #500 leave the tour with nothing but a 'Where's what's her name?'

Women's tennis is a world of competing mercenary interesting. That's why it's fucked up. Who can you trust outside of your family? And maybe your coach?
 

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You can trust no one.
 

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Volcana said:
nor do I see any real way of fixing the problem. There are too many pwoer centers, and not enough cohesion.
  • The ITF oversees the slams, but the national associations run them.
  • The WTA isn't the players union anymore. The tournament directors are part of it as well.
  • The USTA is flexing it's muscles, in the particularly graceless way that is emblematic of charicatures of Americans.
  • The elite players have there own set of rules
  • The rest of the players have a vastly different set of interests than the elite players.
  • IMG
  • Octagon
  • And, like a giant, spinning ball of barbed wire in an unlit room, there's Team Williams.
Nav was right when she said they need to blow the whole thing up and start over again.

For most of the players, the more tournaments the better. It increases their chances of making a living. It gives them a chance to play events where the competition is mostly at their own level, so they have a chance to improve. For the elite players, fewer tournament, and fewer REQUIRED tournaments, would mean more of a chance to rest and stay healthy. But fewer required tournaments is the last thing the tournament directors want to hear. They need guarantee appearances by stars to sell tickets and run up fees for commercial time.

The USTA is bitching because players actually DARE to put their own health first, or, even worse, play in Europe!?!? The ITF names a world champion every year, virtually ignoring the WTA rankings. And of course, the Williams sisters do whatever they want.

Venus Williams can, of course, do no wrong in my eyes. However, I recognized that the adversarial nature of the relationship between Team Williams and women's tennis has not been a boon to the sport. The Disaster in the Desert', Indian Wells 2001, has truly led to some unexpected phenomena. First off, few, outside of Williams fans, expected the 'no play' policy vis-a-vis Indian Wells to last this long. On top of that though, it has opened the eyes of other players.

Lindsay Davenport realized that a two week break at home after Indian Wells could be really nice. Miami wasn't a requirement, even if you were the #1 ranked player. Instead of blasting Venus and Serena Williams for pulling out of tournaments, more and more top players pulled out late too. The elite players realized more and more that they are a power in and of themselves. The winningest of them can eat any fine the WTA chooses to lay on them. The tournament directors are happy to be able to use their names for advertising even if they DO pull out of tournaments. The best player don't even NEED to play, and they know it. The 2005 slams were won by players seeded #7, #10 and #14. (I think that's right. Help!) The ranking system still creates fair seedings, but people have an expectation that the ranking system shows who the best players are.

And of course, should the financial and athletic success of Maria Sharapova become as divorced from the rest of the tour as the Williams sisters, this whole chaotic situation will only grow worse.

There is no check on the elite players. The only entity with any power over them is the ITF, and the national associations. Or they WOULD have some, except for their slavish devotion to the WTA rankings when seeding. I'm not sure there's anything to be done. There is so little support for the players BY some of the national associations, it's not terribly surprising that some of them give nothing back TO the national associations. Does the WTA even provide health insurance for the players? Pensions? Or does the player ranked #500 leave the tour with nothing but a 'Where's what's her name?'

Women's tennis is a world of competing mercenary interesting. That's why it's fucked up. Who can you trust outside of your family? And maybe your coach?

Your posts are longer than most of the books I own haha.

I have nothing intelligent to add.
 

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RenaSlam588 said:
You can trust no one.

I totally agree with that. The players must look out for their best interests because no one else will. I still remember when Vee was really hurt during her Wimbledon final against Serena and as she put it she took one for the team. We all know what happened after that. All I'm saying is that these directors don't care about the fans like they claim, they care about the money.
 

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The Truth said:
I totally agree with that. The players must look out for their best interests because no one else will. I still remember when Vee was really hurt during her Wimbledon final against Serena and as she put it she took one for the team. We all know what happened after that. All I'm saying is that these directors don't care about the fans like they claim, they care about the money.
money is the language that they understand
 

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Sphenx said:
money is the language that they understand
Your avatar is killing me LOL. Every time i see it...:)
 

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Wow, the USTA having the audacity to criticize Queen/Goddess Venus Williams for playing Stockholm really fucked with you, huh? :lol:
 

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Volcana said:
nor do I see any real way of fixing the problem. There are too many pwoer centers, and not enough cohesion.
  • The ITF oversees the slams, but the national associations run them.
  • The WTA isn't the players union anymore. The tournament directors are part of it as well.
  • The USTA is flexing it's muscles, in the particularly graceless way that is emblematic of charicatures of Americans.
  • The elite players have there own set of rules
  • The rest of the players have a vastly different set of interests than the elite players.
  • IMG
  • Octagon
  • And, like a giant, spinning ball of barbed wire in an unlit room, there's Team Williams.
Nav was right when she said they need to blow the whole thing up and start over again.

For most of the players, the more tournaments the better. It increases their chances of making a living. It gives them a chance to play events where the competition is mostly at their own level, so they have a chance to improve. For the elite players, fewer tournament, and fewer REQUIRED tournaments, would mean more of a chance to rest and stay healthy. But fewer required tournaments is the last thing the tournament directors want to hear. They need guarantee appearances by stars to sell tickets and run up fees for commercial time.

The USTA is bitching because players actually DARE to put their own health first, or, even worse, play in Europe!?!? The ITF names a world champion every year, virtually ignoring the WTA rankings. And of course, the Williams sisters do whatever they want.

Venus Williams can, of course, do no wrong in my eyes. However, I recognized that the adversarial nature of the relationship between Team Williams and women's tennis has not been a boon to the sport. The Disaster in the Desert', Indian Wells 2001, has truly led to some unexpected phenomena. First off, few, outside of Williams fans, expected the 'no play' policy vis-a-vis Indian Wells to last this long. On top of that though, it has opened the eyes of other players.

Lindsay Davenport realized that a two week break at home after Indian Wells could be really nice. Miami wasn't a requirement, even if you were the #1 ranked player. Instead of blasting Venus and Serena Williams for pulling out of tournaments, more and more top players pulled out late too. The elite players realized more and more that they are a power in and of themselves. The winningest of them can eat any fine the WTA chooses to lay on them. The tournament directors are happy to be able to use their names for advertising even if they DO pull out of tournaments. The best player don't even NEED to play, and they know it. The 2005 slams were won by players seeded #7, #10 and #14. (I think that's right. Help!) The ranking system still creates fair seedings, but people have an expectation that the ranking system shows who the best players are.

And of course, should the financial and athletic success of Maria Sharapova become as divorced from the rest of the tour as the Williams sisters, this whole chaotic situation will only grow worse.

There is no check on the elite players. The only entity with any power over them is the ITF, and the national associations. Or they WOULD have some, except for their slavish devotion to the WTA rankings when seeding. I'm not sure there's anything to be done. There is so little support for the players BY some of the national associations, it's not terribly surprising that some of them give nothing back TO the national associations. Does the WTA even provide health insurance for the players? Pensions? Or does the player ranked #500 leave the tour with nothing but a 'Where's what's her name?'

Women's tennis is a world of competing mercenary interesting. That's why it's fucked up. Who can you trust outside of your family? And maybe your coach?
Someone please correct me if I'm wrong, but since the players are considered to be independent contractors, they're on their own when it comes to health insurance, which is why they don't think twice about pulling out of tournaments. Also, the USTA can kiss Venus' gluteus maximus as far as I'm concerned, because they did ABSOLUTELY NOTHING for her or Serena when they were juniors. Daddy Rich conned--I mean, persuaded Reebok to bankroll him in 1990, and that's probably why Venus continues to wear Reebok even though she's no longer under contract with them.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Justin. said:
Wow, the USTA having the audacity to criticize Queen/Goddess Venus Williams for playing Stockholm really fucked with you, huh?
Well of course. Venus can do wrong. They should not only know that, they should preach it.:)
 

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Well having many power centers is not necessarily bad us such. I mean the way you put it:
1) top players (who go far in every tournament) can choose the tournaments they play in a way to protect their healthy. Certainly a good thing for them.
2) players below the top can find tournaments where they can still go far in (tournaments that top players are not playing). Good thing for them.
3) tournament organizers can market their tournament with big players and sell tickets (after tickets have been sold it doesn't hurt them much if top players withdraw). Good thing for them (compared to less tournament that top players are originallly obliged to play).

Of course the loosers in this picture are fans who buy tickets to see their favourites, but as a whole if top players would be obliged to play less tournaments fans might have even less chances to see their favourites ( on the other hand they would more rarely buy tickets under false premises).

So as a whole I don't really see the situation too bad.
 

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The only problem I see with pro tennis is that the players have to project/predict their play schedule far in advance of actually playing. Heaven forbid they be injured or fatigued. I mean we all know that these girls are super-human androids who feel no pain or expressed emotions.

The second is there are too many damn governing bodies. So when it comes to rankings some tournaments adopt their own system (Wimbledon), regardless of how hard a player works to improve (dirt vs. grass).

However, to place most of the blame upon the heads of the players is an extremely shortsighted view. Sure they are expected to meet the requirements of the associations, but who holds the association(s) to task when judges screw up, or whole fans turn into hate-crazed terrorists (Seles, Williamses) and threaten the players?

Then there's the over-advertising of some players over the bulk of the rest.

And consider how the associations take a couple of players like Serena and Venus and make them the bad guys rather than the ambassadors of the sport? It's no wonder that they adopt an, "I'll take care of myself" attitude.

I agree that tennis needs a ton of work, but the players are the very least of the problem, imo.
 

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Volcana said:
nor do I see any real way of fixing the problem. There are too many pwoer centers, and not enough cohesion.
  • The elite players have there own set of rules


  • Not quite correct. The elite players have the same rules, and they pay the penalty for not doing what the rules try to encourage. The sisters chose not to play more than 16 tournaments a year,, AND the pay the penalty in fewer ranking points and prize money.

    Like any independent contracter in a free market system, the elite players will do what is in there own self-interest, as they see it. Given this reality, its up to the powers that be to devise as system that can best balance the interests of the elite players, the remaining players, the tournament owners, the sponsers and the tour.

    Personally I don't think there is much of a problem, since there is enough good players these days. Its true that the player rankings don't mean what the general public thinks it means, but any ranking of players is going to be flawed, and I can't hink of anything that would significantly improve the ranking system.
 

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I will do something strange, I will comment on a Volcana's post without looking for a fight and without trying to find something wrong in it, because this is actually an interesting topic.

Volcana said:
nor do I see any real way of fixing the problem. There are too many pwoer centers, and not enough cohesion.

  • The ITF oversees the slams, but the national associations run them.
right, the ITF has no real power, I am not even sure the national associations have too much of a say or it's the committees that do the actual work.
  • The WTA isn't the players union anymore. The tournament directors are part of it as well.
part of the problem. The NBA has the NBAPA to balance things, the WTA has only one entity comprised of the owners and the players, and the owners write the cheques, so you can figure out who is in charge.
  • The USTA is flexing it's muscles, in the particularly graceless way that is emblematic of charicatures of Americans.
I agree, it looks like other tournaments can have weak fields but if it happens to an US tournament it's like violating a cosmic law. Their arrogance has no limits and the players will tell them to fuck off.
  • The elite players have there own set of rules
set by the wta (eg Gold exempt).
  • The rest of the players have a vastly different set of interests than the elite players.
  • IMG
  • Octagon
  • And, like a giant, spinning ball of barbed wire in an unlit room, there's Team Williams.
[/quote]
of this final group, I don't think Octagon is a force anymore, neither the "rest" of the players or the Williams (or any other player for that matter). The Williams, true, do whatever they want, with certain limits (Serena was forced to play Linz last year), but they can't influence, change anything in the tour.
Nav was right when she said they need to blow the whole thing up and start over again.
No, the first thing you need to find a solution, is to find a plausible solution, blowing the whole thing up aint happening, it's not in the cards, it takes away all credibility and makes her look more like an anarchist than someone interested in fixing the sport. Plus, her points show that although she does perceive the problems of the tour, she has no clue on how to fix them, and she came out with some really stupid proposals. Nobody will take her seriously.
For most of the players, the more tournaments the better. It increases their chances of making a living. It gives them a chance to play events where the competition is mostly at their own level, so they have a chance to improve. For the elite players, fewer tournament, and fewer REQUIRED tournaments, would mean more of a chance to rest and stay healthy. But fewer required tournaments is the last thing the tournament directors want to hear. They need guarantee appearances by stars to sell tickets and run up fees for commercial time.
well, I am not sure this has a fix, or a short term fix at least. People want to see the stars, that's normal, Sharapova, the Williams, even the Belgians, those are the names people know and want to see. Something the WTA, ATP, ITF and others have failed miserably is in making people like the sport, despite the fact that a lot of people play and understand tennis. It's been the half-assed marketing for decades that let the sport falls in the public's preferences, that's why they need star power or else.

The problem is, if the stars are injured, it's nothing what they can do, no matter how much they moan. For once, they could try to make the calendar a little more logical. Stop the non-sense of having two slams, one on clay and one on grass only 2 weeks apart, or having the two biggest tournaments outside the GS (in terms of field size) back to back, or having 5 big hardcourt events in a row leading to the US Open.
The USTA is bitching because players actually DARE to put their own health first, or, even worse, play in Europe!?!? The ITF names a world champion every year, virtually ignoring the WTA rankings. And of course, the Williams sisters do whatever they want.
players have no choice. Look at Justine, Venus or Serena, the time they've been off has costed them a lot more than a fine, by the way of lost income, players just need to do the maths and they will understand it's WORTH paying the fines.
Venus Williams can, of course, do no wrong in my eyes. However, I recognized that the adversarial nature of the relationship between Team Williams and women's tennis has not been a boon to the sport. The Disaster in the Desert', Indian Wells 2001, has truly led to some unexpected phenomena. First off, few, outside of Williams fans, expected the 'no play' policy vis-a-vis Indian Wells to last this long. On top of that though, it has opened the eyes of other players.

Lindsay Davenport realized that a two week break at home after Indian Wells could be really nice. Miami wasn't a requirement, even if you were the #1 ranked player.
actually, Justine was treated differently, there was a big buzz because Justine, the # 1 player last year skipped Miami, but nothing about Lindsay doing the same. And Justine is not as popular as Sharapova or Serena for example, especially in the United States.

That makes me think two things, either LD has a much better PR department than Justine, or the american media just doesn't care about her (which would tell you a lot about the state of the sport when the media doesn't care about the # 1 player in the world that happens to be American).
[quote
Instead of blasting Venus and Serena Williams for pulling out of tournaments, more and more top players pulled out late too. The elite players realized more and more that they are a power in and of themselves. The winningest of them can eat any fine the WTA chooses to lay on them. The tournament directors are happy to be able to use their names for advertising even if they DO pull out of tournaments.
[/quote]

I don't think they are very happy. take San Diego, they use Sharapova and Serena to sell the tournament, true, they did sell tickets in advance. When next year they say Sharapova will be playing nobody will believe it. It won't hurt the sales this year but it will in the future.

For example, one of the tournament I always wanted to go to was San Diego, partly because it has a guaranteed strong field, I know Maria and Justine always play there, so I could have just booked my plane tickets and the tournament tickets and go. I didn't and if I had a chance next year probably won't because the risk is too high.

The best player don't even NEED to play, and they know it. The 2005 slams were won by players seeded #7, #10 and #14. (I think that's right. Help!) The ranking system still creates fair seedings, but people have an expectation that the ranking system shows who the best players are.
that's misleading, we all know why those players were ranked that low.
And of course, should the financial and athletic success of Maria Sharapova become as divorced from the rest of the tour as the Williams sisters, this whole chaotic situation will only grow worse.
it's divorced already, I don't think the WTA has a say or a share in Sharapova's success, at most they can use her in a few photoshops here and there but nothing much, she doesn't even wear anything related to Sony-Ericsson because she has a preexisting contract with Motorola.
There is no check on the elite players. The only entity with any power over them is the ITF, and the national associations. Or they WOULD have some, except for their slavish devotion to the WTA rankings when seeding. I'm not sure there's anything to be done. There is so little support for the players BY some of the national associations, it's not terribly surprising that some of them give nothing back TO the national associations. Does the WTA even provide health insurance for the players? Pensions? Or does the player ranked #500 leave the tour with nothing but a 'Where's what's her name?'

Women's tennis is a world of competing mercenary interesting. That's why it's fucked up. Who can you trust outside of your family? And maybe your coach?
there is a lot to be done. The first and most important thing is to give the WTA transparency and accountability. They set the rules, they apply them, and they judge them.

That can't be, the WTA should be forced to follow the rules like anybody else. When last year they fucked up with the rankings against their own rules, and I emailed them, they answered that the rules allow them to have flexibility, then why the fuck they have the rules at all?

When they don't like a rule, they change it.

There must be a framework, for example, if the WTA changes a rule, that change will apply to the NEXT SEASON, there is no way they can change a rule for the current season.

The bodies that make the rules must be independent of the WTA's ceo or the board of directors, and there must be a body that solve conflicts, independent of the other two (yes, three level sof government).

Once they have fixed up their own house, they need to sit down with the ATP and understand they don't have to eat each other's profits but try to increase the size of the cake.

And put real proffessional managers, not an idiot like Larry Scott to manage the tour. No more dreadful campaings like "she can't cook ... *pukes* but she can serve".

If they want to use Sharapova, ask her the name of the ad agency that did the Canon ads, and fire the one that designed the stupid pink t-shirt (and maybe deport them to Jupiter).

The WTA will never be the NBA or the CFL, but at least they could launch marketing campaings that actually draw people in, not scares them out.
 
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