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This year's tournament is a prime example. The tournament directors complained after Venus, Serena and Capriati all withdrew.

Venus and Serena could very well both miss the US Open and be forced into retirement because of the grueling tennis tour. Even though they don't play too many events, they are not allowed an off season.

Kim Clijsters was one of the few top players who showed up in Toronto this week. Playing in her fifth week in a row, she ran out of gas. This is just fantastic news with the US Open ten days away. She plays almost every single event to be #1. She's like Martina Hingis not only in that she is #1 without a slam, but that she is wrecking her career by playing so damn much.

Martina Hingis and Anna Kournikova, at age 21 and 22, should be among the biggest stars in women's tennis right now. If the tour weren't so long and encouraging of players to play every single week, these two would still be close to the top, and women's tennis would be in much better shape. The WTA has no foresight whatsoever!

In a few years, there could very well be more forced early retirements and with such a short career span for top players, women's tennis may never again have the same depth it had two years ago.
 

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What's it got to do with the WTA if these women can't schedule themselves sensibly? Nobody forces players to play when they don’t want to; their annual schedule is their decision. Its money that encourages them to play week in week out, nothing more. Even the ranking system is not to blame. 17 or 18 tournaments in a calendar with 40-plus week of playing opportunities is hardly too much. If Clijsters chooses to play five weeks in a row to get the number one ranking, your beef should be either with her for her scheduling decisions, or for her sponsors, who no doubt dangle huge carrots in the form of multi.million dollar bonuses should she attain that position.
 

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What is Asmus saying? Venus and Serena hardly play at all and they have almost 2 months off at the end of every season- and they play exhibitions during that time. If they can't keep healthy, they need to adjust their training schedule. They don't play too many matches.
With regards to the WTA. I'm not an expert, but its entertainment-therefore it needs to be interesting. It's all about marketing and they need to examine what has made tennis popular before and do it again.
with regards to the players-there are plenty of players that play more matches than the top players and you don't see them complaining. they play on the challenger circuit, day in and day out.
I think the top players should be assigned certain tournaments at the beginning of the year by the WTA that they must play or face a suspension. If they want to play more they can apply for wildcards.
 

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Asmus said:
This year's tournament is a prime example. The tournament directors complained after Venus, Serena and Capriati all withdrew.

Venus and Serena could very well both miss the US Open and be forced into retirement because of the grueling tennis tour. Even though they don't play too many events, they are not allowed an off season.

Kim Clijsters was one of the few top players who showed up in Toronto this week. Playing in her fifth week in a row, she ran out of gas. This is just fantastic news with the US Open ten days away. She plays almost every single event to be #1. She's like Martina Hingis not only in that she is #1 without a slam, but that she is wrecking her career by playing so damn much.

Martina Hingis and Anna Kournikova, at age 21 and 22, should be among the biggest stars in women's tennis right now. If the tour weren't so long and encouraging of players to play every single week, these two would still be close to the top, and women's tennis would be in much better shape. The WTA has no foresight whatsoever!

In a few years, there could very well be more forced early retirements and with such a short career span for top players, women's tennis may never again have the same depth it had two years ago.
I think the real question is what can TennisCanada do in conjunction with the WTA to make the Canadian Open THE PREMIER EVENT leading up to the U.S. Open. I have a suggestion, and I'm sure it's not a new one:

Keep the venue in the same city every year. This builds prestige and recognition for the city as well as the tournament, and gives sponsors a chance to embrace and promote the hell out of the tournament, and build a reputation (not to mention prize money). It may be tough for Canadians to set aside their peaceful display of cooperation between Toronto and Montreal, however, we are talking about tennis here, not politics, right? :lol:
 

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You know, they may be selling lots of tickets to matches because they switch back and forth between cities, not despite the switching. People certainly know they need to go because it will be two more years before they get a chance again. Early attendance crowds are impressive compared to other tournaments.

It is a great event. Bravo, Canada.
 

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Asmus, this is fascinating. Your facts are great, but your perspective is from the planet Zepton. Remember, we talking about adults.

This year's tournament is a prime example. The tournament directors complained after Venus, Serena and Capriati all withdrew.

It's true they complained, but this a constant complaint. They have no guarantees about who's going to play. They want the WTA to force the players to show up, and the players are having none of it. And the toothless WTA can't force the players to do jack. That's why the drug testing is laughable. Except for the Olympians and the Fed Cup players, no one is really tested at all.

Venus and Serena could very well both miss the US Open and be forced into retirement because of the grueling tennis tour. Even though they don't play too many events, they are not allowed an off season.

More so than any player except Steffi Graf, the Williams sisters make their own schedules. The WTA forces them to do NOTHING. The WTA is terrified they'll walk out and devastate their their US TV ratings.

Kim Clijsters was one of the few top players who showed up in Toronto this week. Playing in her fifth week in a row, she ran out of gas. This is just fantastic news with the US Open ten days away. She plays almost every single event to be #1.

No. She plays 22 tournaments a year. Six of them are two week affairs. That's 28 weeks of tournaments a year. She isn't coming close to playing 'every single event'. The average top 200 WTA player pays 27 events a year.

She's like Martina Hingis not only in that she is #1 without a slam, but that she is wrecking her career by playing so damn much.

Possibly true, but the WTA isn't forcing her to do that.

Martina Hingis and Anna Kournikova, at age 21 and 22, should be among the biggest stars in women's tennis right now. If the tour weren't so long and encouraging of players to play every single week, these two would still be close to the top, and women's tennis would be in much better shape. The WTA has no foresight whatsoever!

Get real. Kournikova couldn't play. She had a very simple game, and a very simple tennis mind, and once people figured it out, she was exposed. Martina Hingis played 20 tournaments a year. 26 weeks. Whether it was bad shoes or bad genetics, Martina has chronic foot problems. Plaayer who play much more don't. Lindsay Davenport gets DEEP in tournaments, and is a large woman. And she played every bit as much as Martina. Again. You can't put Kournikova's and Hingis' absence on the WTA

In a few years, there could very well be more forced early retirements and with such a short career span for top players, women's tennis may never again have the same depth it had two years ago.

The WTA has better depth NOW than it did two years ago. Anna Kournikova was never a threat to win a GS singles title. Aside form her wierd inability to win a final, she only progressed as far as the semis one time, and that was with a VERY weak draw. She's no loss. Martina is a loss. And two years ago Jelena Dokic was a player.

Two years ago, the 'threat matrix' was Venus, Serena, Jenn, Lindsay, Martina, Monica, old Amelie. Now it's Venus, Serena, Jenn, Lindsay, Kim, Justine, new Amelie, Chanda. And Hantuchova, Myskina, Sugiyama, Zvonareva are all new presences at the 'very, very, very good but not great' level.
 

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Bella said:
You know, they may be selling lots of tickets to matches because they switch back and forth between cities, not despite the switching. People certainly know they need to go because it will be two more years before they get a chance again. Early attendance crowds are impressive compared to other tournaments.

It is a great event. Bravo, Canada.
There are quite a few people in the Northeast USA who travel to this event every year, and have to try and remember which city it's in this year, and I would wager if it's not where they want to go (i.e., this year it's in Toronto, and they prefer Montreal). Two years is an eternity to expect a fan to wait for tennis, don't you think? Why not build a Canadian Open where the men and women play at the same venue at the same time, and have a small lead-up circuit in Canadian cities?
 

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While nothing will probably be done, what the tour needs to do is formulate a sort of masters series or schedule of events that all players must play and hold them to it. If they want to play more besides that, its up to them.
 

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Anyone who thinks that playing 22-26 tournaments a year is too much tennis shows his/her ingorance. What do you think players do while they are not playing in a tournament? It might be a revelation to you but they practice, effectively, spending MORE time on court than if they played in a tournament. Injuries are caused not by playing too much tennis, rather, they are a direct result of the lack of proper physical preparation such as conditioning, weight lifting, stretching, etc. Not too many female players are taking the off-court training seriously enough and then, they pay the price, blaming their injuries on the tour and "grueling" schedule.

If anything, we should have more, not fewer, tournaments. Thinking about the superstars, it is easy to forget that players who are ranked somewhere between 100 and 200 are trying to make a living out of playing tennis as well. I am sure that every tournament organizers would like to see Serena and Venus to play in their event but there are many places where the fans would be happy to see a half-decent display of tennis.
 

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mboyle said:
They need an off season, and no one should play more than 15 or 16 tournaments a year.
They key thing here is that no single player id forced to play more than 16 tournaments a year. Tennis players have more flexibility with their schedules than most of other professional athletes. They are not bound by contracts stipulating that they have to play 26 tournaments a year.
 

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I think having November-December as an off season would be great. That way the players could do what they usually do in the offseason -- plays countless exhibitions to pad their pocketbooks. That's pretty much always been the case for the past 20-30 years!
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
OK

The WTA does not FORCE players to play so much, but they strongly encourage it, and do not give a proper off-season.

Take Venus and Serena, who have played less than any other players. They still don't get a month off, because as soon as they're done the WTA Championships, they're training for the Australian.

In August 2002, Venus played San Diego and New Haven, and Serena played LA.
In September 2002, both played the US Open, and Serena played Tokyo and Leipzig.
In October 2002, Venus played Moscow.
In November 2002, both played the WTA Championships.
In January 2003, both played the Australian Open.
In February 2003, Serena played Paris and Venus played Antwerp.
In March 2003, both played Miami.
In April 2003, Serena played Charleston.
In May 2003, Venus played Warsaw and Serena played Rome.
In June 2003, both played the French.
In July 2003, both played Wimbledon.

While they don't play too many events, they obviously are not getting much of a break from intense practicing, and this is why they are both injured right now! Playing even more, like Kim Clijsters is doing and Martina Hingis did, is even worse.

Anna Kournikova may never have been a slam contender, but she was a well-known presence on the women's tour who was very good for the lesser (Tier II) tournaments, and her absence is strongly felt. Despite not winning tournaments, she overplayed to get her ranking up.

It is the players' own decision to play more. However, the WTA must be held somewhat accountable for allowing these young women to destroy their careers!
 

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Asmus said:
The WTA does not FORCE players to play so much, but they strongly encourage it, and do not give a proper off-season.

However, the WTA must be held somewhat accountable for allowing these young women to destroy their careers!
Asmus, the players aren't slaves! The WTA provides them with opportunities. The players make the choices. If you pick up a hammer and hit yourself repeatedly in the head, how responsible is the manufacturer?
 

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Haaahahaaaa...you people are complaining that 'poor venus and Serena have to 'train'' boo hoo hoo...duh! they are prof athletes! and I mean com'on right now Venus has 10 events in her 52 week ranking...that is less then one event a MONTH!
 
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