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The year is 2001, and future looks bright for the WTA. A resurgent Jennifer Capriati has captured the public's attention, and the future of the tour looks HIGHLY bank-able with FOUR huge media stars that already came with their own fan base. Martina Hingis, Venus Williams, Serena Williams and Anna Kournikova.

Fast forward to 2003.

The biggest media eent of the year, the US Open, is coming up in a few months. And guess who may not play this year? Martina Hingis, Venus Williams, Serena Williams and Anna Kournikova.

Maybe the future isn't as bright as we thought.

Ask yourself, how good a job has the WTA done of exploiting these high-visibility stars to grow the sport?
 

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Is Venus confiremed to have pulled out of the Open, I thought she was going to Canada.
 

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Unless she knows something we don't, I think Venus is still playing Canada and the US Open.
 

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I'm so current, I'm tomorrow.
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Hmmm, I find tennis exciting week in and week out no matter who is playing or not. Must be why I always post here - I love the sport and all of it's changes. Silly me.
 

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Seles,
It's too bad that diehard fans like ourselves don't fuel the tennis market.
 

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It's unfortunate that America's biggest tournament is possibly going to be missing it's top American stars, but the Belgians and Amelie are still around.

As would probably be top USA players Lindsay and Chanda, although from what I understand, they are largely less publicicsed these days.

Maybe the lesson the WTA should learn is to be thinking along the lines of more promotion for the non-USA top players (and the top USA players they seem to ignore relatively) to cover in the future ?
 

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Women tennis consist of 2 phases:

1) Totally overrated. Just because there is an important number of stars (like in 99), commentators repeat every 2 seconds how wonderful, extraordinary, great is women tennis and how much men tennis has no personnality. People are brainwashed and believe that.

2) Just because there are a couple of players who are injured, it sounds like the end of the world. Women tennis is crap, men tennis is so much deeper and interesting, etc.

There is never a reasonnable analysis of the situation.
 

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DA BACKHAND said:
Women tennis consist of 2 phases:

1) Totally overrated. Just because there is an important number of stars (like in 99), commentators repeat every 2 seconds how wonderful, extraordinary, great is women tennis and how much men tennis has no personnality. People are brainwashed and believe that.

2) Just because there are a couple of players who are injured, it sounds like the end of the world. Women tennis is crap, men tennis is so much deeper and interesting, etc.

There is never a reasonnable analysis of the situation.
Is that why you are spending precious moments of your life on a Womens tennis message board?
 

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Maybe the future isn't as bright as we thought.

Ask yourself, how good a job has the WTA done of exploiting these high-visibility stars to grow the sport?[/QUOTE]

Well, the WTA is as vulnerable in promoting their stars as the rest of us....who could predict that Serena, Martina H., Anna K. and a doubtful Jennifer and a questionable Monica would not be at the U. S. Open? :sad: ......I see you also included Venus.....do you know something the rest of us don't?? :confused:
 

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I would apologize for misreading your post, but after the "Willi fan" comment, fuq you!
 

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DA BACKHAND said:
Did you read my post, I think you totally miss the point. Are you a student (or a Willi fan)?
Do you really need to bash Williams fans just bc of what one person said? :rolleyes:

I think its great that the WTA have such marketable stars with personalities, but they really need to start promoting other players that are likely to be big drawcards so when some get injured people will still be interested in tennis. Some of the young Russians are very marketable, like sharapova, bovina, safina, i think people would be likely to go because of them if they were promoted enough. Not only Russians, but a lot of other great young players dont really get enough attention. Less of a focus on US players would be great so players from other countries will be appreciated too.
 

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I agree with that, Experimentee. It is sad that the TV seems only to concentrate on those players who are considered to be pretty. Kunetsova isn't a pretty face, but she just might have the goods to be a top player.
 

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I think a lot now rides on the fate of the Williams sisters. If they do come back and do well for awhile, the sport will hang on.

But it isn't just women's tennis. Sampras has retired (although not officially) and how much longer is the 33 year old Andre Agassi going to hang on? My guess is, he too will be gone very soon.

So far, Andry Roddick is a major disappointment and his loss to Henman yesterday is further proof of that.

The only up and coming male stars on the tour, stars who have actually won a major, are Europeans or Aussies and most remain almost completely unknown to the general public in the United States.

Yes, women's tennis has Kim and Justine, but neither I am sorry to say has what I would call star power, meaning aside from their games, they do not have the looks or personality to become celebrities in a market other than their own homelands.

Yes, only a few years ago, it seemed that the WTA had more stars than MGM did in the 1940s. But Martina is gone, Anna going, going and soon to be gone and the Williams sisters continue to play very reduced schedules due to injury and other commitments.

While that may be nice for them, the organizers of the tournaments they skip and the fans who would have attended to see them cannot be happy.

Maybe Hackleroad and Sharapova can "save" women's tennis, but the problem is, neither has yet accomplished enough on court to start any real fires in the sport, Hackleroad in particular. And it takes more in tennis than looks to be a real star.

If Anna had been the only celebrity in the sport, I don't think her star would have risen as fast or as high. It was easy to lump her in with the big winners because she could kind of get lost there. Martina, Venus and Serena were big winners and it didn't really matter that Anna had not matched their accomplishments. She seemed to fit in well with that group.

But now she may be gone too, leaving only the Williams sisters as star quality performers. But even if Venus does play the US Open, I would be surprised if she wins, because she will have little preparation and she will face some top players with good preparation and a reason to believe they can beat her. That will make it two years since Venus has won a slam and unless she gets to the final, it will mean a further drop in her ranking.

Personally, I wonder about her motivation, I don't care how many times she says she plans to play until her 30s. The truth is, she never seems very happy out there on the court, much less in the press conferences.

Venus does fine in controlled, photo shoot atmospheres, but I don't think that deep down, she particularly likes being a celebrity in the manner Serena does or Hingis did. I continue to believe that unless she starts winning slams soon, Venus will also exit the sport early herself.

Soon, the sport may be looking back at the late 90s with real nostalgia as the golden era of women's tennis. And that era will not be back soon.
 

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TonyP,
Nice post. This thread had been going on for a while with gentle disagreements and no real fights. Nice:)
 

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the men's matches are so much better to watch!but, besides the coria-gaudio feud, there is nothing going on. the women's side is basically a soap opera, so its fun.
 

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TonyP said:
I think a lot now rides on the fate of the Williams sisters. If they do come back and do well for awhile, the sport will hang on.

But it isn't just women's tennis. Sampras has retired (although not officially) and how much longer is the 33 year old Andre Agassi going to hang on? My guess is, he too will be gone very soon.

So far, Andry Roddick is a major disappointment and his loss to Henman yesterday is further proof of that.

The only up and coming male stars on the tour, stars who have actually won a major, are Europeans or Aussies and most remain almost completely unknown to the general public in the United States.

Yes, women's tennis has Kim and Justine, but neither I am sorry to say has what I would call star power, meaning aside from their games, they do not have the looks or personality to become celebrities in a market other than their own homelands.

Yes, only a few years ago, it seemed that the WTA had more stars than MGM did in the 1940s. But Martina is gone, Anna going, going and soon to be gone and the Williams sisters continue to play very reduced schedules due to injury and other commitments.

While that may be nice for them, the organizers of the tournaments they skip and the fans who would have attended to see them cannot be happy.

Maybe Hackleroad and Sharapova can "save" women's tennis, but the problem is, neither has yet accomplished enough on court to start any real fires in the sport, Hackleroad in particular. And it takes more in tennis than looks to be a real star.

If Anna had been the only celebrity in the sport, I don't think her star would have risen as fast or as high. It was easy to lump her in with the big winners because she could kind of get lost there. Martina, Venus and Serena were big winners and it didn't really matter that Anna had not matched their accomplishments. She seemed to fit in well with that group.

But now she may be gone too, leaving only the Williams sisters as star quality performers. But even if Venus does play the US Open, I would be surprised if she wins, because she will have little preparation and she will face some top players with good preparation and a reason to believe they can beat her. That will make it two years since Venus has won a slam and unless she gets to the final, it will mean a further drop in her ranking.

Personally, I wonder about her motivation, I don't care how many times she says she plans to play until her 30s. The truth is, she never seems very happy out there on the court, much less in the press conferences.

Venus does fine in controlled, photo shoot atmospheres, but I don't think that deep down, she particularly likes being a celebrity in the manner Serena does or Hingis did. I continue to believe that unless she starts winning slams soon, Venus will also exit the sport early herself.

Soon, the sport may be looking back at the late 90s with real nostalgia as the golden era of women's tennis. And that era will not be back soon.
Th golden era of women's tennis, IMO, was the mid '70s to the early '80s

I agree that the American men have been a disappointment, especially Any Roddick and James Blake.

We don't know what Venus is going to do. I am willing to just sit back and wait to see. BTW, she had little practice before the 2000 Wimbeldon because of injuries and she still won.
 

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I think Tony P summed up the state/possible state of the tour well, but I am surprised at a few people calling Andy Roddick a major disappointment. What is he? 20? What did you expect? Andre did not win a Slam until he was 22. I think you need to give Andy a bit of time before calling him a major disppointment already.
 
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