LTA plan to merge Nottingham (ATP) and Eastbourne (WTA) for south coast showpiece - MensTennisForums.com
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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-01-2008, 01:55 PM Thread Starter
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LTA plan to merge Nottingham (ATP) and Eastbourne (WTA) for south coast showpiece

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/liv...n_page_id=1956

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LTA plan to merge events for south coast showpiece

Maria Sharapova and Andy Murray could play at the same pre-Wimbledon grasscourt tournament in Eastbourne — if the Lawn Tennis Association successfully conclude negotiations to reshape the British tennis summer.

From next summer, the LTA would like to combine the existing women's tournament in Eastbourne with the men's event in Nottingham to provide a showpiece competition on the south coast in the week before Wimbledon begins.

Historically, the Eastbourne tournament has attracted stars like Martina Navratilova, Chris Evert, Jana Novotna, Amelie Mauresmo and Justine Henin, and for most of the past 25 years it has been broadcast on television.

Usually, the field has at least five of the world's top 10 women.

In contrast, Nottingham, a low-tier event on the ATP calendar, relies heavily on boosting box office appeal from 'wildcard' invitations to top players who have lost in an early round the previous week at Queen's Club.

Last summer Lleyton Hewitt and Tim Henman signed up to play in Nottingham only after being beaten in London.

It is understood the LTA explored the possibility of having women players join men at Queen's Club next summer after the Artois beer company announced that its 30-year sponsorship would end in June.

But this was ruled out due to the size of the venue and the difficulty of organising a date with the ATP and WTA, the governing bodies for men's and women's tennis.

Instead, the LTA have proposed this new event with Devonshire Park, near the sea front, the preferred location. The plan would be to have a 32-draw for men and women.

The LTA are seeking one major sponsor for the grass court season but neither Eastbourne nor Nottingham have a sponsor for this year.

Sharapova, who won Wimbledon in 2004, has yet to appear at Eastbourne but has told LTA organisers that she has not ruled out the possibility of playing on the south coast.

Murray is always likely to target Queen's Club as his first-choice preparatory tournament for Wimbledon.

Yet, if he was to be an early casualty in London, or had to miss the event through injury, it is feasible that the 21-year-old British No 1 could turn to Eastbourne.

An ATP spokesman said: "The blueprint build for the tour, for the fans, is to have top players, men and women, at top events so this proposal (of combining Nottingham and Eastbourne) fits our strategy."
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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-01-2008, 02:05 PM
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Re: LTA plan to merge Nottingham (ATP) and Eastbourne (WTA) for south coast showpiece

Nottingham Masters Series.

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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-01-2008, 02:06 PM
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Re: LTA plan to merge Nottingham (ATP) and Eastbourne (WTA) for south coast showpiece

Now make it a Masters series too and we'll be appraoching having an actual grass court "season"

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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-01-2008, 02:53 PM
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Re: LTA plan to merge Nottingham (ATP) and Eastbourne (WTA) for south coast showpiece

Men's tennis here, at Eastbourne??!! Excuse my bias, but please do it!

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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-01-2008, 03:23 PM
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Re: LTA plan to merge Nottingham (ATP) and Eastbourne (WTA) for south coast showpiece

Unless they add an extra week after this tournament and before Wimbledon, don't expect too much hoopla over this event.
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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-01-2008, 03:53 PM
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Re: LTA plan to merge Nottingham (ATP) and Eastbourne (WTA) for south coast showpiece

On the off-chance this turns out to be an April Fools' gag, I shall curb my enthusiasm.

The Wit and Wisdom of the Tennis Journalist, Indian Wells 2004

ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I remember this one time when I went on a vacation on the Maldives. That was in the year 2001, I think. I went to this spa. I went to walk around with my girlfriend. I walk in, and we want to book a spa. This guy goes, "AHH, I remember you. You beat Sampras. I saw you on TV." That was like, really, how can you remember me? This guy has probably never been off his island and still knows me. I was a little bit shocked. Then I went to play tennis with him because he was actually the tennis teacher. It was nice.

Q. Were you naked at the time in the spa?

ROGER FEDERER: No. It was at the front desk. I didn't walk in naked.
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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-01-2008, 04:13 PM
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Re: LTA plan to merge Nottingham (ATP) and Eastbourne (WTA) for south coast showpiece

I'm going to Eastbourne so they better do this year .

But it might be 1st April yeah...

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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-01-2008, 04:25 PM
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Re: LTA plan to merge Nottingham (ATP) and Eastbourne (WTA) for south coast showpiece

people don't give enough of a shit about tennis to make an april fool's gag on it worth the effort.
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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-01-2008, 04:36 PM
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Re: LTA plan to merge Nottingham (ATP) and Eastbourne (WTA) for south coast showpiece

I would like to see a Grass MS but I prefer it on Halle, so we can move Hamburg to South America

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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-01-2008, 05:08 PM
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Re: LTA plan to merge Nottingham (ATP) and Eastbourne (WTA) for south coast showpiece

Its cool

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post #11 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-01-2008, 05:08 PM
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Re: LTA plan to merge Nottingham (ATP) and Eastbourne (WTA) for south coast showpiece

I don't understand why mens tennis is continually merging events with the crappy automaton turkey tour. What the hell is the benefit?
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post #12 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-01-2008, 05:14 PM
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Re: LTA plan to merge Nottingham (ATP) and Eastbourne (WTA) for south coast showpiece

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I would like to see a Grass MS but I prefer it on Halle, so we can move Hamburg to South America
good idea, so who the hell is going to make the flight half way across the world and back again for one tournament?
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post #13 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-01-2008, 05:21 PM
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Re: LTA plan to merge Nottingham (ATP) and Eastbourne (WTA) for south coast showpiece

Not at all happy with that, but for years I've been concerned over the future of Notts...not like it ever attracts a top-quality field (certainly in the eyes of the average spectator). So now we all have to go down South to watch tennis then?

...and where was Hewitt last year?
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post #14 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-01-2008, 05:22 PM
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Re: LTA plan to merge Nottingham (ATP) and Eastbourne (WTA) for south coast showpiece

Good idea if it takes off.
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post #15 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-01-2008, 05:24 PM
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Re: LTA plan to merge Nottingham (ATP) and Eastbourne (WTA) for south coast showpiece

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Not at all happy with that, but for years I've been concerned over the future of Notts...not like it ever attracts a top-quality field (certainly in the eyes of the average spectator). So now we all have to go down South to watch tennis then?
Much nearer home for me than Nottingham - but do I really have to put up with WTA matches just to get it nearer home

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