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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-14-2009, 06:42 AM Thread Starter
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Rich Gulf tennis events expected to affect Aussie Open lead-up

SYDNEY: The expanding tennis interests of the oil-rich Arab states may force a restructuring of the Australian summer circuit, according to reports.

Experienced tournament promoter Colin Stubs believes the introduction of a rich exhibition in Abu Dhabi the week before a season-opening ATP tournament in Qatar, could entice the world's top-ranked men to ignore the local lead-in events to the Australian Open.

Leading stars Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, Andy Murray and Andy Roddick played in the Abu Dhabi Exhibition and Qatar Open this month en route to compete in the year's opening grand slam tournament in Melbourne.

Stubs, who is the tournament director of this week's Kooyong Classic in Melbourne, said Australian lead-up tournaments to the Open may be under threat.

"The jury is out as to whether they will ultimately do so. It might just be a honeymoon period," Stubs told The Australian newspaper.

"We don't know, but at the moment, on the face of it, it looks like we do have an issue to address there.

"It is not only this tournament. Brisbane is in the same boat, as is Sydney and Auckland (in New Zealand)."

Stubs's warning follows increasing interest across Asia in hosting a grand slam event.

Australian Open tournament director Craig Tiley said recently that the Australian Open would not be lost to Asia.

But the tennis series in Abu Dhabi and Doha have already had an impact on the quality of local fields leading into this year's Open.

"I think the dynamics of the early part of the year have changed a little bit," Stubs said.

"It looks to me as though there is a fair bit of money changing hands in Abu Dhabi and as a result of that, you've got to play Doha.

"Now I suppose they (players) have to reassess what they want to do in this particular week. That is one of the issues."

Stubs said he plans to consult the eight men, headed by Federer, playing this week's Kooyong Classic for their views but believes a collective plan is need to find a solution.

"I'll do it singularly, but it really should be a collective discussion between the four events, and the Hopman Cup (mixed teams event in Perth), that are affected," Stubs said.

"We have to come up with some sort of strategy."

- AFP

http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stori...402267/1/.html
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-14-2009, 11:33 AM
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Re: Rich Gulf tennis events expected to affect Aussie Open lead-up

Thank you, but the qualities of the draws in Brisbane and Sydney have been great actually
... apart from Nadal, Murray, Federer and Roddick of course.

But Federer is yet in Kooyong.

Probably they miss Roddick so much in Kooyong

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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-15-2009, 05:53 AM
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Re: Rich Gulf tennis events expected to affect Aussie Open lead-up

Here's an idea, add another week or two to the schedule before the AO, duh. But no, the Aussies don't want to do that, and they might suffer for it.

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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-15-2009, 08:04 AM
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Re: Rich Gulf tennis events expected to affect Aussie Open lead-up

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Here's an idea, add another week or two to the schedule before the AO, duh. But no, the Aussies don't want to do that, and they might suffer for it.
January temperatures are bad enough, February would be even worse. And a lot of people are no longer on holidays either
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-15-2009, 08:16 AM
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Re: Rich Gulf tennis events expected to affect Aussie Open lead-up

I remember reading one of the Sports Business Journal articles by Daniel Kaplan that the ATP was in talks with Abu Dhabi over a possible sponsorship deal.
That's why I thought those top players' decision to take part in the Abu Dhabi exho might have had an aspect that the players were actually encouraged by the ATP to do so. Sure they might well be just lured by big prize money, but they also might have been kind of human sacrifices from the ATP to please the State of Abu Dhabi. Of course there's no such proof and my suspision is solely based on that single article by Kaplan.

Still, it's understandable that the other pre-AO tournaments are not happy with the addition of the Abu Dhabi exho if they were expecting Rafa, Murray, Roddick et al to play their tournaments. It's interesting that it's the director of Kooyong, not an ATP tournament, speaking out in the article.

I heard WTA Berlin was canceled because the Qatar Tennis Federation stopped financially supporting them. Like it or not, it seems the influences of the Gulf states are now so big on the tennis scene they can't be ignored...

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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-15-2009, 10:02 AM
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Re: Rich Gulf tennis events expected to affect Aussie Open lead-up

At least they haven't bought the AO and moved it to Dubai just yet.
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-15-2009, 11:28 AM
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Re: Rich Gulf tennis events expected to affect Aussie Open lead-up

While the Aus Open stays in Australia, the lead up events are safe. Though the UAE may have more money to dish out, you still can't get used to the conditions in Australia while somewhere else. Hopefully most players are smart enough to realise that.

And moving the open to February would be insane. It would lose heaps of money due to it now being played on school holidays, and the February heat can be brutal, moreso than January, just as Emilita said

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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-15-2009, 12:27 PM
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Re: Rich Gulf tennis events expected to affect Aussie Open lead-up

Roger was questioned about it in his presser last night, he said that he doesn't understand why everyone are 'freaking out' over one exo in the middle east.

Basically, he wants AO to be pushed to February, so there can be a place for both.
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-15-2009, 01:31 PM
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Re: Rich Gulf tennis events expected to affect Aussie Open lead-up

roger doesnt care cos he will always get night session if he asks for it

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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-15-2009, 03:38 PM
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Re: Rich Gulf tennis events expected to affect Aussie Open lead-up

The Aus Open is never gonna move. The Grand Slams own tennis. Who cares about warm ups?

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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-15-2009, 03:49 PM
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Re: Rich Gulf tennis events expected to affect Aussie Open lead-up

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Roger was questioned about it in his presser last night, he said that he doesn't understand why everyone are 'freaking out' over one exo in the middle east.

Basically, he wants AO to be pushed to February, so there can be a place for both.
I understand why AO happens when it does, but it does seem a bit ridiculous to have a slam so early in the season. AO starts in January and then we don't have another slam until June.

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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-15-2009, 04:53 PM
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Re: Rich Gulf tennis events expected to affect Aussie Open lead-up

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I understand why AO happens when it does, but it does seem a bit ridiculous to have a slam so early in the season. AO starts in January and then we don't have another slam until June.
It's irrelevant. The problem is RG and Wimby are held in a too short period of time. If you push back RG with 2 weeks and push Wimby forward with 2 weeks then some pushing US Open you will have nice balanced GS time-wise. I am joking of course but it won't be that bad.

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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-15-2009, 05:06 PM
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Re: Rich Gulf tennis events expected to affect Aussie Open lead-up

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Roger was questioned about it in his presser last night, he said that he doesn't understand why everyone are 'freaking out' over one exo in the middle east.

Basically, he wants AO to be pushed to February, so there can be a place for both.
he says the AO is too early and should be delayed 2 weeks, and Dubai and Doha should be held in the same period.

It has some logic,

but also he lives in Dubai, maybe he has some interest in that.

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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-15-2009, 07:39 PM
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Re: Rich Gulf tennis events expected to affect Aussie Open lead-up

Ah the self interests on all sides here.

The great thing about democracy is that it gives every voter a chance to do something stupid.
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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 01-16-2009, 04:25 AM
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Re: Rich Gulf tennis events expected to affect Aussie Open lead-up

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Originally Posted by ~EMiLiTA~ View Post
January temperatures are bad enough, February would be even worse. And a lot of people are no longer on holidays either
Thank you for posting this. I was thinking about the calendar backwards, that it would get cooler in later weeks, not hotter (how very Northern Hemisphere of me). I knew the school holidays were an issue, but I didn't even consider the weather. It's a shame, with a few more weeks of lead in, I think the quality of play would improve at the AO and perhaps we could cut down on these odd, lack of fitness types of withdrawals that seem to crop up every year.

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