Originally Posted by Action Jackson
If you followed the Challenger series closely then you would know the fields to the Asian Challengers are poor at all level. Even when Tashkent was 125K it wasn't as good as it could be.
How is it that 30K clay challengers in Europe have stronger fields, it's logistic reasons as well when it comes to travelling a lot easier to base themselves there. Yes, it would help the Aussies and other Asian players, but Shanghai has poor crowds when there aren't stars, so it's not like it will be better for Challengers.
They got a pretty decent attendance for Beijing Challenger last year when they made it a mixed event and brought in Henin. When Li Na and the Chinese girls started winning, things started to explode in terms of popularity and marketability. Japan has a solid homegrown Challenger following as well.
Shanghai MS1000 doesn't seem to click with audiences but as I said, this is supposed to be a suggested reform list and the way I see it is to position the game in strategic growth areas rather than rely on historical precedent. I still think it's a good move to put the MS there. Shanghai MS1000 is also not representative of all the tournaments in the Asian region, which are pretty well-attended.
As I see it, there are plenty of opportunities to market the Challenger circuit properly like other sports that have decent second-tier leagues. It isn't even about trying to help out the local boys because quite a few of these tournaments have very good European and American fields and half of the Asian challengers last year were won by people not from the region.
You just need a good snake-oil salesman who knows what he's doing.