Originally Posted by cobalt60
I totally agree which is why I never quite understood the original ATP viewpoint on this. I like the fact that the ATP is promoting the doubles game better but as above I wish they would promote the doubles players who are specialists and leave it at that.
BTW liked your nontennis thread
Th issue of Doubles "Specialists" is where I really disagree. This term which is over used to describe almost every player who had more success in doubles than singles. Doubles "specialists" as I understand it are players who play doubles almost exclusively. Thus Paul Haarhuis, Byron Black, Jiri Novak, Max Mirny and Jonas Bjorkman while excellent doubles players are not "specialists". What they are is excellent examples of how Doubles can and is supposed to support and facilitate singles by distributing $ to more mid level players to facilitate their development and success playing singles.
Doubles is not so fat and or lazy guys can become millionaires. The ATP does not owe the "specialists" a living. Initially more players participated in doubles because singles money was not sufficient. As purses grew it became less necessary though some top guys continued to play: Wilander (made two slam finals in 86, winning Wimbledon), Kafelnikov, Feirrera etc. The guys at all levels continued to suport it it because by supporting lower ranked singles players you were still enhancing the quality of the primary product: singles. Yes doubles could and should be contributing to the depth of the singles game.
The ATP should be instituting rules where if your not playing a minimum of 12 singles event at your level you are not eligible to play doubles: in other words if you want to cash in buy a lottery ticket don't play doubles. Their should be exemptions for length of participaton (say after 7 seasons you can play in ATP doubles events without playing in singles) and for infirmity (Jacco Elting stopped playing singles fairly early because of knee problems so a player in his situation with the appropriate medical support would be allowed to play without entering singles).
However if you are an able bodied former NCAA singles champ who is too lazy to play single or finds that singles cuts into the profit margin from playing doubles too bad: play or go home.
Doubles "specialists" don't need to be promoted they are a blight on the game that needs to be eradicated. Does anybody really miss Rick Leach or his ilk?