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post #1 of 85 (permalink) Old 04-24-2006, 01:48 AM Thread Starter
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ATP reveals intention to overhaul its calendar

ATP reveals intention to overhaul its calendar
By Neil Harman, Tennis Correspondent
The Times
April 24, 2006

AT THE behest of Etienne de Villiers, the chairman of the ATP who is driving the changes in image, bearing and structure that the sport has ducked for far too long, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal strode into a hotel room last month together with Marat Safin and Andre Agassi. They all said that they could manage an hour — they stayed almost three.

Getting four players, three who have been No 1 in the world and the other the next in line, to agree on anything would normally require the patient diplomacy that marked Henry Kissinger’s statesmanship. That the four emerged persuaded that plans being devised and prepared for launch at the start of 2008 will be the sea-change in approach that the sport needs, marks them as the most comprehensive, clear-minded strategies presented in years.

The fine print is yet to be disclosed, as those tournaments directors who gain ground and, more importantly, those who could lose it in the calendar redesign consider their new positions. But what the changes amount to is a recognition that the four grand-slam championships, Wimbledon and the French, US and Australian Opens, are enhanced by the signposting of events that build into theirs, that a group of four or five “Super” combined events needs to be encouraged and that there has to be minimum guarantees of player participation and prize-money, so that tennis is marketed to television and the general public as a sport with a design that makes common sense.

The changes of personnel at the top of so many important places in tennis — at the ATP, the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour, at Wimbledon and Tennis Australia — have allowed those who are not tied to the intransigent positions to relate to the imperatives for change. At their heart is De Villiers, whose impact in less than a year at the ATP has been profound.

He recognises the enormity of what he is asking people in tennis to get their heads around. “I may be a fool but I am a determined fool,” he said. “I will not back down nor be intimidated by either the challenge or any threat to the ATP. I have the support of my board and we are going to make this journey. Some will get travel sick, some may not come and some will love it. But we will make the journey.”

Most importantly, what is being devised has both the involvement and the backing of the grand-slam events. Christian Bimes, president of the French Federation, is encouraged by the new direction; Steve Wood, the new chief executive of Tennis Australia, has expressed his enthusiasm; De Villiers has had a productive meeting with Tim Phillips, the Wimbledon chairman, and Ian Ritchie, his new chief executive, while Arlen Kantarian, the head of professional tennis at the USTA, has defined, with the five-week series leading into the US Open, the prototype on which the new strategy is based.

In the view of De Villiers, the two areas in the calendar that need the most attention are the clay-court season before the French Open and the autumn season leading up to the Tennis Masters Cup circuit finale.

“It’s painfully obvious that the challenges that the USTA, ATP and Sony Ericsson WTA Tour faced to create the US Open Series pales in comparison to those we now face trying to link tournaments in different countries in one cohesive swing,” De Villiers said. “But I believe it can and will be done.”

“In order to do this we will ensure a significant player commitment; add more large combined ATP-WTA Tour events; use the round-robin format at circuit events; build on our national heritage in key emerging and traditionally strong markets by establishing a number of elite “national opens” comprising some of the existing Masters events, and build clear, marketable swings leading into the grand slam tournaments, and the Tennis Masters Cup.”

“While the concept of the Masters Series of nine disappears, the current tournaments are all incorporated into these two categories — the fans understand what the slams mean and have recognised the Italian, German and Monte Carlo Opens for years. We need to celebrate all these things and more people to care about the story of tennis.”

THE MASTERPLAN

1) The four grand-slam tournaments and four or five “Super” combined events would be mandatory.

2) Round-robins introduced at events below grand-slams and “Super” combined.

3) Masters Series on ATP Tour would disappear.

4) Davis Cup final played in second week of November.

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article...149222,00.html


Djokovic after his Madrid 2009 Semi with Rafa: “Next time I’ll probably take two rackets on the match point and try to hit with both of them. It’s frustrating that when you play so well you can’t win.”

Last edited by veyonce; 04-24-2006 at 01:52 AM.
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post #2 of 85 (permalink) Old 04-24-2006, 01:53 AM
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Re: ATP reveals intention to overhaul its calendar

Okay . . . well i'm too lazy to read the entire article. But do they mean, four or five super events leading up to the grand slams, or the grand slams, and then five or four other super events.

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post #3 of 85 (permalink) Old 04-24-2006, 01:53 AM
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Re: ATP reveals intention to overhaul its calendar

round-robin format at circuit events :retard:

I don't have a problem with 4 or 5 super combined events as long as they are around the world and in big cities, not in the middle of the desert (Indian Wells) or in some boring cities in the middle of nowhere (Cincinatti).

So it could be:
1) Miami
2) Somewhere in Asia (Tokyo maybe).
3) Rome
4) Montreal or Toronto
5) ???
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post #4 of 85 (permalink) Old 04-24-2006, 01:54 AM
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Re: ATP reveals intention to overhaul its calendar

No Masters Series I don't get it
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post #5 of 85 (permalink) Old 04-24-2006, 01:55 AM
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Re: ATP reveals intention to overhaul its calendar

There IS a Masters Series, it's just that it's being reduced from 9 to 5 and being given a new name.
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post #6 of 85 (permalink) Old 04-24-2006, 01:56 AM
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Re: ATP reveals intention to overhaul its calendar

Why was this determined in a meeting with only four players behind closed doors? Shouldn't the entire ATP be discussing it?

Anyway I'd need more details to say whether I like it or not but at least he seems to be thinking progressively so that's a good start.

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post #7 of 85 (permalink) Old 04-24-2006, 01:57 AM
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Re: ATP reveals intention to overhaul its calendar

Kapranos, still don't get it.
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post #8 of 85 (permalink) Old 04-24-2006, 01:59 AM
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Re: ATP reveals intention to overhaul its calendar

Hmm this sounds exciting but also kind of confusing...

I suppose if Roger, Rafa, Marat and Andre were all cool with it, then it must be ok

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post #9 of 85 (permalink) Old 04-24-2006, 02:01 AM
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Re: ATP reveals intention to overhaul its calendar

Weird.

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post #10 of 85 (permalink) Old 04-24-2006, 02:03 AM
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Re: ATP reveals intention to overhaul its calendar

Quote:
Originally Posted by Frooty_Bazooty
I suppose if Roger, Rafa, Marat and Andre were all cool with it, then it must be ok
Not necessarily. The challenger circuit players lead very different lives and their seasons and careers are very different and I imagine they all have opinions about how the schedule should be altered as well, and those opinions may not be congruent with those concerns of these top players. That's why I hope this was just a preliminary discussion type thing and that nothing was actually determined in a meeting with only FOUR players.

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post #11 of 85 (permalink) Old 04-24-2006, 02:03 AM
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Re: ATP reveals intention to overhaul its calendar

Interesting............I hope IW won't be one of those combined super events, but given the current owners, I think it'll be one........... But, this is rather confusing.........



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post #12 of 85 (permalink) Old 04-24-2006, 02:07 AM
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Re: ATP reveals intention to overhaul its calendar

I wonder how big of a change this will be.
Technically a player can play on clay from Feburary to September and take 10 weeks off for the grass and hard court season.
When you have such a array of players, indoor specialist, hard court specialist, grass specialist, clay court specialist, someone is bound to get left out in the cold with changes.
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post #13 of 85 (permalink) Old 04-24-2006, 02:12 AM
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Re: ATP reveals intention to overhaul its calendar

I expected to read that they are going to reduce the number of tournaments and thus avoid the embarrassment of reaching the end of the year and no-one is fit enough to go to the Master's Cup. But no. If anything they will add to the calendar.
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post #14 of 85 (permalink) Old 04-24-2006, 02:24 AM
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Re: ATP reveals intention to overhaul its calendar

What about moving AO to February? That would give them some time?
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post #15 of 85 (permalink) Old 04-24-2006, 02:27 AM
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Re: ATP reveals intention to overhaul its calendar

Quote:
Originally Posted by kapranos
round-robin format at circuit events :retard:

I don't have a problem with 4 or 5 super combined events as long as they are around the world and in big cities, not in the middle of the desert (Indian Wells) or in some boring cities in the middle of nowhere (Cincinatti).

So it could be:
1) Miami
2) Somewhere in Asia (Tokyo maybe).
3) Rome
4) Montreal or Toronto
5) ???
my opinions on the super events leading up to the slams:

1. a super event before AO... upgrade adelaide or sydney?

2. a super event before FO... rome most probably

3. a super event before W... finally, a "masters" on grass! - queen's perhaps?

4. a super event before USO... disolve cincy and canada or combine it as another event in the calendar then push out miami from mar to aug/sept to make it the super event

5. a super event before TMC... should be balanced around the world so have asia take part of it... upgrade one of the asia events as a super (japan or thailand?)
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