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post #1 of 435 (permalink) Old 08-27-2006, 02:36 AM Thread Starter
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Coming next year: Sunday starts, RR events, end of best-of-5 matches outside of slams

Not digging the RR idea at all. No surprise thought that the top 2 players support it. But at least they're increasing prize money.

A.T.P. Adopts Early Starts and Shorter Matches

Radical change has proven elusive for men’s tennis, whose leaders have been unable to shorten the season significantly despite concerns about the increased physical demands on star players.

For now, Étienne de Villiers, the new chairman of the ATP, is settling for minor modifications instead of revolution. And last night at a player meeting at the National Tennis Center, he said that the tour board had approved several alterations for 2007, including more Sunday starts for ATP events, the elimination of best-of-five-set matches in nearly all cases outside of the Grand Slam tournaments and, most intriguingly, the introduction of round-robin in the early stages of some lower-level events.

The reaction in the room was generally positive, according to the American player Vince Spadea, but not quite as positive as the reaction to the announcement that prize money would be increased 10 percent across the board at tour events in 2007, the first significant increase for the Tour in seven years.

Andre Agassi also got a roar of approval from his peers in honor of his career, as well as a bottle of 1970 Château Pétrus in honor of his birth year.

“He got a long standing ovation,” Spadea said of Agassi, who has announced that the United States Open, which begins tomorrow, will be his final tournament.

The first day’s lineup has been released, and Agassi is scheduled to play in a night match Monday in Arthur Ashe Stadium. The match will follow the on-court ceremony to name the tennis center for Billie Jean King.

It is unclear whether Agassi will involve himself in the politics of tennis after he shuffles into the sunset in Las Vegas, where he lives, but his close friend and longtime manager, Perry Rogers, is already deeply involved as a member of the ATP board. The six-man board has been consulting more frequently than usual under de Villiers.

De Villiers hopes that starting tournaments on Sunday instead of Monday will increase exposure and allow more opportunity for promotion and interaction with fans. The French Open became the first Grand Slam event to start on Sunday this year. “We’re in the entertainment business,” said De Villiers, a former Disney executive. “Why open your event on the worst day of the week?”

“We’re hoping that between 20 and 30 percent of our events will use the Sunday start in 2007, and it will be mandatory by 2009,” he said, adding that certain events that were close to Grand Slams or Davis Cup weeks would be granted exceptions.

Eliminating best-of-five-set finals outside of the Grand Slam events and the season-ending Masters Cup is designed to limit wear and tear on the top players. After de Villiers assumed his post last year, he quickly made it clear that he wanted to shorten the season significantly to address health concerns. But after learning more about the game’s competing interests, he has backed away from that stance. Best-of-three-set finals also work better for some television networks.

Round robin is already in use at the Masters Cup, the season-ending championships open to the top eight players in the rankings. But it has not been used recently in other tournaments. The idea is to guarantee that fans will get multiple looks at stars at tournaments instead of living with the risk that Roger Federer will, for example, fly all the way to Bangkok for one match and then fly right back home to Switzerland after losing in the first round.

Tournaments with 48-player fields could use 16 round-robin groups of three players; tournaments with 32-player fields could use eight groups of four before becoming single-elimination events in the final stages.

The initial response of the top French player, Richard Gasquet, was negative. De Villiers said Federer and Rafael Nadal, the top-ranked players in the world, support the idea, which protects top players’ interests even though it might lead to them playing more matches over the course of a season.

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post #2 of 435 (permalink) Old 08-27-2006, 02:43 AM
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Re: Coming next year: Sunday starts, RR events, end of best-of-5 matches outside of slams

Don't have much of a problem with the other stuff, but round robin is the most ridiculous thing in the world. I'm pretty surprised that Roger "I get tired after 1 event" is in support of a system that would require him, moreso than anyone, to play potentially more matches.

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post #3 of 435 (permalink) Old 08-27-2006, 02:45 AM
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Re: Coming next year: Sunday starts, RR events, end of best-of-5 matches outside of s

Quote:
Originally Posted by mirkaland
Round robin is already in use at the Masters Cup, the season-ending championships open to the top eight players in the rankings. But it has not been used recently in other tournaments. The idea is to guarantee that fans will get multiple looks at stars at tournaments instead of living with the risk that Roger Federer will, for example, fly all the way to Bangkok for one match and then fly right back home to Switzerland after losing in the first round.
Because that happens all the time. Safin would be a more convincing example, a crowd-pleaser even when his game is way, way off.

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Re: Coming next year: Sunday starts, RR events, end of best-of-5 matches outside of slams

It's a way of protecting the stars and assuring them that hey, if you're not good enough to come to a tournament ready to play right from the start, we'll give you another chance anyway. And how often do top players really lose in the early rounds? How much of a risk is there of that with the top two at the moment?

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.

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post #5 of 435 (permalink) Old 08-27-2006, 02:48 AM
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Re: Coming next year: Sunday starts, RR events, end of best-of-5 matches outside of s

I HATE the round-robin idea. If you lose, you should be out of the tourney. Period. I realize that tennis is entertainment and that people want to see Rafa and the fed-man, but you shouldn't get a second chance at having a bad day. That sucks.


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post #6 of 435 (permalink) Old 08-27-2006, 02:52 AM
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Re: Coming next year: Sunday starts, RR events, end of best-of-5 matches outside of s

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sjengster
How much of a risk is there of that with the top two at the moment?
Almost none. In fact, I can't think of too many big crowd draws that consistently do that (or they would probably not be big crowd draws in the first place?). Everyone has a bad day and stuff, but this is ridiculous.

Moreover, why is it so important that the top 2 are in favor of it? There are 1348 other guys listed in the rankings whose opinions don't seem to matter at all?

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post #7 of 435 (permalink) Old 08-27-2006, 02:59 AM
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Re: Coming next year: Sunday starts, RR events, end of best-of-5 matches outside of s

Quote:
Originally Posted by FlashDeb
Almost none. In fact, I can't think of too many big crowd draws that consistently do that (or they would probably not be big crowd draws in the first place?). Everyone has a bad day and stuff, but this is ridiculous.

Moreover, why is it so important that the top 2 are in favor of it? There are 1348 other guys listed in the rankings whose opinions don't seem to matter at all?
I think that's an unfortunate result of what we've seen over the last 18 months or so - two people and their wishes are more important than everyone else's combined. One might almost understand Nadal's support of it considering he's had a couple of early exits this year in Miami and Toronto, but Federer's loss to Murray was his first defeat before the quarters of a tournament in nearly 2 years. What's the panic?

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 #8 of 435 (permalink) Old 08-27-2006, 03:01 AM
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Re: Coming next year: Sunday starts, RR events, end of best-of-5 matches outside of slams

The round robin idea is absolutely disgusting and idiotic..
its just about ok for the Masters Cup but not a whole lot of the other small events....when a player loses, that is it.. he should be out, its one thing to wanna see Fed/Rafa at least play 3 times (btw does this guy know that Fed/rafa are in the final at least every other week for the last few years anyway) but do people also wanna see O.Marach or S.Gruel 3 times as well (no offence marach and gruel fans ).

your also bound to get alot of situations where a player goes out of the group by virtue of more games won/lost ratio, meaningless matches and shit like that.

terrible terrible idea.

Quote:
I'm pretty surprised that Roger "I get tired after 1 event"

as a fedtard i shouldnt laugh at that .... but what can i say
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post #9 of 435 (permalink) Old 08-27-2006, 03:03 AM
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Re: Coming next year: Sunday starts, RR events, end of best-of-5 matches outside of s

Quote:
Originally Posted by FlashDeb
Almost none. In fact, I can't think of too many big crowd draws that consistently do that (or they would probably not be big crowd draws in the first place?). Everyone has a bad day and stuff, but this is ridiculous.

Moreover, why is it so important that the top 2 are in favor of it? There are 1348 other guys listed in the rankings whose opinions don't seem to matter at all?
*cough* I can think of one, but, no, we can't rearrange the entire tennis system to suit one crazy guy, even a lovable crazy guy. He'll probably be against it anyway. I saw a wonderful quote recently: "point-replay: Befitting his identity as tennis' version of Mikey (who doesn't like anything) in those old Life cereal commercials, 2000 Open winner Marat Safin called it "a stupid idea."

Roger "Okay, I won one, give me another five weeks off" Federer and Rafa "No, I don't remember overplaying last year, why do you ask? " Nadal who own all the points want a contingency plan for early round losses. Uh huh.

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Re: Coming next year: Sunday starts, RR events, end of best-of-5 matches outside of s

Quote:
Originally Posted by Escude

as a fedtard i shouldnt laugh at that .... but what can i say
Well, I was trying to be sarcastic/funny

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Re: Coming next year: Sunday starts, RR events, end of best-of-5 matches outside of s

Oh, yeah, thought of something...NOW we understand why the Tursunov blog was revealed today. It's like sugar in the medicine: Yeah, the ATP announced the implementation of a terrible idea today, but they also announced a good one, so we don't totally despise them, because they got one (lonely) thing right.

Edit: Or that's just my conspiracy theory streak showing.

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Re: Coming next year: Sunday starts, RR events, end of best-of-5 matches outside of slams

Quote:
Originally Posted by J'torian
They want to address the health concerns of players, yet they're mandating round-robin formatting for some tourneys? What a laugh.
It's ridiculous thinking. The whole point of the TMC is that it's the 8 best players in the world, therefore it makes sense to give the public as many looks as possible at the top men and to allow the two best players in the field to work their way into the final, hopefully, by giving them another chance to atone for an early defeat. In a regular tournament where the first match is between players with wildly disparate rankings, it should be every man for himself.

Imagine being the "journeyman" who defeats Federer in a nearly three-hour epic, the best victory of his career.... then he loses his next two matches, Federer wins his next two, and it was all completely meaningless. You beat him, but you didn't eliminate him and you didn't progress yourself either. It's no wonder the lower-ranked players aren't dancing in the aisles at this development.

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 #13 of 435 (permalink) Old 08-27-2006, 03:07 AM
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Re: Coming next year: Sunday starts, RR events, end of best-of-5 matches outside of slams

I don't mind the occassional round robin event. I've seen it used in the Champions Tour and it works there. Not every event will be a RR. For the sport to grow sometimes you need to think outside the box. Variety and change are not always so bad. I say give it a shot, if it doesn't work then nix it. But don't condem it just because it's something new. It seems that tennis is in a bit of a panic mode. Gimmicks like Hawkeye, on-court coaching, and you could say RR's are a gimmick too, are being brought out almost monthy. The Sunday starts are a good idea, and getting rid of 3 of 5 set finals is also a good move.
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Re: Coming next year: Sunday starts, RR events, end of best-of-5 matches outside of slams

Quote:
Originally Posted by Escude
The round robin idea is absolutely disgusting and idiotic..
its just about ok for the Masters Cup but not a whole lot of the other small events....when a player loses, that is it.. he should be out, its one thing to wanna see Fed/Rafa at least play 3 times (btw does this guy know that Fed/rafa are in the final at least every other week for the last few years anyway) but do people also wanna see O.Marach or S.Gruel 3 times as well (no offence marach and gruel fans ).

your also bound to get alot of situations where a player goes out of the group by virtue of more games won/lost ratio, meaningless matches and shit like that.

terrible terrible idea.
Yes it's a horrible idea. And I cannot belive the top players would support this. I can understand why lower ranked players would be pissed. What chance do they have in the more high profile events?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Escude

as a fedtard i shouldnt laugh at that .... but what can i say
Show me a quote after Roger's Cincy loss where he blamed it on being tired. Seems to me the people blaming it on tiredness were some people here.

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Re: Coming next year: Sunday starts, RR events, end of best-of-5 matches outside of s

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sjengster
It's ridiculous thinking. The whole point of the TMC is that it's the 8 best players in the world, therefore it makes sense to give the public as many looks as possible at the top men and to allow the two best players in the field to work their way into the final, hopefully, by giving them another chance to atone for an early defeat. In a regular tournament where the first match is between players with wildly disparate rankings, it should be every man for himself.

Imagine being the "journeyman" who defeats Federer in a nearly three-hour epic, the best victory of his career.... then he loses his next two matches, Federer wins his next two, and it was all completely meaningless. You beat him, but you didn't eliminate him and you didn't progress yourself either. It's no wonder the lower-ranked players aren't dancing in the aisles at this development.
I couldn't agree more.

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