TMC is definately leaving Shanghai aftwer 2008. More news in today:
Roger Draper also wants to bring the year-end Masters Cup, one of the most prestigious tournaments on the calendar, to London after it moves from its current home in Shanghai. The Masters Cup, where the season's top eight players compete for a huge pot of prize money and ranking points, will leave China after 2008 and the ATP Tour, which will decide its future along with the ITF and the four grand slam tournaments, is keen to bring the event back to Europe.
Paris is the only other serious contender, and a British pitch would be helped by the successful 2012 Olympic bid. London currently lacks suitable indoor venues but one of the proposed Olympic sites could be used if completed by November 2009. Draper believes that if children see the likes of Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer and Andy Murray play then they will choose tennis over other sports.
He pointed to the Stella Artois Championship, held at Queen's Club each June, as an example of where the sport has previously been going wrong. "I was watching Nadal at Queen's and there were 7,000 people watching him but they were all City boys and posh totty," said Draper. "That could have been 7,000 kids instead. That has to change. Kids are inspired when they see their heroes."
Enlisting coaches such as Annacone and bringing more prestigious events to the UK are elements of Draper's blueprint for British tennis. It includes plans for a major overhaul of coaching in clubs, schools and training centres, which might ultimately have a bigger impact than his more newsworthy ambitions.