WTA:Henin to play max. 12 tourneys per year. Are ATP and WTA "squeezing" the players? [Archive] - MensTennisForums.com

WTA:Henin to play max. 12 tourneys per year. Are ATP and WTA "squeezing" the players?

alfonsojose
06-29-2004, 07:10 PM
This is from Henin's website. How does things work on the ATP?

This is a traduction from WTAworld.com. I just wanted to share 'coz this has been a serious issue between tours and players lately

www.henin-hardenne.be

Squeezed as lemons

27/06/2004:
The last years the elite players of the WTA are having more and more injuries. The williams sisters, J. Capriati, L. Davenport, A. Mauresmo en most recent Kim and Justine. For Carlos Rodriguez it isn't a coincidence ...

Carlos Rodriguez doesn't hide his dissatifaction about the WTA. Already a few days before RG he didn't hesistate to say what a lot off people thought already for a long time ...

"Well it's sad to says these things but imo the WTA is shriking their responsability more and more for what is happening in women's tennis today. And it's not only the WTA, several agency who are partners with the WTA are also reponsable.
They find subtil ways to let players do more and more, be more around for several things. Welll players need rest, one hour rest is as important as one hour tennis or physical training."

They are squeezing them, jut like lemon's...
"They are squeezing the players like lemon's and that's the reason topplayers are out for a long time. Kim, the number 2 in the world, 8 months out, Justine maybe out for several months. These 2 girls did a lot for women's tennis and look how they got rewarded ... both in a period of recovery!"

Justine's coach doesn't hesistate to bring out the lack of respect from the WTA to her players.
"Let me say something very important: some time ago Justine got a call from the WTA. Not to ask how she was, how she felt, no, the only thing they said was that if she didn't play that one tournament, she had to participate to another. In my opinion that's a lack of respect for everything Justine did to the sport and it shows perfectly how they care about the players. They use them, throw them away and when they are back on court, they will squeeze them again."

Another example from Carlos again shows the lack of respect.
Justine had to fill in a questionary in Paris (RG). One of the questions asked her opinion about the injuries in the circuit but the answer was already filled in, they replied in her place. It's hypocritcal, again a lack of respect and profesionalism from the organisation. The problem is ... nobody says something about it.

This problem isn't new...

"What's happening today isn't something that started a month are two ago, it has been there alreday for years and it's got bigger and bigger. If we take the 10 players fro the top 10 we'll see that 8 of them had already an injury, and had been out for 1.5 month at least, in the first 6 months of this year!"

The medical assistence for the players is working very well ...
"As much as I give critism to the organisation, as much good words for the medical assistance because that's very well arranged. But there is a huge difference between the things the doctors, kinests and dieticians from the WTA are saying and what happens on the courts. The WTA doesn't matter what the doctors are saying. An example: Justine has Filderstadt on her scedule followed by 1 week of rest and Zurich and the WTA called her to say she has to play Moskou instead of resting!"

Topplayers has to be everywhere all the time. Playing a lot of tournaments and lots of obligations are pushing them to the limit. For some of them there's a injury, for others the body resisted such as Justine. She was fysically perfectly prepared but still has to wait to be healthy again ...The solution: playing less tournaments and less obligations off court!


"When you're a top 8-player you must play at least 18 tournaments, and that's already a lot, without counting the Fed Cup, Olympics, ... I don't get it? Where does those people wonna end?" Carlos explains.
"When you play 6 or 7 days in a tournament, there are 4 days when they are obligated to do things, and I'm not talking about the interviews. The players aren't made to do those things."

If a player doesn't show up at a tournament she has to pay a fine...
"If Justine doesn't go to Moskou, she'll have to pay 50 000$! It's a shame. If she isn't going, it is because of her health but they don't get it. When a player withdraws from a tournament, she must have a medical certificate or a very good excuse but certificate or not they have to pay that fine. And there isn't a way to object or refuse because they take the amount of the fine away from the next prizemoney won in other tournaments. I made a little calculation: 500 000-750 000$ is earned by the WTA each year by getting those fines ... but you don't know where the money goes too."

Carlos doubts WTA will change some things but one thing is for sure, if Justine comes back, things will change for her!
"It's necessary to talk about it, I don't know why others don't do it, maybe they are afraid, but I don't care. The things I go through with Justine today is very hard for her. If Justine gets back, and she will, things are going to change! They aren't gonna push her to go there where they want her to go. She won't do anything she doesn't want to, she will do things for herself, things she likes. Players aren't made to do all those things off court. If she wants to play several years, she'll have to change her methodes. From the next tournament she plays, we will play following our rules, no negotiations. I said to Justine: you wonna pay for 6 years? Well if you wonna play only 12 tournaments a year than that's the thing we'll do and we will pay those fines but the whole world will know why you'll have to pay them."

fleemke²
06-29-2004, 08:36 PM
great translation :cool::lol:

alfonsojose
06-29-2004, 08:49 PM
Hi, fleemke. You were the one who posted this at Wtaworld, did you? Well, i thought it was interesting so i posted it here ;)

Ballbuster
06-29-2004, 10:37 PM
I think justine can play more than 12 tournaments in one year.
even if she did do this i wonder which 8? (antwerp of course, maybe berlin, san diego, zurich, indian wells, sydney, charleston, canada)?

MissPovaFan
06-29-2004, 10:39 PM
I think the girls should maybe be playing less as it has certainly burned out a few players including the Williams sisters, the Belgians and Hantuchova.

Neely
06-29-2004, 11:24 PM
Didn't Justine catch the kissing disease after her win in Indian Wells or was it "just" kissing-disease and flu-like symptoms?

Anyway, if she really had it, the kissing disease can be a serious illness. It usually goes away after two/three weeks on its own, but enlarged lymph nodes can persist for many more weeks. And in most cases, fatigue or/and weakness may last for weeks, occasionally even for months.

And feeling fatigued or week is the automatic loss for any tennis player.

So, to get back on track, Justine should take it easy the next months.

CarnivalCarnage
06-30-2004, 12:13 AM
Neely, she doesn't have mono. She has a mono-like illness, but it's not mono.

Look, I don't believe for a second that Justine will restrict herself to 12 events, and secondly, I really don't know how anybody could blame the WTA schedule for Justine's illness.

SanTaureau Fan
06-30-2004, 12:52 AM
If she wants to play 12 tournements a year, she CAN play 12 tournements.

If she wants to play 5 tournements a year, she CAN play 5 tournements.

There is no problem. The only problem is spoiled tennis players who whine all the time.

The WTA is a business, and they also happens to be Henin's employer. They want her to play some tournements; if she doesn't, she pays a fine. It's fair to me. If she doesn't like it, just go find another job.

Like I said on wtaworld, why doesn't she play Moscow instead of Filderstadt?

TennisLurker
06-30-2004, 12:58 AM
I agree with Andy this Andy that, 12 tournaments is just the 4 slams, the masters and 7 tournaments more, no tour can work if the top players only play 10/12 times a year.

CarnivalCarnage
06-30-2004, 01:05 AM
I agree with Andy this Andy that, 12 tournaments is just the 4 slams, the masters and 7 tournaments more, no tour can work if the top players only play 10/12 times a year.

Which was exactly what the WTA found out in the mid 90s.

But hey, the players will bitch forever. Let them.

Havok
06-30-2004, 02:14 AM
well imo I think Justine is drained now because she pushed herself way too hard with all the off court training and stuff. She also played a bit too much last year. Justine doesn't need to be pushed by the WTA to play so many tournaments, Serena and Venus don't play much and they manage, and I think Justine is good enough to play fewer tournaments (like 15 or something)

CarnivalCarnage
06-30-2004, 02:19 AM
well imo I think Justine is drained now because she pushed herself way too hard with all the off court training and stuff. She also played a bit too much last year. Justine doesn't need to be pushed by the WTA to play so many tournaments, Serena and Venus don't play much and they manage, and I think Justine is good enough to play fewer tournaments (like 15 or something)

And I would have to disagree. She's ill. She has a virus. That's why she's "drained".

Billabong
06-30-2004, 02:22 AM
Thanks for the article:)!

Tennis Fool
06-30-2004, 02:41 AM
If she wants to play 12 tournements a year, she CAN play 12 tournements.

If she wants to play 5 tournements a year, she CAN play 5 tournements.

There is no problem. The only problem is spoiled tennis players who whine all the time.



No, the other problem is greedy tournament promoters and sponsors who want to hold tournaments at all costs. If a player was the only one getting rich, there would be no tournaments.

I think the tour can be divided into halves, one group playing January to Sept (Tour A) and the other playing April to January (Tour B). This would incorporate real off seasons, each Slam, and tournaments for every week of the year (except December).

CarnivalCarnage
06-30-2004, 02:45 AM
No, the other problem is greedy tournament promoters and sponsors who want to hold tournaments at all costs. If a player was the only one getting rich, there would be no tournaments.

I think the tour can be divided into halves, one group playing January to Sept (Tour A) and the other playing April to January (Tour B). This would incorporate real off seasons, each Slam, and tournaments for every week of the year (except December).

That would be a horrible idea. No offense.

CmonAussie
06-30-2004, 02:47 AM
@@ Hewitt only played 12-tournaments in 2003; partly because he was worn out from back-to-back No.1 seasons, partly because the ATP was using him & fining him for petty matters, also to ensure Davis Cup victory, & to ensure no more injuries or fatigue{he had chicken pox & fatigue in 2002}!!
--->>> When Hewitt made this decision he coped a huge amount of criticism from many fans & the ATP, yet now that Williams, Clijsters, Henin etc. do the same thing everyone feels sorry for them!
# Double Standards very much>_<...

CarnivalCarnage
06-30-2004, 02:50 AM
@@ Hewitt only played 12-tournaments in 2003; partly because he was worn out from back-to-back No.1 seasons, partly because the ATP was using him & fining him for petty matters, also to ensure Davis Cup victory, & to ensure no more injuries or fatigue{he had chicken pox & fatigue in 2002}!!
--->>> When Hewitt made this decision he coped a huge amount of criticism from many fans & the ATP, yet now that Williams, Clijsters, Henin etc. do the same thing everyone feels sorry for them!
# Double Standards very much>_<...

Are you kidding?

Everybody criticizes the sisters for hardly playing. And they would do it if anybody else did the same thing (it's worth noting that Henin and Clijsters have always been in the 20 tournament range).

Also, look what happened to Lleyton's ranking in 2003. Think there's a relation? I do.

SanTaureau Fan
06-30-2004, 02:55 AM
No, the other problem is greedy tournament promoters and sponsors who want to hold tournaments at all costs. If a player was the only one getting rich, there would be no tournaments.

I think the tour can be divided into halves, one group playing January to Sept (Tour A) and the other playing April to January (Tour B). This would incorporate real off seasons, each Slam, and tournaments for every week of the year (except December).

Let's all assume you're kidding with that suggestion.

I do not think the ATP and the WTA ask for too much. For example, it's normal for the WTA to want a decent field for Moscow as it is a Tier I. Why is it a problem for Henin to play Moscow instead of Filderstadt?

Yes, maybe the ATP season is a bit too long, but the WTA season isn't really that much.

Instead of taking responsibilites of their problems (injuries, illness, etc), players and coaches put the blame on someone else than themselves, which is typical of our modern society when people always blame others for their problem.

CarnivalCarnage
06-30-2004, 02:57 AM
The thing is, the season is really only as long as you make it. The WTA counts 17 tournaments. Playing 17 ain't much to ask. Hey, even Venus almost did it one year.

Tennis Fool
06-30-2004, 03:12 AM
That would be a horrible idea. No offense.
Why?

SanTaureau Fan
06-30-2004, 03:13 AM
17 is just fine...

Again, if Henin wants to play 12 tournements, it's her decision, but she has to be penalized one way or another.

It's possible to play 17 or 18 tournements in a year without playing 2 weeks in a row. I do remember Seles complaining about the schedule... She was like always playing 3 to 5 tournements in a row... There was even a crazy year she planned to play 8 weeks in a row. No one forced her to do that.

17 or 18 isn't too much if you carefully choose the tournements you play.

Tennis Fool
06-30-2004, 03:19 AM
Let's all assume you're kidding with that suggestion.

I do not think the ATP and the WTA ask for too much. For example, it's normal for the WTA to want a decent field for Moscow as it is a Tier I. Why is it a problem for Henin to play Moscow instead of Filderstadt?

Yes, maybe the ATP season is a bit too long, but the WTA season isn't really that much.

Instead of taking responsibilites of their problems (injuries, illness, etc), players and coaches put the blame on someone else than themselves, which is typical of our modern society when people always blame others for their problem.
I'm not kidding, and I'm waiting for an explanation for why this is a bad idea.

Also, your point makes me think of the Olympic games. In most of the "pure" amateur sports, gymnastics, iceskating, skiing, swimming and diving, track and field, you don't see athletes taking on double-digit tournaments (mostly because there aren't enough of them) but they still get injured quite often and have to peak at the right time for the Olympics. Even those sports that have loads of tournaments or games, basketball, baseball, hockey, golf have a credible off season. Football (American) has a verrrry long off season and only play 12 games a year.

I don't understand why tennis players are thought of as being "spoiled" for overextending themselves :shrug:

alfonsojose
06-30-2004, 03:25 AM
Yes, maybe the ATP season is a bit too long, but the WTA season isn't really that much.


:eek: :rolleyes:
The way you said it sounds like women just having fun and guys the victims. The difference is only one week. Last year women's masters at LA was the week before Houston

I think Henin-Hardenne is tired because of his giant effort last year and her training with Pat Echeverry. She became iron woman and she didn't thought about the price she would have to pay. 12 tournaments are a little short. 15 to 17 would be Ok.

Hey guys, What about a "second chance" tournament with reduced prices for player who lost at earlier rounds at a tournament (no slams, of course)?. After second round, most courts aren't that busy and that could attract more people. They could offer less points and less money for the players in this special round.

It would be good for players 'coz they wouldn't have to travel that much and they'd have a second chance, good for fans (more tennis and they can see the players a bit more) and good for the tournament (more fans and tickets). I guess they'd have to think about costs vs. benefits (more ball-boys, more hotel rooms, etc) but it could be great

SanTaureau Fan
06-30-2004, 03:30 AM
Also, your point makes me think of the Olympic games. In most of the "pure" amateur sports, gymnastics, iceskating, skiing, swimming and diving, track and field, you don't see athletes taking on double-digit tournaments (mostly because there aren't enough of them) but they still get injured quite often

Well that's the point... Most of the time, tennis injuries aren't related to playing too much. There are some players with limited schedule who get injured and some players who play a lot never get injured.

If the WTA season would be shorter, it wouldn't magically solve the injury problem. Should it be 2 or 3 weeks shorter? Yes. But the impact on the tour will be minimal in my opinion.

Tennis Fool
06-30-2004, 04:08 AM
Well that's the point... Most of the time, tennis injuries aren't related to playing too much. There are some players with limited schedule who get injured and some players who play a lot never get injured.


Well, tennis is a sport of endurance that incorporates the mental with the physical. If you are ground down because, as a top 30 player, you have just a month off (and have to use that time to prepare for the next season), when do you get a mental rest?


If the mental ain't working, look out for the physical. That's when your feet are tired and you roll your ankle on the court. That's when you undertrain and then get cramps or pull a muscle (see: Taylor Dent).

Justine was up in the Swiss mountains for two weeks in December. She had no off-season. Look how great she's doing.

In fact, look at every player in the top 10 and tell me who hasn't suffered a major injury or fatigue in the last year.

YoursTruly
06-30-2004, 04:46 AM
I think this whole issue shouldn't even be an issue in the first place!!! Once you start seeing almost everyone crumbling and stopping and starting again and it's noticeable, then SOMETHING IS WRONG!!! :lol: The players are not robots, and they are not guinea pig exhibits. They should just forget the whole ranking thing and just go out and play whatever or whenever they want to, while going on what's right for them. Let's see what will happen!

CarnivalCarnage
06-30-2004, 08:06 AM
Why?

Well for starters, tennis is all about its ranking system and winning the big four tournaments. If you split the players and the Slams in half, and the players individually could only try at 2 of them and half their possible opponents, you would a) not know who was the best, b) take all the mystique the goal of winning the Slam has been and flush it, c) require a new ranking system, d) deprive the Tour of potential rivalries, e) eliminate the race for #1, etc etc etc.

But most importantly, there is no reason that that should reduce injuries! It's the same schedule, just longer off season. If you're arguing that the schedule is too long, then you're arguing that it's wear and tear that is breaking people down. Well, it's not less wear and tear to cram the same number of events in the same period. So what if you take off one half of the schedule?

Honestly, I shouldn't have had to explain why that is a bad idea.

As for your injuries rant, you make your own schedule. If players feel they are playing too much, THEN TAKE TIME OFF! It's that simple. The season doesn't need to be shorter, there does not need to be fewer events. Besides, what do you have to say about people like Shaughnessy, Brandi, Dokic and most of the players not in the top 30 who log so many more Airmiles flying the globe to play constantly. They don't seem to have a problem with the system the way it is now.

Lalitha
06-30-2004, 08:17 AM
As for your injuries rant, you make your own schedule. If players feel they are playing too much, THEN TAKE TIME OFF! It's that simple. The season doesn't need to be shorter, there does not need to be fewer events.

Yes, as simple as that. If Henin Hardenne is too play only 'n' number of tournaments a year, why blame WTA?

trixy
06-30-2004, 10:10 AM
Well I actually agree with the criticism of the wta. I mean you can argue that its each players own personal choice on how many tournaments they play but I think rather the wta should work not as to gain the most ammount of tennis from their players but work towards creating a schedule of tournaments through which the players can preform at their best.

I mean you can say that its up to the players but the wta ranking system rewards players who play stacks and stacks of tennis, perfect example of this is Kim Clijsters.

I think Justine is once again just whining but also her coach does make some valid points.

gina_
06-30-2004, 10:21 AM
I think it's a personal choice for each player and it really is up to you about what strategy you want to take. Perhaps if you have a greater chance of winning more of those 12 rather than less of those 17 or so, you'll be better of just taking part in 12.

As a whole, I don't think it's good for women's tennis because less participation = less sponsorshop = less tournaments = less interest in the game. However, it is true that the fact that many of the top WTA players are out for the important events like the Slams does have an effect of making the Slams look a little watered down.

Justine's coach has made some good points. But I still feel it is up to the individual.

Neely
06-30-2004, 10:22 AM
Neely, she doesn't have mono. She has a mono-like illness, but it's not mono.

Look, I don't believe for a second that Justine will restrict herself to 12 events, and secondly, I really don't know how anybody could blame the WTA schedule for Justine's illness.
all right, was not 100% sure what exactly she had...

and 12 tournaments is indeed not enough, don't see this happening either.

Space Cowgirl
06-30-2004, 10:26 AM
Besides, what do you have to say about people like Shaughnessy, Brandi, Dokic and most of the players not in the top 30 who log so many more Airmiles flying the globe to play constantly. They don't seem to have a problem with the system the way it is now.


But you could also say that the players outside the top 30 have more air miles because they don't progress as far in tournaments as the top players, who are in the tournaments for a complete week. So aguably the top players actually play more tennis than the lower-ranked ones.

CarnivalCarnage
06-30-2004, 10:57 AM
But you could also say that the players outside the top 30 have more air miles because they don't progress as far in tournaments as the top players, who are in the tournaments for a complete week. So aguably the top players actually play more tennis than the lower-ranked ones.

Yes of course they do. But we're talking about whether the schedule should be shortened, and whether they should be required to play less events. You are actually making my point there. It's not the number of tournaments on the schedule, or the length of it, if there is a problem, it's a problem with the player's discretion.

CarnivalCarnage
06-30-2004, 11:02 AM
Well I actually agree with the criticism of the wta. I mean you can argue that its each players own personal choice on how many tournaments they play but I think rather the wta should work not as to gain the most ammount of tennis from their players but work towards creating a schedule of tournaments through which the players can preform at their best.

I mean you can say that its up to the players but the wta ranking system rewards players who play stacks and stacks of tennis, perfect example of this is Kim Clijsters.

I think Justine is once again just whining but also her coach does make some valid points.

Yes. It rewards those intrepid souls who play quite a bit. Perhaps playing sparingly rewards players too though. The fresher you are, the better you are. But somebody made that point.

But anyway, the crux of the argument is that the men don't seem to have much of a problem playing 20+ events a year. Now you'd have to expect a little less from the women, but 17 seems pretty fair. But let's not be under the illusion that you need 17 events to be #1. Serena did it with 12 (even less at some points). So the argument is that you get punished in the rankings for not playing enough. Sure you do. But that can be overcome by decent play and they all know it. So I don't give that much weight.

Tennis Fool
06-30-2004, 02:29 PM
Well for starters, tennis is all about its ranking system and winning the big four tournaments. If you split the players and the Slams in half, and the players individually could only try at 2 of them and half their possible opponents, you would a) not know who was the best, b) take all the mystique the goal of winning the Slam has been and flush it, c) require a new ranking system, d) deprive the Tour of potential rivalries, e) eliminate the race for #1, etc etc etc.

Hi, look at my example again. *All* the players would play *all* the Slams. Tour A and Tour B would overlap during the Slam season. It would be the players prerogative whether to play mostly the Spring and Summer or Summer and Fall.

Tennis Fool
06-30-2004, 02:33 PM
As a whole, I don't think it's good for women's tennis because less participation = less sponsorshop = less tournaments = less interest in the game. However, it is true that the fact that many of the top WTA players are out for the important events like the Slams does have an effect of making the Slams look a little watered down.



That's not true. Tournaments have increased two fold in the last decade and interest in tennis has declined by the same pace.

SanTaureau Fan
06-30-2004, 02:37 PM
Looking at the schedule in like 92 for the WTA, they had about the same amount of events.

And what people don't mention is that most draw were either 32 or 56 at that time, unlike now when top players get a bye in a lot of those ridiculous 28 players draw.

What was the key at that time is that yes, top players played a bit less, but most importantly they were never playing more than 2 weeks in a row. There is no problem for women to play 17 or 18 tournements in a year if they don't plan ridiculous schedule à la Clijsters or à la Seles like to play 4 hardcourt tournements in a row.

CarnivalCarnage
07-01-2004, 12:02 PM
No, the other problem is greedy tournament promoters and sponsors who want to hold tournaments at all costs. If a player was the only one getting rich, there would be no tournaments.

I think the tour can be divided into halves, one group playing January to Sept (Tour A) and the other playing April to January (Tour B). This would incorporate real off seasons, each Slam, and tournaments for every week of the year (except December).

Hi, let's look at your example again.

Oh, note where you mentioned nothing specifically about the two Tours overlapping at the Slams. I just assumed you were splitting them (like they would split the regular events, no?), you split the Slams. Ok fine.

So here is the problem with that. You'd have an uneven playing field. People just ending Christmas vacation will be going against players about to finish their year for the title in Australia. Players just back onto the circuit would be facing players in full swing at the French, etc etc.

Once again, there is no evidence your way would be less grueling. It just means a longer offseason. Big deal.

And you did nothing to address my other complaints. Would you mind?

CarnivalCarnage
07-01-2004, 12:06 PM
That's not true. Tournaments have increased two fold in the last decade and interest in tennis has declined by the same pace.

First off, what on Earth are you disagreeing with? Secondly, prove that with numbers.

Hurley
07-01-2004, 12:36 PM
This "off-season" crap is just that. If they double the amount of tournaments available to the players, does that mean players MUST play more? Of course not.

You make your own vacation in tennis. You make your own off-season in tennis. Do you want to play less? Then play less.

Tennis Fool
08-10-2004, 06:14 PM
Bump.

Question: Do you think 1) there are too many tournaments on the ATP schedule and 2) is the season too long?

A summary of answers in the past:

1. Players get to chose which tournaments to play, so don't blame the ATP for overscheduling. Players tend to be rich crybabies who don't want to work, anyway.
2. Injuries not related to tournaments, but to preparation.
3. There should be *more* tournaments, especially for countries without many.

alfonsojose
08-10-2004, 06:46 PM
Columbia lost the "Club Colombia Open" in 2001 :sad:

star
08-10-2004, 08:55 PM
:sad:

Yeah, well, hasn't this topic been discussed to death?

It would be good if the ATP has some sort of data base for injuries so there could be longitudinal studies. We just don't have the data to compare injuries from 20 years ago to today. That might yield facinating results.

alfonsojose
10-15-2004, 03:47 AM
They have to do something. Everybody is injured

misyou25
10-15-2004, 09:11 AM
its maybe too hard and the vacation during winter is too short (not for the fans oviously) but for the players