Tough Talking Tiriac [Archive] - MensTennisForums.com

Tough Talking Tiriac

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10-24-2004, 04:17 PM
Time is GMT + 8 hours
Posted: 24 October 2004 2337 hrs

Tennis: Tiriac talks tough to absent Madrid Masters players




MADRID : Flamboyant tennis impresario Ion Tiriac called for a get-tough policy for the millionaire absentees who didn't bother to play at this week's 2.425-million-euro Madrid Masters.

With Roger Federer, Andy Roddick, Guillermo Coria and Lleyton Hewitt - the current world top four - all failing to play, Andre Agassi remained the biggest draw card at the Rockodromo.


While Federer pleaded tiredness, Roddick claimed a knee injury and Hewitt stayed away for a holiday in Australia.

Coria actually watched the final as he recovers form a shoulder problem which has kept him away for months.

The quartet have all qualified for the lucrative season-ending Masters Cup next month, and have little incentive to risk themselves in the run-up.

The ATP men's sanctioning body also has no leverage in the matter, since dissolution of the year-end bonus pool system several seasons ago due to a financial squeeze brought on by collapse of a billion-dollar television rights contract in Switzerland.

But taking a page from Formula one racing, Tiriac endorsed hitting the players where it hurts most - in the bank balance.

"Take a million from my prize money," he said of his 2.425-million-euro event. "Call it player compensation, put 10 million in the Masters (Cup fund)," said the colourful former player, coach and manager.

"If he doesn't play one (of the nine Masters Series) tournaments, take away a quarter of his (ranking) points. If he doesn't play two, it's too bad, he cannot play the Masters Cup, nothing else."

The sums in question are not trivial for even the errant top stars.

With Federer walking away with 1.52-million dollars last year as an undefeated Masters Cup champion for a week of tennis, skipping that kind of a potential payday is surely not attractive to any of the Top 10.

Tiriac contrasted the attitude in tennis to that of F1 king Michael Schumacher, who is competing in the weekend's final race of the season despite wrapping up another championship months ago.

"Schumacher didn't stop after six races when he was world champion," said Tiriac, who brought the tennis event from Stuttgart to Madrid with great success in 2002.

"The players have to get conscious that they cannot live without somebody putting an event like this together. I'm calling the rule."

Tiriac said that the four Grand Slams, rivals to the ATP circuit, should also come on board to the new sanctioning plan.

But he doesn't hold out much hope of that kind of cooperation in what appears to be becoming a more Balkanised sporting landscape.

"If the Grand Slams are not going to play with us, then automatically (they) are against us. Of course, Wimbledon is always going to resist.

"The Grand Slams should be aware of the fact that it's a problem, and .. they should participate in the bonus pool, participate in the Masters Cup."

The mustachioed former manager of Boris Becker and Goran Ivanisevic and Romanian rival in the 1970s to compatriot Ilie Nastase directed another serve at today's current stars.

"I think a tennis player who makes five, six, seven, eight, ten million dollars a year, he should have the decency to make his program and give back to the game something.

"He cannot play 70 tournaments, it's true. But is something that is wrong."

Deboogle!.
10-24-2004, 04:37 PM
"If he doesn't play one (of the nine Masters Series) tournaments, take away a quarter of his (ranking) points. If he doesn't play two, it's too bad, he cannot play the Masters Cup, nothing else."


I understand his sentiment, but that's absolutely ridiculous! Which would he prefer - the top players at his tournament, or the top players all burnt out and exhausted and injured to the point where the game sucks. He needs to take a look at the WTA tour this year to see what would happen. 1/4 of someone's rankings points for missing a tournament? Is he nuts?

alfonsojose
10-24-2004, 07:00 PM
I would agree on less money at TMC for those who played less TMS tournaments, but taking ranking points is pretty :retard:

RonE
10-24-2004, 07:06 PM
Tiriac should cut that moustache of his, roll it up in paper and smoke it. Because whatever he is smoking now is obviously not doing him any good if his comments are anything to go by.

Deboogle!.
10-24-2004, 07:18 PM
I guess Tiriac also forgot that the players ARE fined when they pull out of the TMS events. And it's on a gradation based on ranking. For the top players, it's quite a bit of money. Dude should read the rule book before spouting off like this.

alfonsojose
10-24-2004, 07:45 PM
Let's bring him a BOSI bimbo ;) Or maybe he wanted male models with Andy on the court (better late than never, Tiriac bad boy :devil: )

merle
10-24-2004, 08:03 PM
Dude should read the rule book before spouting off like this.

Yeah Deb, don't think he's done that or ever will! :rolleyes:

maratski
10-24-2004, 09:22 PM
The fact that he compares F1 rules to tennis says enough about his intelligence. He's just a dumbass. No words for him nor his ideas.

balls
10-25-2004, 12:23 AM
Hey everybody needs a rest sometimes :zzz: - they are only human!

WyveN
10-25-2004, 02:16 AM
"Schumacher didn't stop after six races when he was world champion," said Tiriac, who brought the tennis event from Stuttgart to Madrid with great success in 2002.


That is a crazy comparison.

The problem is with the schedule, 9 compulsory TMS tournaments is to much on top of all the other schedule requirements facing top players.

To expect all the top players to show up and compete at 100% in all of them is asking way to much even of pro stars on 8 figure annual salaries.

federer_roar
10-25-2004, 03:23 AM
Tennis is way more athletic than auto racing.

They are human , not machine. :(

Shy
10-25-2004, 03:24 AM
Schumacher also has a longer off season than the top tennis player, and he doesn't have 5-7 days of matches none stop. Their competition sre only on the week-end.

federer_roar
10-25-2004, 07:32 AM
Who's this guy anyway? The way that he disregarded ATP tournaments other than TMS events and that put a fallacy analog between tennis and auto racing is so ignorant, and it only shows how greedy he is when comes to speak of his own interest as a tennis impresario . :o

Peta Pan
10-25-2004, 11:05 AM
Tennis is way more athletic than auto racing.

Actually, racing drivers have to keep in tip-top shape and probably excercise more than tennis players. It takes A LOT to drive one of those cars.

That all said, Tiriac is still an idiot if he thinks players should lose quarter of their ranking points for not playing in a TMS tourny :eek:

maratski
10-25-2004, 11:46 AM
I know that F1 drivers do a lot more then just have two or three practice sessions, a qualifying race and the actual race every two weeks for 8 months. They do lots of testing during weekdays and like you said they need to be in good physical shape to deal with those G forces. The point is just that missing a Masters Series Tournament and missing a GP are two very different things. Even a fool knows that! Since English isn't my native language, can someone name me a word to use for someone who's even lower as a fool? That can be my new name for Tiriac ;)

Peta Pan
10-25-2004, 12:21 PM
The point is just that missing a Masters Series Tournament and missing a GP are two very different things. Even a fool knows that!

Oh I wasn't disputing that at all!! Of course it is completely different and a stupid comparison!

Since English isn't my native language, can someone name me a word to use for someone who's even lower as a fool? That can be my new name for Tiriac ;)

LOL Someone else will have to help out there coz I can't think of anything either... but I agree :yeah:

federer_roar
10-25-2004, 01:51 PM
Actually, racing drivers have to keep in tip-top shape and probably excercise more than tennis players. It takes A LOT to drive one of those cars.

That all said, Tiriac is still an idiot if he thinks players should lose quarter of their ranking points for not playing in a TMS tourny :eek:

Pj,

I can't deny that auto racing takes great eye-hand coordination and endurance for g-forces. But still when we talk about atheletic sports, we normally think of tennis, football, or ... em track and field, those sports& competitions are involved with pure natural ability and skills.

Good to point out though, otherwise I wouldn't take extra effort to find out more on that sport.

sorry guys, I am marginally off the topic. :p

Deboogle!.
10-26-2004, 01:45 AM
ohmygod.... did you guys read the full press conference? This guy is a fruitcake LOL
=======
http://asapsports.com/tennis/2004madrid/102404PC.html

2004 ATP MASTERS SERIES
MADRID, SPAIN

October 24, 2004

ION TIRIAC
MANOLO SANTANA

ION TIRIAC: (In Spanish) I think the best thing to do is you ask questions and we answer. (In English) Mr. Santana is the boss. He is the director of everything, and I am the worker.

Q. Mr. Tiriac, how have you done with the tournament that didn't have the world's Top 4 players in it?

ION TIRIAC: I'm going to answer in English and then switch it to Spanish. Most everybody here in this room, probably you know better than that, is not a new story. This week in the year is the first time happen something like that. If you look back in the history, we probably this week has the highest percentage of the Top 10 players in the last 10 years. But saying that, I always fought for the other ones, Hamburg, Monte-Carlo, so on. I say is not fair to the tournaments, as well. So what can you do to make a player play? Probably to pay him, who we do already, we distribute more than three million Euro for this. Second, make him aware of the fact that he's a professional and he has to play for not only the money but the sport as well. I don't have anything against smaller tournament, but they are steps that you have to play. If the Grand Slams and the TPL, the Masters Series, are not going to go back to the bonus pool, are not going to go back to ranking by which zero point and half a million for a player is nothing today, half a million Euro, not liras or pesetas, then we have a problem. We discuss that for three hour with the ATP. They are different systems. Take a million from my prize money, call it player compensation, put 10 million in the Masters. If he doesn't play one tournament, take away a quarter of his points. If he doesn't play two, it's too bad, he cannot play the Masters, nothing else, meaning that Schumacher doesn't stop when there are 99 rounds because he's not going to be second if it's 99 rounds, he's last if he doesn't finish a hundred rounds. Schumacher didn't stop after six races when he was world champion. I'm not trying to educate the crew, but I'm partner with the ATP, with the players. And the players have to get conscious that they cannot live without somebody putting an event like this together.

Q. So are you calling for new rules? Is that what you want?

ION TIRIAC: I'm calling to adapt the rules. I am calling more than that. I'm saying crime for the Grand Slams, because we know where the Grand Slams are. If the Grand Slams are not going to play with us, then automatically are against us. I don't think that Wimbledon is going to be very happy if another Muster or somebody else, they are the Top 2 or 3, they are much better on slow, it happen before they didn't show up. Of course, Wimbledon is always going to resist and be there, because is making too much money and I don't know what they do with them. Probably they give it to Mr... to go to Iraq, but I don't know that. But is not fair to the French, at one point, if somebody who serve and volley is not going to come. The Grand Slams should be aware of the fact that it's a problem, and this problem can be made only with them when they are going to participate in the bonus pool, participate in the Masters, being in agreement that they take points away, and make the player conscious to play that. I don't know how is going to translate that, because I just say 10 sentences.

Q. My question is about the models. There's been a great controversy over this. People are saying it's been a good thing, bad thing, it's sexist. A lot of the players say they appreciate it because it's brought more publicity to the game and tennis needs more publicity. What is your analysis of the having the models here? Has it been a success? Would you consider repeating it? Also, do you think tennis needs measures like that to draw greater interest? Is the game itself not enough?

ION TIRIAC: I am very sorry that I didn't have the opportunity to be next to Mr. Santana when he answer this thing. I think the woman has the same right like the man to work. I am not a prejudiced. Now, if somebody wants to do another tennis tournament, and you are only cripples or fat or small or whatever, I don't have a problem. In this tournament, we invented a lot of things in the last 20 years - not today. Now, this is not an invention. We took young girls, that they are good-looking. I don't think anybody has something against that. We have a lot of requests now from young ladies to take young men, that are good looking, and put them there. I don't have anything against that either. Saying that, that everybody picked it up as something new or something extravagant, you could see that their work, it's properly done, no more, no less than any other worker who works for that job. So saying that, I just think it's a normal thing. It's an addition to this tournament, exact how was the VIP at the beginning. Nobody understand what it is. How is the court with the electronic? We are the only tournament in the world that we have on four sites electronic science. Is not any other tournament. I'm sure that in the new era, in another 10, 20 years, they might go to this system, as well. But we don't sell systems. Everybody can copy us, we doing copyright, even this one. So everybody can do whatever it is.

Q. Do you consider it a success and will you repeat it next year?

ION TIRIAC: Oh, no. I'm thinking about putting (inaudible) girls, but then I'm going to be called too much macho on the feminine side. I don't want to go back to Matir hut. But wouldn't bother me at all being only girls.

Q. Are you going to do the same thing next year? Are you also going to have models working as ball girls next year?

ION TIRIAC: I hope so. Don't you? Even more than that, you never know what I'm going to invent.

Q. Sorry to take you back to the first subject.

ION TIRIAC: Can't you ask Manolo a question because he's going to kick me out of the country.

MANOLO SANTANA: No, they only want you. I'm only here because I'm next to you. You the person that have to talk and answer. You the big boss.

ION TIRIAC: He's older.

MANOLO SANTANA: Only one year.

ION TIRIAC: One year and one day.

MANOLO SANTANA: (In Spanish) one year and one day. He's got a lot of money but no time to spend it.

Q. Is not the problem that this event could be a fantastic success because no one could have qualified for the Masters Cup, and you'd have every player here trying to qualify? This year you have a situation where four players have already qualified, and there's only four spaces left. Madrid is going to be vulnerable. Is it not more a question of where you are in the year?

ION TIRIAC: I don't think so. I think a tennis player who makes five, six, seven, eight, ten million dollars a year, he should have the decency to make his program and give back to the game something. Now, he cannot play 70 tournaments, it's true. But I was on both sides of the game - both sides of the game - I always did a program for the player and report with the big tournaments, the second big tournaments, Davis Cup and so on. I appreciate very much really the honesty of Federer, who is the best player I ever saw in my life as a shot-maker, and that's a lot to talk about, Federer, that he say, "I'm tired." Why is he tired? He should not play so much before, A. B, "I'm tired and I want to play well in Basel." At that point is something that is wrong. Something that is wrong. That is his home. He should play. But is something that is wrong. It's not a matter of how I told you before, I had the biggest percentage in this week. If a player qualifies, and after that he doesn't play, he doesn't fulfill his obligation, meaning that in the future, if he's not going to play, then to stay home. That's where ATP, who is still our God, he has to do nothing now. Unfortunately, I don't believe that they are going to the surgery. They might do an aspirin here, an aspirin there to change it. I can tell you in five minutes three different stories. "No Masters if you don't play them all. I'm very sorry if you don't play them all, but you don't finish the job, the race. No master if you don't get enough points and you play only 12 of 13," so on. Then you see if the ranking and Mr. Nike and Mr. Adidas are going to pay those four, five, six million a year if the player doesn't fulfill his obligation. Now, they are liars. They say, "I am sick. I am this. I am that." When I was on the other side of the road, I give my player to Mr. Richard Evans, and I say, "I am not going to lie. He is lying. He's not hurt. He is lying." Mr. Richard, ATP, Mr. -- used to be my player at that time, he was not hurt, and everybody knew. I told all the press. I don't think is the right thing to do.

Q. The lack of a principal sponsor this year, is it a problem? Could this tournament go to China in the future?

MANOLO SANTANA: (In Spanish) I don't think so. Okay, this year we've had problems, as you know. For instance, Telefonica, that is a very important sponsor, has lately decided to leave the side of tennis and golf. But what we are noticing is this tournament has become really important for Madrid. We're collaborating not only with Madrid but with the 2012 project. We have no plans to stop. There is an agreement with the City of Madrid for the next five years, and Tiriac, that's the one who negotiates the tournament with Madrid, has given us no proof that he wants to leave the city. He could answer better than I.

ION TIRIAC: (In Spanish) Well, I think Madrid is a City of sensational sports. I think Madrid deserves 2012 Olympics. Madrid started working for it two years ago and is ahead of schedule. From a tennis point of view, nothing is a surprise for me. I started promoting tournaments 30 years ago in 1970-something in America with $100,000. At that time it was 15 million Euros. I think a tournament can be built with people like Santana, from a sports point of view, from a social point of view, from a publicity point of view. That's why I think Madrid deserves any tournament, and Madrid has a sensational market for sport.

MANOLO SANTANA: The question was if the tournament was ready. If it can go to China, whatever.

ION TIRIAC: Anybody can go to China.

MANOLO SANTANA: I don't see Mr. Tiriac going to China, but anyway (laughter). Madrid is a city that deserve to have events like this. He says that Madrid deserves to have the Olympic Games. Of course, Madrid is a great place for the market of the sports and, of course, of tennis.

Q. What are your thoughts about who should replace Mark Miles? Should it be a European? Does the ATP have to be in America? How is it going from your side?

ION TIRIAC: In my book, it's an unbelievable task. You know, Mark Miles, a lot of people say he did good, he did bad, he did medium. But he succeeded in keeping everybody together for ages. He was like that Chinese guy. You know the Chinese guy with the plates, that he goes one to another, one to another, and so on. And I am afraid that once he leaves, is going to be a lot of trouble around. I don't have anybody. I'm too old for that and I am not interested, that can keep this sport in hand. Maybe I'm going to talk to Ecclestone, but I don't think he's going to do it. Being two to 3, and I believe that you should see the final, and I'm sure the final is much more interesting than Tiriac. Maybe not as interesting as Santana.

MANOLO SANTANA: Probably not as much.

ION TIRIAC: (In Spanish) Santana is more interesting than me, but thank you.