LTA plan to merge Nottingham (ATP) and Eastbourne (WTA) for south coast showpiece [Archive] - MensTennisForums.com

LTA plan to merge Nottingham (ATP) and Eastbourne (WTA) for south coast showpiece

Labamba
04-01-2008, 12:55 PM
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/sport/tennis.html?in_article_id=549470&in_page_id=1956

LTA plan to merge events for south coast showpiece

Maria Sharapova and Andy Murray could play at the same pre-Wimbledon grasscourt tournament in Eastbourne — if the Lawn Tennis Association successfully conclude negotiations to reshape the British tennis summer.

From next summer, the LTA would like to combine the existing women's tournament in Eastbourne with the men's event in Nottingham to provide a showpiece competition on the south coast in the week before Wimbledon begins.

Historically, the Eastbourne tournament has attracted stars like Martina Navratilova, Chris Evert, Jana Novotna, Amelie Mauresmo and Justine Henin, and for most of the past 25 years it has been broadcast on television.

Usually, the field has at least five of the world's top 10 women.

In contrast, Nottingham, a low-tier event on the ATP calendar, relies heavily on boosting box office appeal from 'wildcard' invitations to top players who have lost in an early round the previous week at Queen's Club.

Last summer Lleyton Hewitt and Tim Henman signed up to play in Nottingham only after being beaten in London.

It is understood the LTA explored the possibility of having women players join men at Queen's Club next summer after the Artois beer company announced that its 30-year sponsorship would end in June.

But this was ruled out due to the size of the venue and the difficulty of organising a date with the ATP and WTA, the governing bodies for men's and women's tennis.

Instead, the LTA have proposed this new event with Devonshire Park, near the sea front, the preferred location. The plan would be to have a 32-draw for men and women.

The LTA are seeking one major sponsor for the grass court season but neither Eastbourne nor Nottingham have a sponsor for this year.

Sharapova, who won Wimbledon in 2004, has yet to appear at Eastbourne but has told LTA organisers that she has not ruled out the possibility of playing on the south coast.

Murray is always likely to target Queen's Club as his first-choice preparatory tournament for Wimbledon.

Yet, if he was to be an early casualty in London, or had to miss the event through injury, it is feasible that the 21-year-old British No 1 could turn to Eastbourne.

An ATP spokesman said: "The blueprint build for the tour, for the fans, is to have top players, men and women, at top events so this proposal (of combining Nottingham and Eastbourne) fits our strategy."

Burrow
04-01-2008, 01:05 PM
Nottingham Masters Series.

rafa_maniac
04-01-2008, 01:06 PM
Now make it a Masters series too and we'll be appraoching having an actual grass court "season"

Sjengster
04-01-2008, 01:53 PM
Men's tennis here, at Eastbourne??!! Excuse my bias, but please do it!

kobulingam
04-01-2008, 02:23 PM
Unless they add an extra week after this tournament and before Wimbledon, don't expect too much hoopla over this event.

Sjengster
04-01-2008, 02:53 PM
On the off-chance this turns out to be an April Fools' gag, I shall curb my enthusiasm.

Nathaliia
04-01-2008, 03:13 PM
I'm going to Eastbourne so they better do this year :lol:.

But it might be 1st April yeah...

Henry Chinaski
04-01-2008, 03:25 PM
people don't give enough of a shit about tennis to make an april fool's gag on it worth the effort.

NyGeL
04-01-2008, 03:36 PM
I would like to see a Grass MS but I prefer it on Halle, so we can move Hamburg to South America :)

Tzar
04-01-2008, 04:08 PM
Its cool :shrug:

uNIVERSE mAN
04-01-2008, 04:08 PM
I don't understand why mens tennis is continually merging events with the crappy automaton turkey tour. What the hell is the benefit?

uNIVERSE mAN
04-01-2008, 04:14 PM
I would like to see a Grass MS but I prefer it on Halle, so we can move Hamburg to South America :)

good idea, so who the hell is going to make the flight half way across the world and back again for one tournament?

Horatio Caine
04-01-2008, 04:21 PM
Not at all happy with that, but for years I've been concerned over the future of Notts...not like it ever attracts a top-quality field (certainly in the eyes of the average spectator). So now we all have to go down South to watch tennis then? :rolleyes:

...and where was Hewitt last year? :silly:

jonny84
04-01-2008, 04:22 PM
Good idea if it takes off.

*Ljubica*
04-01-2008, 04:24 PM
Not at all happy with that, but for years I've been concerned over the future of Notts...not like it ever attracts a top-quality field (certainly in the eyes of the average spectator). So now we all have to go down South to watch tennis then? :rolleyes:

Much nearer home for me than Nottingham - but do I really have to put up with WTA matches just to get it nearer home :rolleyes:

BodyServe
04-01-2008, 04:29 PM
I would like to see a Grass MS but I prefer it on Halle, so we can move Hamburg to South America :)

So they need to improve the quality of their grass :o

bjurra
04-01-2008, 05:03 PM
Nottingham is a piece of shit tournament in a piece of shit city. You could basically move it anywhere and it would be improvement.

dam0dred
04-01-2008, 05:24 PM
I don't understand why mens tennis is continually merging events with the crappy automaton turkey tour. What the hell is the benefit?

Because lots of us actually like women's tennis.

m-j-d
04-09-2008, 03:31 PM
Confirmed 9/4/08

The LTA today announced a new look international calendar for 2009 including the first ATP/Sony Ericsson WTA Tour combined event to be held in Great Britain.

The changes to the grass court tournaments leading up to The Championships, Wimbledon will be introduced from next year.

Key changes to the major events held in Great Britain throughout June include, from 2009, moving the international men’s event currently staged in Nottingham to produce a combined men’s and women’s event to be held at Devonshire Park, Eastbourne.

In 2010 the venue for the women’s (Sony Ericsson WTA Tour) tournament currently held in Birmingham will be determined by a bidding process with any venue meeting the criteria able to bid to host the event.

2009 (Provisional dates)

Week Commencing: Monday 1st June
$50,000 ATP Challenger & $50,000 & ITF women’s event, venue to be confirmed

Week Commencing: Monday 8th June
ATP event at The Queen’s Club, London
Sony Ericsson WTA Tour event at Edgbaston Priory Club, Birmingham

Week Commencing: Monday 15th June
ATP/WTA combined event at Devonshire Park, Eastbourne

2010 (Provisional dates)

Week Commencing: Monday 31st May
$50,000 ATP Challenger & $50,000 ITF women’s event
venue to be confirmed

Week Commencing: Monday 7th June
ATP event at The Queen’s Club, London
Sony Ericsson WTA Tour event open for bidding

Week Commencing: Monday 14th June
ATP/WTA combined event at Devonshire Park, Eastbourne

The new, co-ordinated calendar will help raise the profile of the sport nationally and enhance the experience for fans, players and spectators

Roger Draper, Chief Executive of the LTA

Roger Draper, Chief Executive of the LTA, said: “The new, co-ordinated calendar will help raise the profile of the sport nationally and enhance the experience for fans, players and spectators. We are confident that the changes will help to re-energise the calendar and open up the sport to a new audience as well as offering a better experience for existing fans. The bidding process in 2010 further opens up the calendar and means that new venues have the option of bidding to host world class tennis.

“This is at the heart of the LTA’s new commercial strategy where we hope to position a Lead Partner as the umbrella sponsor of British tennis. The commercial strategy is bringing together all elements of the sport from schools to elite players and provides a real opportunity for us to build a strong partnership with a brand.”