Players Seek Larger Role in ATP (NYT) [Archive] - MensTennisForums.com

Players Seek Larger Role in ATP (NYT)

R.Federer
06-17-2008, 10:08 AM
I just saw this at the Times, online. Some interesting behind the scenes action, but generally vague about details.

Players Seek Larger Role in ATP
By CHRISTOPHER CLAREY (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/c/christopher_clarey/index.html?inline=nyt-per)

Rivals for supremacy on the court, Roger Federer (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/f/roger_federer/index.html?inline=nyt-per), Rafael Nadal (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/n/rafael_nadal/index.html?inline=nyt-per) and Novak Djokovic have now become political allies off it in an attempt to take more control over the direction of tennis.
Saturday in London, two days before Wimbledon begins, the world’s three top men’s players are all but certain to be voted on to the player council of the Association of Tennis Professionals. That would be a most unusual move in an era when the game’s stars are typically more preoccupied with hitting big forehands and maximizing their big earnings than addressing the broader issues facing the sport.

But Federer, Nadal and Djokovic are concerned about the current leadership of the ATP and about the potential impact of a lawsuit filed by tournament organizers in Hamburg, Germany.

Federer, Nadal and Djokovic have expressed reservations about decisions made by the ATP chairman Etienne de Villiers, whose contract ends later this year, like a failed experiment last year to introduce a round-robin format at low-level tour events. But the bigger issue is apparently a perceived lack of communication between the players and the ATP’s board, which is the tour’s primary decision-making body.

Nadal, the world’s dominant clay-court player, has also been upset by attempts to restructure the clay-court schedule.
“Controversy, nobody likes it,” Nadal said in an interview in Paris shortly after he won his fourth straight French Open. “I prefer to play tennis and have tranquillity, which in many cases we are lacking. But with the ATP, there have been moments when we were simply not informed about things that they were going to do. Our complaint is that we have representatives on the board who do not represent the players. They are our representatives, but they aren’t representing us. They’re representing the head of the ATP.”

James Blake (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/b/james_blake/index.html?inline=nyt-per) agreed that the board’s management style needed to change. “We don’t need to be treated like little children,” he said in Paris.
The ATP is a joint venture between the tournaments and the players. The board of directors has six members: three elected by the player council and three chosen by the tournaments with de Villiers, a former Disney executive, serving as chairman and the tie-breaking vote.
The players’ dissatisfaction led to last month’s move by the existing player council to vote Perry Rogers off the board. Rogers, the longtime agent and close friend of the former champion Andre Agassi (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/a/andre_agassi/index.html?inline=nyt-per), has been one of de Villiers’s primary allies and advisers in developing and negotiating a new structure and calendar for the men’s tour in 2009.

The changes would be more evolutionary than revolutionary, but de Villiers has emphasized that he needs commitment from the top players in order to package and sell rights to the revamped tour. The board has already approved a system whereby the top players must commit to play (or in case of injury, attend) all eight of its top tournaments or risk financial penalties and suspension.

The board is also requiring that the top players commit to 4 of the 11 events in the second tier. The four Grand Slam events, the most prestigious in the sport, are not run by the ATP.
The new commitment policy has not been welcomed by all the top players or their agents, who are concerned, in part, about losing guaranteed paydays at smaller tournaments.
Rogers did not return a telephone call seeking comment, and de Villiers declined to comment, except to say that he welcomed the prospect of Federer, Nadal and Djokovic joining the council.

The ATP spokesman Kris Dent said that, in an attempt to bridge any communication gap, the top 10 players had been offered the chance to have someone representing them in the boardroom report back on all discussion. “That offer was made months ago, and we’ve heard nothing back,” Dent said.
Ivan Ljubicic, the Croatian veteran who is president of the existing council, said: “We are at the most important moment for our sport in 20 years. The next two to three months are critical.”

That is largely because of the antitrust lawsuit filed against the ATP by the tournament organizers in Hamburg, whose traditional clay-court event is set to be downgraded from the top tier of tournaments in 2009. The lawsuit is scheduled to be heard in United States District Court in Wilmington, Del., in late July.
“It all depends on the lawsuit,” Ljubicic said. “If the ATP wins, the ATP presumably stays as is, but if Hamburg wins, we don’t really know what happens. It could change the whole sport. It could cost the ATP more than it has.”

The ATP has reportedly already spent more than $7 million on legal and court fees related to the case. With the lawsuit blocking final plans for 2009, it has been difficult to procure sponsorship, although Dent said the “interest from the commercial world has been extremely encouraging.”
If the 2009 plan goes forward, Dent said, the tour has already secured a 36 percent increase in prize money for next year along with an $8 million bonus pool and “almost a billion dollars” of investment from tournaments in new stadiums and improved facilities.

tennis2tennis
06-17-2008, 11:44 AM
I just saw this at the Times, online. Some interesting behind the scenes action, but generally vague about details.

i think its the lower earning players that should have a bigger role in the way the atp is run not the 6 figure a year earners...

NicoFan
06-17-2008, 11:53 AM
i think its the lower earning players that should have a bigger role in the way the atp is run not the 6 figure a year earners...

Agreed. :yeah:

And I see nothing wrong with having the players commit to 4 out of 11 of the Tier II tournaments. :shrug: That's not a lot.

(BTW - I believe golf actually is doing the same thing because the top players aren't going to the smaller tournaments. Which makes unhappy tournament directors and fans alike.)

krystlel
06-17-2008, 11:55 AM
Agreed. :yeah:

And I see nothing wrong with having the players commit to 4 out of 11 of the Tier II tournaments. :shrug: That's not a lot.
Yes it is when you consider that only five optionals are counted on the computer rankings at the moment. I like the idea of players choosing wherever they want to play rather than being heavily influenced by whether a tournament is a Open 500 event or not. And then of course there's the issue that the list of Open 500 events that were chosen is really poor. With the new system, there'll be even fewer top players going to the IS tournaments.

But from a selfish point of view, there will be better TV coverage so it is good from that point of view.

NicoFan
06-17-2008, 12:02 PM
I don't agree with everything the ATP is doing, but there is a need to market and grow the sport. You mention TV coverage - you can't sell TV coverage if the tournament is little more than a challenger event with no top players.

The players need to cooperate, and from what I've witnessed over the years (many years), the men just refuse to help out in marketing the sport. This is just another example. All they want is to take their money and run.

krystlel
06-17-2008, 12:07 PM
The top players are involved in plenty of promotional events and seem to be very media-friendly to me. Are you referring to their lack of support in the ATP's new ideas? That's a different matter, I think and sometimes I think that their ideas are not well-targeted, like towards audiences that just wouldn't be interested in tennis.

I agree that the biggest selling point for viewers is whether the top players are playing or not, which is why I think reducing the AMS finals to best-of-three sets is a good idea. I know a lot of people complain about it on this board, but there were less withdrawals from the big names last year and people would be complaining about the event being of a far lower standard to the other AMS events if that was the case. As for re-scheduling the AMS events so that they don't occur back-to-back, the players have spoken out that they like them back-to-back despite that being more physically demanding presumably because of the more convenient travelling. I find it funny how it seems like for most issues in the ATP, the opinion of the players is pretty much the same for everyone.

Yes, I read in an article that the AMS.TV website will be expanding to show coverage of the Open 500 tournaments and we already know that the coverage of the AMS events is excellent, probably even better than Grand Slams which is unreliable (excluding Wimbledon of course).

NicoFan
06-17-2008, 12:42 PM
Actually I worked for a large sponsor for two years at a tennis tournament - and the players are less than helpful at promotional events. As one of the top people at the tournament said to me, the players have so much money that no one can tell them to do anything. :shrug: And the top players are of course the worse. They are in their own bubble world.

I was against the best of three at first too, but now have come to the conclusion that it was a good idea. And now feel that they should go to best of three for the GS through the pre-QF matches.

I think that the players should have a say in decisions, but I just don't think they should have an enormous voice. I like Rafa, but using him as an example, he wanted the entire clay season schedule to revolve around him - and him only. So do I want Rafa making the decisions for the sport? No way!!!!!

Castafiore
06-17-2008, 12:50 PM
It's important that not only top players are involved, yes.

However...
I think that the players should have a say in decisions, but I just don't think they should have an enormous voice. I like Rafa, but using him as an example, he wanted the entire clay season schedule to revolve around him - and him only. So do I want Rafa making the decisions for the sport? No way!!!!!
May I suggest that you reread what he said?

Saying that the European clay court schedule is too cramped (which is clear for everybody to see but the solution is not as crystal clear even though not bending over for tv networks because of college basketball would have helped) and saying that the grass season is too short, that there should be more preparation time before Wimbledon (another case where the problem is clear but the solution not so much) is not exactly the same as claiming that he wants the entire clay court season to revolve around him.

The players need to cooperate, and from what I've witnessed over the years (many years), the men just refuse to help out in marketing the sport
What sort of thing do you have in mind for the top players that they aren't doing right now?

KitinovRules
06-17-2008, 01:08 PM
I think that the players should have a say in decisions, but I just don't think they should have an enormous voice. I like Rafa, but using him as an example, he wanted the entire clay season schedule to revolve around him - and him only. So do I want Rafa making the decisions for the sport? No way!!!!!

Well, quite frankly, if it's all up to De Villers, he would move most of the season on American Hard Couurts , and leave to the European clay not more time than the period what we call as grass season .(if 4 weeks could be named as season)

It is indeed clear that TV coverages are very important for the sport and for whole business, but for me it is not acceptible to downgrade Hamburg and almost the same thing with Monte Carlo ( which for me is one of the most beatuifull tournaments ).

How would it be, if some European De Villers tries to donwgrade Cincy?

Via
06-17-2008, 01:32 PM
maybe i'm not paying enough attention... but it seems to me that mr disney has been surprisingly quiet this year :aplot:

Clara Bow
06-17-2008, 01:49 PM
I think that the players should have a say in decisions, but I just don't think they should have an enormous voice. I like Rafa, but using him as an example, he wanted the entire clay season schedule to revolve around him - and him only. So do I want Rafa making the decisions for the sport? No way!!!!!

Where did he say that the clay season was only about him and him only? He has continually mentioned European players as a group and pointed out that tennis is a global sport and voiced concern about the cramping of a major swing for one geographic group of that calender. How is that him suddenly saying he is the most important thing on the calender and everything should be only about him as you claim? Do you think Rafa was the only one who did not like having the clay season cramped up this year?

And while I don't think the big players should be making all the decisions- I do not see what is wrong with them having at least a voice. Just because someone is at the top of the sport does not mean they are no longer valid. It would be good if voices were heard from all strata of tennis players- but the big issue right now is none of the voices are being heard and I am not going to begrudge Nole, Roger and Rafa for becoming active.

In addition to it being important that there are players of different rankings- I think you also need to have players from a variety of different geographic areas and favored surfaces.

HNCS
06-17-2008, 02:01 PM
With them three in the team, i think it would better than NOT having them there. i'm glad. hopefully this would get Mr. Disney kicked out.

Castafiore
06-17-2008, 02:09 PM
In addition to it being important that there are players of different rankings- I think you also need to have players from a variety of different geographic areas and favored surfaces.
Exactly.

NicoFan
06-17-2008, 03:06 PM
I don't have time to debate this issue now, but can I leave you with one thought?

You all are so quick to defend these guys.

But think back a bit and try to remember the last time the players gave more than lip service to the fans. In many countries, fans have to fight to follow the sport. And at some tournaments, fans aren't treated with much respect. Have the players ever said or complained about the issues that affect fans? Have they ever defended YOU??? No, and they never ever will.

I'm not saying these guys shouldn't have a voice - but they are just one piece of the puzzle, and the lower ranked guys should have a voice too - and hey just like the fans, they have NO voice.

I'm not defending them - they aren't the oppressed and exploited of the world. ;) They can take care of themselves.

Johnny Groove
06-17-2008, 03:14 PM
I don't have time to debate this issue now, but can I leave you with one thought?

You all are so quick to defend these guys.

But think back a bit and try to remember the last time the players gave more than lip service to the fans. In many countries, fans have to fight to follow the sport. And at some tournaments, fans aren't treated with much respect. Have the players ever said or complained about the issues that affect fans? Have they ever defended YOU??? No, and they never ever will.

I'm not saying these guys shouldn't have a voice - but they are just one piece of the puzzle, and the lower ranked guys should have a voice too - and hey just like the fans, they have NO voice.

I'm not defending them - they aren't the oppressed and exploited of the world. ;) They can take care of themselves.

I suppose Massu should have a big voice in the structure of the tour

NicoFan
06-17-2008, 03:20 PM
I suppose Massu should have a big voice in the structure of the tour

:rolleyes:

The lower ranked players as a whole should have a voice. Not just the top ranked players.

As usual, out of here. :wavey:

Don't know why I bother with GM on MTF. :lol:

Johnny Groove
06-17-2008, 03:23 PM
:rolleyes:

The lower ranked players as a whole should have a voice. Not just the top ranked players.

As usual, out of here. :wavey:

Don't know why I bother with GM on MTF. :lol:

omg, you are SOOOO cool because you are "above the fray" and "holier than GM" :rolleyes:

If you are here to argue, then fucking do it. Don't say your side and then when someone comes along and disagrees with it, you run away. :rolleyes:

That's pussy.

alfonsojose
06-17-2008, 03:28 PM
I don't agree with everything the ATP is doing, but there is a need to market and grow the sport. You mention TV coverage - you can't sell TV coverage if the tournament is little more than a challenger event with no top players.

The players need to cooperate, and from what I've witnessed over the years (many years), the men just refuse to help out in marketing the sport. This is just another example. All they want is to take their money and run.
:yeah: :)

NicoFan
06-17-2008, 03:28 PM
Okay Jonathan - let's debate. ;)

But then again, you weren't debating. You were just mocking when you mentioned Massu. You didn't have any points.

So now, the ball is in your court.

Say something that I can respond to that isn't just you mocking what I'm saying.

Johnny Groove
06-17-2008, 03:32 PM
Nice to snag you ;)

Your argument is that the top players have other interests than being in this council or helping to promote the sport. They and all their money could care less about this, right?

Well it appears that Fed, Nadal, and Djokovic do not fall into this type of stereotype. From all the stories i've heard or seen with my own eyes, those 3 are the best when it comes to fan interaction and marketing. How many commercials have Fed and Nadal done? How many exhibitions to promote the sport? How many times have they appeared on covers of magazines? All these to promote the sport and help it grow.

As for your other point, that lower ranked players should also be on the council, there is already a rule in place for just that. Doubles players as well.

alfonsojose
06-17-2008, 03:35 PM
Nice to snag you ;)

Your argument is that the top players have other interests than being in this council or helping to promote the sport. They and all their money could care less about this, right?

Well it appears that Fed, Nadal, and Djokovic do not fall into this type of stereotype. From all the stories i've heard or seen with my own eyes, those 3 are the best when it comes to fan interaction and marketing. How many commercials have Fed and Nadal done? How many exhibitions to promote the sport? How many times have they appeared on covers of magazines? All these to promote the sport and help it grow.

As for your other point, that lower ranked players should also be on the council, there is already a rule in place for just that. Doubles players as well.

So Fed, and Nadal do exhos and commercials mainly because they love tennis :haha: :haha: They are money whores all the way to the bank :smash:

NicoFan
06-17-2008, 03:38 PM
Nice to snag you ;)

Your argument is that the top players have other interests than being in this council or helping to promote the sport. They and all their money could care less about this, right?

Well it appears that Fed, Nadal, and Djokovic do not fall into this type of stereotype. From all the stories i've heard or seen with my own eyes, those 3 are the best when it comes to fan interaction and marketing. How many commercials have Fed and Nadal done? How many exhibitions to promote the sport? How many times have they appeared on covers of magazines? All these to promote the sport and help it grow.

As for your other point, that lower ranked players should also be on the council, there is already a rule in place for just that. Doubles players as well.

Nice to snag you back. ;) And nice to see an actual argument that is debatable. :)

First, I think that Fed, Rafa, and Nole are excellent for the game. But do you think they are really doing commercials and exhibitions merely for the sake of the game? Do you know how much money they get for commercials and exhibitions? And those covers of magazines give them weapons to increase sponsor dollars and money from tournaments just to show up.

I'm guess that I'm getting old and jaded, but I really don't see athletes doing much unless there is money in it for themselves. And as I said, I worked at a tournament for two years, and it was like pulling teeth to get the top guys to do any sponsor events or kids day events or even doing autograph sessions. They just said no. And it was left for the legends of the games in attendence to do those events.

And thanks for the clarification on who will get on the council - I missed that. I must have read it too quickly because I thought it was just the top guys who were getting in. Good to see the lower ranked guys on board too. (Who I like besides Nico. ;) I just went to a challenger in Carson, and it was wonderful to see the younger guys. I think I enjoyed myself there more than some of the bigger tournaments that I went to. And I don't like to see them screwed over. They need all the help they can get.)

l_mac
06-17-2008, 03:39 PM
:rolleyes:

The lower ranked players as a whole should have a voice. Not just the top ranked players.

As usual, out of here. :wavey:

Don't know why I bother with GM on MTF. :lol:

The structure of the ATP player council requires 4 from Top 50, 2 from 51-100, 2 from Top 100 doubles, and 2 others. :shrug:

Johnny Groove
06-17-2008, 03:39 PM
So Fed, and Nadal do exhos and commercials mainly because they love tennis :haha: :haha: They are money whores all the way to the bank :smash:

:retard:

How much money do they get for signing autographs? True, they get money for exhos, but they don't need a penny more for the rest of their lives. They could be resting up in the off-season, but instead, Roger is playing with Pete in Asia to promote the sport there.

NicoFan
06-17-2008, 03:42 PM
The structure of the ATP player council requires 4 from Top 50, 2 from 51-100, 2 from Top 100 doubles, and 2 others. :shrug:

Again thanks...Jonathan corrected me on that also. :)

alfonsojose
06-17-2008, 03:42 PM
:retard:

How much money do they get for signing autographs? True, they get money for exhos, but they don't need a penny more for the rest of their lives. They could be resting up in the off-season, but instead, Roger is playing with Pete in Asia to promote the sport there.

For free? Awww, so sweet :tape:

Johnny Groove
06-17-2008, 03:43 PM
Nice to snag you back. ;) And nice to see an actual argument that is debatable. :)

First, I think that Fed, Rafa, and Nole are excellent for the game. But do you think they are really doing commercials and exhibitions merely for the sake of the game? Do you know how much money they get for commercials and exhibitions? And those covers of magazines give them weapons to increase sponsor dollars and money from tournaments just to show up.

I'm guess that I'm getting old and jaded, but I really don't see athletes doing much unless there is money in it for themselves. And as I said, I worked at a tournament for two years, and it was like pulling teeth to get the top guys to do any sponsor events or kids day events or even doing autograph sessions. They just said no. And it was left for the legends of the games in attendence to do those events.

And thanks for the clarification on who will get on the council - I missed that. I must have read it too quickly because I thought it was just the top guys who were getting in. Good to see the lower ranked guys on board too. (Who I like besides Nico. ;) I just went to a challenger in Carson, and it was wonderful to see the younger guys. I think I enjoyed myself there more than some of the bigger tournaments that I went to. And I don't like to see them screwed over. They need all the help they can get.)

Maybe because i am young, i just see it differently. Maybe i just like to think that they are doing it not just for the cash, but for the good of the sport as a whole. I'm not sure exactly which top players you are speaking of, but I know for a fact that Nadal is always gracious when it comes to autographs and fans. And Djokovic, before i started to not like him, back in Miami 07 stood and signed autographs and took pictures with fans for at least 30 mins after his win over Lopez on court 234664765 that night.

I also agree about the lower ranked guys, see my siggie. Its so hard to just get started in this game without very rich parents, being extremely talented at 16-17, or without IMG wildcards. They do need all the helps they can get.

Johnny Groove
06-17-2008, 03:44 PM
For free? Awww, so sweet :tape:

:rolleyes:

Yes, they are paid rather handsomely, but do Roger and Pete need a penny more in their lives? :retard:

If they paid them $1000 a piece to do it, i'm sure they would.

alfonsojose
06-17-2008, 03:46 PM
:rolleyes:

Yes, they are paid rather handsomely, but do Roger and Pete need a penny more in their lives? :retard:

If they paid them $1000 a piece to do it, i'm sure they would.
:haha: :haha: Keep dreaming :kiss:

NicoFan
06-17-2008, 03:49 PM
Maybe because i am young, i just see it differently. Maybe i just like to think that they are doing it not just for the cash, but for the good of the sport as a whole. I'm not sure exactly which top players you are speaking of, but I know for a fact that Nadal is always gracious when it comes to autographs and fans. And Djokovic, before i started to not like him, back in Miami 07 stood and signed autographs and took pictures with fans for at least 30 mins after his win over Lopez on court 234664765 that night.

I also agree about the lower ranked guys, see my siggie. Its so hard to just get started in this game without very rich parents, being extremely talented at 16-17, or without IMG wildcards. They do need all the helps they can get.

I saw McClune in Carson. :yeah: I like that kid a lot. Hopefully he'll start to move up. I also liked a kid named Nicholas Monroe. I've never seen a more intense player! :lol: And constantly moving...completely out intensed Nick Lindahl who he was playing.

And you are right - a lot of the players do spend a lot of time signing autographs. Much better than in other sports. :yeah:

But I still think that the players have to be a bit more flexible when it comes to the schedule. It is long. But the top players already have the ability to play when and where they want to play....and many just completely skip the smaller tournaments now, and that's just not good for the game. And I just can't get all worked up with sympathy for them over the long schedule. Other sports have long schedules too. :shrug:

So I guess we'll have to agree to disagree on that point. :)

Johnny Groove
06-17-2008, 03:49 PM
:haha: :haha: Keep dreaming :kiss:

Dreams ARE free, i dont see why not. :shrug:

What do you have to add to the discussion here?

I'm just saying that they do these things for more than just money. Yes, they do get paid alot, but thats not the only reason they go.

Sunset of Age
06-17-2008, 03:52 PM
Maybe because i am young, i just see it differently. Maybe i just like to think that they are doing it not just for the cash, but for the good of the sport as a whole. I'm not sure exactly which top players you are speaking of, but I know for a fact that Nadal is always gracious when it comes to autographs and fans. And Djokovic, before i started to not like him, back in Miami 07 stood and signed autographs and took pictures with fans for at least 30 mins after his win over Lopez on court 234664765 that night.

I also agree about the lower ranked guys, see my siggie. Its so hard to just get started in this game without very rich parents, being extremely talented at 16-17, or without IMG wildcards. They do need all the helps they can get.

Very true. The recent top players appear to be excellent ambassadors to the sport, whereas a Sampras never bothered too much about it, just to name someone.
And indeed - the lower ranked players need all the help they can get, and not see their opportunities to get higher rankings made even more difficult for them, as will be the case as soon as Mr. Devil's restructuring of the points system will come to be. :o

And just to add, as we are speaking about the top players and I don't like to see one of them excluded (;)): I've seen a very friendly and courtagious Federer hand out autographs for a mass crowd, for over 20 minutes, on two following days as well. :yeah:

Kitty de Sade
06-17-2008, 03:55 PM
Maybe because i am young, i just see it differently. Maybe i just like to think that they are doing it not just for the cash, but for the good of the sport as a whole.

Hold on to that ideal, as long as you can. :hug:

I agree with what you said, even if the love of the game should come ex post facto, behind the $$$$.

Doesn't matter either way- all promo is good promo, and if everyone had the opportunity to finance a lifestyle similar to that of Federer, Nadal, Djokovic, Sampras, or whoever else, you know they would in a heartbeat.

EDIT: I don't know much about #1, but as far as #2 and #3 go, they've gone above and beyond many times, from what I've seen and been told by a number of personal friends. :)

alfonsojose
06-17-2008, 03:58 PM
Dreams ARE free, i dont see why not. :shrug:

What do you have to add to the discussion here?

I'm just saying that they do these things for more than just money. Yes, they do get paid alot, but thats not the only reason they go.

:hug:

RogandyFan
06-17-2008, 04:07 PM
For free? Awww, so sweet :tape:

Actually, Roger, Rafa, Pete and Richard won't get very much playing exhibitions in Kuala Lumpur. There is just not much funding for sports in Malaysia. It is always about education on science and technologies there. Their paticipation is probably to get publicity for the sport and maybe a little for themselves.

NicoFan
06-17-2008, 04:08 PM
Yup, hold on to those dreams Jonathan. :yeah:

Papagena - true about Pete. He was a horrid ambassador while he was playing and after he stopped playing. Ditto Connors too.

Johnny Groove
06-17-2008, 04:10 PM
I saw McClune in Carson. :yeah: I like that kid a lot. Hopefully he'll start to move up. I also liked a kid named Nicholas Monroe. I've never seen a more intense player! :lol: And constantly moving...completely out intensed Nick Lindahl who he was playing.

And you are right - a lot of the players do spend a lot of time signing autographs. Much better than in other sports. :yeah:

But I still think that the players have to be a bit more flexible when it comes to the schedule. It is long. But the top players already have the ability to play when and where they want to play....and many just completely skip the smaller tournaments now, and that's just not good for the game. And I just can't get all worked up with sympathy for them over the long schedule. Other sports have long schedules too. :shrug:

So I guess we'll have to agree to disagree on that point. :)

Mcclune is a great kid, i been following him for about a year.

About the schedule, it is very difficult for the top guys to play anything due to extreme fatigue. They don't want to get killed. Guys like Blake or Ferrer or Davydenko can play more optionals because they aren't making at least the SF of every event they play all year long

Lee
06-17-2008, 04:17 PM
And I just can't get all worked up with sympathy for them over the long schedule. Other sports have long schedules too. :shrug:


What other 'personal' sport has a longer schedule? Playing 11 months out of 12 months ALL OVER THE WORLD.

NicoFan
06-17-2008, 04:23 PM
About the schedule, it is very difficult for the top guys to play anything due to extreme fatigue. They don't want to get killed. Guys like Blake or Ferrer or Davydenko can play more optionals because they aren't making at least the SF of every event they play all year long

But that comes back to what I've been saying for awhile.

Again, I like Rafa. I know you like him too and don't want to see him criticized. But it kills me when he gets blisters and is so tired after Wimbledon, but then played events like Dubai knowing what a horrid schedule he had coming up.

Also the top guys always complain about the schedule and then they go and play exhibitions!!! (Where there is a lot of $$$).

It makes me loca. :lol:

NicoFan
06-17-2008, 04:27 PM
What other 'personal' sport has a longer schedule? Playing 11 months out of 12 months ALL OVER THE WORLD.

Who plays 11 months out of the year???

:lol:

Yes, they have to train during the off season, but most of the guys say they don't completely stop because it would be too difficult to take weeks and week off with no training and then try to get back into shape.

And again, during their time off, these poor overworked men who have complained all season about the long season end up playing exhibitions - for lots of $$$ so don't feel too bad for them. ;)

Lee
06-17-2008, 04:35 PM
Who plays 11 months out of the year???

:lol:

Yes, they have to train during the off season, but most of the guys say they don't completely stop because it would be too difficult to take weeks and week off with no training and then try to get back into shape.

And again, during their time off, these poor overworked men who have complained all season about the long season end up playing exhibitions - for lots of $$$ so don't feel too bad for them. ;)

You haven't answered my question? What personal sport has a longer schedule?

And I am not talking about training or exhibition, if you look at ATP schedule, it's 11 months out of 12 months and I am not counting those players who are in DC final.

And you being an "advocate" for lower rank player, I am surprised that you did not notice those lower rank players even have a longer schedule. The challenger circuit is year round.

NicoFan
06-17-2008, 04:44 PM
First, the regular ATP season doesn't go 11 months....it's about 10 months. With lots of time off in between for the top players. Who play about 26 or so weeks per year. Last time I looked, the calendar is 52 weeks per year.

And yes, I do "advocate" for the lower ranked players. Who have to play much longer and stay from home for longer periods of time. But unfortunately it is to be expected for players trying to move up. How I hope that they can get help is through more help in training dollars and getting coaches and overall support, etc. And for those who will bring up Massu, I've long watched lower ranked players - it's how I became a fan of his. But I've rooted for many lower ranked players.

As for your question:

Golf goes all year round.

NASCAR goes from February through November, but the guys have to start testing immediately thereafter - they only get about a month off.

Baseball season is shorter, but those guys play almost every day.

Hockey and basketball also have very long seasons with a long schedule with playoffs attached.

And they don't get weeks off in the middle of the season.

Lee
06-17-2008, 04:52 PM
Golf goes all year round.


How many tournaments Tiger Woods play in a year? How many rounds he has to play in one tournament? Does he play in Melbourne, Paris, London and NYC every year plus numerous cities around the world?

NASCAR goes from February through November, but the guys have to start testing immediately thereafter - they only get about a month off.

Does a NASCAR driver need to face off another driver on a one-on-one base 5 to 6 times in one week? And it's OK to discount training for tennis players but testing is included in NASCAR :yeah:


Baseball season is shorter, but those guys play almost every day.

Hockey and basketball also have very long seasons with a long schedule with playoffs attached.

And they don't get weeks off in the middle of the season.

You are grabbing straws when you start including team sports.

NicoFan
06-17-2008, 04:56 PM
The usual response - only tennis players have it tough. Sorry to break the news to you, but other athletes also have grinding demands on their bodies.

And Tiger is a #1 - his schedule is probably comparable to the much shorter season of a Fed or Rafa. I'm sure that many of the lower ranked golfers also play many tournaments in a row just like lower ranked tennis players do.

And yes, Virginia, racers are athletes - very demanding on the body both physically and mentally to race.

As for grabbing at straws by including team sports shows - no offense - that you don't know much about team sports. Football (both American and global), hockey, basketball are extremely physically demanding sports.

Castafiore
06-17-2008, 05:09 PM
they aren't the oppressed and exploited of the world. ;) They can take care of themselves.
Has anybody in here said that they are oppressed and exploited. :shrug:

I ask you again, what sort of action/event/PR activity do you have in mind for the top players to do to promote the sport that they aren't doing right now?

You say that lower ranked players need to be involved and not just top players and that's where your argument stops by the looks of it.
I agree but you don't really talk about having a variety from a geographical point of view and representatives of the various tennis surfaces. At the moment, that isn't the case.

Lee
06-17-2008, 05:12 PM
The usual response - only tennis players have it tough. Sorry to break the news to you, but other athletes also have grinding demands on their bodies.

Please quote where I said "only tennis players have it tough" That will be very much appreciated.

And Tiger is a #1 - his schedule is probably comparable to the much shorter season of a Fed or Rafa. I'm sure that many of the lower ranked golfers also play many tournaments in a row just like lower ranked tennis players do.

Since you only use Fed or Rafa in your examples of how ATP players play the schedule, I use Tiger Woods as counter part. And for both cases, you forget that being top rank players, they both go deep in a tournament. If you bother to check the number of mathces played by Fed or Rafa or any top 10 players, the number of matches they played would be more or less the same as lower rank players.

And yes, Virginia, racers are athletes - very demanding on the body both physically and mentally to race.

Again, where do I say racers are not athletes. I don't know why you keep putting words in my mouth in your arguments.

As for grabbing at straws by including team sports shows - no offense - that you don't know much about team sports. Football (both American and global), hockey, basketball are extremely physically demanding sports.

Sorry to inform you that I am a hockey fan before I am a tennis fan. No need to tell me how physically demanding team sports are.

NicoFan
06-17-2008, 05:16 PM
Has anybody in here said that they are oppressed and exploited. :shrug:

Somebody writes down an opinion, others disagree. Isn't that how a forum works.

I ask you again, what sort of action/event/PR activity do you have in mind for the top players to do to promote the sport that they aren't doing right now?

You say that lower ranked players need to be involved and not just top players and that's were your argument stops by the looks of it.
I agree but you don't really talk about having a variety from a geographical point of view and representatives of the various tennis surfaces. At the moment, that isn't the case.

I never said people shouldn't defend the players. I just said you might want to think about defending an overpaid group of men who really don't give a shit about you at the end of the day. :shrug: I won't.

I did mention what I'd like to see them do but it was buried in a post about what they don't do.

I would like to see them do more sponsor events at tournaments (not their own individual sponosrs - they do those. I mean the tournament sponsor events). I would like to see them be more involved in kids days and the like (other than at major tournaments where they do a good job - but at the same time, remember they get a lot of press for doing kids days at those large events - they don't at small events, and maybe that's why they don't do them there? Again, it might be just my jaded prospective on athletes as a whole coming through).

Castafiore
06-17-2008, 05:28 PM
I never said people shouldn't defend the players. I just said you might want to think about defending an overpaid group of men who really don't give a shit about you at the end of the day. :shrug: I won't.
Congratulations.

At the same time, I could say that it's not because they get paid a lot of money that they only care about the money and can't be bothered to do promotion for the sport because that's not the case.

Do you really get the feeling that players like Federer, Nadal, Djokovic don't care about the sport itself.

I would like to see them do more sponsor events at tournaments (not their own individual sponosrs - they do those. I mean the tournament sponsor events). I would like to see them be more involved in kids days and the like (other than at major tournaments where they do a good job - but at the same time, remember they get a lot of press for doing kids days at those large events - they don't at small events, and maybe that's why they don't do them there? Again, it might be just my jaded prospective on athletes as a whole coming through).
How do you know that they aren't doing that at smaller events? Granted, they have a busy schedule and are on the road but how do you know that they don't do that?

I'm sure that the fans of Federer and Djokovic will chip in but Rafa has done quite a few things involving kids like giving tennis clinics for example and not just at major events. Some of those events in Spain have received little to no attention outside Spain because it was for a local cause.

NicoFan
06-17-2008, 05:39 PM
I think that they do, but at the same time, their careers are first and foremost. Which I guess can be said for most of humankind.

There was an interesting show about 2-3 years ago on The Tennis Channel. Mark Miles was on it, a guy from ESPN, Jim Courier, and a couple of journalists doing a discussion on tennis. And one of the journalists brought up the question of why players are so self-centered, and Jim Courier - and I respected him for being honest and not just jumping to the players defense - talked about how the guys in tennis are very much in a bubble, mostly becuase of the way the sport is run. Guys are out their on their own trying to make it from day one, and it becomes this survival game.

I also had a very well known and respected journalist speak at my sports reporting class - she was also saying that tennis players are far much more insular than any other athlete.

And again, I worked at a smaller tournament for 2 years - that's where I experienced the lack of willingness on the part of the players to do these events. Maybe other tournaments are different. :shrug:

Matt01
06-17-2008, 05:59 PM
First, the regular ATP season doesn't go 11 months....it's about 10 months. With lots of time off in between for the top players. Who play about 26 or so weeks per year. Last time I looked, the calendar is 52 weeks per year.


OMG :rolleyes:

Sorry, but IMO you have no clue what you are talking about :)

Matt01
06-17-2008, 06:18 PM
:lol:

Hello...please look at the calendar.

And then look at the player's event count.

Then we'll talk about who has a clue. ;)


Please do so as well. :)

Players don't have "lots of time off between tournaments". This year during the clay season for example, there were 3 Masters Series tournaments within 4 weeks, and two weeks later a Slam, and two weeks later there's Wimbledon, which is (in case you don't know) another Grand Slam tournament.

And FYI, top players cannot not "just" play top tennis tournaments. They have to train and practice regularly, even when they don't play tourneys, to stay in shape. And often during the year they have to fly to other countries/continents, and then they have to get used to the time change to later bring their efforts in the tournament.

If you have any more questions about the reality, you can always ask me :)
I hope you've learned something from my post :angel:

NicoFan
06-17-2008, 06:27 PM
Please do so as well. :)

Players don't have "lots of time off between tournaments". This year during the clay season for example, there were 3 Masters Series tournaments within 4 weeks, and two weeks later a Slam, and two weeks later there's Wimbledon, which is (in case you don't know) another Grand Slam tournament.

And FYI, top players cannot not "just" play top tennis tournaments. They have to train and practice regularly, even when they don't play tourneys, to stay in shape. And often during the year they have to fly to other countries/continents, and then they have to get used to the time change to later bring their efforts in the tournament.

If you have any more questions about the reality, you can always ask me :)
I hope you've learned something from my post :angel:

Sorry but go to the atptennis.com site and look at the count for each player on how many tournaments they played in the past year.

Of course, they have to stay in shape. :lol: I've said that before. But all committed athletes do the same in all sports.

I would love to have these guys "tough" schedule. Most people in the world would. ;) And geez, flying to Rome, Paris, London, NY, LA...rough life.

Clara Bow
06-17-2008, 06:39 PM
I've said that before. But all committed athletes do the same in all sports.

And a number of sports allow thier atheletes to have some sort of voice. I see nothing wrong with allowing the players to have a voice. And just because they are lucky to succeed in a sport- that means they should just shut up and not be able to have any say.

I am not sure what you are wanting. Do you not feel that the top players should be able to say anything because they are top players? As has been mentioned, lower ranked players will have a voice to. Do you think that Rafa, Federer and Nole should just sit there and shut up as more players (not just them) are unhappy with the direction of the ATP.

I do think that there should be labor movements, and I see nothing wrong with that happening in tenns. I would like for it to include players of various ranks and various background.

And I can't get on board with you that because tennis players are not working Joe Schmoe type jobs that means they should not have any say or that they should be met with derision. (At least that is what I am reading). I have had some weeks where I have had to work on evenings and weekends, etc. and I do not get paid nearly the way top tennis players do. But that does not mean that I don't think that tennis players - regardless of their rank- should not be allowed to have a say about the schedule, etc. The schedule that is creating more and more injuries- both in the ATP and WTA.

Matt01
06-17-2008, 06:47 PM
I would love to have these guys "tough" schedule. Most people in the world would. ;) And geez, flying to Rome, Paris, London, NY, LA...rough life.


Doha, Dubai, Shanghai, Bejing...of course you left those cities out. :rolleyes:

NicoFan
06-17-2008, 06:50 PM
Clara Bow I respect your posts so I'm not being mean here, but please read what I've said.

I never ever said they should just shut up. I said they should have a voice, but their voice is not the only voice that should be heard. We have the governing bodies, the tennis federations, the tournament directors, the sponsors, and while we are never heard, the fans should be heard too. The players are just one piece of many factors.

And with this I will go and it's not because I'm a wuss who can't handle debates. ;)

It's becuase all this debate comes to nothing.

I won't change my mind. I respect the players, but I cannot get on board with all these complaints when really they don't have it all too bad as far as I can see.

And y'all won't change your minds. Which is fine. Everyone is entitled to their own opinions.

:wavey:

So have a nice rest of the day. :)

JediFed
06-17-2008, 06:50 PM
I would love to have these guys "tough" schedule. Most people in the world would. And geez, flying to Rome, Paris, London, NY, LA...rough life.


I wouldn't. It might be fun for a week or two, but you have to put so much other stuff on hold. Talk to Steffi Graf. I'd much prefer not being a professional athlete just because of the travel burdens and the hardships it places on your family.

Fee
06-17-2008, 07:03 PM
Tennis CANNOT be compared to US team sports for one simple reason - there is no such thing as a 'home team' in tennis. Tennis players are on the road all the time, team sports are 'at home' 50% of their much shorter seasons. Golf is played over 4 days, not 7 (and their majors don't take two weeks). The only sport on the planet that can be compared to tennis for length and grueling schedule is badminton, which is actually even worse because they make almost no money.

And no, Roger and Pete would not ever do an exo for $1000 each, especially not one that required them to fly to the other side of the world. Anyone who does not believe that they were paid quite handsomely for those three matches is just being naive.

Clara Bow
06-17-2008, 07:05 PM
I never ever said they should just shut up. I said they should have a voice, but their voice is not the only voice that should be heard. We have the governing bodies, the tennis federations, the tournament directors, the sponsors, and while we are never heard, the fans should be heard too. They are just one piece of many factors.


I agree with that and I feel so do many other posters. I have not seen anyone say that the trivalry should be the only folks being heard. But I think what their main point is (Nole, Rafa, Feds) is that the players have been left out of the equation for a large part.

I am sorry if I misunderstood your posts, becaue I was unsure of what you were saying since I took that you were viewing Nole, Feds, Rafa speaking up as not a good thing and that they really did not have anything to complain about. My aplogies if that was incorrect.


I wouldn't. It might be fun for a week or two, but you have to put so much other stuff on hold. Talk to Steffi Graf. I'd much prefer not being a professional athlete just because of the travel burdens and the hardships it places on your family.

I agree- it can be hard I am sure. Not just for tennis players of course. But tennis players do have to travel a lot- and across a large portion of the globe. It can be neat to see all the different cities, but unless you are someone like Davydenko who seems to really take his closest people with him- a lot of players spend a long time away from loved ones and may not be home for months at a time. And for the fellows and gals who are in the lower rungs- sometimes their prixe money is eaten by travel costs.

MusicMyst
06-18-2008, 12:38 AM
Yup, hold on to those dreams Jonathan. :yeah:

Papagena - true about Pete. He was a horrid ambassador while he was playing and after he stopped playing. Ditto Connors too.

Yes about Sampras not being a good ambassador when he was playing. But not so after he stopped playing. If you get the Tennis Channel, he's one of the main reasons you do. He was a very early advocate of it, including investing a boatload of money in it and helping with other financing. I give him full credit for working to get it off the ground and running.

Sunset of Age
06-18-2008, 12:53 AM
Yes about Sampras not being a good ambassador when he was playing. But not so after he stopped playing. If you get the Tennis Channel, he's one of the main reasons you do. He was a very early advocate of it, including investing a boatload of money in it and helping with other financing. I give him full credit for working to get it off the ground and running.

Do understand me rightly, I don't blame Sampras at all for not being a so-called better ambassador for the game... whatever he chose to do and what not - it was purely up to him, and up to him ONLY.

It's in fact all up to the players what to do and what not. They aren't Hollywood Moviestars, no less so called 'idols' 'stars' :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes: - their Major Job is to play tennis, as well as they are able to do, and as such to enjoy us, the spectators, to bring JOY to all of us while doing so, and that's the ALL and ONLY they're obliged to do.
I happen to think they do very well indeed. :worship:

Anything else, be it appearing in commercials, be it joining in in truly SILLY exho's (That "Battle of the Surfaces", anyone? :tape:), be it handing out autographs for hours, be it being friendly to us fans, it's all beneficial.