STARS UNITE IN DEFENCE OF DOUBLES [Archive] - MensTennisForums.com

STARS UNITE IN DEFENCE OF DOUBLES

ae wowww
12-06-2005, 05:21 PM
http://www.sportinglife.com/tennis/news/story_get.cgi?STORY_NAME=tennis/05/12/05/TENNIS_London_Nightlead.html

STARS UNITE IN DEFENCE OF DOUBLES
John McEnroe, Jim Courier and Paul Haarhuis are serving up their support to save the doubles game on the world tennis stage.

Plans to downgrade the status of doubles are so drastic that some of its specialist players have considered legal action against the Association of Tennis Professionals - their own organisation - to try to safeguard their futures.

The most flamboyant gesture of support has come from McEnroe, who will return to the main tour at the age of 47 when he partners current doubles star Jonas Bjorkman, of Sweden, in an ATP event in San Jose on February 13 to highlight the problems.

"Given the circumstances now surrounding doubles, it will at least open up the debate. To me, it's like (it's) on a life support," the American said.

"I don't see doubles even happening the way things are going and there has got to be some serious discussion about it," added McEnroe, winner of five Wimbledon doubles titles - four with Peter Fleming and one with Michael Stich - between 1979 and 1992.

He believes legal action is the wrong court to go into.

"What the doubles players have done, like suing basically themselves with suing the ATP, I think is a mistake.

"People know how I feel about the ATP but they should go to the top players and ask them what way could doubles be a success," said McEnroe.

Haarhuis, winner of this weekend's Masters Tennis event at London's Royal Albert Hall, and beaten finalist Courier weighed in with their own ideas to boost doubles.

The 39-year-old Dutch doubles specialist, whose five Grand Slam titles included Wimbledon with compatriot Lars Eltingh in 1998, believes one of the show court matches every day at a Grand Slam should be doubles.

Former world number one Courier, winner of six doubles titles as well as the 23 singles events including the French and Australian Opens twice each, proposes that the doubles finals at Wimbledon should take place before the singles rather than being an evening leftover.

"You should play doubles before the singles final. It should be the warm-up band before the Rolling Stones come on," he trumpeted.

Haarhuis, a long-time campaigner for doubles, is pleased he retired before it became embroiled in the controversy which threatens its future.

Harking back to the great rivalry between himself and Eltingh and Australian duo Mark Woodforde and Todd Woodbridge, he said: "At Wimbledon people really enjoy doubles and I was just happy to play in a time with the Woodies, I was excited to play with these guys.

"Tennis is singles and doubles. Everyone who plays at a club plays more doubles than singles so they relate to it and enjoy it.

"Fifteen years ago I had big arguments with the ATP over doubles - and the year after and the year after that. After 15 years you get worn out from trying to talk to them and change their attitude.

"It's a sad thing that doubles isn't as popular as it should be."

Courier recalled: "I played 10 tournaments a year doubles. People play doubles to make a living but I enjoyed playing doubles and it was helpful to get some extra matches."

But he warned: "No-one wants doubles to disappear but you must never forget what drives the engine of tennis. People pay to watch singles and stay to watch doubles and you cannot affect what is steering the ship."

ys
12-06-2005, 05:40 PM
Courier recalled: "I played 10 tournaments a year doubles. People play doubles to make a living but I enjoyed playing doubles and it was helpful to get some extra matches."

But he warned: "No-one wants doubles to disappear but you must never forget what drives the engine of tennis. People pay to watch singles and stay to watch doubles and you cannot affect what is steering the ship."

Courier is right on the money.. I love doubles dearly.. But not everyone is as smart as we are.. Not everyone understands doubles.. :lol: But the players can sue ATP all they want ... that people don't want to pay to watch it.. Some changes are necessary.. And ATP is at least trying to find a way .. while the players are only critisizing..

amierin
12-06-2005, 11:37 PM
The women are stepping up too. The Sania Mirza/Kim Clijsters vs Venus and Serena Williams in Hong Kong should be a great match and peak interest in doubles. Not a great doubles fan but if more matches like this turn up on the men's side as well it won't die and I will watch.

ys
12-07-2005, 12:11 AM
The women are stepping up too. The Sania Mirza/Kim Clijsters vs Venus and Serena Williams in Hong Kong should be a great match and peak interest in doubles. .

Stepping up? When they play double in Melbourne then we talk..

amierin
12-07-2005, 12:38 AM
Stepping up? When they play double in Melbourne then we talk..

At least they're playing what is a marquee match somewhere. I agree with you though. Nadal played doubles last year. I wonder if he'll try again in 2006?

Federerthebest
12-07-2005, 12:58 AM
Doubles is crap and should be banned from all events other than the grand-slams and Davis Cup. It is costs a great deal in prize-money, admistration and promotion expenses in order to sustain the doubles tour and it generates very little interest.

joeb_uk
12-08-2005, 03:58 PM
Courier is a pure legend, I watched him at the seniors masters and he is a true joker :D One of very few funny americans. All of his interviews are full of great humour. Also very interesting to attend one of his press conferences, he does talk alot of sense too as well as jokes :yeah:

avocadoe
12-08-2005, 05:55 PM
I enjoy watching a good game of doubles, and think Courier's idea would be okay, except that I think he might be bumping the women's match, which is usually the lead in for the men's singles at the Slams (evenings) on TV. I don't want the women bumped!

Deboogle!.
12-10-2005, 02:58 AM
Doubles players find success in drawing attention to cause

12/9/2005 5:23:00 PM

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) - Bob and Mike Bryan are on a crusade: to preserve the integrity of doubles tennis.

The top-ranked Bryans and other doubles specialists have been concerned that the ATP's efforts toward ``enhanced doubles competition'' would ultimately undermine their game. Proposed changes included a new scoring system and tournament draws that appeared to favor singles players.

So a group of players, led by the Bryans, filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Houston challenging the ATP's plans.

``We felt we needed to take a stand for doubles,'' Bob Bryan said.

The stand worked, and the ATP has revised two of the doubles players' biggest gripes: scoring won't be radically different, and doubles teams will have equal footing with singles when it comes to qualifying.

In fact, the ATP appeared to throw a renewed commitment behind the game last week, hiring Gayle David Bradshaw as doubles commissioner to oversee changes set to take effect next year.

Bradshaw said in a statement one of his goals is to ``create a culture whereby the doubles game is celebrated and its players utilized to promote and showcase this unique and integral aspect of professional tennis.''

``The ATP is totally supportive of doubles and making it enjoyable for the fans,'' ATP spokesman Greg Sharko said.

Wayne Bryan, father of the Bryans, says doubles teams will speak by conference call next week to discuss whether they should drop or amend the suit, which was filed in September. Among those included in the suit are Mark Knowles of the Bahamas and doubles partner Daniel Nestor of Canada and former NCAA champions Richard and Will Barker of Houston.

The Bryans, who played at Stanford, will be in Portland on Sunday to stage a ``Save Doubles'' fundraiser that sprung out of the lawsuit. The original intent was to defray legal costs, but now the pair hopes to put the money to use promoting their sport.

The pair already hosted a Save Doubles event in Houston, and the Portland stop - at the historic Irvington Club - is already sold out. Wayne Bryan said his sons plan about eight more events next year.

The ATP will go ahead with some scoring changes. Doubles matches will go to two sets to 6, with no-ad games (meaning there would be no advantage at deuce). There will be a match tiebreak - first to 10 points, win by two - at one-set all.

The ATP maintains the changes will speed the game and perhaps attract more high-profile singles players, resulting in greater fan appeal.

The changes were introduced late last month in Shanghai, China, where the ATP Board removed the two most controversial aspects of the doubles proposal first announced in June: shortened sets using a new scoring system different from singles, and an entry ranking that would have reserved a majority of doubles entries to players in the singles draws.

The next court hearing is scheduled for Jan. 27 in Houston, according to Bryan family friend Elena Segal, an attorney and former tennis agent. She said the doubles players resorted to the lawsuit because they felt ``their backs were against a wall.''

``It wasn't done lightly, I can tell you that,'' she said.

The Bryans are taking a wait-and-see approach with the new scoring, which they say is better than introducing a radically different system, but still veers from tradition.

``We're not too pleased about it,'' said Bob Bryan, who fears the move will confuse fans. ``But we'll see how it goes.''

The ATP's new doubles requirements will not extend to the four Grand Slam tournaments or the year-ending Tennis Masters Cup, which are governed by the International Tennis Federation.

``We hate this battle,'' Wayne Bryan said. ``But we felt we had to do something.''

cobalt60
12-10-2005, 01:03 PM
Once again thanks Deb for posting articles. :)

LaTenista
12-10-2005, 01:14 PM
Doubles players find success in drawing attention to cause

12/9/2005 5:23:00 PM

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) - Bob and Mike Bryan are on a crusade: to preserve the integrity of doubles tennis.

The top-ranked Bryans and other doubles specialists have been concerned that the ATP's efforts toward ``enhanced doubles competition'' would ultimately undermine their game. Proposed changes included a new scoring system and tournament draws that appeared to favor singles players.

So a group of players, led by the Bryans, filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Houston challenging the ATP's plans.

``We felt we needed to take a stand for doubles,'' Bob Bryan said.

The stand worked, and the ATP has revised two of the doubles players' biggest gripes: scoring won't be radically different, and doubles teams will have equal footing with singles when it comes to qualifying.

In fact, the ATP appeared to throw a renewed commitment behind the game last week, hiring Gayle David Bradshaw as doubles commissioner to oversee changes set to take effect next year.

Bradshaw said in a statement one of his goals is to ``create a culture whereby the doubles game is celebrated and its players utilized to promote and showcase this unique and integral aspect of professional tennis.''

``The ATP is totally supportive of doubles and making it enjoyable for the fans,'' ATP spokesman Greg Sharko said.

Wayne Bryan, father of the Bryans, says doubles teams will speak by conference call next week to discuss whether they should drop or amend the suit, which was filed in September. Among those included in the suit are Mark Knowles of the Bahamas and doubles partner Daniel Nestor of Canada and former NCAA champions Richard and Will Barker of Houston.

The Bryans, who played at Stanford, will be in Portland on Sunday to stage a ``Save Doubles'' fundraiser that sprung out of the lawsuit. The original intent was to defray legal costs, but now the pair hopes to put the money to use promoting their sport.

The pair already hosted a Save Doubles event in Houston, and the Portland stop - at the historic Irvington Club - is already sold out. Wayne Bryan said his sons plan about eight more events next year.

The ATP will go ahead with some scoring changes. Doubles matches will go to two sets to 6, with no-ad games (meaning there would be no advantage at deuce). There will be a match tiebreak - first to 10 points, win by two - at one-set all.

The ATP maintains the changes will speed the game and perhaps attract more high-profile singles players, resulting in greater fan appeal.

The changes were introduced late last month in Shanghai, China, where the ATP Board removed the two most controversial aspects of the doubles proposal first announced in June: shortened sets using a new scoring system different from singles, and an entry ranking that would have reserved a majority of doubles entries to players in the singles draws.

The next court hearing is scheduled for Jan. 27 in Houston, according to Bryan family friend Elena Segal, an attorney and former tennis agent. She said the doubles players resorted to the lawsuit because they felt ``their backs were against a wall.''

``It wasn't done lightly, I can tell you that,'' she said.

The Bryans are taking a wait-and-see approach with the new scoring, which they say is better than introducing a radically different system, but still veers from tradition.

``We're not too pleased about it,'' said Bob Bryan, who fears the move will confuse fans. ``But we'll see how it goes.''

The ATP's new doubles requirements will not extend to the four Grand Slam tournaments or the year-ending Tennis Masters Cup, which are governed by the International Tennis Federation.

``We hate this battle,'' Wayne Bryan said. ``But we felt we had to do something.''

:confused: Since when is Gayle a man's name?

ATP quotes :rolleyes: I beg to differ they are only supportive of changing everything but the real problem - lack of promotion of doubles. :lol: The spokeman's name is Sharko. That's classic.

I agree with Bob. I don't think anywhere in the world are people playing doubles with their proposed scoring changes so wouldn't everyone, including the players, get confused? At least the Grand Slams and Davis Cup are not adopting it. I guess I'll have to wait til Cincy to see how it goes.

Boris Franz Ecker
12-10-2005, 03:50 PM
Doubles at ATP level is dead. It's only important at Davis Cup or Olympic Games.
A little bit at Wimbledon (only annual tournament with best-of-5-doubles). No importance everywhere else.