Etienne de Villiers (aka Mr. Disney) explains new ATP 2007 plans [Archive] - MensTennisForums.com

Etienne de Villiers (aka Mr. Disney) explains new ATP 2007 plans

nobama
08-29-2006, 08:58 PM
http://www.tennis-x.com/story/2006-08-29/o.php
ATPs de Villiers Explains New ATP 2007 Plans
Posted on August 29, 2006

ATP President Etienne de Villiers addressed the media Monday at the US Open in response to the organization's release a day earlier announcing changes to the tour in 2007, including the elimination of five-set matches, a 10 percent increase in prize money for all tournaments, and the introduction of round-robin play, similar to the year-end Masters Cup, at smaller tour events.


The following are excerpts from the press conference:

Which tournaments will be round robin and start on Sundays?

"The answer to that is we'll experiment for the next couple of years and see. Initially, we thought that the Round Robin should be a programing device that would actually bolster the smaller tournaments as a result of the emphasis that we're placing on the larger ones. Then when I met with Roger, Rafa, Marat and Andre, Rafa and Roger said this is just such a great idea, why don't you do it on the bigger tournaments. :fiery: Our thinking then went to let's make it an exclusive of a category within our premium tour, if you want. The demand within the tournament group has been such that we kind of figured if we were not going to implement the roadmap until 2009, let's go figure out how it works, what the fan reaction is, what the media reaction is, what the tournament economics are, obviously what the player reaction is. I'm a great believer in doing it, trying it and fixing it rather than trying to get it right. Anybody who feels they'd like to do it."

Who will shoulder the economic burden placed by round robin events and keeping players around longer?

"What we've come to is, because it does place a load, not necessarily an extra load on the player, depending on the size of the field, it does actually put a load on the timing. So we're probably going to mandate for the experiment for next year. If you want to entertain Round Robin, you need to have the eighth day. So anybody that wants to try and do it, if it gets to be unmanageable, we may actually have to screen it. At this stage we're just asking for interest...We've actually got Deloitte & Touche to do a study on the financial viability of the tour. If the incremental cost is of housing and feeding and transporting those players the extra day is going to make the difference, we're going down a blind path here. It can't be that sensitive. What we're going to have to do is make sure this makes for a much more entertaining product, a much more fan-friendly product, a more media-friendly product. Hopefully that just lifts the whole thing. It's not been raised, interestingly enough, by any of the tournaments. All of them who want this, it's never been an issue."

How big will the round robin fields be and what will be the format?

"We originally started with the notion that the category of tournaments that we were going to create which sat below the four Masters, combining the four men's Masters, would be a 64 draw initially. We're now convinced that it should probably be a 48 draw to give us 16 by 3. You don't have any dead matches and then you then take 16 and go through on knockout. On 32, it's probably going to have to be 8 by 4 if we're going to experiment with that. That's the very smallest field. We are also pretty convinced that although it's not a decision that a 56 draw makes more sense in the Masters events, given that you will allow the top eight to have an extra day's rest, I'm really concerned that we are creating a rod for our own back. We've seen it now too often this season. These athletes now have the ability to play the stroke play that the athleticism, the sheer talent is such that longer rallies are almost inevitable, longer matches are almost inevitable. We have to be cognizant of that."

What is being done to address the player injuries?

"We had a very interesting conversation with the doctors last night. I tasked the doctors with a challenge to get to scientifically understand cause and effect of physiology, racquets, technology, balls and surfaces and to see whether there's any correlation with that and injuries, so to see whether we can actually get ahead of this. There isn't just a single bullet."

Are you worried about players tanking what might be a meaningless match? Do you think the prize money and ranking points will be enough to keep those competitive?

"I think that's always the problem that you've got. Whether it's a question of tanking, which is a word I think we won't use today, I think we've had enough speculation of tanking this week. It's just a question of whether a meaningless match is, in fact, an entertaining product. That's more of the issue. Do fans really like to watch friendly matches as opposed to meaningful matches? I think that's the issue with a four-draw Round Robin or four-team Round Robin. These are issues we are all looking at. This is why we initially contained it to the 48 draw because it did have that configuration."

How does that influence your top players not to play doubles after all the work you've put into convincing them?

"I'm just going to beat the crap out of them if they don't (smiling). No, I don't know what the answer is. I think we're giving them an extra day. In a sense, that should take care of it. We're also going to try to make -- we haven't agreed yet but we're certainly talking about making the Round Robin part a match tiebreak in the third in order to get it shorter. We haven't finalized that, please. These are just ideas we are having. So as we can get the schedule to work..."

Where is the additional prize money going to come from?

"From the journalists (smiling)...The 10% minimum prize money level was a decision that was made, dare I say not with the full-hearted support of the tournaments. Turkeys do not vote for Christmas or Thanksgiving. You're not going to get tournaments that are going to volunteer prize money increases when there's no formula...There's a sense that the sport is growing. There's a definite sense that there's a following wind here. We're talking to broadcasters right now about renewing our TV rights for 2008/2009. There's a significant 15, 20% per annum uplift on television revenues. We've just renewed a deal -- I won't mention the category -- but for the ATP where we renewed it at a 97% increase over the last deal...We have had not a prize money increase. Since 2000 and 2004 it went down 5%. We had to break that cycle. We think and we hope that the structure that we're putting in place and the system that we've got is actually going to bear fruit. But rather than it be a complete leap of faith."

What are the marketing challenges?

"We need to start by just telling a better story. We tell the story better. We tell a story that is based and focused on the Slams with these swings. We'll get there. If on top of that we can promote a number of players so that we now no longer say, when a tournament tries to get its stars and has to pay $350,000 to get one of the five so-called stars in the sport, we've got 20 stars, then you got to start asking the question of yourself, who's here rather than who's not here. Because we've got into this habit of saying, who's not here in the draw. Well, Hewitt and Federer didn't make it. Well, you know, you don't say that when you watch Real Madrid play Arsenal playing football. If Thierry Henri is not playing, it's still Arsenal. If Ronaldinho is not playing, you'll still go watch Barcelona. We have to build more equity and value into our sport, into our events. None of you here is asking who's not here because nobody is not here. But, you know, there were times when the top clay guys wouldn't even bother to play Wimbledon. I don't have aspirations to be Wimbledon, but there is a great brand that has built over time and has a real resonance with consumers, casual consumers, too. That's the task. We've got to do that. You get people to care. You have enough fans. There is so much going for the sport...It's gladiatorial. It's the best head-to-head contest you'll see in any endeavor. There's nothing quite as exciting as this. Boxing matches don't last for three hours. We're just not getting enough of this in front of enough people. Once you do that, it kind of takes care of itself."

What are the plans for calendar changes?

"The answer is it looks unlikely in the short term we'll be able to truncate (the season) at all. The reasons being threefold: One is that we've got huge potential untapped and we need to supply in Southeast Asia we need to supply Southeast Asia with more programing. Second reason, we have a very strong, very vibrant indoor tournament structure in the fall all over the world: St. Petersburg, Moscow, Basel, Stockholm, Vienna. They are great traditional tournaments. Ultimately, I'd like in 2009 or 2010, to bring the Masters Cup back to Europe, so it would make sense to have that. Then finally, you've got to squeeze Davis Cup in, as well. You only got eight weeks. The current system requires a week between the end of the US Open and the Davis Cup. So we really, in effect, have only got six weeks, and to try and take a week out of that is just not doing justice to the sport. It's not doing justice to the players. That's why I said I think the way to resolve the issue for player health -- and I had this discussion with players yesterday and the day before -- is that we find other means. We separate back-to-back tournaments. We eliminate five-set finals. We start with 56 draws. We mandate less major events for them so that they've got better and more control over their schedule. I think that's as much going to help cure the problem and get ahead of it with medical insight, research, and technology. And the Australian, Steve Word and I, had a chance at this. He's looking at options. I don't think he needs or necessarily wants to change in the short term. It's not a problem for us the way it is. It starts -- the advantage of it being where it is, it starts the season off with a bang. It's a great way to start a season. The disadvantage is you don't get much of a run length. It's a disadvantage for him. You don't get much of a run length to build, and awareness. You don't get the road to Australian Open the way you can do with [the USTA's] Arlen's [Kantarian] tournament [US Open], which I just think is fantastic."

savesthedizzle
08-29-2006, 09:00 PM
Oh my god. They want to do match tiebreaks in singles now too?

Heaven help tennis.

Sjengster
08-29-2006, 09:00 PM
Oh, brilliant. Take off that clown's hat for a second would you Roger, and try to remember your standing in the game, hmm?

Johnny Groove
08-29-2006, 09:06 PM
I want to know who sucked who's dick for this crap to come about :o

Saumon
08-29-2006, 09:07 PM
we need to keep the :retard: smiley for De Villiers :rolleyes: he's about as :retard: as De Villiers the French politician :rolleyes:

savesthedizzle
08-29-2006, 09:08 PM
we need to keep the :retard: smiley for De Villiers :rolleyes: he's about as :retard: as De Villiers the French politician :rolleyes:


The code for :retard: should just be remade into :devilliers: :p

Sjengster
08-29-2006, 09:11 PM
We mandate less major events for them so that they've got better and more control over their schedule.

So let me get this straight, they're reducing the number of tournaments players are required to play? In addition to creating a RR format that gives people more chances to see the top players in action? Isn't that a little schizophrenic? About as schizophrenic as reducing the wear and tear on players' bodies by making them play six matches a week instead of five, in fact. As for the match tiebreak, just piss off.... you might as well make the RR events an exhibition circuit in that case.

Sjengster
08-29-2006, 09:12 PM
The code for :retard: should just be remade into :devilliers: :p

Just think, if you separate that word in the middle and change the last "e" to an "a"....

scoobs
08-29-2006, 09:13 PM
Oh good. Yet more word from De Villiers and everyone can work themselves into a fine old lather over it all again.

Johnny Groove
08-29-2006, 09:15 PM
Just think, if you separate that word in the middle and change the last "e" to an "a"....

I would work if you switch it around for Devil Liars :devil:

NicoFan
08-29-2006, 09:18 PM
De Villiers is a moron.

And I won't be watching tennis anymore if these changes are implimented.

savesthedizzle
08-29-2006, 09:21 PM
De Villiers is a moron.

And I won't be watching tennis anymore if these changes are implimented.


Me neither. It turns tennis from a competitive sport into a game.

Saumon
08-29-2006, 09:24 PM
we should blackmail devilliers :)

DrJules
08-29-2006, 09:38 PM
How much would cost to have the "villian" assasinated :lol: :lol: :lol: Maybe we could start a charity "save tennis" with this objective.

savesthedizzle
08-29-2006, 09:39 PM
How much would cost to have the "villian" assasinated :lol: :lol: :lol: Maybe we could start a charity "save tennis" with this objective.


:lol: :yeah: :yeah:

mangoes
08-29-2006, 09:41 PM
I am wondering about this man's past experience. Overhauling a system, to this degree, will create chaos. I can understand changes being implemented over a period of time, but, he is trying to rewrite the entire ATP "system" in a matter of months.

As for his ideas, they make little sense to me. With all due respect to Roger, Rafa, Andre and Marat, the notion that this man took an idea from some tennis players and simply ran with it boggles my mind. These are 4 players.....their expertise is in tennis, not management or marketing.

Furthermore, from the vague replies to some questions, I get the distinct impression that he has not considered several elements of these "supposed" changes.

So, in addition to these changes, we may soon have the addition of "on court" coaching......

Yea, tennis is getting more and more appealing to me :rolleyes: Has this man considered the negative impact these ideas may have?? 1. His ideas may slowly alienate his core tennis base. 2. If potential tennis "newbies" find these concepts too trying to understand, tennis has already lost them because they will not take the time to try and figure out all this mumbo jumbo.

Neverstopfightin
08-29-2006, 09:44 PM
De Villiers you legend

DrJules
08-29-2006, 09:52 PM
I am wondering about this man's past experience. Overhauling a system, to this degree, will create chaos. I can understand changes being implemented over a period of time, but, he is trying to rewrite the entire ATP "system" in a matter of months.

As for his ideas, they make little sense to me. With all due respect to Roger, Rafa, Andre and Marat, the notion that this man took an idea from some tennis players and simply ran with it boggles my mind. These are 4 players.....their expertise is in tennis, not management or marketing.

Furthermore, from the vague replies to some questions, I get the distinct impression that he has not considered several elements of these "supposed" changes.

So, in addition to these changes, we may soon have the addition of "on court" coaching......


I would expect far more common sense and pragmatic ideas from players. These sound like the crazy ideas that come from marketing people who live in "cloud cuckoo" land. I expect a marketing twit to suggest next that we abolish playing sets and just playing tie breaks.

mangoes
08-29-2006, 09:56 PM
I would expect far more common sense and pragmatic ideas from players. These sound like the crazy ideas that come from marketing people who live in "cloud cuckoo" land. I expect a marketing twit to suggest next that we abolish playing sets and just playing tie breaks.


Sorry, these ideas lack the thumb print of a marketing group.

All_Slam_Andre
08-29-2006, 09:56 PM
The round robin format is a complete joke.
The changes I wanted to see:
- A slightly longer off season (difficult as the ATP sanctioned the creation of so many new tournaments in past and they can't just scrap them, otherwise they would be taken to court.
- No back masters series events. Indian Wells-Miami is fine, because it is spread over a longer period, but Rome-Hamburg and Toronto-Cincinnati in successive weeks is criminally wrong.
- One week longer between the French Open and Wimbledon. Clay to grass is such a hard transition. 3 weeks in-between (ideally with a grass TMS in the 2nd week) would be give the players going deep into the draw at Roland Garros more of chance to recover for the grass court season.

lebby
08-29-2006, 09:57 PM
We should send De Villiers and that other asshole Larry Scott to the moon.

They are destroying the game. What a joke it will became. And the health of the players my ass, they just look to make more money with TV rights and stuff.

DrJules
08-29-2006, 09:59 PM
Sorry, these ideas lack the thumb print of a marketing group.

You are correct.

They would have made stupid ideas look brilliant. :lol: :lol: :lol:

Saumon
08-29-2006, 10:00 PM
I suspect De Villiers wants to change the rules of tennis because he's too stupid to get them as they are now. :rolleyes:

mangoes
08-29-2006, 10:03 PM
You are correct.

They would have made stupid ideas look brilliant. :lol: :lol: :lol:


:haha: :haha: :haha: True :p

NicoFan
08-29-2006, 10:16 PM
Please! What has the poor moon done to you? :awww:

:haha:

Merton
08-29-2006, 10:25 PM
I agree with mangoes, those plans don't look like the output of a coherent marketing plan. It seems that Mr. Disney is anouncing before thinking about the implementation of his decisions, unless he has already agreed with the tournaments that will implement the RR format.

I am surprised that he openly says that he views tournaments as turkeys that will not be asked about participating for Thanks Giving. The net result will be increasing the barrier to entry for new upcoming players, since he is talking of 32 players fields. How will they manage qualifiers, wild cards and so on?

Via
08-29-2006, 11:15 PM
looks to me that the guy makes announcements after some brainstorming sessions and no solid plans. yes, plans to call in the consultants (doctors???). no, not first speaking to tournaments and veteran players and others with more tennis experience.

:rolleyes:

silverwhite
08-30-2006, 01:26 AM
Just when we thought it couldn't get any worse... :help:

Yes, Mr Disney. Extending tournaments by ONE day will solve all fatigue-related problems AND encourage the players to play doubles. An don't get me started on the match TB. :retard:

JW10S
08-30-2006, 01:32 AM
In terms of TV viewership and media coverage tennis is a minor sport--especially here in the US. While efforts to try and make tennis a bigger sport are applaudable, some of those moves may run the risk of alienating some of the sports core fans.

World Beater
08-30-2006, 01:32 AM
hey...lets just flip a coin...whoever wins wins the third set.

*Viva Chile*
08-30-2006, 01:58 AM
It seems that most of thye players are happy with De Villiers decisions, but not the MTF people :shrug:

Scotso
08-30-2006, 02:22 AM
Roger and Rafa do not constitute "most of the players."

This will fail. He's messing with something that has been a certain way for a very long time. This guy has absolutely no respect for the history of tennis whatsoever. They're trying to turn the tour into World Team Tennis, and that's a complete joke. They want to make the tour a big exhibition for the top 16 or so players. I can't stand this.

And does it seem to anyone else like this guy is a complete idiot? He didn't really answer any of the questions... just continued to say it would be fine, they would work it out. Judging from his "answers," I think we can assume he doesn't have a clue what these changes are going to do... he's just shooting blanks hoping to hit something?

*Viva Chile*
08-30-2006, 02:32 AM
Roger and Rafa do not constitute "most of the players."

I'm not refering to them, I'm talking about the Players Council that approved the new rules... the Players Council it suppose to represent all players, if most of the players not approved the new rules, their obligation was to announce that discord, but they didn't. So if you say that the Players Council don't represent all players. Why MOST of the players reeliged today to Ljubo and Blake again as President and Vicepresident for the council as same as O. Rochus, T. Johansson, (1-50 ranked), Goldstein, Sanguinetti (51-100 ranked) and B. Bryan - Ullyett (doubles) as directives representatives again for a second period????

Johnny Groove
08-30-2006, 02:36 AM
I'm not refering to them, I'm talking about the Players Council that approved the new rules... the Players Council it suppose to represent all players, if most of the players not approved the new rules, their obligation was to announce that discord, but they didn't. So if you say that the Players Council don't represent all players. Why MOST of the players reeliged today to Ljubo and Blake again as President and Vicepresident for the council as same as O. Rochus, T. Johansson, (1-50 ranked), Goldstein, Sanguinetti (51-100 ranked) and B. Bryan - Ullyett (doubles) as directives representatives again for a second period????

because apparently the top 100 represents what EVERYONE wants :rolleyes:

*Viva Chile*
08-30-2006, 02:38 AM
because apparently the top 100 represents what EVERYONE wants :rolleyes:
and they are who are playing most frecuently ATP events, if I'm not wrong players under top 100 plays more challengers than any other type of event.

Action Jackson
08-30-2006, 02:43 AM
Mr Disney is a Rhodes Scholar actually, but he seems to changing for the sake of change and I like how Federer claims to care about the history of the game and he is behind these changes. Of course he is not protecting his own interests.

Scotso
08-30-2006, 03:00 AM
and they are who are playing most frecuently ATP events, if I'm not wrong players under top 100 plays more challengers than any other type of event.

In some cases, but they also play a lot of ATP events.

MarieS
08-30-2006, 03:01 AM
Mr Disney is a Rhodes Scholar actually, but he seems to changing for the sake of change and I like how Federer claims to care about the history of the game and he is behind these changes. Of course he is not protecting his own interests.
And what absolutely kills me about this is that Fed and Safin are actually against instant replay. So they are ok with turning tennis into a circus, but not validating it with modern technology. Makes sense. And like someone else already said, since when are those 4 or 5 players mentioned representative of the entire ATP?

*Viva Chile*
08-30-2006, 03:08 AM
And what absolutely kills me about this is that Fed and Safin are actually against instant replay. So they are ok with turning tennis into a circus, but not validating it with modern technology. Makes sense. And like someone else already said, since when are those 4 or 5 players mentioned representative of the entire ATP?
Safin retracted about his opinions in a interview weeks ago saying that instant replay works good and blah blah blah... typical Marat :rolleyes:

Action Jackson
08-30-2006, 03:14 AM
And what absolutely kills me about this is that Fed and Safin are actually against instant replay. So they are ok with turning tennis into a circus, but not validating it with modern technology. Makes sense. And like someone else already said, since when are those 4 or 5 players mentioned representative of the entire ATP?

$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ $$

MarieS
08-30-2006, 03:15 AM
Safin retracted about his opinions in a interview weeks ago saying that instant replay works good and blah blah blah... typical Marat :rolleyes:
Really? I missed that. So what is the guarantee that once he sees all these changes in action, he won't retract? Oh yeah, it's Marat, there are no guarantees. :lol:


$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ $$
:worship:

*Viva Chile*
08-30-2006, 03:15 AM
Apart from Gasquet, anyone knows about players who are against of the new rules?

I'm not saying that I like the new rules (I don't understand how the ATP finally put in order that rules) but for me it seems strange that most of the people here is against and doesn't sound too much about what players are against. :confused:

JW10S
08-30-2006, 03:20 AM
Apart from Gasquet, anyone knows about players who are against of the new rules?

I'm not saying that I like the new rules (I don't understand how the ATP finally put in order that rules) but for me it seems strange that most of the people here is against and doesn't sound too much about what players are against. :confused:

I hear 200 players attended the meeting where the new proposals were anounced. I imagine if the majority were against them they would have spoken up.

savesthedizzle
08-30-2006, 03:20 AM
Apart from Gasquet, anyone knows about players who are against of the new rules?

I'm not saying that I like the new rules (I don't understand how the ATP finally put in order that rules) but for me it seems strange that most of the people here is against and doesn't sound too much about what players are against. :confused:


The irony is that they are doing all this behind a facade of making tennis better for the fans... more entertaining, etc.

Unfortunately for them, we're not falling for it and can see the dollar signs in their eyes.

Skyward
08-30-2006, 03:21 AM
Is this a different interview? I apologize if it's already been posted.

http://www.peterbodostennisworld.com/


An interview with: ETIENNE de VILLIERS

DAVID HIGDON: Welcome. Etienne is here. All of you probably would have seen our release yesterday about some of the changes we're going to implement in 2007. If you guys have any questions, fire away on that or any other topic.

Q. Could you just be a little more specific about which tournaments may go to Round Robin and which ones may start on the Sunday.

ETIENNE de VILLIERS: The answer to that is we'll experiment for the next couple of years and see. Initially, we thought that the Round Robin should be a programing device that would actually bolster the smaller tournaments as a result of the emphasis that we're placing on the larger ones.

Next season, ATP tournaments will introduce a round-robin format at circuit events, with plans to use it more fully the following two seasons. Round robin—where players are placed into groups or pools, and the top player in each group then moves on to the knockout phase of the tournament—has been a staple of the Tennis Masters Cup circuit finale and ARAG ATP World Team Championship but not utilized at any other ATP tournament. The format increases spectators’ chances of seeing their favorite stars, as one loss in a round-robin pool does not automatically eliminate a player, and also improves scheduling for broadcasters and tournament promotion.

"I have said it at our meetings with Etienne, I think this is a great idea,” said ATP World No. 2 Rafael Nadal. “Finally we really move forward and we do something really good for our sport. This will be good for our tournaments, for us the players and especially for fans and television since they will be able to have and see their favorite players more than once for sure."

Best-of-5 Sets to be Eliminated
The demand within the tournament group has been such that we kind of figured if we were not going to implement the roadmap until 2009, let's go figure out how it works, what the fan reaction is, what the media reaction is, what the tournament economics are, obviously what the player reaction is.

I'm a great believer in doing it, trying it and fixing it rather than trying to get it right.

Q. The question is, like what tournaments? Have you designated, looked at what tournaments?

ETIENNE de VILLIERS: Anybody who feels they'd like to do it. What we've come to is, because it does place a load, not necessarily an extra load on the player, depending on the size of the field, it does actually put a load on the timing. So we're probably going to mandate for the experiment for next year. If you want to entertain Round Robin, you need to have the eighth day. So anybody that wants to try and do it, if it gets to be unmanageable, we may actually have to screen it. At this stage we're just asking for interest.

Q. The tournament director comes to you and says, We want to try this, it's going to be up to the tournament directors?

ETIENNE de VILLIERS: The tournament directors, yeah, it's an option in 2007. A lot of the tournament directors have already come to us and said they'd really like to try it. We won't obviously do it for the Masters Series. By definition, it will be the International Gold category. Then when we restructure the tour in 2009, we'll have a lot more data.

Q. Under the current format, tournament director is going to pay for a hotel room for five days for everybody knowing that half the draw is going to be out after Tuesday, and a lot of those players are going to leave and he can thereby save money on hotel rooms by canceling remaining accreditation. Saves on food, transportation. Under the new format, they'll have to play for everybody for a minimum of three, four days. Who's going to shoulder the economic burden there?

ETIENNE de VILLIERS: Well, we are looking at the economics. We've actually got Deloitte & Touche to do a study on the financial viability of the tour. If the incremental cost is of housing and feeding and transporting those players the extra day is going to make the difference, we're going down a blind path here. It can't be that sensitive.

What we're going to have to do is make sure this makes for a much more entertaining product, a much more fan‑friendly product, a more media‑friendly product. Hopefully that just lifts the whole thing.

It's not been raised, interestingly enough, by any of the tournaments. All of them who want this, it's never been an issue.

Q. Are you leaning towards a certain format, like a 32‑draw, eight groups of four?

ETIENNE de VILLIERS: We originally started with the notion that the category of tournaments that we were going to create which sat below the four Masters, combining the four men's Masters, would be a 64 draw initially. We're now convinced that it should probably be a 48 draw to give us 16 by 3. You don't have any dead matches and then you then take 16 and go through on knockout.

On 32, it's probably going to have to be 8 by 4 if we're going to experiment with that. That's the very smallest field. We are also pretty convinced that although it's not a decision that a 56 draw makes more sense in the Masters events, given that you will allow the top eight to have an extra day's rest, I'm really concerned that we are creating a rod for our own back. We've seen it now too often this season. These athletes now have the ability to play the stroke play that the athleticism, the sheer talent is such that longer rallies are almost inevitable, longer matches are almost inevitable. We have to be cognizant of that.

We had a very interesting conversation with the doctors last night. I tasked the doctors with a challenge to get to scientifically understand cause and effect of physiology, racquets, technology, balls and surfaces and to see whether there's any correlation with that and injuries, so to see whether we can actually get ahead of this. There isn't just a single bullet.

I sort of segued off here, I'm sorry.

There isn't a silver bullet for curing the problem of player injury. It's not just about the length of season, but that's a factor. It's not just about the intensity of the calendar, but that's a factor. It's not just about technology and balls, but that's a factor.

We really have to get into all of this and try and understand.

Q. Round Robin question. Are you worried about players tanking what might be a meaningless match? Do you think the prize money and ranking points will be enough to keep those competitive?

ETIENNE de VILLIERS: I think that's always the problem that you've got. Whether it's a question of tanking, which is a word I think we won't use today, I think we've had enough speculation of tanking this week. It's just a question of whether a meaningless match is, in fact, an entertaining product. That's more of the issue. Do fans really like to watch friendly matches as opposed to meaningful matches? I think that's the issue with a four‑draw Round Robin or four‑team Round Robin.

These are issues we are all looking at. This is why we initially contained it to the 48 draw because it did have that configuration.

Q. What do you say to the purists who might say by going into a Round Robin scenario, you're taking away the competitive edge of the knockout competition?

ETIENNE de VILLIERS: Yeah, it's a valid observation. I would say, at the end of the day, I think fans care more about the entertainment value. I think the average fan would like to see the players that they would like to see. At the end of the day you'd like to see a stronger field go through into the quarterfinals and semifinals. You're probably likely to get that. That's the argument I think Chris has mentioned, it's unfair, it eliminates the lucky winner.

That's the trade‑off. Ultimately, is it fair that footballers, the World Cup in football is settled with a penalty shootout? I think a lot of the purists would say you play until you drop, then you drop and you play again. So we've had replays and stuff. But at the end of the day we're in the entertainment business as well and we have to be cognizant of what the media and television want.

The Round Robin is a really television‑friendly device. You can promote and schedule matches. You know when they're going to happen. That's the trade‑off. There's always going to be the trade‑off between the Corinthian view of sport and what's best entertainment. We saw this with the line calling. There was one of you that said, if the technology is available, use it and, you know, every call can be challenged. What we've discovered is, fans love the fact that it's actually a feature, "Call it, challenge," they're involved with the process. It's in, it's out. It matters. Who knows.

Q. Do you run the risk that players who say, I mean, in a pure knockout they have a chance to go through and they wouldn't have as great a chance to go through if it's a Round Robin, that you run the risk of possibly the players lower down, ultimately cutting their income, and you may weaken the game from the bottom up?

ETIENNE de VILLIERS: Again, I think it's a valid question. The issue with everything is, what is your spectrum, how important is it to grow the game. If we grow the game and it gets better, relatively they may earn less money ‑ poverty being a relative concept, not an absolute one. But overall, we'll be earning more money because we'll be making a stronger tour, we'll be on television more, sponsors will be more interested, fans will come, etc., etc., etc.

I'm what my wife calls an Armani socialist. It's easy to be socialistic when you're comfortable.

I do have a real sense of concern that whatever system we put in is as fair and as just as possible. Against that, I have to say, is it fair and just to spread it around when you're not growing, when you're going backwards in order to feed the needs of all, or do you actually aspire to growing it, and in the process, in the short term, relatively deprive those that have less because in the long term they'll have more? It's Philosophy 101.

I happen to believe we have to take care of the sport, you have to take care of the growth first. If there are a few that suffer in the process, then in the short term ‑‑ if the short term the medium or long term for some players, I'm afraid that's the price we pay. That's the problem. We do have people, players who have got short careers and some will get hurt. I understand that.

Q. We're talking about in a 48 draw 16 seeds getting 16 seeds and one seed in each of the 16 groups.

ETIENNE de VILLIERS: Right.

Q. Now that means that those players will have to play six matches over eight days instead of five matches over seven days.

ETIENNE de VILLIERS: No, six matches. Because what we would have done, we would have had the 64 draw. We reduced the 64 draw down to 48. Less jobs, we understand. But it's the same category of tournament that ordinarily would have required a guy to play six matches. He's still going to play these six matches, just against a smaller field.

The 32 draw, you're right, there is an extra match. Again, I would argue, on the 32 draw, it's probably a smaller tournament. The guy who's likely to go through, as we've noticed with some of our smaller ATP events, the lower guys go through, which is great. They are not the guys getting this increased mileage on their clocks. The guys we want to be concerned about are the guys that are your top eight, ten, twelve players in the world. Those are the ones we want to protect and avoid having to play too much.

Q. You are going to make this available to 32 draws?

ETIENNE de VILLIERS: In the initial stages, sure.

Q. That means that those players, instead of playing five matches over seven days to get to the final, will play six over eight days.

ETIENNE de VILLIERS: Yes.

Q. How does that influence your top players not to play doubles after all the work you've put into convincing them ‑‑

ETIENNE de VILLIERS: I'm just going to beat the crap out of them if they don't (smiling).

No, I don't know what the answer is. I think we're giving them an extra day. In a sense, that should take care of it. We're also going to try to make ‑ we haven't agreed yet but we're certainly talking about making the Round Robin part a match tiebreak in the third in order to get it shorter. We haven't finalized that, please. These are just ideas we are having. So as we can get the schedule to work, we can get it to be more (indiscernible).

Q. What's interesting about tennis and golf, they are sports that people that watch it actually play it. Football and baseball, you play it as a child. Soccer, maybe people play a little bit older. To make such fundamental changes to a game that people understand and live and play. I mean, in doubles I've sat with people that say, What's happening now? Why are they doing that? Now, you're going to make fundamental changes to tournaments. These are exact ‑‑ your tournaments are not very different than tournaments that people play at home in the USTA or in their other countries. To keep making such fundamental changes, don't you fear that you might lose fans? You might lose interest? Not only the purists, but people that play it one way and the professionals play it a completely different play.

ETIENNE de VILLIERS: Shocking, isn't it? Shocking that we can change this game in 200 years, I mean, when every other game has changed. Kids take two seconds to figure out what the rules are. 70% of the people that we polled, of the 305 people we polled, which is a statistically significant sample, at exits at Cincinnati and Toronto understood it. 95% have said they got it. More than half of them have said they enjoyed it, the rules. These are the purists, by the way. These are the guys that pay money to come watch doubles.

I'm convinced the experiment is working. If you can get a nine‑year‑old to program a computer to today, you don't have to be a genius to work out what the changes are in the scoring system of a sport.

I was at Queen's the other day and Gael was playing at the Queen's Club and I went down just to go and watch. It was getting late. The guy said, Let's play the ATP system, no ad rules. I said, I love you guys. They didn't know who I was.

So, you know, you're right in one sense. The purists say we should never change, but you can never ask any sports person, any player ever to change the rules. If you'd asked football goalkeepers whether they like the back‑pass rule that they now introduced the last three or four years, not one single goalkeeper would have said, yeah, sure, I'd love to, places me under jeopardy, I've got to make ridiculous ‑‑ I have to learn all sorts of new skills, I'm gonna make howlers, be an idiot every so often. All of that is true, but it's made the game more interesting. What have they done just in hockey right now?

Q. I'm sure you've spoken to a number of tournament directors of facilities, especially the indoor ones, that would have difficulty hosting the Round Robins because the sheer number of matches would be too much. Why not consider going to a 16 Round Robin? Why go to the 32, given that most people are coming to see the top players anymore? Maybe qualify into some of those 16 spots rather than having so many facilities who are already having problems scheduling matches and running matches until one in the morning under the current format, basically looking at what you have now where it's going to be just impossible for them to run ‑‑

ETIENNE de VILLIERS: I think the ‑‑ I don't have Gayle here. I go to Gayle whenever I get these questions that tax my limited knowledge of this game.

I think we worked out the number of games is actually not significantly different with an 8 by 4. I think the maths ‑‑ you could do the maths, you'll probably end up finding it doesn't change that much.

Eight by three is 24, plus four and two, you get to 30 matches.

Q. Single elimination, you eliminate matches every day. Over four days with the Round Robin, you'll have the same number of matches.

ETIENNE de VILLIERS: You have more matches at that level but less matches when you go forward. You actually still end up with 32 matches I think somehow.

Q. You're also going to make a significant improvement in prize money.

ETIENNE de VILLIERS: Yes.

Q. Where is it going to come from?

ETIENNE de VILLIERS: From the journalists (smiling).

Q. How does tennis afford that?

ETIENNE de VILLIERS: That's a good question. Initially, it's a leap of faith. We say if we're not going to celebrate the fact that we belive our sport is strong, nobody else is going to. The 10% minimum prize money level was a decision that was made, dare I say not with the full‑hearted support of the tournaments. Turkeys don't vote for Christmas or Thanksgiving. You're not going to get tournaments that are going to volunteer prize money increases when there's no formula.

But that said, what it does and what we've noticed is that Richard, who's sitting on your right, is selling sponsorship. There's a sense that the sport is growing. There's a definite sense that there's a following wind here. We're talking to broadcasters right now about renewing our TV rights for 2008/2009. There's a significant 15, 20% per annum uplift on television revenues. We've just renewed a deal ‑ I won't mention the category ‑ but for the ATP where we renewed it at a 97% increase over the last deal.

The money's got to come from somewhere, absolutely. But there's a sense that if we market it better, if we promote it better, if we get it better structured, it's not a Field of Dreams notion about "It will come." It will come because you will be able to charge more for your ticket prices. You will be able to charge your sponsors more. You will get more coverage because you've got better television. You've got more stars that more people care about it. It's kind of a virtuous circle.

But it's got to start somewhere. The players we felt weren't going to step up and make the commitments we were asking of them to tighten withdrawal rules, which we hope to introduce, to do the show proud unless the show stood up and said, "It's a show worth being proud of."

Someone's got to break that cycle. We have had not a prize money increase. Since 2000 and 2004 it went down 5%. We had to break that cycle. We think and we hope that the structure that we're putting in place and the system that we've got is actually going to bear fruit. But rather than it be a complete leap of faith.

Q. When you say it has to start somewhere, it starts with the public buying the ticket?

ETIENNE de VILLIERS: It started with the tournaments putting up the prize money for a start.

Q. He's got to recoup that money. The ticket prices will increase?

ETIENNE de VILLIERS: Put the ticket prices up, more sponsors, more television revenue, more merchandising, more food and beverage. A lot of it, you don't have to increase the prize, you increase the volume. A lot of tournaments, I think you might have noticed, our sport is played by looking at stands like this and not too many empty seats. We still need to market the sport better. We need to promote the sport better.

Our audiences are fans that used to watch their when we's: When we watched Sampras, when we watched McEnroe. We've not got the 25‑to‑34 target audience or the 16‑to‑25 audience that the cinema industry embraces. We've not really got them to embrace tennis. It's an older sport.

Q. Have you done research by Europe and North America, it seems that you might be oriented by American standards here. What if you take it out of one group of people to bring it to the others because there are more of them and then don't accept it? How can you get back to the old group who lose when you change the game?

ETIENNE de VILLIERS: Which old group?

Q. Well, the people who wanted tennis that was 200 years been playing already. ITF does that, and that's a system that is going to stay. ATP is going to change.

ETIENNE de VILLIERS: Have you looked at the figures on television audiences for the Davis Cup? Have you looked at the figures for the BBC's coverage in their own marke of Wimbledon? The share has gone down from 22% in 2001 to 14.2% this year. There was a small football tournament on this year. That might have influenced it. But it went down from 14 to 19 to 16 to 18. Despite the fact that you've got the best two players in the world, the best two players the world's ever seen probably playing at the same time, certainly the last ten years, right?

So let's not bluff ourselves. The rest of the world's moving forward. The rest of the world's moving forward because they're promoting the sport, they're marketing the support, they're innovating it, making it more fan‑friendly. I'm the biggest cricket fan in the world. I watched with my father when I was 19 years old every single day of every single five‑day test match, as sad as it might sound, South Africa versus Australia, because we kicked Australia's butt. That's another story. 25 days of cricket I watched. Would I have the patience to do it now with my son? I don't think so because my son would not want to do it. But he'll go watch a one‑day cricket because it's really exciting. The rules have changed. The same old buffers that used to watch cricket with their very nice ties and their very nice hats are watching one‑day contradict, too. You can move traditionalists towards a more exciting game.

You have to honor and respect that game. We're not going to be disrespectful to the sport of tennis. It has got too much going for it. What we are going to do is innovate around the edges. I don't think that an eighth day which is going to celebrate families and new fans and casual fans coming to the tennis is going to harm or in any way offend the traditionalists, nor do I think that a Round Robin is. Because you know what, they used to play the World Cup football by straight‑out elimination. Now you've got Round Robins. You know what? It's fun. It's exciting.

Q. What I don't understand about the whole prize money, we all know the guarantees take up the lion's share of tournament compensation.

ETIENNE de VILLIERS: That's not true.

Q. We have tournaments that are offering $350,000 in prize money, pay out a half million dollars regularly to get the stars. If the stars are buying into this, why not get rid of guaranteeing all together?

ETIENNE de VILLIERS: From your lips to God's ears. It's just never going to happen, unfortunately. You can't stop the tournament director asking a player to go and open a fridge for $350,000. So that's the issue we've got.

What we're trying to do is we're trying to build a tour that will celebrate and sufficient programing or sufficient tournaments that will tell a real good story about what this calendar of ours is all about. I am a complete and absolute sports fan, right, a sports junky. In

South Africa you are defined gay as a man if you prefer women to sport, right? I am a complete and absolutely sports fan. But I didn't get tennis at all until I came here. I had no idea what this Masters Series was.

Q. Do you now?

ETIENNE de VILLIERS: Do I now? I was hoping you'd tell me.

So, you know, we need to start by just telling a better story. We tell the story better. We tell a story that is based and focused on the Slams with these swings. We'll get there. If on top of that we can promote a number of players so that we now no longer say, when a tournament tries to get its stars and has to pay $350,000 to get one of the five so‑called stars in the sport, we've got 20 stars, then you got to start asking the question of yourself, who's here rather than who's not here. Because we've got into this habit of saying, who's not here in the draw. Well, Hewitt and Federer didn't make it. Well, you know, you don't say that when you watch Real Madrid play Arsenal playing football. If Thierry Henri is not playing, it's still Arsenal. If Ronaldinho is not playing, you'll still go watch Barcelona. We have to build more equity and value into our sport, into our events. None of you here is asking who's not here because nobody is not here. But, you know, there were times when the top clay guys wouldn't even bother to play Wimbledon. I don't have aspirations to be Wimbledon, but there is a great brand that has built over time and has a real resonance with consumers, casual consumers, too.

That's the task. We've got to do that. You get people to care. You have enough fans. There is so much going for the sport. There's so much going for media right now, we've just come from a symposium where Bob Bowman was talking to us about major baseball league's, you know, new media or digital media.

How many, 399 ‑‑ no, they average 20 million page impressions a day. Over a million, billion. They have something like 390 million downloads of matches. There's huge opportunities to get our product to the fans. How you manitize (sic) it is another issue. What you have to do is get more of the fans who used to like tennis, more of the fans who play tennis but don't watch it on television, more of the fans who should be into tennis to come and enjoy the sport. It's gladiatorial. It's the best head‑to‑head contest you'll see in any ‑‑ in any endeavor. There's nothing quite as exciting as this. Boxing matches don't last for three hours.

We're just not getting enough of this in front of enough people. Once you do that, it kind of takes care of itself. And the guarantee issue is not as endemic as you believe. It's probably 20 to 30% of prize money, we believe. It's concentrated in patches. It's determined by the lack of likelihood of attracting players to the right tournaments, and so we've got to make the calendar more friendly so you can actually get more players to more tournaments.

Q. Which tournaments have suggested they be first, or is the tour going to suggest two tournaments?

ETIENNE de VILLIERS: You have to get here in time. You can't ask questions that have already been asked.

Q. Australian players have lost.

ETIENNE de VILLIERS: No, it's a fair question. Anyone can apply. We'll review it all if it's too many people. But thank you for coming, Craig.

Q. If you have a 48 draw, 16 groups of three players each, it seems to me one of the chief advantages of this system, if not the chief advantage, is the fact that a player like Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal loses a match, he gets a Mulligan and gets a chance to stay in the tournament and you don't lose your star attraction to the tournament. If you're going to play only two matches, what are the chances that all three of those players are going to finish 1‑1 and move on ‑‑

ETIENNE de VILLIERS: A good chance.

Q. ‑‑ to the next ‑‑

ETIENNE de VILLIERS: No, no, no. Every game counts. Every game counts. Because it's going to be a count back on a number of games won. Game difference.

Q. There will be a tiebreak system, of course. What are the chances that let's say Federer goes to a 48 draw, gets thrown in with two other players, loses his first match, wins his second match. He wins his second match and is 1‑1. There's two other players in there. What are the chances one of those guys will be 2‑0? You'll lose Federer anyway. Whereas if you have a 32 draw tournament, there's a better chance if he finishes 2‑1 that he'll still be able to move on to the knockout round.

ETIENNE de VILLIERS: Well, the counter argument is you can't make it too easy for these guys, right?

Q. The whole idea was to...

ETIENNE de VILLIERS: No, no, you're right. I'm sure there's a smart answer. I'll have to think about it. When I wake up agt 3 this morning, I'll phone you, shall? Are there any other questions? You must be tired of me by now. I am tired of me by now. Anything else?

Q. Just a question about what the current position of the Board is on the calendar length. How many weeks would you want to truncate by in an ideal world? Are you in a collision course with Australia in January?

ETIENNE de VILLIERS: In an ideal world ‑‑ the answer is it looks unlikely in the short term we'll be able to truncate it at all. The reasons being threefold: One is that we've got huge potential untapped and we need to supply in Southeast Asia we need to supply Southeast Asia with more programming. Second reason, we have a very strong, very vibrant indoor tournament structure in the fall all over the world: St. Petersburg, Moscow, Basel, Stockholm, Vienna. They are great traditional tournaments. Ultimately, I'd like in 2009 or 2010, to bring the Masters Cup back to Europe, so it would make sense to have that.

Then, finally, you've got to squeeze Davis Cup in, as well. You only got eight weeks. The current system requires a week between the end of the US Open and the Davis Cup. So we really, in effect, have only got six weeks, and to try and take a week out of that is just not doing justice to the sport. It's not doing justice to the players. That's why I said I think the way to resolve the issue for player health ‑‑ and I had this discussion with players yesterday and the day before ‑‑ is that we find other means. We separate back‑to‑back tournaments. We eliminate five‑set finals. We start with 56 draws. We mandate less major events for them so that they've got better and more control over their schedule. I think that's as much going to help cure the problem and get ahead of it with medical insight, research, and technology.

And the Australian, Steve Word and I, had a chance at this. He's looking at options. I don't think he needs or necessarily wants to change in the short term. It's not a problem for us the way it is. It starts ‑‑ the advantage of it being where it is, it starts the season off with a bang. It's a great way to start a season.

The disadvantage is you don't get much of a run length. It's a disadvantage for him. You don't get much of a run length to build, and awareness. You don't get the road to Australian Open the way you can do with Arlen's tournament, which I just think is fantastic.

Action Jackson
08-30-2006, 03:25 AM
Mr Disney, football is not the same as tennis, unless he has forgotten that.

Johnny Groove
08-30-2006, 03:25 AM
I read that new interview, thanks for posting it. Some of it is old, some new, but it all trash. This clown is trying to turn the sport into a circus. When he was asked about the match tanking in meaningless RR matches, he deflected it and instead said that the real question was whether the tank would be entertaining or not :rolleyes: :retard:

savesthedizzle
08-30-2006, 03:27 AM
I read that new interview, thanks for posting it. Some of it is old, some new, but it all trash. This clown is trying to turn the sport into a circus. When he was asked about the match tanking in meaningless RR matches, he deflected it and instead said that the real question was whether the tank would be entertaining or not :rolleyes: :retard:


It is the entertainment business! Who cares about the silliness of it being a competitive sport with an ounce of legitimacy anymore! :p

Regenbogen
08-30-2006, 03:30 AM
How much would cost to have the "villian" assasinated :lol: :lol: :lol: Maybe we could start a charity "save tennis" with this objective.
:haha: :haha: :haha:

Well seriously though someone needs to stop this from happening :mad:

NYCtennisfan
08-30-2006, 03:32 AM
It is the diehard tennis fans who always receive the shaft. This is the case when it comes to actual tennis journalism which we hardly get, good commentary about the game at hand, not drivel to invite the casual fan in, and on and on.

I have not heard one diehard fan acquaintance of mine (i.e those who watch tennis regurarly on T.V., keep up with the rankings, attend events, etc.) like the idea of this change.

Scotso
08-30-2006, 03:36 AM
We need to protest it then, any way we can. Let's not attend or support the RR events, etc. And let's constantly write the ATP telling them we hate this.

We need to band together and take over the ATP. :p

Scotso
08-30-2006, 03:37 AM
Better yet, let's write to the main sponsors, since money is all these people seem to care about.

Johnny Groove
08-30-2006, 03:39 AM
When Agassi retires, he needs to take this idiot's job. Mr. Disney obviously knows nothing about tennis.

MarieS
08-30-2006, 03:40 AM
It is the diehard tennis fans who always receive the shaft. This is the case when it comes to actual tennis journalism which we hardly get, good commentary about the game at hand, not drivel to invite the casual fan in, and on and on.

I have not heard one diehard fan acquaintance of mine (i.e those who watch tennis regurarly on T.V., keep up with the rankings, attend events, etc.) like the idea of this change.
Which I guess makes sense because they figure they got us no matter what, and now they just have to focus on getting more fans in. :shrug: But in this case I think it's a miscalculation b/c Mr. Disney doesn't seem to understand that by making such drastic changes he risks alienating the loyal core fan base.

Action Jackson
08-30-2006, 03:42 AM
Ok, if we must compare Mr Disney could you please use individual sports vs. individual sports.

Next is the fact bandwagon fans will come and go and why should they be catered for? He could always go and form his own tour, that would be a good thing.

At the same time none of us who are tennis fans were born hardcore fans, there must have been a reason that we all became fans in the first place and it wasn't cause of gimmicks.

Dickhead de Villiers. Here is a scenario this might be good in your deluded world. So Asafa Powell the best 100m runner in the world, if he fails to get through the heats or the semi finals. Because he is a star, that would mean he'd go straight into the final.

Regenbogen
08-30-2006, 03:59 AM
We need to protest it then, any way we can. Let's not attend or support the RR events, etc. And let's constantly write the ATP telling them we hate this.

We need to band together and take over the ATP. :p
YESSS :armed:

NYCtennisfan
08-30-2006, 03:59 AM
Which I guess makes sense because they figure they got us no matter what, and now they just have to focus on getting more fans in. :shrug: But in this case I think it's a miscalculation b/c Mr. Disney doesn't seem to understand that by making such drastic changes he risks alienating the loyal core fan base.

You are right on the money there.

Mr. Disney and his cabal of dimwits apparently want the same gain in prize money, sponsorship, etc. that the PGA Tour got back in the late 90's when Tiger showed up. Golf's prize money was well behind that of tennis back then and now it has exploded beyond anything imaginable. Golf did it with clever marketing (Tiger's advent didn't hurt either) and not a fundamental change in the game. Building the future by tearing down everything from the past is not the solution Mr. Disney.

Merton
08-30-2006, 04:10 AM
So Mr. Disney is clueless, he cannot face the difficult calendar problem and offers a "solution" that he is not sure how it will be implemented. It looks like they will ask International Series Gold organizers and they seem to be targeting lucrative events.

Organizers would incur higher cost under an RR format, so the ones that will be interested must be compensating that with high revenues coming from fixed TV schedules and a guaranteed appearance of players for 3 matches. That fits the profile of rich events paying high appearance fees so i wouldn't be surprised if we see tournaments like Dubai switching to the RR format.

Action Jackson
08-30-2006, 04:16 AM
Originally Said byMr Disney
You have to honor and respect that game. We're not going to be disrespectful to the sport of tennis. It has got too much going for it. What we are going to do is innovate around the edges. I don't think that an eighth day which is going to celebrate families and new fans and casual fans coming to the tennis is going to harm or in any way offend the traditionalists, nor do I think that a Round Robin is. Because you know what, they used to play the World Cup football by straight‑out elimination. Now you've got Round Robins. You know what? It's fun. It's exciting.

You are not going to disrepect tennis? Come on Disney, has he actually read what he has said. It's a classic Mickey Mouse solutions cause he doesn't have the balls to make the right structural changes.

Herr Disney, if possible read this thread if he doesn't want see people who are offended by the pursuit of $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ $$$$$$$$4

The World Cup increased teams you clown, it comes around once every 4 years and surprisingly there are matches with nothing on the line.

*Viva Chile*
08-30-2006, 04:27 AM
I think it will be a new meaning for the concept "Mickey Mouse Tournament" don't you think??? :p

NYCtennisfan
08-30-2006, 04:29 AM
Originally Said by Mr Disney You have to honor and respect that game. We're not going to be disrespectful to the sport of tennis. It has got too much going for it. What we are going to do is innovate around the edges. I don't think that an eighth day which is going to celebrate families and new fans and casual fans coming to the tennis is going to harm or in any way offend the traditionalists, nor do I think that a Round Robin is. Because you know what, they used to play the World Cup football by straight‑out elimination. Now you've got Round Robins. You know what? It's fun. It's exciting.

I love how he lumps adding an eigth day in with a round-robin format as if they are anywhere near being close in impact on the game. Only someone who had been dropped multiple times on his head a baby would compare the ATP with the World Cup. Where would someone even begin with how monstrously idiotic that is??????

Action Jackson
08-30-2006, 04:29 AM
I think it will be a new meaning for the concept "Mickey Mouse Tournament" don't you think??? :p

We love our MM events, that is the problem. Now it has sinister meanings :p

Merton
08-30-2006, 04:36 AM
I love how he lumps adding an eigth day in with a round-robin format as if they are anywhere near being close in impact on the game. Only someone who had been dropped multiple times on his head a baby would compare the ATP with the World Cup. Where would someone even begin with how monstrously idiotic that is??????

-Tennis is in the entertainment business.
-Football is in the entertainment business.
-Football uses RR format in the World Cup.
Therefore, tennis must adopt the RR format.

rofe
08-30-2006, 04:39 AM
-Tennis is in the entertainment business.
-Football is in the entertainment business.
-Football uses RR format in the World Cup.
Therefore, tennis must adopt the RR format.

I think the keyword is entertainment. All logic is derived from it.

Action Jackson
08-30-2006, 04:45 AM
Got to say the MTF unity on this issue is impressive.

Yes, Mr Disney, you should have to stuck to productions of "Cool Runnings".

NYCtennisfan
08-30-2006, 04:51 AM
-Tennis is in the entertainment business.
-Football is in the entertainment business.
-Football uses RR format in the World Cup.
Therefore, tennis must adopt the RR format.

:haha: That's the syllogism that's up on Mr. Disney's whiteboard right now.

rofe
08-30-2006, 05:02 AM
:haha: That's the syllogism that's up on Mr. Disney's whiteboard right now.

:haha:

MariaV
08-30-2006, 05:30 AM
You are not going to disrepect tennis? Come on Disney, has he actually read what he has said. It's a classic Mickey Mouse solutions cause he doesn't have the balls to make the right structural changes.

Herr Disney, if possible read this thread if he doesn't want see people who are offended by the pursuit of $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ $$$$$$$$4

The World Cup increased teams you clown, it comes around once every 4 years and surprisingly there are matches with nothing on the line.
I didn't watch the World Cup this year almost at all. :yawn: I'm just not into football with these meaningless RR matches any more, not at WC or the CL. :yawn:

And mind you, I used to be an ardent football fan in my youth. ;)

t0x
08-30-2006, 08:43 AM
In the world cup you can draw matches - that means their are more possible scenarios and as a result it becomes fairly entertaining. Besides, it's every 4 years...

With tennis, it's just a plain bad idea... we should all email the ATP, and hope they realize what idiots they look like

Action Jackson
08-30-2006, 08:45 AM
In the world cup you can draw matches - that means their are more possible scenarios and as a result it becomes fairly entertaining. Besides, it's every 4 years...

With tennis, it's just a plain bad idea... we should all email the ATP, and hope they realize what idiots they look like

As for emailing the ATP, well wouldn't they havr to be literate first. :

Kalliopeia
08-30-2006, 11:06 AM
The extent to which this guy has no idea what he is talking about is just blowing my mind. Half of that interview is him going "Well I don't really know how that is going to work out, ha ha! Isn't that hilarious! I guess we'll just see what happens!"

I think I hate him.


I'm a great believer in doing it, trying it and fixing it rather than trying to get it right.

I think that says it all right there. The idiot has absolutely no idea what he's doing. He's giving absolutely no thought to the logistics of what he's proposing, not to mention the consequences. He's taking the ideas of players who are really most interested in how it will benefit them personally. Roger Federer is against instant replay but for round robin? Of course, instant replay will increase his chances of losing points while round robin increases his chances of winning. And while I can't really blame them for that, I can blame de Villiers for not being able to seperate ideas that are good for tennis from ideas that will benefit only a select few players. As for audiences, he might get a few people to watch for awhile, but people who are attracted by gimmicks aren't going to hang around. Meanwhile people who love the sport for what it is are going to be alienated and driven away. Brilliant idea.

So, where do we write? I don't for one second think that he's going to care what we have to say, but I for one would at least feel a little better if I was able to tell him what a clueless asshat he is.

oz_boz
08-30-2006, 11:19 AM
Damn.

RR, tiebreak sets, more matches to prevent exhaustion, interesting tank jobs, asking some adviser cause DV knows too little about tennis...

:speakles:

Action Jackson
08-30-2006, 11:21 AM
Here is the bottom line inspite of most of our silly trolling and flaming for the most part we are just tennis fans, but Mr Disney is so far in his own universe that he doesn't care about what he is trying to do to the game for his own and Fed's benefit.

mallorn
08-30-2006, 01:29 PM
Then when I met with Roger, Rafa, Marat and Andre, Rafa and Roger said this is just such a great idea, why don't you do it on the bigger tournaments.
I don't get it. I mean, Rafa has shown before that he's in favour of various changes but Mr Tradition also suggested this??? Very weird. :shrug:

Here's an interesting article from El Mundo Deportivo, translated by Nou.amic:
Godó open to adopting round robin and Sunday start

Sixte Cambra, director of the Open Seat Trofeo Conde de Godó, said yesterday in New York that the tournament is open to the possiblity of being one of those that try out the round robin format that the ATP hopes to introduce in the whole calendar from 2009 onwards. In the Godó's case, the draw would change from 56 to 48 players who would be divided into 16 groups of 3 players. The winners would go on to the round of sixteen, from where on the knock out format would prevail. With this formula the top players would play at least two matches in the tournament.

In 2007 the ATP wants tournaments to start on Sundays, a more attractive day to both fans and television. In addition, all the finals on the (ATP) circuit will be the best of three sets, five set finals, like at the Godó, are to disappear.

Sixte Cambra pointed out that the modifications that will be introduced have to be directed towards "increasing the players' commitment to the tournaments", to prevent so many last minute withdrawals from the official entry list previously obtained from the ATP. In the last 60 professional tournaments the average number of absences from the original list has been 10 players per tournament.

The ATP will work from a base of the 16 top players, who will have to establish their calendar before the beginning of the season. An Appointment Committee will establish the distribution of the players, :confused: who will earn more money if they fulfil their commitments but will get 0 ranking points if they do not show up. There will be 16 'premium' tournaments, 8 Masters Series and 8 Nations Open, of which the Godó wants to be one. The tournament will be worth 1.500.000 euros and the participation of six players in the top sixteen will be guaranteed.

These changes do not apply to the Grand Slams, which are run by the International Federation.

rrfnpump
08-30-2006, 01:31 PM
all this stuff just hurts the lower ranked players and favors the higher ranked

no wonder, the higher ranked are in favor of this

Johnny Groove
08-30-2006, 02:09 PM
I don't get it. I mean, Rafa has shown before that he's in favour of various changes but Mr Tradition also suggested this??? Very weird. :shrug:

Here's an interesting article from El Mundo Deportivo, translated by Nou.amic:

How is Rafa supposed to play in Barcelona RR on Sunday when he's winning Monte Carlo on the same day? :confused:

Action Jackson
08-30-2006, 02:16 PM
How is Rafa supposed to play in Barcelona RR on Sunday when he's winning Monte Carlo on the same day? :confused:

Rafa is special. He is exempt from RR and he supports all these changes.

Saumon
08-30-2006, 02:20 PM
seriously no one was interested in the RR at the MASTERS CUP last year so why would people be interested in smaller tournaments? I just cant get it :shrug:

Saumon
08-30-2006, 02:21 PM
How is Rafa supposed to play in Barcelona RR on Sunday when he's winning Monte Carlo on the same day? :confused:
explain that to Mr. Disney! he may think players play a tournament every four years like the World Cup :rolleyes:

Saumon
08-30-2006, 02:25 PM
now Grand Slams=Masters Series?!? :confused: how... confusing :retard:

Johnny Groove
08-30-2006, 02:27 PM
why cant this fool just leave the sport alone? It was fine before he got here, but if he continues to turn it into a circus, the audience will leave, and the clowns wont get paid.

Action Jackson
08-30-2006, 02:29 PM
It's obvious you don't piss off your core fan base just to attract part-time fans. If they are interested enough, then they will discover for themselves, if not, they can piss off, it's no loss.

Action Jackson
08-30-2006, 02:31 PM
The ATP will work from a base of the 16 top players

Is this the 16 highest ranked players or the 16 "most marketable"

The second one of course.

mallorn
08-30-2006, 02:35 PM
What's the deal with the Appointment Committee? I think I must've missed it, was it explained how it's going to work?

Saumon
08-30-2006, 02:37 PM
Because the Sunday play will involve players, who are available,
to participate in days such as Benny Berthet and Arthur Ashe.

Good for marketing

TV will be showing finals on Sunday from earlier event
:confused: but when do they actually PLAY the finals??

Merton
08-30-2006, 02:43 PM
Roger and Rafa act for their own benefit, there is no blame for that, but the ATP is supposed to represent the sport, the interests of the top players are not necessarily aligned with the interests of the sport at large. For the top players, the benefit is obvious, apart from the luxury of being able to work their way into form, they can also capture a greater part of the revenue pie, due to their fixed schedule, guaranteed appearances.

We can see the format problems right away, the implementation suggested for Barcelona reduces the entry number of players from 56 to 48. Therefore, a guy like Korolev who had a breakthrough event this year would not be able to enter the tournament.

Saumon
08-30-2006, 02:51 PM
btw what about SE? :scratch:

Action Jackson
08-30-2006, 02:58 PM
btw what about SE? :scratch:

Who gives a crap? They don't care about that.

As long as they get the Rafa/Roger show all the time, that is what counts in the end.

The other players are just props, gimps and stooges, just there to fill the numbers in and that is all in reality.

mallorn
08-30-2006, 02:59 PM
Roger and Rafa act for their own benefit, there is no blame for that, but the ATP is supposed to represent the sport, the interests of the top players are not necessarily aligned with the interests of the sport at large. For the top players, the benefit is obvious, apart from the luxury of being able to work their way into form, they can also capture a greater part of the revenue pie, due to their fixed schedule, guaranteed appearances.

We can see the format problems right away, the implementation suggested for Barcelona reduces the entry number of players from 56 to 48. Therefore, a guy like Korolev who had a breakthrough event this year would not be able to enter the tournament.
The supertiebreak isn't going to benefit Rafa at all. I agree with the rest of your post.

Merton
08-30-2006, 03:08 PM
By the way, a RR with 3 players is crap, lets introduce the innovative RR format with 2 players per group :devil:

Action Jackson
08-30-2006, 03:11 PM
2 players per group and they would have to play twice.

rrfnpump
08-30-2006, 03:13 PM
2 players per group and they would have to play twice.

and when its 1-1 a deciding match with two super TB's will decide

revolution
08-30-2006, 03:13 PM
A super tie break in the third set would be the death of tennis.

I don't like the RR format anyway. Barry Cowan is talking bollocks on Sky.

Action Jackson
08-30-2006, 03:15 PM
No, instead of a TB, they should have a serving contest where they place a cone in the service box and the person who hits it the most will win.

Merton
08-30-2006, 03:17 PM
It should be decided on a round of Greco-Roman wrestling. Labadze will then proceed to become the marketing dream of the ATP.

Saumon
08-30-2006, 03:33 PM
No, instead of a TB, they should have a serving contest where they place a cone in the service box and the person who hits it the most will win.
OMG you should work for the ATP! Love the idea!! :eek: :hearts:

Saumon
08-30-2006, 03:34 PM
It should be decided on a round of Greco-Roman wrestling. Labadze will then proceed to become the marketing dream of the ATP.
:haha: :rolls:

Action Jackson
08-30-2006, 03:41 PM
If Tursunov is playing, then he must be allowed to have a blog off against his opponent except if it is Federer or Nadal, cause they have to be in the final.

oz_boz
08-30-2006, 03:43 PM
No, instead of a TB, they should have a serving contest where they place a cone in the service box and the person who hits it the most will win.

That should work for grass and indoor season. On clay, they should let every player return a 100 balls from a ball machine. He who gets the most back wins.

Action Jackson
08-30-2006, 03:44 PM
Mr Disney should sign a contract saying that Federer and Nadal have to be in every final of the same tournament they play in.

oz_boz
08-30-2006, 03:48 PM
It should be decided on a round of Greco-Roman wrestling. Labadze will then proceed to become the marketing dream of the ATP.

That's a great idea. I will support anything that would favour Labadze. Ivo vs. Ollie would be a killer.

Saumon
08-30-2006, 03:49 PM
That should work for grass and indoor season. On clay, they should let every player return a 100 balls from a ball machine. He who gets the most back wins.
and what about hardcourt? :scratch:

oz_boz
08-30-2006, 03:49 PM
Mr Disney should sign a contract saying that Federer and Nadal have to be in every final of the same tournament they play in.

That would hardly make any difference from now.

Action Jackson
08-30-2006, 03:50 PM
Ivo would have to be on his knees to make it a fair fight.

As for the clay they have to do as many 360s while sliding laterally and forwards within a minute and have a tennis ball balanced on their head.

oz_boz
08-30-2006, 03:52 PM
and what about hardcourt? :scratch:

A weighted average of the mentioned serve and return performance with weights decided by the speed of the surface.

Action Jackson
08-30-2006, 03:53 PM
That would hardly make any difference from now.

Get it in writing.

So Fed and Rafa can tank all their round robin matches and make the final.

TenHound
08-30-2006, 03:58 PM
Instead of hitting a cone, they should bring out a lion in a cage on the service line - most balls served into the lions mouth wins. Bring on the Spectacle, Disney boy... and serve that cotton candy...

oz_boz
08-30-2006, 04:00 PM
Get it in writing.

So Fed and Rafa can tank all their round robin matches and make the final.

Great for entertainment, then they shouldn't be exhausted before the final, and fitness would be less important, great. Whoever loses, his fans/turds would still complain that his tankjobs were harder than the other's.

Saumon
08-30-2006, 04:06 PM
Great for entertainment, then they could save their best tennis for the final. But whoever loses, his fans/turds would still complain that his tankjobs were harder than the other's.
:haha:

Another idea to replace the tie-break: they pick 2 random spectators in the crowd (one for each player). The 1st player who gets his serve returned by the spectator loses.

OR

No spectator involved but they can do something like the penalty kicks in football (since Mr. Disney loves the WC system). If the opponent can't return the serve it counts as a goal.

Action Jackson
08-30-2006, 04:08 PM
For the Spanish events, both players have to try and see if they can milk a bull to decide the winner.

oz_boz
08-30-2006, 04:11 PM
:haha:

Another idea to replace the tie-break: they pick 2 random spectators in the crowd (one for each player). The 1st player who gets his serve returned by the spectator loses.

OR

No spectator involved but they can do something like the penalty kicks in football (since Mr. Disney loves the WC system). If the opponent can't return the serve it counts as a goal.

Karlovic is not a youngster but this way he should be able to get at least a triple GS before he retires.

Deboogle!.
08-30-2006, 04:27 PM
Pretty interesting analysis from Charlie Bricker's USO Blog.
===================
Round Robin In A Square Hole

NEW YORK -- A few days ago Etienne de Villiers, the fascinating and highly cerebral CEO of the men's tour, spent a half-hour explaining his latest innovation for the game -- round-robin tennis.

It was one of those conversational visits that highlighted not only the best of Etienne, but . . . well, let's not say the worst. Let's say his greatest limitation. E.T. is a fabulous idea man. His mind is a cauldron of intriguing concepts designed to take tennis to a higher, more popular level. Now, what he needs is someone close to him who is more of an execution man, who can advise him on the efficacy of some of his ideas.

What de Villiers is proposing is that the smaller tournaments, beginning next year, protect their best drawing cards against an early upset by playing a round robin. That way, a popular player essentially would get a Mulligan and have a chance to stay in contention.

They would start on Sunday instead of Monday and each player in the draw would be placed in a group with the winners coming out on Wednesday or Thursday to finish up the tournament as a regular knock-out -- just as they do now.

It's a wonderful concept for a 32-draw, which would have eight groups of four players each. But Etienne is emphasizing 48-draws, in which there would be 16 groups of three players each. The 16 winners then would go into a regular round-of-16 format for the final four rounds.

But a three-man round-robin doesn't make much sense. In fact, it makes so little sense that you wonder what de Villiers is thinking here because each player would play only two matches to get out of the round-robin phase and into the knock-out phase.

If your No. 1 drawing card -- Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Andy Roddick or James Blake -- loses his opening match, then the best he can do in the round-robin phase is finish 1-1. And the only way he moves on is if all three players are 1-1 and he has a tiebreaker edge on the other two. What are the chances of that? It's more likely one of those three players will finish 2-0.

It works much better with a 32-draw, in which each player would play three matches in the round-robin phase. Then, if your Federer or Nadal loses, he could still finish 2-1 with better chances of moving on.

I suppose you could argue that with a three-man round robin you'd see Federer or Roddick twice. I would argue that while it's great to see Roddick, you'd rather see him playing another top player than a couple of no-names in a round-robin. Besides, he'd be playing his second and final round-robin match on a Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday, when the crowds are limited. You want him there for the weekend.

Two other things bother me about the round-robin concept. After all the time the ATP has spent massaging around the future of doubles, when some tournament directors wanted to eliminate doubles altogether, round-robin tennis is going to deal doubles a major blow.

There has been an increase in top players playing doubles now with the third and deciding set being a super tiebreak. Top players know they're going to be on and off the court in an hour or so. Ivan Ljubicic, for example, is playing doubles almost every week now, including here at the Open.

But if a top player now has to play six matches over eight days, instead of five over seven in reaching the final, he's not going to play doubles.

The second thing that troubles me is Etienne's suggestion that the way to speed things along in this new singles round-robin format is to play a super tiebreak in the third set. You cannot be serious.

The only reason the doubles players accepted the super tiebreak third set is because they didn't have any choice. The singles players are going to dismiss this idea out of hand.

Tournament directors in 2007 will be encouraged to experiment with the round-robin format, but it won't be mandatory. But until there is something more concrete on the table, how can any tournament director know what he's dealing with here.

There's a lot to be said about de Villiers' fertile thought processes, but he's making a major mistake exposing these ideas before he's got at least some of the key details set in concrete. Otherwise, all he's doing is throwing stuff against the wall, and a lot of what he's throwing about round-robin tennis isn't sticking right now.

Kalliopeia
08-30-2006, 10:00 PM
Jesus, the idea of a supertiebreak in singles literally makes me feel woozy. What is WRONG with this guy?

Merton
08-31-2006, 12:25 AM
Thanks for the article Deb. Peter Bodo also expressed reservations at his blog, it is good to see issues of implementation raised first.

tangerine_dream
10-25-2006, 06:40 PM
A more positive spin here :)

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/26187ade-5b21-11db-8f80-0000779e2340,_i_email=y.html

ATP chief serves up a revolution
By Charles Morris
Published: October 14 2006 03:00

The casual observer could be forgiven for thinking that not much changes in tennis - Roger Federer wins virtually every tournament he enters and Maria Sharapova grabs the publicity whether she is winning or not.

But beneath the headlines about Federer and the struggle between Sharapova, Justin Henin-Hardenne and Amélie Mauresmo to dominate the women's game, tennis is undergoing more radical change than any other leading global sport.

This year the "challenge system" was introduced whereby at some tournaments players can contest a certain number of line calls during a match using the Hawk-Eye instant-replay technology.

The men's doubles game, outside of the big four grand-slam events, has been revolutionised. The advantage point has been scrapped and the receiving pair determine which side of the court the deciding deuce point is served from. Then if the pairs are level at one set all, a "championship tie-break" (first to 10 points, instead of seven) decides the match.

And there is more to come in the next two years. The Association of Tennis Professionals, which runs the men's tour, plans to change the early stages of lesser tournaments to a round-robin group system instead of the knock-out format. The big tournaments, meanwhile, will start with a lot more razzmatazz on Sundays, rather than Mondays, the entry will be reduced from 64 to 56 players, and five-set finals will be abolished outside of the grand-slams. Finally, the meandering, complex tennis calendar will be shaken up and rationalised.

A principal instigator of all this is Etienne de Villiers, who became ATP executive chairman and president in January. A youthful 57-year-old, he spent the bulk of his career working for Walt Disney. He describes himself as "a red-blooded South African male raised on sport", and if that background gives him a respect for tradition, this has been balanced by his Disney experience of giving the public what it wants.

He see tennis's powerful tradition as double-edged - providing a formidable brand on the one hand, but also capable of being "an anchor that holds you back".

He is scathing about the state of the sport he found on joining the ATP. "There is this sense that it used to be a great sport, but what happened to it? But we have these unbelievable stars, two of the finest players ever [Federer and Rafael Nadal], certainly with Federer probably the finest the world has ever seen."

And he adds bluntly: "We have never marketed the sport properly."

His aim is to market not just two or three stars, but all the top 16 players. So stand by to hear much more of Marat Safin's moody magnificence, Marcos Baghdatis's passionate flamboyance and Andy Murray's grumpy young man persona.

Modern communications technology will play an increasing part. The Women's Tennis Association, which runs the women's tour, has led the way thanks to its sponsorship by Sony Ericsson, the mobile telecommunications company. Its Girls on Tour website aims to bring fans closer to players through features such as personal diaries, and data and live tournament scores are accessible via WAP mobile phones.

The ATP is following suit. Streaming of live action from tournaments via the association's website began in August, and players have begun supplying personal blogs. Dmitry Tursunov, the rising Russian star, has attracted a cult following for his witty offerings.

De Villiers says the aim is to make the sport more attractive to both spectators and television.

He argues that the Hawk-Eye challenges add to the drama, as does the sudden-death element of the new doubles format, while its shorter timespan makes it more attractive to broadcasters. Sunday starts will mean more fans can attend tournaments, and the round-robin system will prevent star players being knocked out early, allowing spectators and TV to see more of them.

The same reasoning applies to reducing entries to 56 and scrapping five-set finals. The crowded calendar has led to a plague of injuries to top players, and a smaller draw would enable them to have first-round byes and more rest, while a shorter final suits TV schedules and means contestants are more likely to be fit for the next event.

Above all, De Villiers wants a calendar that fans can understand, a coherent global tournament structure. His plan is to have seven more elite tournaments in addition to the existing nine Masters Series events, with many of them positioned as preliminary events to the four grand slams. The season-ending Masters Cup will also return from Shanghai to Europe as a climax to the continent's indoor series, with London and Paris strong contenders to stage it.

"The best thing we have in tennis is the slams," he says. "So lets make them stronger, and use our tournaments as lead-ins to them."

Crucially, he says the planned changes have the support of most players, although there is one dissident about the round-robin idea. "Roger [Federer] is not that keen on it, he is a traditionalist, but Nadal likes it," says De Villiers.

While he is convinced that tennis must adapt to modern demands, he recognises there are limits. For example, he believes the deciding deuce point in doubles has added to the excitement by reducing the server's advantage, but he adds with a grin: "I'm not sure I have the balls to do this in singles - Roger would kill me." :lol:

nobama
10-25-2006, 07:52 PM
There may be some good ideas that come out of all of this (like combined events leading up to the slams), however, RR is not one of them. Mr. Disney is correct that the sport has never been marketed properly. But that can be fixed without totally changing the format and introducing this RR nonsense.

MariaV
10-25-2006, 08:29 PM
"I'm not sure I have the balls to do this in singles - Roger would kill me."

:haha: :haha: :haha:

LaTenista
10-25-2006, 08:41 PM
Am I the only one who thinks changing the 64 draw Masters Series events to 56 is :bs: ? Personally I find Monte Carlo, Toronto, etc. more exciting than Madrid and Paris - and with smaller draws you won't have the Top 50 and that was what made them special in the first place.

RR is the worse idea ever. Changing the tournament scheduling to include Sunday to Sunday is ridiculous when players are already burnt out on the 7 day tournaments. About the only things that make sense are getting rid of Best of 5 finals outside the slams and DC (which the ATP has no authority over those anyhow) and moving tournaments around to create a more logical season.

Johnny Groove
10-25-2006, 08:44 PM
Good points Isa, but why would Mr Disney do things that make sense? :shrug:

nobama
10-25-2006, 09:00 PM
I don't understand the mentality that being against RR = being a "traditionalist". I think the majority of players and fans who are against RR format do agree that changes need to be made to the sport. And last time I checked the ATP consits of more than just Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. If they're going to implement a radical change like RR format, shouldn't they have consensus among a majority of the players? :shrug:

Naranoc
10-25-2006, 09:09 PM
If they're going to implement a radical change like RR format, shouldn't they have consensus among a majority of the players? :shrug:

That's being logical in their books, a big no no remember? :lol:

Kalliopeia
10-25-2006, 11:27 PM
and the round-robin system will prevent star players being knocked out early, allowing spectators and TV to see more of them.

:banghead: :banghead: :banghead:

God, I hate this idea so much.

uglyamerican
10-25-2006, 11:29 PM
What happens when a player gets injured and retires in his first match?

The Slams will never adopt such a system, so shouldn't the rest of the tour be similar to the most historic tournaments?

Via
10-26-2006, 12:05 AM
i don't deny that mr disney has been trying (compared to the previous mickey mouse who's just contented in living the good life in florida) and there are positive things coming out, just look at the atp website this year and count all the new attractions.

but a true leader recognises one's mistakes too, and listens to the people. huh?? i hate it everytime nadal is mentioned as his supporter for the RR. talk about exploiting the naivety of youth.... :rolleyes:

its.like.that
10-26-2006, 02:51 AM
The elimination of 5 set finals. :lol:

1. Relatively few tournaments have these (besides slams and davis cup).
2. How many of these 5 set finals actually go to 5 sets?
3. Is this really going to make a difference?

:lol:

Hendu
10-26-2006, 05:23 AM
Pretty interesting analysis from Charlie Bricker's USO Blog.
===================
Round Robin In A Square Hole

NEW YORK -- A few days ago Etienne de Villiers, the fascinating and highly cerebral CEO of the men's tour, spent a half-hour explaining his latest innovation for the game -- round-robin tennis.

It was one of those conversational visits that highlighted not only the best of Etienne, but . . . well, let's not say the worst. Let's say his greatest limitation. E.T. is a fabulous idea man. His mind is a cauldron of intriguing concepts designed to take tennis to a higher, more popular level. Now, what he needs is someone close to him who is more of an execution man, who can advise him on the efficacy of some of his ideas.

What de Villiers is proposing is that the smaller tournaments, beginning next year, protect their best drawing cards against an early upset by playing a round robin. That way, a popular player essentially would get a Mulligan and have a chance to stay in contention.

They would start on Sunday instead of Monday and each player in the draw would be placed in a group with the winners coming out on Wednesday or Thursday to finish up the tournament as a regular knock-out -- just as they do now.

It's a wonderful concept for a 32-draw, which would have eight groups of four players each. But Etienne is emphasizing 48-draws, in which there would be 16 groups of three players each. The 16 winners then would go into a regular round-of-16 format for the final four rounds.

But a three-man round-robin doesn't make much sense. In fact, it makes so little sense that you wonder what de Villiers is thinking here because each player would play only two matches to get out of the round-robin phase and into the knock-out phase.

If your No. 1 drawing card -- Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Andy Roddick or James Blake -- loses his opening match, then the best he can do in the round-robin phase is finish 1-1. And the only way he moves on is if all three players are 1-1 and he has a tiebreaker edge on the other two. What are the chances of that? It's more likely one of those three players will finish 2-0.

It works much better with a 32-draw, in which each player would play three matches in the round-robin phase. Then, if your Federer or Nadal loses, he could still finish 2-1 with better chances of moving on.

I suppose you could argue that with a three-man round robin you'd see Federer or Roddick twice. I would argue that while it's great to see Roddick, you'd rather see him playing another top player than a couple of no-names in a round-robin. Besides, he'd be playing his second and final round-robin match on a Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday, when the crowds are limited. You want him there for the weekend.

Two other things bother me about the round-robin concept. After all the time the ATP has spent massaging around the future of doubles, when some tournament directors wanted to eliminate doubles altogether, round-robin tennis is going to deal doubles a major blow.

There has been an increase in top players playing doubles now with the third and deciding set being a super tiebreak. Top players know they're going to be on and off the court in an hour or so. Ivan Ljubicic, for example, is playing doubles almost every week now, including here at the Open.

But if a top player now has to play six matches over eight days, instead of five over seven in reaching the final, he's not going to play doubles.

The second thing that troubles me is Etienne's suggestion that the way to speed things along in this new singles round-robin format is to play a super tiebreak in the third set. You cannot be serious.

The only reason the doubles players accepted the super tiebreak third set is because they didn't have any choice. The singles players are going to dismiss this idea out of hand.

Tournament directors in 2007 will be encouraged to experiment with the round-robin format, but it won't be mandatory. But until there is something more concrete on the table, how can any tournament director know what he's dealing with here.

There's a lot to be said about de Villiers' fertile thought processes, but he's making a major mistake exposing these ideas before he's got at least some of the key details set in concrete. Otherwise, all he's doing is throwing stuff against the wall, and a lot of what he's throwing about round-robin tennis isn't sticking right now.

Well, it seems thats not going to happen.

32-Draw tournamets will have a RR system of 8 groups of 3 players.

http://www.menstennisforums.com/showthread.php?t=89129

Action Jackson
10-26-2006, 05:28 AM
The elimination of 5 set finals. :lol:

1. Relatively few tournaments have these (besides slams and davis cup).
2. How many of these 5 set finals actually go to 5 sets?
3. Is this really going to make a difference?

:lol:

Absolutely no and best of 5 finals outsisde Slams are not an important issue in reality.

atheneglaukopis
10-26-2006, 05:49 AM
The elimination of 5 set finals. :lol:

1. Relatively few tournaments have these (besides slams and davis cup).
2. How many of these 5 set finals actually go to 5 sets?
3. Is this really going to make a difference?

:lol:The good citizens of Rome will miss their best-of-five final.

Action Jackson
10-26-2006, 05:52 AM
Mr Disney is a great guy. I was wrong about him and have seen the light and I have reformed my philistine ways.

Fed-Express
10-26-2006, 06:35 AM
Absolutely no and best of 5 finals outsisde Slams are not an important issue in reality.

They were this year in Rome/Hamburg. Had Rafa and Roger not played 5 sets they might have come to Hamburg which is a TMS after all, so BO5 finals can be an important issue, although it's not often the case.

The elimination of 5 set finals. :lol:
1. Relatively few tournaments have these (besides slams and davis cup).
2. How many of these 5 set finals actually go to 5 sets?
3. Is this really going to make a difference?

1. Indian Wells, Miami, Barcelona, Monte Carlo, Rome, Hamburg, Gstaad, Stuttgart, Kitzbühel, Wien, Madrid, Basel, Paris - 13 tournaments, not few I think (but relatively of course;))
2. This year AFAIK only Rome and Stuttgart, Basel and Paris haven't been played yet
3. We won't know until it has been tried out. In the case of TMS Hamburg it would have probably made a difference this year (and last year too, Nadal would have come and Coria would not have been completely exhausted against Federer).

Action Jackson
10-26-2006, 06:39 AM
They were this year in Rome/Hamburg. Had Rafa and Roger not played 5 sets they might have come to Hamburg which is a TMS after all, so BO5 finals can be an important issue, although it's not often the case.

No, the problem isn't best of 5 set finals. It's the moronic scheduling of 2 TMS events consecutively.

Fed-Express
10-26-2006, 07:05 AM
That is the main problem of course, but with this schedule it makes it considerably worse.

Action Jackson
10-26-2006, 07:11 AM
That is the main problem of course, but with this schedule it makes it considerably worse.

Mr Disney is talking a lot of rubbish, but not exactly saying anything. In other words he is just like a politician who just got elected for a 2nd term and knows that they will retire and they can do stuff and not have to worry about the consequences.

Oh! lets make all these cosmetic changes and not actually address the relevant issues. Considering they are playing best of 5 set matches at Slams, these best of 5 finals actually help and not hinder when it comes down to it.

Fed-Express
10-26-2006, 07:29 AM
It is a real pity that the schedule seems to be almost untouchable, I don't see why the TD are so determined to protect their place in the calendar. If Rome & Hamburg would be scheduled with at least a week between them nothing is against a BO5 final.
In that respect you are right, they do not adress the relevant issues. But hey, its the ATD (great acronym by the way :yeah:) and if Knapper wants Hamburg to be in May it seems as if it will stay in May :(

Action Jackson
10-26-2006, 07:33 AM
It is a real pity that the schedule seems to be almost untouchable, I don't see why the TD are so determined to protect their place in the calendar. If Rome & Hamburg would be scheduled with at least a week between them nothing is against a BO5 final.
In that respect you are right, they do not adress the relevant issues. But hey, its the ATD (great acronym by the way :yeah:) and if Knapper wants Hamburg to be in May it seems as if it will stay in May :(

As for the schedule that would actually take balls to do something like that and the fact that they have been talking about changing it for 25 years and have done a whole lot of 0.

Rome and Hamburg used to have a 2 week break, but the whole calendar thing is another thread.

So with this, he is like wooooooooooooooo I am making a difference etc etc, but has not thought everything through. He always take his top players and form their own tour, if that is what people really want to see, then it would work, wouldn't it?

beajc
10-26-2006, 10:09 AM
ATP Outlines Round Robin Format Trials for 2007 © Getty Images

* Thirteen ATP tournaments selected for round robin testing

* Three formats to be monitored to determine benefits for fans, broadcasters, others

* Sunday Starts also will be featured at several of the selected tournaments

The ATP announced today that it will test three different round robin formats at select circuit events in 2007. Round robin format is one of a series of on-court enhancements for 2007 outlined during the US Open to improve the tournament experience for players, tennis fans, broadcasters and event promoters.

Round robin—where players are placed into groups or pools, and the top player in each group then moves on to the knockout phase of the tournament—increases spectators’ chances of seeing their favorite stars, as one loss in a round-robin pool does not automatically eliminate a player, and also improves scheduling for broadcasters and tournament promotion. Round robin has been a staple of the Tennis Masters Cup circuit finale and ARAG ATP World Team Championship but not utilized at any other ATP tournament. The 13 tournaments chosen subject to final approval by the ATP will be held on different surfaces in different countries throughout the 2007 season, starting the first week in Adelaide, Australia.

“Our research with fans, tournaments and media indicate a preference for round robin" It's true???? do you agree about that ???

said Etienne de Villiers (pictured above), ATP Executive Chairman & President.“We are committed to grow the appeal of the sport and get more fans to sample and enjoy. We are going to test different formats and see which ones we will introduce and into what type of event for 2008. It is the 'do it, try it, fix it' approach. I recognise some players and media are opposed or indifferent. But we will diligently build our research based on the results and do what's best for the fans. You live or die by your what your consumer does, not by what critics say or feel.”

ATP World No. 2 Rafael Nadal said: “I have said it at our meetings with Etienne, I think this is a great idea. Finally we really move forward and we do something really good for our sport. This will be good for our tournaments, for us the players and especially for fans and television since they will be able to have and see their favorite players more than once for sure.”

The ATP will conduct its one-year trial testing the three following formats:


·
A 24-player round robin draw consisting of 8 groups of 3 players. Each player will then play two guaranteed matches in the round robin stage. The winner from each group will advance to the knockout round (quarterfinals), and then will play out the tournament per a traditional single-elimination format.

· A 32-player round robin draw consisting of a 16-player “play-off” with the 8 winners joining 16 other players to make up the 8 groups of 3 players. Each player will then play two guaranteed matches in the round robin stage. The winner from each group will advance to the knockout round (quarterfinals), and then will play out the tournament per a traditional single-elimination format.

· A 48-player round robin draw consisting of 16 groups of 3 players. Each player will then play two guaranteed matches in the round robin stage. The winner from each group will advance to the knockout round (round of 16), and then will play out the tournament per a traditional single-elimination format.

Many of the tournaments will be held over eight days and will begin not on the traditional Monday but on Sunday, when ATP tournaments will feature singles and doubles matches, pro-ams, charity events and family activities as part of the ATP’s plan to transform men’s professional tennis into an integrated entertainment business based on what makes sense to fans, players, tournaments and media.

Additionally, two ATP Masters Series tournaments have been chosen to utilize a Sunday Start program in 2007 (though ATP Masters Series will not test the round robin format). Those two Masters events are the Masters Series Monte-Carlo (April 15-22, 2007) and Rogers Masters in Montreal (August 5-12, 2007).

The 13 tournaments testing round robin in 2007, subject to final ATP and tournament agreement, will be (listed chronologically):

· Next Generation Adelaide International; Adelaide, Australia; 32-player round robin; hard court outdoors
· Movistar Open; Viña del Mar, Chile; 24-player round robin; clay court outdoors
· Delray Beach International Tennis Championships; Delray Beach, Florida; 32-player round robin; hard court outdoors
· Copa Telmex; Buenos Aires, Argentina; 32-player round robin; clay court outdoors
· Tennis Channel Open; Las Vegas, Nevada; 32-player round robin; hard court outdoors
· Estoril Open; Estoril, Portugal; 32-player round robin; clay court outdoors
· The Stella Artois Championships; London, United Kingdom; 48-player round robin; grass court outdoors
· Catella Swedish Open; Båstad, Sweden; 32-player round robin; clay court outdoors
· Campbell’s Hall of Fame Tennis Championships; Newport, Rhode Island; 24-player round robin; grass court outdoors
· RCA Championships; Indianapolis, Indiana; 32-player round robin; hard court outdoors
· ATP Studena Croatia Open, Umag, Croatia; 32-player round robin; clay court outdoors
· Legg Mason Tennis Classic; Washington, D.C.; 48-player round robin; hard court outdoors
· If Stockholm Open; Stockholm, Sweden; 32-player round robin; hard court indoors

"Tennis Australia is proud that the Next Generation Adelaide International will be the first tournament in the world to trial the ATP's 32-player round-robin format. It's the shared aim of everyone involved in tennis to find new ways to make our sport even more appealing to fans, media and sponsors. The fact that this format will also assist the players gain valuable match play prior to the first Grand Slam of the year, the Australian Open, makes this a doubly welcome innovation," said Steve Wood, CEO of Tennis Australia.

"This is a great day for tennis," said Mark Baron, tournament director of the Delray Beach International Tennis Championships. "It's exciting for Delray Beach to open the 2007 tennis season in the United States by rolling out this new round robin format. We have been discussing creative ways to make our sport even more exciting and this format delivers a chance to test some of those ideas. Our fans are the big winners because they'll have the opportunity to see our marquee players at least twice. The round robin portion of the tournament will be exciting to follow as players jockey for positions into the quarterfinals."

Action Jackson
10-26-2006, 06:19 PM
Disney you are a poor joke.

It's funny how some players support this system, yet would have had more problems reaching the desired ranking to be able play these events.

Top players didn't get there by playing RR.

ExpectedWinner
10-26-2006, 06:50 PM
talk about exploiting the naivety of youth.... :rolleyes:

IMO, it has nothing to do with age and everything to do with brains, integrity, and willingness to speak up against ATP suits if needed.

I believe young Gasquet said something against the RR system.

GlennMirnyi
10-26-2006, 08:10 PM
OMG! Queens will become a RR MM event??? :mad:

Johnny Groove
10-26-2006, 09:10 PM
Taking into account that England is the traditionalist place of tennis with basically no changes at all, is London Queens really gonna do this? :retard:

Via
10-26-2006, 10:47 PM
IMO, it has nothing to do with age and everything to do with brains, integrity, and willingness to speak up against ATP suits if needed.

I believe young Gasquet said something against the RR system.

you'd be surprised how such qualities may improve with age and maturity ;) integrity perhaps not, but a better understanding of one's own interest versus other people's motives and interests... wisdom of when to speak and when to keep quiet ... etc

but regardless of the situation with nadal's maturity... or brain..... mr disney certainly knows who to pick for support. and i despise that. old fox.

but yeah, young gasquet should be applauded. :clap2: is he still speaking up though?

ExpectedWinner
10-27-2006, 02:21 PM
you'd be surprised how such qualities may improve with age and maturity ?

Wines are getting better with age, I'm not sure about people. The desire to protect your own interests and kiss powerful behinds might increase with age.

http://bestsmileys.com/office1/1.gif http://bestsmileys.com/office1/4.gif ------------> the ATP reality

MariaV
10-27-2006, 05:01 PM
Taking into account that England is the traditionalist place of tennis with basically no changes at all, is London Queens really gonna do this? :retard:

They will do it especially for Rafael. Seems they want him back next year. ;) :angel:

Via
10-28-2006, 12:32 AM
Wines are getting better with age, I'm not sure about people. The desire to protect your own interests and kiss powerful behinds might increase with age.

http://bestsmileys.com/office1/1.gif http://bestsmileys.com/office1/4.gif ------------> the ATP reality
:lol:
i don't deny that!

but i don't think santoro could've said what he says about RR, if he's only 18 for example. with years of experience he can see the picture more clearly. though of course, if one's the xxx-kissing type, one does not have to say what one sees.