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Old 10-02-2007, 02:56 AM   #1
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Default Article:ATP stands firm on Asian threat

ATP stands firm on Asian threat
From correspondents in Bangkok

October 01, 2007 THE ATP Tour will not increase its quota of Asian players in events held on the continent despite threats by Asia's tennis body to pull out of the tour and start its own rebel circuit, a tour official said.

Brad Drewett, a senior ATP official, said the global men's circuit would not bow to a demand by the Asian Tennis Federation (ATF) that 25 per cent of the field in every event on the continent be comprised of Asian players.

"We have rules in place based on merit, and we have no plans to change them," Drewett said.

"We always give four wild cards. That system has served us very well for a long, long time. It's fair, it's an integrated system. It has some flexibility, but it will stay that way."

The 2007 ATP top-flight calendar includes five events in Asia along with the season-ending Masters Cup in Shanghai, where only the eight best players in the world are eligible to enter.

The ATF issued a statement last month saying it was "seriously considering breaking away" from the ATP tour unless eight spots were given to Asian players in every Asian event, even though South Korean Lee Hyung-taik is the only man from the region in the top 100.

The ATF also demanded that the continent's ATP Challenger events – feeder tournaments where players can accumulate points to raise their ranking – be closed off to non-Asians.

Drewett, a former Davis Cup player for Australia, said the standard of the men's tour was too high for most Asian players, who should get the chance to improve at smaller events rather than be exposed to the likes of Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal early on.

"We can give countries more wild cards for big events but their players will just get beaten very easily," he said.

"That's not good in terms of developing players' ability.

"In all sports – soccer, rugby, swimming, athletics, golf – there is a system of tiers, and no one can just jump to the big competitions."

Chaiyapak Siriwat, vice-president of the ATF, accused the ATP of neglecting Asian tennis by restricting the number of local participants.

"All the people in Asia look at the Australian Open as their grand slam, but we get only one wildcard," Chaiyapak said.

"What are they doing for Asian tennis? What kind of development is this?

"We have the money, we have a big population. If we make a pact, we can do it on our own."

http://www.foxsports.com.au/story/0,...-23216,00.html
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Old 10-02-2007, 03:09 AM   #2
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Default Re: Article:ATP stands firm on Asian threat

Truth is, if the Asian players were really good enough there would be plenty at the top of the game. Look at South America, there's only three tournaments a year in the region and yet Argentina has 13 players in the top 100. And they don't even have the population or the wealth of countries like Korea, Japan, China and India.

The ATF should be doing a better job promoting the sport in the region and providing better facilities for young enthusiastic players. I bet there's no major tennis academy in the whole of Asia.
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Old 10-02-2007, 03:14 AM   #3
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Default Re: Article:ATP stands firm on Asian threat

Interesting article. Thanks for posting it. ATP is correct obviously but in the coming years (whether the ATP wants to acknowledge it or not) a lot of money has the potential to come from the Asian market so they can't just brush it off.

Yes, Asian players will get beaten very easily but the counter argument would be that they will learn how to play on the big stage and get better coaches to reduce humiliation going forward. Also, this will attract more viewers if local players participate. Didn't someone post in GM about how the stands were empty during the China Open?
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Old 10-02-2007, 03:19 AM   #4
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Default Re: Article:ATP stands firm on Asian threat

Thanks for posting.

25% is probably too big, but other events use Wildcards to do exactly the same thing. I'll have to go back and look at the number of wildcards at this year's USO,but I think it was over 90% of those that went to US players who would not have got in otherwise. Same thing, different language. The ATP should address this in some fair manner.
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Old 10-02-2007, 03:24 AM   #5
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Default Re: Article:ATP stands firm on Asian threat

Every tournament in Asia already has 4 WC (just like everywhere else) which are almost always given to locals. Tennis (both ATP and WTA) is one of the very few individual sports operating under conditions of almost true meritocracy. It shouldn't be changed for any reason whatsoever!!!
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Old 10-02-2007, 03:37 AM   #6
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Default Re: Article:ATP stands firm on Asian threat

Quote:
Originally Posted by R.Federer View Post
Thanks for posting.

25% is probably too big, but other events use Wildcards to do exactly the same thing. I'll have to go back and look at the number of wildcards at this year's USO,but I think it was over 90% of those that went to US players who would not have got in otherwise. Same thing, different language. The ATP should address this in some fair manner.
Umm, that's the definition of what a wildcard is for, so what's the problem? All but one of the USO wildcards went to Americans, the last one went to an Australian because of a reciprocal agreement with Tennis Australia.
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Old 10-02-2007, 04:16 AM   #7
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Default Re: Article:ATP stands firm on Asian threat

You can't just demand 25% of a field to be from one region, that's really bad. The ATP is meant to include the best players from around the world and if they don't have many players making it on ranking, then that's bad luck, you can't just demand it.

Demanding more the one WC into the Australian Open? They are lucky enough they get one as it is.
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Old 10-02-2007, 04:35 AM   #8
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Default Re: Article:ATP stands firm on Asian threat

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fee View Post
Umm, that's the definition of what a wildcard is for, so what's the problem? All but one of the USO wildcards went to Americans, the last one went to an Australian because of a reciprocal agreement with Tennis Australia.
Um, that's what I'm saying. Whether you reserve it as a quota as the Asians are asking for, or call it a wildcard (instead of what it is : quota for domestic players), it is serving the same purpose, which is to get domestic players into a tournament who are otherwise don't get it on merit.

As I said, 25% might be excessive, but that does not appear to be the issue. They can whittle 25% down to 10% or something and permit it under the same guise as a wildcard.

By the way, nothing about wildcard says it has to be a local player. A wildcard is just that-- someone who is picked out of turn, who would not qualify otherwise. I have never heard that wildcard means picking a random domestic player.
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Old 10-02-2007, 04:41 AM   #9
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Default Re: Article:ATP stands firm on Asian threat

Okay, I misunderstood you. Thanks for clearing that up for me.

ATF needs to address their Aus Open issue with Tennis Australia. The ATP has no influence there, the Slams pretty much do their own thing.
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Old 10-02-2007, 10:48 AM   #10
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Default Re: Article:ATP stands firm on Asian threat

i've never heard of atf... what countries do they represent?

this request is so unbelievable, i wonder what they intend to achieve asking for it. they know the atp cannot agree to this, otherwise other regions and countries could demand the same treatment. they won't win with protectionism, because basically there are more tour tournaments elsewhere than in asia.
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Old 10-02-2007, 12:06 PM   #11
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Default Re: Article:ATP stands firm on Asian threat

Like Via I'd like to know what countries the ATF represents.

On face value this sounds wrong and I agree that players have always moved up the ranks based on merit and that that should not change. That said Australia has special agreements with the US Open and Wimbledon I believe. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

It's also interesting that Asian women, Sania Mirza, Ai Sugiyama, Peng Shuai, Yi Zan just to nane a few, are doing well working their way into the upper reaches of the WTA. There have been questions about why Asian men aren't doing likewise. So far Quereshi(sp) from Pakistan has been the only name I've seen consistently this year other than H-T Lee of course.

If the ATF is looking to set up reciprocal agreements with Australia then maybe they should have used a different tactic and worked behind the scenes.

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Old 10-02-2007, 02:23 PM   #12
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Default Re: Article:ATP stands firm on Asian threat

The ATF represents all countries in Asia. There are also equivalent associations for all the other continents.
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Old 10-02-2007, 02:36 PM   #13
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Default Re: Article:ATP stands firm on Asian threat

4 MD Wildcards, 4 Quali Wildcards (+ a "helpful" draw), 2 direct entries. That's 25% of a 32 man draw right there and is easily achievable without changing anything.
Mumbai managed it, Beijing surpassed it, Tokyo must be pretty close.
So basically implementing a quota would remove the element of meritocracy without even having the desired effect of increasing the amount of Asians in the draw. This hass got to be one of the dumbest ideas ever.
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Old 10-02-2007, 04:03 PM   #14
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Default Re: Article:ATP stands firm on Asian threat

WTF indeed. More racial/ethnic bullshit that abounds in this world. Whatever happened to only caring about the content of character?
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Old 10-02-2007, 04:11 PM   #15
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Default Re: Article:ATP stands firm on Asian threat

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimnik View Post
Truth is, if the Asian players were really good enough there would be plenty at the top of the game.
Very true.
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