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Old 05-31-2005, 03:36 AM   #1
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Default Sunday Start for Roland Garros 2006?

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article...634659,00.html
Quote:
May 31, 2005

Henin-Hardenne made to dig deep to repel Russian
From Neil Harman, Tennis Correspondent, in Paris

CHAMPIONS rise, as the astonishing Justine Henin-Hardenne proved once more, and champions fall, as Gaston Gaudio showed when he lost the last six games of his match to succumb to David Ferrer, and Marat Safin, champion of Australia, bowed to Tommy Robredo as evening closed in on a spellbinding day for Spain. What never changes is the ability of the tennis family to fall out, this time over plans to start next year’s French Open and, possibly, the 2007 Australian Open on a Sunday.

The grand-slam tournaments are being accused of throwing their weight around. They respond by saying that the idea — driven by the desire of television to swell audience figures — offers more opportunities for leading players to be showcased. The ATP and Sony Ericsson WTA tours are demanding that the grand-slam events recompense them for their players to accede — $1 million (about Ł548,000) has been mentioned — even though they already pay by far the biggest purses in the sport.

Wimbledon and the US Open have no plans to change from their Monday start, but the French tennis federation is well on the way to an agreement that should be looked upon as an extra day of exposure for the finer things in tennis rather than a reason for one side to exploit the other. Australia is watching the outcome intently.

The Lawn Tennis Association’s drive is for “More Players, Better Players”. So what is wrong with “More Tennis, Better Tennis?”
Who would not want to see more of Henin-Hardenne and Rafael Nadal in their present mood? The tiny Belgian had to dig as deep as she had in recovering from the viral infection that laid her so low last year, to defeat Svetlana Kuznetsova, the Russian who took Henin-Hardenne’s US Open title during her period of incapacitation, 7-6, 4-6, 7-5, three gruelling sets that lasted 3hr 15min.

Kuznetsova, who had two match points at 5-3 but missed a forehand pass and netted a backhand slice, said that she lost the match rather than Henin-Hardenne winning it, which is what one would expect her to say. The 2003 champion, who has won 45 of her past 48 matches on clay and has a 7-0 win-loss record in recent tie-breaks, concurred. “I agree that I didn’t play a great match today, but I think I am mentally very strong when I have to be and that made the difference,” she said. “I could sense she was very nervous when she had her chance.”

In the quarter-finals, Henin-Hardenne will play Maria Sharapova, the Wimbledon champion, whom she beat in the last eight of the German Open in Berlin a month ago.

Nadal’s progress showed this teenager’s talent at handling and disarming a crowd that can turn from the most charming to the utterly charmless in the blink of an eye. On Sunday evening, play was halted for almost ten minutes over a disputed line call and scenes of supposedly mature humans acting like idiots took the breath away.

At least the replacement crowd yesterday was able to take defeat on the chin and show respect for Nadal’s brilliance. The Spaniard won 6-4, 3-6, 6-0, 6-3, displaying instinct, courage and the joy of competition that marks him out as a special player. Grosjean did all that he could. He tried to move Nadal into corners where he hoped he would not be able to fashion replies and yet, somehow, he always had an answer. Not only does he hammer the life out of the ball, he is assured at close quarters as well.

Neither of last year’s men’s finalists could reach the last eight. Gaudio let slip a 4-0 lead in the fifth set to Ferrer, while his fellow Argentinian, Guillermo Coria fell to Nikolay Davydenko, of Russia.

The notion that Safin may be able to carry his racket through a grand-slam year always seemed remote. Resplendent in Australia, he had gone into his shell, kept his emotions in check and it took the edge from his play. Against the unfancied Robredo, it all proved too much and the Russian was warned in the third set for smashing his racket and a courtside chair. “I destroyed the racket and the chair because I couldn’t take it any more, to release my emotions, otherwise I was going crazy out there,” he said, after losing in five sets in ten minutes short of four hours.

Copyright 2005 Times Newspapers Ltd.
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Old 05-31-2005, 05:16 PM   #2
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Default Re: Sunday Start for Roland Garros 2006?

A sunday start will make it hard for qualifyers and players who get to the latter stages of tournaments on the previous week, unless they spread the first round over 3 days.
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Old 06-05-2005, 05:28 PM   #3
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Default Re: Sunday Start for Roland Garros 2006?

http://today.reuters.co.uk/news/news...PEN-SUNDAY.xml

Quote:
Roland Garros aims for 2006 Sunday start
Sun Jun 5, 2005 1:44 PM BST

By Ossian Shine

PARIS (Reuters) - French Open organisers will do all they can to ensure next year's claycourt grand slam begins one day earlier, on a Sunday.

The move would allow them to benefit from higher television audiences and boost attendances by scheduling an extra weekend day.

"We are favourable to a Sunday start and we will do whatever we can so that our tournament will be able to start on a Sunday next year," French Tennis Federation (FFT) director general Jean Claude Blanc said on Sunday.

The Australian and French Opens, Wimbledon and the U.S. Open traditionally start on a Monday and last 14 days.

Wimbledon schedules play for only 13 days, factoring in a rest day on the middle Sunday.

"We consider it as something positive for tennis," Blanc said.

"When you see the audience on Monday, the first day of the tournament, is 1.2 million and goes to two million. If we start on a Sunday, we will have five million television viewers. This answers all our questions."

Blanc said discussions would continue at Wimbledon later this month with the organisers of women's and men's tennis, the WTA and the ATP.

"I believe instead of having two weeks and two Sundays, having instead two weeks and three Sundays would be great. We are not adding a complete weekend," Blanc said.

FFT president Christian Bimes said that while not all the four grand slams were in favour of a Sunday start, they were all keen to work together on the project.

"The four presidents found an agreement, which is remarkable," Bimes said.

"At the end of the (Grand Slam) committee (meeting), I said that Wimbledon, which is not interested in a Sunday start, wanted to be associated with the other three tournaments in this operation that we wished, and which is going forward.

"We are finishing our discussions about that with the ATP and the WTA. These discussions will come to an end during the summer. The French Open will be the first one starting on a Sunday in 2006."

© Reuters 2005.
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Old 06-05-2005, 05:57 PM   #4
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Default Re: Sunday Start for Roland Garros 2006?

It sounds like a done deal to me...

I wonder what will be the consequence for the qualies... will they start a day early (IE Monday) to allow a rest day on Saturday?
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Old 06-05-2005, 06:40 PM   #5
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Default Re: Sunday Start for Roland Garros 2006?

Quote:
Originally Posted by nitsansh
It sounds like a done deal to me...
Ted Robinson said during the final that the FFT had a press conference Sunday morning to announce the change starting next year. Mary Carillo said the USTA fully intends to start the U.S. Open on Sunday in 2006 as well (I posted a NYT article about this in the USO forum earlier in the week) & since they now own both the ATP & WTA tour stops preceding the U.S. Open, it won't require much effort to rearrange that part of the calendar.
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Old 06-05-2005, 08:16 PM   #6
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Default Re: Sunday Start for Roland Garros 2006?

There's no need for rearangement because the finals on the week before grand-slams are already on Saturday.

And since I expect that the 1st round (at least for men) will be spread over 3 days, it's possible to arrange Tuesday start for players involved in Saturday finals.
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