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Discussion Starter #1
WTA Tour Championships switches to round robin format

February 4, 2003
ST. PETERSBURG, Florida (Ticker) - There will be more money and fewer players at this year's WTA Tour Championships.

The WTA Tour on Tuesday announced that the season-ending event will offer a record top prize of $1 million and change from a 16-player single-elimination tournament to an eight-player round robin.

Last year's first prize was $765,000. The top check in WTA Tour history had been the $900,000 earned by Serena Williams at the 2002 U.S. Open.

"It's a pretty awesome amount," Jennifer Capriati said. "It just shows how strong women's tennis is and how it just keeps getting better."

Only eight players - those at the top of the WTA Tour point standings at season's end - will vie for the $1 million prize. They will be divided into two groups of four players, with each playing the other three in her group.

The two competitors from each group with the best record will advance to a single-elimination semifinal round, and the winners will face each other in the final.

The system is identical to the one used by the ATP Tour for its season-ending tournament.

"I think the format is good for a few reasons," Capriati said. "Even if you lose a really tight, tough match, you'll be able to stay in the tournament with this format. It should be better for the fans, too, with seeing some of the top players in more matches."

The doubles draw will go from eight teams to four - those atop the point standings - in a single-elimination format.

Smart move by the WTA to make for exciting tennis like last year's ATP Season-Ending Championships. The men are setting a good example.
 

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I like this for several reasons!!! I really think it will be a better test of who's the best and make for more excitement and apprehension between matches since you don't know right away who advances. But Jennifer seems very relieved to see that she can lose a match and still be in the tournament. LOL! That's the only thing, I mean, I always prefered to concept, you lose, you lose. No second chances, but oh well, I think this will be quite exciting. GO KIM!!!!
 

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i like it!!! i don't understand the decision about doubles but let's see how things play out. ;)
 

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It won't work for them still.
plus they still have the ridiculous situation of counting all the points earned in the year :rolleyes:
 

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I think it's a good idea, cause it'll make it more exciting.
 

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psychotic banana
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I like it! :cool:
 

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www.tennisone.com analyses the format change...interesting points y'all...!!!

WTA Announces Desperation... er... Championships Format Change.... The WTA on Tuesday (ten days later than promised) announced a format change intended to make up for their bad marketing of the year-end WTA championships. Instead of the old 16-draw single elimination format, the singles portion of the Championships will imitate the ATP's eight-draw round robin, with the doubles field reduced to four teams.

This also has the effect of increasing the prize money paid to the winner -- always a big concern in an organization that is obsessed with stars even though it is just as dependent on the ordinary players.

Last year's Championships, the first in Los Angeles, had relatively disappointing attendance, and followed on disappointing attendance in Munich in 2001. Both events, obviously, were new to their sites, but the WTA apparently decided it was trend and needed a change.

Josh Ripple, acting WTA President, said in announcing the change that "Our new format ensures that fans will be treated to the absolute biggest names and best rivalries that the WTA Tour has to offer."

Frankly, we question this. (In fact, the author would say that they had lost their minds if it weren't self-evident that it had happened long since.) The biggest names and best rivalries were already present, and bringing in sixteen players meant that we sometimes saw players who weren't near-clones of each other. What the new format does mean is that every player in the field will play at least three matches, which means that your favorite can't be eliminated in the first round (which, however, means that there is no longer any reason to attend the first round). But that doesn't mean that Venus or Serena Williams will play that many more matches. And there are drawbacks as well. Under this format, eight players will not qualify. Non-qualifiers last year would have included Jelena Dokic, Martina Hingis (who didn't play but did qualify), Chanda Rubin, Lindsay Davenport, and Patty Schnyder. It effectively assures that Anna Kournikova will never qualify again. Jennifer Capriati very likely won't make it this year, and wouldn't have made it in 2000. And the Williams Sisters and Hingis/Kournikova would be unlikely to qualify in doubles, and they've eliminated any real possibility of Martina Navratilova making it. The format also would have knocked out Steffi Graf in 1998!

We haven't yet heard how the rankings table will be modified to take the championships into account. It's nearly assured, though, that this will mess it up, because the whole ranking system is built around single-elimination events.

An additional irony is that the whole format doesn't change the total number of singles matches played in the tournament: It was, and remains, fifteen. The finalists will play five matches instead of four, and the semifinalists four instead of three; the other four players will each play three. Plus, if the ATP is doing so well with its format, why are they cutting prize money right and left?

And do we really want to see Venus and Serena Williams face each other twice in the tournament? If one gets injured and ends up at #3, it could happen....
 

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tennischick said:
www.tennisone.com analyses the format change...interesting points y'all...!!!

WTA Announces Desperation... er... Championships Format Change....
ROTFLOL!!!!
 

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Plus, if the ATP is doing so well with its format, why are they cutting prize money right and left?
I don't really see how cutting prize money to the entire tour (which is likely due to the fall out with their major sponser who went bankrupt, no?) has anything to do with the round robin vs single elimination format.

Anybody want to explain to me what he meant? Perhaps I'm taking it too literallly...?
 

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Don't like it.

How will they tally points?

Why can't they just bring the tournament back to NY? Speaking for my fellow New Yorkers, let me say 1) New yorkers are very knowledgeable about tennis 2) We NEED the $.
 

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i've never understood why it was moved from Madison Square Garden in the first place.

also i think it's hilarious that Jen is quoted in the first article as giving it unconditional support and then the second article sez that she might not even qualify. ROTF!!

Becca i thought he was making a general comment that the ATP is not doing well with its format so why on earth is the WTA copying it.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
tennischick said:
i've never understood why it was moved from Madison Square Garden in the first place.

also i think it's hilarious that Jen is quoted in the first article as giving it unconditional support and then the second article sez that she might not even qualify. ROTF!!

Becca i thought he was making a general comment that the ATP is not doing well with its format so why on earth is the WTA copying it.
b/c the atp actually has good matches and the wta is shit.
 
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