Williams Sisters, Mattress Mac, More ATP Housecleaning
by Richard Vach | November 29th, 2006, 11:17 pm

Williams Sisters in Unfamiliar Court

If the court battle the Williams sisters are caught in was a dryer, it would be set on “super spin.”

Venus and Serena and crazy pop Richard are in court in West Palm Beach, FL, battling promoters who claim father Richard committed them to a “Battle of the Sexes” exhibition.

“My dad has the influence of a great father and a great person,” Serena told the court, according to the AP. “My dad came from nothing and made myself and my sister to be somebody. We’re not going to let somebody take that away from us.”

Not sure what that has to do with anything, but promoters Rhodes and Clarke contend that Richard Williams billed himself as a business manager to the sisters, with their lawyers played parts of a 2002 biography film, ‘Raising Tennis Aces,” in which Serena said of dad: “As a manager he’s the best.”

Not hard to imagine.

A lawyer asked Serena, “You knew that the public perception was that your father was your manager, correct?” and Serena replied “I don’t know what the public thought about as to my dad.”

Nice answer. Anyone following tennis even remotely close knows poppa Richard has always played a heavy part in the sisters upbringing, and even if they do have “official” management, he loves to spin deals on the side and do his best to project himself as a player.

Richard was working this deal, the “Battle of the Sexes,” a topic that always carries a lot of pay-per-view potential — hell, even when both sisters lost to the chain-smoking Karsten Braasch on a practice side court early in their careers, fans and the media were titillated. Richard knew what he was doing. Now it’s time to see if he and his daughters can twist reality enough without actually perjuring themselves.

According to the Palm Beach Post: “Testifying later, Serena Williams said she has no memory of ever visiting ‘We Media’ or talking about a battle-of-the-sexes tournament that Clarke and Rhodes claim would net her family at least $37 million. “Apparently I was there, but I don’t recall being there” she said, of the meeting that took place just before she competed in the U.S. Open. She attributed her memory lapse to her busy schedule.”

Mattress Mac Leaving Tennis

Jim “Mattress Mac” McIngvale, one-time promoter of the ATP Masters Cup in Houston, is setting the stage for an exit from tennis.

“There’s no money in tennis,” McIngvale said. “It’s taken me 10 years to learn that. We haven’t been able to grow the game as much as I thought we could…We’re not big ATP fans, as you know, but we’re huge USTA fans. Hopefully one of these days we’ll hook up with them again.”

Next year will be the last year McIngvale and Houston will host the ATP U.S. Clay Court Championships, then they were out. The quirky character who pumped millions of his own money into pro tennis is a casualty of tennis following the money out of the U.S. into Asia, and the ATP burning a bridge.

“Nobody in the United States has poured as much money into tennis over the last 10 years as me and Linda have. I hope they’re happy to have us in the game,” McIngvale said.

Apparently not.

ATP Housecleaning Continues

ATP President Etienne de Villiers is swinging the ax after a year of not getting things done to his satisfaction — first it was U.S. Senior VP-Communications David Higdon, then it spread to the U.S. web team, and now to Europe.

Horst Klosterkemper has been canned at the ATP Europe CEO, to be replaced by another former Disney guy, Manchester United commercial director Andy Anson, who will join the tour in April.

“He brings a wealth of commercial branding and sport-based experience, as well as a real understanding of the current media landscape,” de Villiers said in a statement.

Anson says tennis should be at the same popularity level as the World Cup, Formula One and the Olympic Games.

No mention of the U.S., where the season-ending Masters Cup, featuring Roger Federer vs. Rafael Nadal, then Federer vs. James Blake, was almost non-existent.

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6 Comments for Williams Sisters, Mattress Mac, More ATP Housecleaning

allcourt Says:

I wonder what those people who are suing the Williamses thought that the gigantic and very well-known management company,IMG, was doing all this time — just pretending to be the managers of Venus and Serena??? Even the least informed person in the tennis business knows that IMG has managed the\ose young women’s careers for ages. The idea that these people discussing multi-million-dollar projects did not know this is laughable. This case should be thrown out and under the courthouse!

Zola Says:

This article has a very weak argument. Who says that because someone is a player’s father, and because the player said in a video that as a manager he is the best, you can go and talk to the “dad” and then sue them because they didn’t do what “dad” promised!!!

Where is the contract? Where are the signatures?

Allcourt here says they already have a management company. I guess you forgot to mention that.

Sheila Says:

It looks like Richard admitted to lying for tax purposes,lying to the promoters, and seems like the family was content to lie about many things things, and now Serena is even lying about the dog that bit somebody saying “it’s not my dog” yet she talks about the dog as her dog on her website and it’s registered in her name! I think the Williams sisters and their dad need to take some “honesty” lessons and start being more honest in their dealings, and then they won’t have these problems.

Pete Brown Says:

Maria Sharapova took a huge crap at the U.S.Open that was more than 7 feet long. Of course it was not just one terd it broke up into 11 seperate terds as it was coming out of her butthole. Maria Sharapova has a huge appetite and her butt is very big and thats why she takes such gigantic shits. They stink really bad too.

allcourt Says:

There seems to be awhole lot of lying going on on both sides of the case, but in the end, let’s hope that the decision is made on whether the two “promoters” really thaught that they had deal/contract when IMG was not even consulted. It is interesting that they’re talking about losing a potential $45 million and wedon’t hear anything about the other participants inthis so-called battle of the sexes. Did the McEnroes or their Dad (LOL) sign a piece of paper guaranteeing the event? This is too silly for words1

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