The Shock of all Shocks, Players Pull from Paris

by Sean Randall | October 30th, 2006, 3:49 pm

While the ATP heads have been thinking of ways to screw with tennis, the top players have decided to (again) screw the Paris event. As of this writing Monday afternoon, five of the top six players have already pulled from the Tennis Masters Series event in Paris.

Taking a pass from Paris are Ivan Ljubicic, Andy Roddick, David Nalbandian, Rafael Nadal and today Roger Federer. The pulls mean Paris, which offers 2.6 million dollars, with two fewer Top 6 players than the $690,000 Vienna event earlier this month. ADHEREL

How the hell does that happen? Especially when I always thought that if you offer more prize money – in the case of Paris vs. Vienna 2 million dollars more – you get better players.

Obviously, if you run the Paris event, you can’t be happy, and sure enough the tournament heads are not.

Says tournament directory Alain Riou, “This tournament is suffering, our crowd is asking questions. They are tennis fans, most are tennis players themselves. They know what it means for the players to participate in those tournaments. The Paris audience has proved during the past 20 years that they had an appetite for tennis, and we are convinced that they will be able to be patient and wait until next year.”

And, Alain, the players have proved the last few years that they don’t care about playing in this the last event of the season, and sorry, it will probably happen again next year unless something is done.

Former two-time Slam finalist Cedric Pioline, who helps run the event, wants to take it a step further and ban players. “The only formal sanction system which can be effective for players who pull out a the last minute is suspension. The only thing a player understand today are financial sanctions, fines. But given the money they earn, they don’t care about that.”

Suspend them? How is that going work Cedric? It’s tough enough to get them to show up and now you are calling that the tour just kick them out? Unfortunately, tennis needs to guys to playing, not sitting at home.

ATP chief Etienne was also upset, but could offer no immediate solutions: “I am both deeply disappointed and concerned by the depletion in the player field for one of ATP’s most prestigious events. Unfortunately this is the third year that withdrawals and injuries have hurt the event and the fans’ opportunity to see all their tennis idols. This reinforces my determination to introduce meaningful change to the calendar, the structures, the incentives and sanctions needed to have healthy, motivated top players grace our top events.”

But Cedric is right in saying fining them, unless you can fine them six figures and beyond, is not going to matter much. If you fine Federer $75K he can make that up three-fold playing Doha next year. Same goes for Roddick and Nadal. For those guys, the money is available virtually whenever they want it.

So I don’t blame the players, they are just playing the system, which allows these withdrawal to happen with little punishment.  Plus, the guys that pulled are already into Shanghai so their the motivation for playing in Paris beyond financial isn’t that great.

And it’s not the fault of Pairs, although one could argue if the event was held two weeks earlier they wouldn’t be facing such a problem.

But if you can’t really fine the players and can’t suspend them what can you do?

How about start docking ATP points for missing TMS events and Slams. If tennis officials can take away player prize money, why can’t they also take away player points? After all, the only place to get those coveted ATP points are at ATP events and not at exos, where you can make-up any money you had lost to fines.

Imagine if they were fining top players in such a way this week. Let’s say you are Top 5 and you skip Paris (i.e., don’t even show up like Roddick) you lose 50 Race points. From 6-10 you lost 25 race points. And so on. Obviously Federer and Nadal are unaffected really, but Ljubicic, Roddick and Nalbandian would certainly have to rethink their decision to miss the event.

After assessing the ranking point fines, the new Top 10 entering Paris would look like (assuming my math is right!):
1. Federer (1574)
2. Nadal ( 804)
3. Davydenko (445)
4. Ljubicic (429) -50
5. Roddick (413) -50
6. Nalbandian (414) -25
7. Blake (411)
8. Robredo (410)
9. Gonzo (402)
10. Ancic (387)

All of a sudden Ljubicic, Roddick and Nalbandian are well within striking distance of the other guys. And guess what, you think those guys would roll the dice, stay at home? Doubt it. I’d bet they’d be on a plane to Paris.

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31 Comments for The Shock of all Shocks, Players Pull from Paris

ben Says:

I don’t see why the players should be punished. To be honest I was expecting Roger to drop out. I mean it’d be his third week in a row and he couldn’t even win Cincy after Toronto because he played one right after the other. As for Nadal, it’s a shame he got injured because I was really looking foward to Safin vs Nadal in the second round. But he got injured and it sucks, he didn’t do it on purpose. Nalbandian was sick, not his fault. As for Ljubicic and Roddick, they’ve already qualified for Shanghai and going from Paris to Shanghai is most likely a difficult task. They shouldn’t punish the players, they should fix the schedule. Holding Masters event after Masters event just isn’t fair to the players. I’m sure Roger wanted to set another record for the history books winning a 5th shield in one year and being closer to Agassi’s record, etc. But he’s tired and Shanghai is obviously a more important event for him so why should he jeapordize his chances at Shanghai if the guys at the top won’t fix their mistake.

That was a genius moment there :D Says:

That was a great idea and definitely one people who care about Tennis would truly appreciate!

Atleast players will learn to pace themselves physically if they were to lose points for dissing tournaments and fans.

If your idea were implemented from this year’s beginning itself, I doubt Federer would have gone to Japan instead of Bercy, Paris. I love Federer and I think even he wouldn’t oppose this idea unless he’s suddenly become crazy or something.

Thumbs up to you for bringing up such a good idea.

Carlos Says:

It’s a great idea…

Eileen Says:

Roddick was injured in Madrid. So which of the following is in his best interest — to take Paris off and make sure he’s healthy for Shanghai, or to play Paris and risk getting reinjured and having to pull out of Shanghai? Don’t blame the players for taking care of themselves.

Ted Says:

It must be something about France that inspires so many players to “surrender.”

ben Says:

lol that was good. i dont see y they should punish the players. its not their fault the schedule is so messed up that theyre injured every few months. federer just won 2 straight tournaments in 2 straight weeks. ive gotta say im very impressed cuz he failed to do it in cincy after toronto. im sure nadal didnt purposefully injure himself, same with roddick and nalbandian. federer is tired which makes perfect sense to me. if they extended the season one week and gave the players off this week, made them play paris next week, and start shanghai one week after is originally scheduled, im sure atleast federer would be playing. in any case players r allowed to skip 2 outta 9 majors so atleast federer shouldnt be penalized. also going from europe to shanghai isnt that easy. its easier to rest 2 weeks before playing a tournament that can be considered as big as a slam maybe not AS significant. roddick’s going on 3 weeks now which is fine. 1 week to get treat and get rid of his injury. one week to rest. then off to shanghai to practice for a week. and then play the tennis masters cup. player’s arent going to purposefully injure themselves. roddick and nadal missed shanghai last year, im sure they dont wanna miss it again. instead of complaining about top players not playing they need to fix the scheduling and then maybe theyd get more players to play.

Jon Says:

Ted Says:
“It must be something about France that inspires so many players to “surrender.””

Sean Randall Says:
“All of a sudden Ljubicic, Roddick and Nalbandian are well within striking distance of the other guys. And guess what, you think those guys would roll the dice, stay at home? Doubt it. I’d bet they’d be on a plane to Paris.”

This scenario is playing out right now, all three of these guys are within striking distance of one another. Had Roddick played Paris, he would’ve leapfrogged over Ljubicic and Nalbandian for the No. 3 spot.

But Roddick’s legit excuse of injury prevented him from taking advantage of this opportunity. Why punish him for that?

There’s no logic in forcing a player to play with injury, thereby risking further injury that could knock him out of Shanghi and possibly for the next six months thereafter.

Bans and fines are not the answer. Re-working the overcrowded schedule is the answer.

Marc Says:

Alright, Math Wizard. There already is a point penalty for not playing in tournaments. YOU DON’T GET ANY POINTS. And, what should we do about the players who do enter the tournament but then pull out after the first match…or during the first match? Do we penalize them as well? And, why are we encouraging tennis players, who already have a schedule that is too strenuous to play even more. We should be lowering the penalty for not playing in all the tournaments, not raising it.

443 Says:

It’a horrible idea. How will forcing players to play MORE tennis help with all the injuries? Or should they play TMS’s and Slams only, leaving the smaller tounaments to have 0 top players 99% of the time?

Roddicks example was already given, lets go to Ljubicic. There is no Fedrer or Nadal there, don’t you think he’s not angry enough for playing as it is? The man was sick and then had an allergic reaction to antibiotics, you don’t bounce back from it in 7 days from it. Shall we punish him for it?

I like the fact Federer has played Tokyo rather than Paris. Tennis is more than Europe and USA, fans should gets to see the best players everywhere around the world, it help the sport more than showing up in Paris.

Lets face it, ATP is a powerless charade. What can they do? Can’t even ban the players from slams, the only thing that would acctualy hurt them. Instead the bring us brain dead invations like round-robin, get real. Shorter calendar? It’s crammed up as it is, who will get the ax in order for it to be done?

Lets face it, tennis is as good as it is going to get. Fed played 6 TMS’s this year, you can’t possibly expect him to play more than that. Should he play less than 5 other tournaments? One is grass, one is Basel. One is warm up for the AO, one is to promote tennis in Asia. So give Asia a TMS and at least one thins is resolved. But somehow i don’t see anyonw being willing to do that. So possibly Doha…one week, big deal. Bad luck for Paris that it’s after Basel. Next year Fed will play Paris instead of Madrid, Sometime tournaments will suffer, but they’ll get their cut the next year around. No helping it since ATP dares not tackle the issue of standarazing racquets and balls, possibly even surfaces to an extent.

Solution? Move ATP headqurters to Europe and let Europeans run it instead of clowns like De VIllers Walt Disney. For gods sake tennis is one of the most p opular sports in Europe, while in the US even fishing beats it for ratings. How much sense does that make? ALl they are focused on is upping popularity in US which will never happen (save making women play naked and men occasionaly going over the net and exchanging blows), so they are resorting to desperate measures turning tennis into a joke. Take away Indian Wells and Miami and move them to Asia. That’s a whole month of globalizing tennis. Tampering with the weeks of the slams a little, fall is free for the European indoor season completely. No more drama for Bercy. YEC goes to Germany which has no big tournaments left and everyone is happy.

Tejuz Says:

yes.. its the packed schedule thats the problem.. playing 11 matches in 2 weeks.. n then play another 6 more without break.

1 week later is MC.. so obv there will be pullouts.

Probably get the top 8(or 4) seeds to play from 3rd round.. that means less matches for them and some gap inbetween tournaments. So someone like Fed would get time to recover.

anyway.. pull-outs always happen.. has always been happening for decades.

And anyway… Paris already gets its share of tennis and top players with the French open. So i dont really have too much sympathy for them that they missed out on few player for their second tournament.

Edward Says:

It’s quite funny that articles relating to the depleted field in Paris Masters only came out after Federer opted out of it, even though before that, we already knew that Nalbandian and Nadal were out of competition. Anyway, this is big news because most (almost all) top players withdrew. But I just read from another article that players are allowed to miss two Masters Series tournament (the article said this was applicable to Federer, hence, likely to all top players). As I checked out their 2006 records, with the exception of Roddick, the withdrawals of Federer, Nadal, Ljubicic and Nalbandian are valid with respect to the stipulated ATP policy. Federer, Nadal and Nalbandian played seven of nine Masters Series; Ljubicic played eight. Roddick played five out of nine. So it is ironic that the tennis officials are pushing for player sanctions, when in reality, the withdrawals of four out of the five highly-ranked players, no matter what the reasons are ranging from fatigue or injuries, are valid as per the ATP policy. It was just bad luck (and bad scheduling) that these players opted out of the last regular event of the season to prepare for the Masters Cup. So maybe it is not entirely the players fault as what the officials kept insisting; if top players withdraw for the last event to prepare for a bigger one, in this case the Masters Cup (mind you, four of the five have qualified already), then it is obviously a scheduling problem.

Tejuz Says:

France has its share of tennis tournaments with French Open, Monte carlo TMS and also Paris TMS.. So French Fans are infact lucky to get so many chances in a year to see top players… on weak tournament shudnt really matter.

Sean Randall Says:


I’m not blaming the players. Again, they are simply taking advantage of a flawed system.

But I have to wonder if these guys are really that injured why are the Paris tournament heads not asking the ATP to look into and curtail the end-of-the-year injury problem?? Instead they are asking the ATP to make players play their event.

And why isn’t the ATP chief just responding by telling Paris officials, “These guys are injured. Get it through your heads!” It’s almost like these tennis officials know some of these players are not really that injured. Just something to keep in mind.

Now are they injured? I have no freakin idea. I’m sure a few of them really are, some are not. I think it’s naive to think that all five medically cannot play this week.

However, for all the top players it is their “job” to play in Paris. Just like many of us go to work from 9-5, five days a week, 52 weeks a year, per ATP Rules these guys are required to play the four Slams, the nine Masters Series event and two other events. That is their yearly job. That’s what they get paid to do. Fifteen events a year, 13 of which are mandatory and then two more that you get to pick out. And then you can play however many other events you wish. The ATP doesn’t care.

From ATP Rules: “A player who executes and delivers to the ATP a Commitment Agreement agrees and commits to participate in the singles event of all ATP Masters Series Tournaments for which he is accepted, the Tennis Masters Cup (if qualified as a Direct Acceptance or designated as the Alternate) and two (2) International Series Gold Tournaments.”

According to some on this board, and per some news reports, players apparently get two passes to skip Masters Series events, akin to what we call “sick days”. But after looking through the ATP rule book I couldn’t find mention of such an allowance. If you can find, let me know.

Under my plan, you miss one of your mandatory 13, you get a prize fine in addition to a point fine. If there is a “sick day” allowance, then if you exceed your sick days that’s when you would incur the point penalty.

Does this force guys to play? No. They still don’t have to play, but if they are really not that injured – in some cases they are not – they might just find the point fine enough motivation to play, or to even re-think their schedule and skip playing smaller events like Basel, Vienna, etc. By skipping those events (and the large financial guarantees that go with it) they would be more prepared and more motivated to play mandatory events like Paris and Madrid.

But what if they really are injured, you say? In some cases the guy may really be banged up and playing would only make it worse. In that case and for all players that are considering withdrawing, if you show up at the event, get checked out by the tournament doctors, you do not incur the point fine.

Did Roddick show up in Paris? What about Nalbandian? Did any of those guys? Doubt it.

But then you ask what if they have a serious injury that prevents them from traveling to the event? Perhaps at the start of each year the players designate one person who, if requested by the event, must go to that tournament and explain to the fans why so-and-so couldn’t make it.

Well, then you say what if it’s too far to travel for Nalbandian from Argentina? Ya know what, too bad. If it’s bad luck for the tournament that they lost five of the top six, why can’t it also be bad luck for you for skipping Paris and incurring a point penalty?? Isn’t the tour a 50-50 partnership anyway? So send your designate David…

Listen, all I’m asking is that these guys go to the event. Get checked out. If they can address the fans that would be a classy move. If they do that they avoid my point penalty and at the end of the day tennis is better for it.

English tennis fan Says:

It’s pretty obvious the season is too long and exhausting if young, very fit men like Roger, Rafa and Roddick are getting injured and fatigued. They need to sort the schedule out.
Why play Paris if you risk aggrevating an injury and jeopardize your place in the Master Cup itself? And whose bright idea was it to put the Masters Cup in Shanghai? The greedy ATP’s…

GopiB Says:

Cedric Piolines deadly idea is a reflection of the poor management that afflicts tennis tour. He wants to ban people who are injured and can’t play or players who played too much tennis, and can’t play more.

First, Federer. When he plays he plays all the matches during the week. To expect him to win a match on Sunday and start the next in some other town on Monday or Tuesday week in and week out is ludicrous. That’s a sure way to end his career quickly. Then Pioline will not have to worry about banning Federer.

Same, but to a lesser extent Nadal and other top players who play several matches in a tournament. They also have playing fatigue and injury risk.

If you play one or two matches in a week, then you can travel and be in time for the next tournament. There is not the isue of playing fatigue or injury risk.

A better way is to require all players to log a certain minimum of matches. Say 70 or 80. Players winning tournaments will play less tournaments, allowing others to play more tournaments. In the end we will have more tournament winners. More marquee names on the tour.

And award bonus ATP points for playing more matches. More bonus points for Masters series events. This is a better incetive to qualify for season ending event.

Not sure how this 8 player masters’ cup is useful for tennis. Why limit to 8 players. What is so elite about it?

The biggest problem limiting to the top 8 playes is that these are the players who played the most tennis in the year and we are asking them to play even more. It’s like killing the golden goose.

And the players who haven’t played that much, dont’ have injuries and are fresh are not allowed to play.

How is that good tennis?

ben Says:

woah woah woah woah! woah! do not insult the masters cup. the whole points is to make it an elite event and it should stay that way. its probably the most perfect tournament there is. i agree that the players should go to the event and get checked out. federer said it himself he was willing to go to paris and answer any questions and get checked and stuff but the tournament directors told him it wasnt necessary. that makes sense to me. only next time they should make it mandatory for roddick nalbandian and ljubicic. i dont doubt at all that theyre injured. paris is a big event after all and, well, roddick only has 1 titles this year. nalbandian has a chance of not qualifying for the only tournament that keeps him in the top 5 or 10. and ljubicic has a lot of ranking points to defend there. nadal has had great success in paris and hes come up short on the number of titles he has this year opposed to last year. and federer had a great opportunity to engrave his name even more into the history books but hes tired. he played and won 2 tournaments in a row, i dont see why he should have to play a 3rd week in a row and tire himself out so much. imo i think the round robin in other tournaments is also stupid. players r gonna be playing even more matches becuz of it and i bet theres gonna be a record number of injuries and pull outs next year. dumb ATP. i also agree that roger made the right choice in playing in tokyo “instead” of paris becuz i think, and the ATP should especially think that, tennis should be more globalized and having the number 1 player play in tokyo is a very good and important thing.

Tejuz Says:

Yes.. put a max limit on number of matches played in a year, say around 75 to 80. Anybody exeeding that limit need not be fined or banned.. because the reason one had completed that many matches is cuz he has gone deep into many tournaments.

Again.. it will be the same story.. Top 2 or 3 players wudnt make it to Paris cuz they wud have played more than 75 matches by then. But atleast players from No 4 onwards would have to make it unless they are genuinely injured.

If ATP forces players to play these tournaments.. the players can alway choose to Shank their openeing matches and take rest for the remainder of the tournaments(like what we believe Fed did in Cincy). The tournament still loses out.

Chinaski Says:

Nine Masters Series events is simply too many. Something so common is never going to be truly prestigious.
That’s 14 events per year the ATP seems to expect players and fans to get totally excited about.

David Says:

We need to fix the underlying problems in tennis, not the symtoms.

The organisation of professional tennis is a joke. Nobody is working together is achieve a common goal. It consists of a number of parties (ITF, ATP/WTA, tournament directors) competing against each other.

The first step is totally overhaul the organisations involved in tennis. We need a new governing body that can lay down the law to all other participating parties. THEN we’ll finally get some real influence and co-ordination going to fix the problems with the tour (scheduling, participation schemes, marketing etc).

Punishing players for not participating via any mechanism (fines, suspension, points deductions etc) when they’re not in condition to compete won’t work. All you really end up doing is changing which tournaments they play at.

Is a tournament like Paris really better off if the top seeds are forced to compete only to get knocked out in the 1st or 2nd round due to exhaustion or injury? Then the director of the next tournament will complain because everyone pulls out of their tournament. The cycle continues…

Sharon Says:

>if they are really not that injured

Showing your true colors there. Not that injured like, say if you have a broken leg that’s injured “enough”, but if you only broke a toe you should still play? You don’t really care about tennis, or the players, what you care about is that this week there’s no good television to watch.

Guess why ATP is not saying ‘injury’? Because that would make them at fault! Of course they are going to blame the players! Duh.

Bans/more fines are the stupidest idea. Sure, why don’t we penalize Federer for winning the previous matches. Maybe it’ll make him rethink winning Basel…oh wait, it won’t. And hey, I guess injured players shouldn’t worry so much about potentially damaging their bodies for the rest of their lives — because yes, lives go on after the professional career ends. After all, this is their job! NO, their job is to play the best tennis they can, not playing every tournament on Earth. If it means occasionally pulling out of some tournament to play better tennis in another tournament, that’s just how life is. There should be natural incentive to play in a tournament, and evidently with current scheduling there is not.

in response to one of the posters:
Yes, why should Japanese fans get to see Federer play for the _first time_ ever? That would be…fair.

Sean Randall Says:

As many of you rightly point out that the calendar is indeed the root cause of this problem. Unfortunately, in my mind, not much can be done about it. Shorten it. Lengthen it. Add events. Remove events. There are just too many variables at work and entities involved as David posted. That’s why I took an alternate route – and my system has plenty ‘o flaw.

But David, I think you bring up the key problem. When you say “Is a tournament like Paris really better off if the top seeds are forced to compete only to get knocked out in the 1st or 2nd round due to exhaustion or injury?” The answer is 100% yes! Paris will take Fed/Nadal/Roddick etc, in a heartbeat even if they were told in advance that those guys would not make it out of the second round. Why? Because bottom line is they need to sell tickets, and those guys sell tickets. By playing, if that means those guys pull out next week at the expense of the next event, fine by them. You think the Paris organizers care about next week? Hell no. You think they care that Shanghai gets all Top 8? Of course not. They are only out for themselves. And you know what, fair play to them. That’s the system. As you say…The cycle continues.

GopiB, Tejuz, as for your thoughts of putting a minimum on matches played, probably not going to work. You can’t penalize players for not winning matches. If a guy played all 40 weeks he’d wind up 0-40, and under your system he’d get penalized – though I guess he really should if you can’t win one out of 40!

As for Fed playing Tokyo. I can’t blame him. He probably gets more just for playing Tokyo than he would by winning Paris. Fed knows where the money is – U.S., Asia and Dubai. How many times has Fed missed a U.S. Masters Series event? Never.

On the Masters Cup, I think the way it is right now works good. Eight seems to be a good number, the round-robin format works and the players seem to be motivated to win it.

GopiB Says:

Sean, I never said players should be penalized for not playing a certain # of matches. Personally (and as a manager in life) I am against penalties and punishements. Incentives, rewards, and recognition work much, much better – for talented people the only things that work. Are you going punish the worker at Google who comes in late?

Tennis pros are a talented bunch, perhaps more than the guys at Google (even if they make less!)

The first overarching goal for ATP (or the business of tennis) should be to have top players play as many matches as possible, enter as many tournaments as possible, and play as many years as possible. This is like a linear programming problem – to optimize a bunch of variables. But please don’t give the problem to Pioline to ponder.

A second goal SHOULD be to increase the number of TOP players. Rather than just have two or four top players, we need to have a hundred players who are popular around the world.

A third, and important goal, is to have US players at the top. US is still the leader, and without top US players, the perception is that – despite the greatest genius of all time playing – tennis is not doing well.

How do we do it? Very quick thoughts on each:

1) Let the rankings be based on the # of tournaments played, # of matches played, prize money won among others. Round robin is an idea, but I can’t imagine this at grandslams and masters series (14+1 tournaments during the year). Once a player has played, say 80 matches, or 20 tournaments -whichever comes first, your obligations to the tour are fulfilled. You cannot play for too many years at this body breakdown pace. May be require all top players to attend press conferences at master’s series events.

2)ATP, USTA, WTA, should market more players than Federer, Nadal, Sharapova and William Sisters. The Tursunov blog hit is good news. Fans need to know more about all the tour players (likey the Golf Channel does for PGA tour). Players who don’t win many matches need to write more blogs, attend more events with fans, may be even practice with fans, and make up for some brand name.

3)When Roddick doesn’t win, it seems no one in the US is interested in tennis. Blake has made some difference. The USTA is simply ceding ground away to USGA/PGA, MLB, NBA, NFL, NHL, and others. We need more US players either at the top, or otherwise popular or notorious in the media to keep the interest in the game.

Got to get back to work :)

Federer fatigue preplanned? Says:

I think Federer went to Japan to expand his market appeal, not just for the appearance money. It’s market economics. He’s getting rich while doing his bit to popularise tennis globally. It’s a commendable thing he’s doing and he does it stylishly, so more power to him.

I think he didn’t want to revisit the place which denied him the Grand Slam and planned accordingly all the while not intending to go to Paris M.S. I bet he wouldn’t have gone to Paris even if he hadn’t won the previous couple of weeks at Madrid and his hometown. He’s deliberately avoiding Paris after his sad experience there. I bet he rectifies that inadequacy next year by winning the grandslam. I won’t bet that the ATP, WTA, etc., will get their act together.

ben Says:


Sean Randall Says:

GopiB, sorry to have misinterpreted your comments. As for your points, good stuff. I agree with many of them, actually all of them.

“Tennis pros are a talented bunch, perhaps more than the guys at Google (even if they make less!)”
Maybe, but I got to figure Google guys rank higher in the intelligence department. I hope at least!

“The first overarching goal for ATP (or the business of tennis) should be to have top players play as many matches as possible, enter as many tournaments as possible, and play as many years as possible.”
I’m 100% with you.

“A second goal SHOULD be to increase the number of TOP players. Rather than just have two or four top players, we need to have a hundred players who are popular around the world.”
Again, I’m 100% with you.

“A third, and important goal, is to have US players at the top. US is still the leader, and without top US players, the perception is that – despite the greatest genius of all time playing – tennis is not doing well.”
You said it not me, but ya know what I’m 100% with you.

To your solutions:
1) I think all the guys do attend press conferences. In regards to basing rankings more on matches played then in some ways you are rewarding quantity over quality. If Roger played five events the whole season beating Nadal in every Slam final and in the Masters Cup, the scenario could be that Nadal would still rank ahead of Federer simply because he played twice as many matches.

2) Agree 100%. I’m sure they are promoting the lower ranked guys – evidence as Dmitry’s blog, etc. But promoting Kristof Vleigan in Detroit is a losing battle any way you slice it. Ha!

3) Agree 100%. Problem is like you said if they are not American or a blonde bombshell or a physical freak no one cares here in the U.S. That pretty much holds true across all the major sports here. That’s just how it is here.

Federer Fatigue, market appeal = $$$ last I checked. If Fed really wants to popularize the game let’s see him go play in South America, or in India. He knows how to follow the money. Can’t blame him.

Federer fatigue preplanned? Says:

[quote]Federer Fatigue, market appeal = $$$ last I checked. If Fed really wants to popularize the game let’s see him go play in South America, or in India. He knows how to follow the money. Can’t blame him.[/quote]

Yes, market appeal = dollars. Money makes the world go round and if Tennis wants to compete with other sports, it should go after the money too.

In India, people prefer (spend their money on) Cricket and in South America, it’s Soccer. Nadal, since he’s Spanish, can do something for Tennis in South America. Federer doesn’t even speak Spanish. India doesn’t have a decent Tennis (singles) player; Sania Mirza’s constantly injured others are not up to the par. No one can do anything for Tennis in India unless more quality players emerge. Federer going there won’t matter much. Lubicic, Nalbandian, Ancic, Robredo, all went there with not much effect as far as Tennis craze is concerned.

You just can’t practise socialism/communism in your sport if you want it to grow. Market economics is nothing to be ashamed of. One sure way of killing Tennis would be to send top players where there’s little money to be made.

Federer fatigue preplanned? Says:

Market appeal = appearance money + money made on commercials, promotionals, etc.

Jon Says:

WOW! sounds like the fed’s a total copout who can be bought just like the others. I thought he was better than that. guess not.

Federer fatigue preplanned? Says:

How can you think he’s related to Castro or Chavez? They are not “total copouts who can be bought just like the others.” Most other people including Federer have to work to earn their money, not steal like Castro and Chavez.

golf» Blog Archive » Azinger will be Ryder captain  Says:

[…] The Shock of all Shocks, Players Pull from Paris The Blog on The Shock of all Shocks, Players Pull from Paris. […]

» Forget the Marketing, the PR, Tennis Needs Players to Show Up Says:

[…] Tennis has a lot of problems, and many of them will not be solved in my lifetime (season too long, appearance fees, too many self interests, etc). I get that. But tennis (WTA included) really needs to stop spending money on marketing and websites  and posters and ranking systems, etc, and start looking at how to get their product – that means the top players – to show up on a consistent basis at their major events. […]

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