Monday, December 17, 2012

The ATP Is Not Amused

by Savannah


The ATP released a statement this morning stating its position on the changes announced by the USTA regarding the 2013 US Open.

17 December 2012

ATP Statement Regarding 2013 US Open Prize Money / Monday Final

Following last week’s announcement regarding the 2013 US Open prize money and the modification of the schedule to a Monday final, the ATP said:

The prize money increase announced by the US Open for 2013 is appreciated and, together with the 2012 increase, represents the largest increase by the US Open since the ATP Tour began in 1990. However, over the last nine months the ATP and its players have asked that the US Open fully recognise the fundamental role of the players in driving US Open revenues, which are the largest in our sport.

The ATP therefore remains committed to continuing discussions on this issue, with the objective of ensuring that the players’ share of the revenues at the US Open truly reflects the value that they generate for the event.

By modifying the schedule to allow a rest day between the semi-finals and the final, the US Open has recognised the incredible physical demands of men's tennis.

However, the ATP and its players have made it clear to the US Open that we do not support a Monday final. We strongly believe the US Open should keep a similar schedule to the other Grand Slams, with the men’s semi-finals completed by Friday and the final on Sunday. It is unfortunate the US Open response did not reflect our views on this issue and the ATP and its players will continue to pursue this matter in its discussions with the USTA.

All emphasis is mine.

Long story short the ATP is calling bullshit on the moves by the USTA. Players share of revenue is not what they want and moving the Mens Final to Monday isn't satisfactory. I believe that Davis Cup starts Friday of that week.

It's necessary to note that the WTA hasn't made a formal reply to the changes instituted for the 2013 US Open. They're going to let the men spearhead the charge and stand on the sidelines reaping the benefits since the tournaments, especially the Slams, pay the women what the men get. Some ATP player is going to say something about that. And he will be right.


I actually watched some live tennis this past week. Tennis Australia provided live streaming from its site and it was much appreciated.

The USTA also provided live streaming of its Wild Card playoffs. Unfortunately I didn't get a chance to watch any of the play.

In the United States Rhyne Williams defeated Tim Smyczek for the United States ATP wild card. Madison Keys defeated Mallory Burdette for the WTA wild card. This is Madison's second straight win.

In Australia Bojana Bobusic and Ben Mitchell won their respective WTA and ATP wild cards.

Gisela Dulko confirmed on Argentine television that she is expecting her first child.

The WTA has redone it's website. I'll take their word for it that it's an improvement. In this day and age you don't roll out a website that doesn't allow basic functions. And it's very busy.

Stan Wawrinka seems to have found his voice regarding that other Swiss player and Davis Cup.

“Roger keeps on saying that Davis Cup is important to him, but clearly it’s not. At the end of the day, tennis is an individual sport and it’s fair that everyone looks at his own career, but I understood his decisions more in the past than now. Apparently, to him, Davis Cup is not yet that important; I’m sorry he turns things as he pleases.”

Wawrinka then spoke about his own love for the team: “Even if the results don't always come, I gave my best for this team. To me, it has always been a funny experience. I don’t know if Roger will change his mind, I don’t kid my self about it, because I’m not that naïve as he apparently thinks.”

This is my SOURCE . Corrected to show original interview.

If only more players would stop groveling and playing lip service at that particular altar.

End Note

The tennis tournament at Los Angeles is no more. The tournament will be replaced by one in Bogota, Colombia. The folks who ran Los Angeles had a chance to keep it in the States but refused the offer by Larry Ellison, who owns Indian Wells, to buy it. They then released one of the most maudlin press releases ever mourning the death of the tournament. Ellison lives in the real world of sports while tennis TD's continue to think of their tournaments as fiefdoms and the players their serfs. Yes the players make good money at the top but the players who fight to become eligible to play main tour events can't afford coaches unless they're provided by their Federations and of course the support of a Federation is political. At least the ATP has put its money where its mouth is.


Karen said...

At the end of the day Switzerland has 2 men playing Davis Cup. One is 31 years old, is President of the Player Council; is travelling the world promoting the sport and has a family to care for. The other one basically does jack shite during the year and has not won a title in I don't know how long.

Frankly speaking if there is anyone to be blamed for the lack of bodies in Swiss tennis it is the Swiss Tennis Federation. Does that body even exist. When you have 2 men who have to not only play doubles and singles, 1 who basically makes it as far as the semis of almost every tournament, at what point does he become selfish. A look at Roger's DC record shows that he has committed to DC. What more does Stan want him to do?

Randy Burgess said...

Well, I'm a Federer fan, as you know, but I'm glad Stan spoke his mind. It's obvious to all that Federer doesn't regard Davis Cup as a priority. That's his choice, of course, but it would be nice if he did something to ease the resulting conundrum he creates for everyone else.

I read also that he got his country's Sportsman of the Year award again - rather ironic, really.

Equally obvious is that part of the problem is, Luthi is his coach/buddy as well as the coach for Davis Cup. This amounts to a conflict of interest & has to be morale-sapping to the rest of the Swiss team. On the other hand I suppose the notion is they don't want to chance alienating Federer.

It's a lose-lose situation.