>>>>>> I am not saying that we there should be more clay tournaments, just give
>>>>>> them more time.
>>>>> I think that's the real issue: the clay season is so compressed that
>>>>> it feels like a sprint that goes on a bit too long. If they change the
>>>>> schedule a bit, and change the rules so that players have the option
>>>>> of playing more clay, rather than be locked into the various stretches
>>>>> of hardcourt, you could make everyone happy. Even the grass-loving
>>>>> oddballs: it's not feasible to increase the grass season going *into*
>>>>> Wimbledon. But if memory serves, there used to be a small cluster of
>>>>> grass tournaments *after* the Big W. If memory doesn't serve, maybe
>>>>> there could be in future, and players who chose to specialize could
>>>>> gather additional income and ranking points, which might work to
>>>>> diversify the Tour.
>>>>> The fact that top-tier tournaments want *all* the top players is
>>>>> making the schedule far too rigid - that's the real issue, I think.
>>>>> Once upon a time, there would be several mid-size tournaments any
>>>>> given week, and players could choose - and often chose by surface.
>>>> Hopefully, yes. ATP should be careful with mandating events and
>>>> ideally not mandate at all. After all, *If* a tournament is so well
>>>> organized, managed and marketed it will naturally attract the top
>>>> players with their ambition to do well in their events... Just look at
>>>> slams. There's no need to mandate them. *Everyone* wants to
>>>> participate and do well there anyway.
>>>> Surface spread on the calender this year:
>>>> - 38 on hard: 14 of those are indoor.
>>>> - 22 on clay: 10 of those are outside the regular April-May clay-
>>>> season in: 4 in Februari, 5 in July and 1 in September.
>>>> - 6 grass: 1 of them after the big W.
>>>> So 58% of tournaments are played on hard - with all indoors being
>>>> hard, representing 21% of tournaments.
>>>> 33% consists of clay and grass represents 9%.
>>>> If they shift all indoor tournaments to carpet we get 37% hard, 33%
>>>> clay, 21% carpet and 9% grass. Essentially reducing hard by 37%. This
>>>> would reduce the hardcourt dependency to merely 37% and should
>>>> eliminate *** complaints coming from the claycourters *without*
>>>> simply handing them even more clay to pray upon and bore us all to
>>>> death. :-)
>>> Sorry, reducing hard by 21%, not 38.
>> You were right the first time, when you said "reducing hard by
>> 37%." :)
>> This wouldn't be a bad approach, IMO. I don't care much for carpet --
>> I think it's too fast, and the bounce is funny -- but a fall indoor
>> carpet season would be distinctive way to end the tennis year, sort of
>> the way it used to be. The one problem left unaddressed, however, is
>> the overall length of the season.
> I think we're (and by "we" I mean "you") missing the point: it's
> ultimately not about creating or eliminating tournaments. It's about
> allowing players to create a schedule that suits their needs and
> preferences. Longer, shorter, clay-ier, harder, grassier, carpet-ier,
> First thing I would like to know is exactly why the ATP feels the need
> to have "required" tournaments. I understand that at one point
> supposedly big-deal events were being largely ignored by the top
> players. But surely there's a way to structure fees so that this isn't
> as much of an issue? Like charging the organizers for actual
> participants: $200,000 for #1, $150,000 for #2, and so forth...
> Hmmm... That leaves the tournaments less able to negotiate television
> contracts and so forth... Okay, then require players to *commit* well
> in advance.
> I dunno. Anything that allowed players more flexibility (while keeping
> a lid on appearance fees, I guess) would be an improvement. Probably.
money, you have to offer something in return. Stars sell tickets,
whether we approve of that or not.
This is how we ended up not just with the Masters mandatory events but
also rules to make sure that the tournaments at the tail end of the year
don't get dissed as they used to routinely.