The Sony Ericsson WTA Tour’s 2009 Roadmap calendar features drastic differences to the current one and some tennis players expressed their dissatisfaction.
The aim of the historic reforms and the new calendar is to create a more fan friendly and healthier system, to more consistently deliver stars to top events and reduce withdrawals. But do players agree?
Ana Ivanovic and Agnieszka Radwanska believe that the new rules are constraining the players too much.
The WTA’s new Roadmap is supposed to reduce the number of tournaments and shorten the season for the players’ benefit, but here’s what Ana Ivanovic thinks:
“I do believe it’s going to be a lot of tournaments we have to commit to and it’s maybe going to be a little bit harder in that sense. We don’t have much opportunity to choose, and at the end of the day it might be that we play more matches than we did in previous years.
“I think it’s good that tournaments will have guaranteed players and week after week have top players competing against each other. I think that’s good for women’s tennis. But on us individually it’s tough to say what impact it’s going to have.”
Agnieszka Radwanska is also discontent:
“After the new rules with the WTA I don’t want to be top 10 because the rules are so bad and everything is for the WTA. I cannot play the small tournaments and it’s quite bad. I hate these rules. I can play just two small tournaments a year.
“We’re all saying this, but the WTA is doing everything for themselves, for the sponsors, but they don’t realize we have to choose where we want to play and not want to play.”
When I first read the changes to the WTA calendar, my first impression was that sponsors, money, and promotion of the sport came before the players. I can understand the frustration of top players. (source: Reuters, photo: ivanovic-ana.com)