4 Responses

  1. Fog Mountain
    Fog Mountain November 2, 2012 at 8:16 am |

    Okay, first of all, the qualification/wildcard process is rather strange. But it has consistently produced fields with interesting mixes of young, up-and-coming players and better-known second-tier stars who attract interest from more casual fans. It’s not easy to come up with an alternative system that serves both of these goals. (A field consisting solely of young players just breaking into the top ranks may be interesting to us tennis nerds, but will inevitably contain several players casual fans have never heard of.)

    Beyond that (and switching now to an over-the-top style that emulates the original article):

    ZOMG, wildcards! But, wait. The wildcards you list are all solid players, with large fan bases, either globally or in the regions where the tournaments have been held. Ivanovic won the tournament, twice. Date-Krumm, arguably the weakest of the wildcards, made the semifinals.

    ZOMG, it’s after the YEC! So, you’d be satisfied if the TOC and the YEC simply switched weeks in the calendar? But that would mean a shorter off-season for the players in the YEC, who have played more matches during the year than most other players. This year players in the YEC played an average of 71 matches, while those in the TOC played an average of 55.

    Why does the tournament’s position in the calendar threaten the rankings system? It’s a tournament with a small field and a defined qualification procedure. Those who get in get a chance to score points, and those who don’t get in don’t. That’s the case whatever time of the year the tournament occurs. Moving the tournament to the middle of the year would only make its qualification process even harder to understand.

    ZOMG, 600 points! That’s a whopping 130 more than a player gets for winning… New Haven. Obviously a threat to the rankings system. Except, wait. It’s not worth 600 points anymore. So you’re criticizing the WTA for something they’ve already fixed.

    ZOMG, 375 points! That’s a whopping 95 more than a player gets for winning an International tournament. Which they need to do just to qualify for the TOC. Obviously a threat to the rankings system.

    Yes, the Tournament of Champions’ name and timing at the end of the year invite some fans to compare its significance with the WTA Championships, a comparison from which it inevitably suffers. But to the players who play it, whether they’re young players having a breakout year, older players making a comeback, or established second-tier players, it’s a great reward for a successful season. And to fans who appreciate tennis on its own terms between players on a similar level, without demanding that the biggest stars have to be in the field or that the trophy ceremony come with cosmic significance, it’s fun to watch. Isn’t that ultimately what being a tennis fan should be about?

  2. Karen
    Karen November 2, 2012 at 10:57 am |

    Nice article Linz and I agree with you. Not to rain on your parade but I find it a bit strange that you are against WCs for the women at this ridiculous year end event, but that you would like to see WCs offered on the men’s side to their year end event. What is the difference?

Comments are closed.