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OPEN BEGINS TODAY TO MUCH FANFARE AND STAR POWER
Published August 28, 1995
The U.S. Open begins today in Flushing Meadows with many media outlets focusing on the state of the game. SELES FACTOR: In Washington, Josh Young writes that "for the first time in years, the women will hold center stage the first week at the U.S. Open. For the sponsor-less WTA Tour, the timing couldn't be better" (WASHINGTON TIMES, 8/28). CNBC's Allan Chernoff examined the impact of the Monica Seles' return on women's tennis. Chernoff: "Women's tennis needs Seles because the sport has been in a slump. Tournament attendance has been flat for three years and television ratings for major events have been disappointing. The women's tour has been without an overall corporate sponsor this year, and there has been a plague of bad publicity." Chernoff, on women's tennis' "identity crisis": "Virginia Slims was the sponsor for so many years that many people still think that it is the Virginia Slims Tour." Chernoff noted IMG is in negotiations with several companies, "some overseas," about sponsoring the Tour and hopes to sign someone "within weeks." WTA Tour CEO Anne Person Worcester: "Women's tennis is at a critical juncture right now, and it is very important for us to affiliate with a multi-national company which is interested in promoting women's tennis" ("Sports View," CNBC, 8/25). In Philadelphia, Diane Pucin writes under the header "Agassi and Seles making the Open Cool again": "The buzz is about tennis. This Open has something people want to see" (PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, 8/27). Filip Bondy writes that one year after tennis was dubbed "dead" -- "everything is different. Seles' return to the Grand Slam scene bestows top status upon the Open" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 8/2). THE RIVALRY: In Toronto, Mary Jollimore writes the "biggest concern on the men's side seems to be over the attire" of Andre Agassi (Toronto GLOBE AND MAIL, 8/28). Agassi and Pete Sampras were the focus of a CBS special, and N.Y. TIMES MAGAZINE cover story. ON THE WEB: CBS Sports will have Open coverage with CBS' Eye On The Net at http://www.cbs.com and CBS on Prodigy. IBM sponsors CBS web and online promotions (CBS).