SBD/5/Events Attractions

LET'S DO BUSINESS, MATE: AUSSIE OPEN GETS BOFFO REVIEWS

          The business dealings at the Australian Open were
     examined by Ian Cockerill of the Melbourne AGE.  Features
     highlighted players, agents, administrators, merchandisers,
     directors and organizers and "the rest of the world." 
     Cockerill, on the Open: "It may not quite be up to the other
     majors yet, but the gap is closing."  The changes to the
     tournament, including the move to a hardcourt surface, the
     building of a new tennis center, the date change to January
     from the December holiday season and an expanded field of
     players, "have had the desired effect."  Cockerill: "Where
     there were genuine fears that the Australian Open might lose
     its slam status, it is now firmly entrenched" (AGE, 2/1).
          MORE FROM DOWN UNDER: Cockerill adds that the WTA Tour
     "has irked" the ATP Tour "by being slow to respond" to its
     proposal of holding some joint events.  ITF President Brian
     Tobin: "From what I can see, the men right now need the
     women more than the women need the men".....Merchandising
     highlights of the Open included Fila using now-retired
     Gabriella Sabatini to launch its new line, and Nike Chair
     Phil Knight "running a close eye over the tournament he's
     just bought into for the first time" (Melbourne AGE, 2/1).

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