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SEEMS LIKE TEEN SPIRIT: COREL WTA TOUR TOUTS LOOKS/BRAINS
Published March 9, 1998
The Corel WTA Tour and women's tennis is "deeper, more diverse and often features matchups that are more intense and entertaining than those played on the men's tour," according to USA TODAY's Doug Smith in a sports cover-story. Tour CEO Bart McGuire: "Attendance is up everywhere, and television ratings are very good." The Tour drew 20,000 fans over the weekend for the early-round matches at Indian Wells, CA, for the Evert Cup and "large crowds" are expected this week even though the Newsweek Champions Cup men's event begins today at the same site. Besides Steffi Graf and Monica Seles, the Tour also has five teen stars with endorsement pacts that "made each of them a millionaire." Martina Hingis is with Sergio Tacchini; Venus Williams is with Reebok; her sister Serena is with Puma; Anna Kournikova is with adidas and Mirjana Lucic is with Fila. The teen stars have also been featured in women's glamour magazines and hit the late-night talk show circuit. McGuire: "Not only do we have high quality players, but we have players who are articulate and are good copy" (USA TODAY, 3/9). WANTED: TITLE SPONSOR FOR WOMEN'S TOUR: The Tour is currently searching for a new title sponsor to replace Corel, which is in the "final months" of its deal. IMG's Stephanie Tolleson, leading the search, is "confident she soon will find a suitable replacement." Tolleson: "We want to find the right partner for tennis and not someone who will just spend the sponsorship fee" (USA TODAY, 3/9). EVENT MOVING? In New Haven, Dave Solomo reported that the Pilot Pen Int'l tourney in CT is "negotiating" with the USTA and promoters of the U.S. Women's hardcourt tournament in Stone Moutain, GA, about moving the event to New Haven to be played at the CT Tennis Center from August 24-30. The men's and women's tournaments would be held in back-to-back weeks, instead of simultaneously (NEW HAVEN REGISTER, 3/8).