SBD/Issue 221/Events & Attractions

Future Of ATP L.A. Tennis Open Depends On Finding Title Sponsor

Future Of L.A. Tennis Open Could
Depend On Finding Title Sponsor
ATP World Tour L.A. Tennis Open Tournament Dir Bob Kramer "believes the tournament's future hinges on finding another title sponsor within the next two years," according to Mark Lamport-Stokes of REUTERS. Last week's event, which was held without a title sponsor, "failed to attract a single player ranked in the world's top 20." Kramer: "We are optimistic that things will change. This is probably only the third time in about 20 years that the tournament hasn't been profitable, so we can be patient. Hopefully 2010 will provide a recovery. If not, we are prepared to probably go one more cycle to be back in a position where we can be continuing to generate revenues." Kramer said tournament officials "tried for" players like Andy Murray, Novak Djokovic, Andy Roddick and James Blake with a budget of a "little bit more than" $500,000. Kramer: "We didn't get the deal done. So when time was running out, we went to Plan B. We were able to bring in four (former) champions -- Pete Sampras, Michael Chang, Stefan Edberg and Jim Courier. It has been added value" (REUTERS, 8/5).

REBUILDING PERIOD: In DC, Tim Lemke writes the USTA is "scrambling, both at the grass-roots and the elite level, to raise the American game." Roddick currently is the "only American in the ATP World Tour men's top 10," and no U.S. men's player "has won a Grand Slam title since Roddick took the U.S. Open in 2003." The USTA last year named Patrick McEnroe GM of Elite Player Development, and he said that the organization "must start working with players when they are younger, even younger than the organization had previously thought worthwhile" (WASHINGTON TIMES, 8/5).

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