SBD/Issue 232/Events & Attractions

Some Tennis Players Unsure About Proposed Changes To Rogers Cup

Safina Thinks Tennis Canada Would Be Better
Served Keeping Rogers Cup Format As Is
While some players "liked the sound" of Tennis Canada's idea for changing the Rogers Cup in '11, "not all of them were sold" on the plan, according to Kevin McGran of the TORONTO STAR. The proposed change would have "half the men's draw and half the women's draw play in Toronto, while the other half plays in Montreal." Tennis player Elena Dementieva joked, "And face each other (in the final) in Moscow?" Dementieva said the idea "sounds like fun," but added, "I don't think it's real. It would be too difficult, too complicated." Tennis player Dinara Safina said it is "better they keep it like it is now, because it's going to be a completely different final" if they change the format (TORONTO STAR, 8/20). Sony Ericsson WTA Tour Chair & CEO Stacey Allaster: "You look at our Grand Slams, you look at our top events like the Sony Ericsson Open in Miami, the BNP Paribas in Indian Wells -- those are combined platforms. How do we do that in Canada? Because this is a winning equation financially for Tennis Canada: a men's event in Montreal, a women's event in Toronto, and then we flip. We have two centre courts, two markets. It's perfect." But Maria Sharapova said of the proposal, "I think that's a bit ridiculous" (NATIONAL POST, 8/20).

PLACE SETTINGS: ESPN.com's Greg Garber wrote under the header, "What Is Tennis' Place In America Today?" Tennis is "alive, certainly, but is it relevant?" After "crunching all kinds of numbers -- from rising participation totals to television ratings to equipment sales -- and conducting dozens of interviews with people in the game, the answer is: relatively speaking, yes." Tennis "matters more today in places like Serbia (where it is the No. 1 sport), Europe in general, and South America." In the U.S., tennis "isn't all that high on the list." Tennis broadcaster Bud Collins said, "I think we were in a slump with the game, but I see it improving." Int'l Tennis HOFer and InsideOut Sports & Entertainment Founder Jim Courier added, "From what I'm seeing, people are playing tennis again. You see more people in the streets carrying rackets and riding bikes, too. There was a time when there was a moratorium on tennis rackets in airports. I've seen more and more of that" (ESPN.com, 8/18).

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