WTA TOUR'S YOUNG GUNS ARE THE HEADLINERS OF '98 U.S. OPEN
With the U.S. Open beginning today at the U.S. National
Tennis Center in Flushing, NY, the WASHINGTON POST's
Jennifer Frey wrote that U.S. tennis "finds itself in the
spotlight, facing several questions. ... The only aspect of
the sport that does not seem to be in question is the health
of the women's professional game. It clearly is enjoying a
boom time, both internationally and in the United States."
In an effort to boost awareness, both the ATP and WTA Tours
"appear to be recognizing the need to make their current top
players more accessible to the public." WTA Tour CEO Bart
McGuire: "The fact is, we're in the entertainment business,
and unless the human side of these athletes comes out, we're
not going to get the other fans -- the ones who aren't
necessarily hard-core fans of the sport." Frey, on the
men's game: "[U]ntil the men can find their own versions of
Monica, Venus and Martina -- or market their current players
more successfully -- it is safe to assume that [Pete]
Sampras will continue to field questions about the state of
tennis today" (WASHINGTON POST, 8/30). In previewing the
Open, columnist George Vecsey writes that "the women are
more interesting. ... [T]hey bring a mixture of
competitiveness and personality and vulnerability to this
Open" (N.Y. TIMES, 8/30). CNN/SI's Sonja Steptoe also
profiled the WTA Tour on CNN's "Page 1" ("Page 1," 8/29).
NET CORDS: Sunday's N.Y. TIMES featured a 96-page U.S.
Open ad supplement (THE DAILY)....In L.A., Scott Moe reviews
the Open's official Web site at www.usopen.org, which "has
all the bases covered for fans." Some of its "best
features" are the pages that show the "entire draw in
bracket form." Moe: "But the best thing about the site is
that it includes a search engine." Moe writes the site "has
plenty to keep any tennis fan happy" (L.A. TIMES, 8/31).
PILOT PEN: Attendance for the inaugural six-day women's
Pilot Pen Int'l in New Haven, CT, was 40,351. Coupled with
the men's nine-day tournament total of 91,625, it added up
to 131,976. The women's event "did poorly upfront, but
recovered with a strong walk-up business." Overall, the
men's tournament outdrew the women's event by 2% on a per-
session basis (Garber & Gonzalez, HARTFORD COURANT, 8/30).