Storm’s A Brewin’
The ATP is being pulled between players’ safety and commercial interests. Turning away fans and losing quality air time no doubt hurts the sport’s financial interests but the players are having none of it when they are being asked to play on slick courts or in the rain. As The Sports Review reports, the men have become especially vocal in the past day:
“It’s dangerous, the lines get really slippy. Players want to play more than anyone, but not when it’s dangerous.” -Andy Murray
“Walking out there it was still misting. The back of the court was still wet. We wanted to make it known we didn’t want to be put in that position. I certainly understand they need to put tennis on TV, I understand the business side of it as well, but players need to feel comfortable and safe.” -Andy Roddick
“Grand Slams are about a lot of money. We’re part of the show. They’re just working for that, not for us. I understand the fans want to see tennis but the health of the players is the most important and we do not feel protected. We want to feel good when we are playing a tournament and we cannot accept these things.” -Rafael Nadal
The state of play at Flushing Meadows has become tense. Let’s hope the weather dries up and players are able to resume their matches.
USTA and tournament organizers GREED - plain and simple. This isn’t the only example of it. NY Times broke a story yesterday about half the world wide gold badge chair umpires skipped the US Open this year because USTA officials who set the pay for officials at the Open are providing the lowest pay for gold badge chair umpires in all of Tennis [NY Times].
With less Gold badge umpires, less qualified or certified officials are on the courts creating the opportunity for more erroneous calls, more requests for review, stoppage of play and match disputes - all of which affects the quality of play and fan experience.
The US has had dominating players in the world of tennis up until this last decade and as the new bread of players come up (btw where are the US women), let’s hope the USTA gets their focus together to build the future of the franchise rather than worry about getting that extra million on top of $200 in this years last grand slam.
(Source: New York Daily News, via aatombomb)