“This tournament sets standards”
Stuttgart. Top ranking WTA dignitary at the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix: Stacey Allaster, Chairman and CEO of the WTA, is in Stuttgart for three days to visit the long-established tournament in the Porsche Arena. At a media round-table, the Canadian talked about...
...the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix:
“This tournament is the best WTA Premier Event. All Premier Events are of a high standard but this one is the finest. It set standards. With its exclusivity it reflects the Porsche brand. It’s not for nothing that the athletes have named it as their favourite tournament. The whole facili-ties here, the unique arena and everybody goes above and beyond look after the athletes.
...the importance of the German market for the WTA:
“Germany is a key market in Europe. Especially now that there are five world class players here.”
What a drama. I saw her this morning and she was obviously incredibly disappointed. But she is a strong young woman, a fighter and she will come through just fine. She is very important for tennis – not only as a player on court but as a personality off court. She is a rare athlete and well-liked by her peers. You could see it in Victoria Azdarenka’s lovely reaction yesterday. And many players have sent us emails wishing her all the best and a speedy re-covery. It’s not always normal in a sport for individuals.”
...mature and emerging markets:
“Of course we want to expand but we don’t want it to be at all costs. We have to take advan-tage of the emerging markets but we also must remain steadfast in many ways as regards the old. A balance is needed and there has to be a combination of mature markets with emerging markets. We have to remain disciplined and keep the health of our athletes in mind. I’ve often been asked why, for instance, there isn’t a tournament in India but it simply hasn’t fitted into our calendar yet.”
…about the stress for the players:
“Our road map is right on track. In our new calendar the players only have 10 tournaments they have to commit to instead of 13 as before. We also have a longer off-season break and mid-season ones too. At the same time we have increased the prize money. In 2009 our aim was to increase it to 100 million dollars per year by 2014, now we’ll achieve it by 2013.”
…about the grunting of the players:
“Normal grunting is not the problem but we have to something to stop excessiveness of the grunting. Fans have indicated that it bothers them. We’re working together in a team and we’ll bring forward a comprehensive plan at the US Open. One thing is clear, we have to be fair to the current generation so we’ll have to work with the next one to tone things down.”