16 October 2011

The Asian Swing

Ah Asia. So unloved in the tennis world after seven months of action. It's a real shame for the tourneys and players alike that many in the tennis world are, well, burnt out.

As much as I personally want our sport to have more of an offseason to keep players fresh in mind, body and spirit I still feel sad that the tourneys aren't getting the interest and attention they deserve. Even the most tennis addicted (myself included) are finding it hard to be deeply interested in the Bangkoks, Tokyos and Osakas of the world.

And clearly tennis fans in Asia have been the same - much has been said about the lack of crowds at the tennis, particularly in Beijing and Shanghai. I'm not surprised tho - tennis is still growing in China and for them to host two big tourneys is a lot to ask. The tourneys also are not scheduled well - the Chinese National Day holidays of 1 October are one of the biggest holidays in China each year. Most businesses close for a week and employees head to see their families or on a holiday. It's horrible timing, particularly for the Shanghai Masters, which start right after the long holidays. 

It would be great to get honest answers from the ATP and WTA about the dire lack of crowds at these tournaments - it's horrible to see only a few dozen people in the stands. What must the players and sponsors think about the situation?

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