Top Player Participation up 34% in WTA’s Top Events; Prize Money up 51%
epa03432942 Victoria Azarenka (BLR) during her match against Julia Goerges (GER) at the final of the WTA Generali Ladies tournament in Linz, Austria, 14 October 2012. EPA/BARBARA GINDL |
Today the WTA releases its tenth quarterly summary of key statistics comparing the last year under the old circuit (2008) with how the game is being played today. The study, called the “Roadmap Report”, is a quarterly analysis of players participation rates and withdrawal rates that compare the state of the game today to the way it was prior to the Roadmap.
The analysis shows that compared to the circuit from January – October, 2008 with the period from January – October 2012:
Top Player participation is up 34% in the Tour’s top nine Premier events
Despite some injuries overall withdrawals are down 7%
Prize money is up by 51% at WTA events
Four years ago, the calendar for women’s tennis was substantially changed in response to concerns from players that the season was too long and grueling. Far too many players were withdrawing from tournaments due to injury and fatigue. Fans didn’t know if players would show up and the WTA had a problem.
As a result, the WTA’s players and tournaments created the Roadmap – the most sweeping changes ever to the women’s tennis circuit.
The Roadmap shortened and streamlined the season; increased prize money and bonus pool payouts; provided more breaks for top players; and reduced top player tournament commitments - all with the goal that our players would be healthier and as a result increasingly show up for the tournaments they committed to.
In addition to the positive Roadmap results, the WTA over the past 24 months has secured US$160 million in sponsorship, television and WTA Championships revenues, and achieved new milestones in global tournament attendance and television viewership. Fifteen players have surpassed the US$1 million prize money mark to date in 2012 (up from 11 in 2008), with three players having reached the US$5 million mark for the first time in WTA history, and one player (Azarenka) having surpassed the US$7M mark and projected to exceed US$8M, a new single season prize money record.
The qualifying field entry list for the 2014 Connecticut Open presented by United Technologies features several talented American players, up-and-coming stars and veterans, it was announced today by Tournament Director Anne Worcester. The 2014 Connecticut Open, a WTA event, which is part of the US Open Series, will be held August 15-23, 2014 at the Connecticut Tennis Center at Yale.
Tennis Canada announced Wednesday the wild card recipients for the 2014 Rogers Cup presented by National Bank in Toronto. Canadians Frank Dancevic (Niagara Falls, Ont.) and Peter Polansky (Thornhill, Ont.) will join countrymen Milos Raonic (Thornhill, Ont.) and Vasek Pospisil (Vancouver) to make it four Canadians in the singles draw.
If you take a look at Part 2 of this series on the Big Four, you will see that since they first took up the first four slots on September 8, 2008 only in 2009 when Del Potro won the US Open and 2012 when Rafa was out for the last half of the year and David Ferrer had a great year has anyone else been able to pierce the 6000 point barrier.
Once again, the Bryan Bros. Foundation was the big winner as more than $100,000 was raised at the annual V-Grid Tennis Fest presented by Alexander Cadillac and Esurance and featuring Mike and Bob Bryan.