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.
John Isner is playing his best tennis when everyone least expected it. Granted, Isner has always posted his best results at home in the United States, but otherwise his performance in this current Indian Wells-Miami swing has blindsided all witnesses.
No Roger Federer (did not play), Rafael Nadal (lost in the third round), no problem. Despite lacking two of the best players in the world, the Miami Open semifinals feature a pair of blockbuster matchups on Friday.
His slump--albeit a brief one--could be easily explained. The 21-year-old had to fulfill an offseason commitment to the Austrian army, so his November and December were hardly like those months for any other professional tennis player. Moreover, long-time training partner Ernests Gulbis split from fellow coach Gunther Bresnik early this year.