Thanks to Peter Bodo for getting the story from the horse's (Larry Scott, CEO of the WTA) mouth.
- On Prize Money: "Prize money on the tour is going up substantially from a little
bit over $71 million this year to over $85 million next year. To put
that in perspective from 2006 to 2009, that will represent a 40% prize
money increase for the players."
- On How You Qualify for the Second YEC in Bali: "If you play in
Doha, that's your end of year season Championship. But if you didn't
qualify for Doha and you won one of those international tournaments
during the year, we'll hopefully see those players in Bali."
- On Revised Rankings and "Zero Pointers": "So the rankings will consist of 16 results on a player's ranking,
down from 17 today. But the player's ranking will be made up more
significantly by their results at these biggest tournaments that they
have to play. So if players don't play the big events, there will be zero pointers.
The results will not be able to be dropped or replaced by smaller
tournaments. So it's a bit of a shift towards the big events in terms
of what's going to make up the player's ranking while still trying to
balance rewarding those players that are supporting the system more
- On Equal Prize Money: "We'll also see equal prize money at a record number of tournaments next
year. We're up to 10 tournaments that will have equal prize money. It
was only two short years ago that there were only two tournaments in
the world that paid equal prize money: The US Open and the Australian
- On Revenue Sharing: "I think women's tennis will become the first sport, the first
individual sport ever, to have a revenue sharing agreement between our
tournament promoters on the one hand and the players on another hand. What this means, is that our prize money minimums are set for 2009
and 2010. But come 2011, any prize money increases will be determined
based on the financial performance of the tournaments. So for the first
time we're going to have outside auditors that are going to go in and
audit the books of the tournaments, and we're going to have a much
deeper knowledge than we've ever had before about how the business of
running our tournaments has gone. So this is something that took an awfully long time to develop, but
I'm really thrilled we'll get out of the sort of random prize money
negotiations between our players and tournaments, and finally have a
formula that ties together the economic interests of our players and
- On Suspensions: "If [a player doesn't] meet one of their commitments, they'll have an opportunity to sort of make up that commitment by showing up to the tournament or going to the tournament market the week of that tournament, or another time during the year, to show their commitment to that event to mitigate the fact that they couldn't play... If they don't do that, then they will be suspended for up to two premier tournaments after that tournament the following year.
On Venus, Serena, and Indian Wells: "They both said they're not planning on playing Indian Wells, so they will be subject to the same rules as every other player, which means that to avoid suspension they will have to be available to do in market appearances, promotional activities as designated by the tour in consultation with the tournament, either during the week of the tournament or at three other possible times during the year that we will designate.
Well there you go. Revenue sharing, equal prize money, increased prize money, and revised rankings system are all great and the WTA should really be lauded for it. I'm still worried about the whole, suspension, zero points, Indian Wells topics. Not sure how all that is going to operate/shake out.