With all this talk about more combined North American events, this little bit slipped under my radar. Tennis Canada isn't talking about combining the events a la Indian Wells or Miami. Oh, no, they've decided to be stupid about it:
Tennis Canada is considering a plan to combine the ATP and WTA events in Toronto and Montreal into one tournament featuring men and women playing at both venues in the same week, starting in 2011.
Under the plan, each city would stage one half of the men's main draw and one half of the women's.
Montreal and Toronto would stage one final apiece, meaning one of the men's and one of the women's finalists would switch cities, making the one-hour trip by private jet.
Q. On a different topic, this tournament is thinking of switching formats in 2011 where half of the women and half of the men will play in Toronto; the other half would play in Montreal until the final when somebody would get on a plane and fly to the other city. I can see by your expression you haven't heard of that. I was wondering what you might react to that.
DINARA SAFINA: Well, better that they keep it like it is now. It's much more nice, because it's completely going to be different final. Somebody's used to play here, and suddenly you have to fly from Montreal.
I don't know. Better they thinking one more time about this, because I don't think it's a great idea.
Q. This tournament is considering something different in 2011 when the men's draw and the women's draw will be the same week. They're thinking about having half the men in Toronto and half the women in Toronto, half the men in Montreal and half the women in Montreal with the finalists flying to the other city.
MARIA SHARAPOVA: I think that's a bit ridiculous.
MARIA SHARAPOVA: In the same week flying to other cities?
Q. Well, the finalists from Toronto would have to go to Montreal. The women's finalists from Montreal would have to come to Toronto.
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Who told you about that one?
Q. Oh, Tennis Canada is talking about it, a way to generate interest, give Toronto and Montreal a feel for what a mixed tournament is like.
MARIA SHARAPOVA: I'm not sure I can comment on that one. I haven't heard about that one yet. I think I'll need to get more info before I can comment.
I thought of both the men and women coming together, but I didn't hear us flying from Toronto to Montreal to play a same tournament. I haven't heard that one before.
Combined is combined. This is baloney. I assume that the top seeds will have their side of the draw in the city where the final will be held and the other half will play elsewhere. But if you're going to treat this tournament like a high profile Masters 1000/Premier 5 event, then you know what? Don't turn it into a circus.