Jon deconstructs the lackluster event the Season Ending Championships has become:
It seems to me the WTA had a choice several years ago. They could either put the year-end championships in a major media market, invest in the marketing/promotion and use it as a platform for women's tennis and the top players. (New York was ideal. Madrid seemed to be working well.) Or the WTA could simply go to sell themselves out -- literally -- to the highest bidder.
Regrettably, the executives chose Door No. 2. The result? The tour is making many millions from the good folks in Dubai and Istanbul, no small consideration, particularly in these austere times. Yet the year-end event, which should be a real showcase event, exists in a virtual vacuum and a literal desert. Buzz and media coverage is non-existent here in the U.S. and, judging from a lot of you, in Europe and Asia as well. The ESPN coverage is long gone. From what I saw, the attendance was dreadful. Sharapova and Henin were MIA, and two other top stars, Serena Williams and Ivanovic, couldn't even get through their matches.
I wasn't compelled to stay tuned to a single match. Not a single match. Not even Serena vs. Venus, which was a regression in quality I just didn't need to see. Sure I was knee-deep in electoral politics, but still. When my favorite sport makes me roll my eyes and switch the channel, well, then....