Originally Posted by veroniquem
No it wasn't. It was a simple WS. The gold one was Vienna.
My bad it was an international series event in name but some simple research shows that it had exactly the same ranking point distribution as Vienna and other international series gold tournaments apart from Barcelona and Dubai, i.e. 250 points for the winner, 175 points for the runner-up, 110 points for losing semi-finalists. Plus it had a $1,000,000 prize money pool, and all ISG events either had $1,000,000 or $800,000 prize money pools, so it offered more prize money than tournaments like Vienna.
So with exactly the same (or more) prize money and ranking points on offer we can safely say that it was a precursor to a 500 event before 2009 and wasn't a lesser tournament
. And the tournament always attracted strong field with some of the best indoor players on the tour like Nalbandian and Henman playing their regularly, Roddick playing there during his peak in 2003 etc.