Here's how the WTF can become the true Fifth (Indoor) Slam

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nikdom

Guest
(this is a rough idea, haven't thought through all the ramifications, so it needs your suggestions!)

Essential Idea: combine Next Gen Finals* and World Tour Finals.

* Make the WTF a 2 week event. The Top 8 starts in Week 2, with a caveat - The Top 8 isn't decided until Week 1 is over!

* Week 1 is an invitation-only event of NON-Top 6, (as of the beginning of the tournament) with a field of 10 (4 under-21s, 4 over-21s in order of ranking, plus 7, 8 ranked players). The 7th and 8th ranked players get a bye until the week 1 'challenger finals'. So 8 players are competing for 2 spots to battle the 7th and 8th ranked players.

* Invitation-only means that it is non-essential. If a player chooses not to play, the next ranked player is given the opportunity to participate. This way those who prefer to end their season for rest can.

* The format for week 1 is the same as NextGenFinals - 2 short sets and a tiebreaker. No-let etc

* One player emerges from the 4 under-21's and one from the 4 over-21s. Player ranked 7 has to play the over-21 winner and 8 the under-21 winner. This is the week 1 'challenger finals'. The two winners of these challengers get 250 points each.

* The Top 8 is now recalculated (realistically, only the 7 and 8 spots will be in play because there is a big dropoff in points after 6) and if the Top 8 field hasn't changed from the beginning of the tournament, then players in the new order of ranking outside Top 8 get to be alternates for week 2



What does this do?
First of all, by giving ranking points to the 'winners' of week 1, we are mixing up not only the field for week 2 but also giving a hot player the opportunity to start the new year with better ranking and a shot to move up even higher with favorable seedings.

Week 1 is a mix of young players and those in the 10-25 rank range to make a move at the end of the year, which is otherwise do difficult to do. To earn 250 ranking points in a loaded field is tough when the top guys are competing for every bit and morsel.

It makes the WTF feel like a true year-end, indoor slam with a nice twist. Week 1 should be exciting because it will be young talents and those hungry for an opportunity to battle their way into the Top 10.

I know the there may be more to it in the specifics so this is where the detail-oriented ones among you can critique/enhance this idea.

What do you guys think?
 

BGod

Legend
To be a 5th Slam it would have to be Bo5 somewhere. Honestly just the format we have but Bo5 Semifinals and Final.

The RR has to be set up better in my opinion with BYEs. #1 in each division get Semifinal spot while #2-3 in divisions play extra match. You don't get 200 points in the RR for match victories. It's silly. You get 400 for making semifinal, another 400 for the final and 700 on top for winning. That's how it should have always been.
 
N

nikdom

Guest
It's the most prestigious title outside of a slam already. No need to do anything.
Maybe not for prestige but there is no need for a separate NextGen Finals if there are no ranking points being awarded. Why not make one event the year-end indoor extravaganza?
 
N

nikdom

Guest
To be a 5th Slam it would have to be Bo5 somewhere. Honestly just the format we have but Bo5 Semifinals and Final.

The RR has to be set up better in my opinion with BYEs. #1 in each division get Semifinal spot while #2-3 in divisions play extra match. You don't get 200 points in the RR for match victories. It's silly. You get 400 for making semifinal, another 400 for the final and 700 on top for winning. That's how it should have always been.
There is a lot of tennis being played in these two weeks the way I outlined it. Yeah, the RR matches etc have to be ironed out but it makes no sense to have two separate year ending events - one for the next gen and another for the Top 8.
 

Shaolin

G.O.A.T.
Maybe not for prestige but there is no need for a separate NextGen Finals if there are no ranking points being awarded. Why not make one event the year-end indoor extravaganza?
Because it would lower the prestige of the WTF.

Like putting a carnival in front of an opera house.
 

NEW_BORN

Hall of Fame
The biggest drawback for me is that it's a round robin format. I hold the view that whatever sport it is, if you've lost already you can't be declared the winner of the tournament.
If it's ever to be considered a 5th slam, then at the very least all matches must be best of 5.
 

Jackuar

Hall of Fame
This format you've mentioned favours top 6 heavily, on top of the already brittle young gen. It's putting a week old tired players at the end of the season vs a week rested top 6. Bad matchup.

I'd rather keep it as a top 16 tourney in same current format, for a 10 day tourney, 4 groups of 4 each, Add a QF after the RRs.
 
C

Chadillac

Guest
Grand slams all have to have the same format, its 2nd to Gs's, thats good enough.
 

mr tonyz

Semi-Pro
The biggest drawback for me is that it's a round robin format. I hold the view that whatever sport it is, if you've lost already you can't be declared the winner of the tournament.
If it's ever to be considered a 5th slam, then at the very least all matches must be best of 5.
So what if every team loses? Which is what happens quite a lot of the time ...

Much like The Premier League , La Liga & Seria A for instance . In most seasons even the best teams lose a game here or there plus a bunch of draws to go along with it. The Uefa Champions Leage (The biggest Club Competition in Europe) you can theoritically lose multiple times as apart from the Round robin group Phase .Every round thereafter apart from The Final (2nd Round , Quarters & Semi's) are two-legged ties (or a head to head round robin home & away format) . So let's say 1-2 losses during the group phase , then another 3 losses , 1 in each seperate knockout round apart from the final which equates to a grand total of 5 losses. Sure this has never happened before to my knowledge , but it's possible.

I can understand in Tennis that The WTF is the only Tournament which utilizes the round-Robin Format & that turns off quite a few with the losing scenario. But what should overturn or balance out the fact that you have the ability to lose yet have a chance to still win the tournament is the fact that you have to play against the worlds Top-8 to 10 players depending on alternates.

Furthermore what happens when the winner wins going 5-0? Federer has done this 5 out of his 6 WTF victories? Do perfect WTF Tournament runs still suffer the same way as a 4-1 WTF victory? Again this opens up a can of worms to another debate altogether ...
 

Bartelby

Bionic Poster
The ITF and the four existing slams own the intellectual property that bestows 'slamdom'. Otherwise you can only have a slam-like event that you can't call a slam.
 

Firstservingman

Talk Tennis Guru
The biggest drawback for me is that it's a round robin format. I hold the view that whatever sport it is, if you've lost already you can't be declared the winner of the tournament.
If it's ever to be considered a 5th slam, then at the very least all matches must be best of 5.
So you can't be a league champion unless you're undefeated in the regular season?
 

reaper

Legend
Half the players just about show up on walking frames because they've been playing for 10 months solid. Was it 2 years ago that Federer withdrew from the final because he was tired, knew he couldn't beat Djokovic in that condition and wanted to be fresh for the Davis Cup final? For all the talk about the prestige of the WTF...there are some very half hearted performances there.
 

NEW_BORN

Hall of Fame
So you can't be a league champion unless you're undefeated in the regular season?
If we are talking about proclaiming a winner based on the number of points accrued during a season, then it's a little different to winning a tournament where the champion has to win the championship match. Just my view.
 

mr tonyz

Semi-Pro
Half the players just about show up on walking frames because they've been playing for 10 months solid. Was it 2 years ago that Federer withdrew from the final because he was tired, knew he couldn't beat Djokovic in that condition and wanted to be fresh for the Davis Cup final? For all the talk about the prestige of the WTF...there are some very half hearted performances there.
One isolated event determines whether or not a specific tournament is worthy of it's place on tour? Much like in the event where Djokovic was crying in defeat added to the prestige of OSG? How about all the countless other times Nadal failed to enter The Slams due to injury? We cannot have double standards. Much like others saying that it isn't fair that the WTF is only held on Indoor Hard Court every year.

Well i can provide the counter argument , why don't any of the Slams specifically provide an Indoor Tournament? Yet there are 4 Slams & all of them are primarily OutdoorTournaments (roofs provided to 3 of the 4 due to scheduling issues with rain delays only) . Why are The BNP Paribas Masters & The WTF's the only 2 'Big Tournaments' that are played Indoors?

I can see the point if there were more Indoor Tournaments throughout the year but really , Indoors & Grass are by far the 2 surfaces/conditions that are well behind the rest. Grass due to it's maintenance costs & Indoors? Well there is no reason really apart from the costs associated with installing a roof .

If anything i'd love to have a 4 Slam Spread of Indoor Carpet (AO) Outdoor Clay (French) Outdoor Grass (Wimbledon) & Outdoor & Indoor Hard Court on a rotation per year (USO) & then have the WTFs rotate each year between the 4 Slam Surfaces rotating between Indoor & Outdoor . So the Slams & WTFs work together to cover 4 distinct surfaces whilst implementing a nice dose of Indoor conditions to the mix.
 

mr tonyz

Semi-Pro
If we are talking about proclaiming a winner based on the number of points accrued during a season, then it's a little different to winning a tournament where the champion has to win the championship match. Just my view.
So i suppose The FIFA World Cup fails the same test?
 

NEW_BORN

Hall of Fame
So what if every team loses? Which is what happens quite a lot of the time ...

Much like The Premier League , La Liga & Seria A for instance . In most seasons even the best teams lose a game here or there plus a bunch of draws to go along with it. The Uefa Champions Leage (The biggest Club Competition in Europe) you can theoritically lose multiple times as apart from the Round robin group Phase .Every round thereafter apart from The Final (2nd Round , Quarters & Semi's) are two-legged ties (or a head to head round robin home & away format) . So let's say 1-2 losses during the group phase , then another 3 losses , 1 in each seperate knockout round apart from the final which equates to a grand total of 5 losses. Sure this has never happened before to my knowledge , but it's possible.

I can understand in Tennis that The WTF is the only Tournament which utilizes the round-Robin Format & that turns off quite a few with the losing scenario. But what should overturn or balance out the fact that you have the ability to lose yet have a chance to still win the tournament is the fact that you have to play against the worlds Top-8 to 10 players depending on alternates.

Furthermore what happens when the winner wins going 5-0? Federer has done this 5 out of his 6 WTF victories? Do perfect WTF Tournament runs still suffer the same way as a 4-1 WTF victory? Again this opens up a can of worms to another debate altogether ...
Just my view that all tennis tournaments should be a knockout format, no diss on the wtf winners who go undefeated.

As for other sports based on highest number of points accrued during a season, i don't see that as a tournament.
In regards to UEFA CL i understand that round-robin stage is necessary for more games to be played so that the better teams can usually progress to the knockout stage, which in itself even though a team may lose 1 leg, they still win the aggregate, so in a way they didn't lose.
 

reaper

Legend
One isolated event determines whether or not a specific tournament is worthy of it's place on tour? Much like in the event where Djokovic was crying in defeat added to the prestige of OSG? How about all the countless other times Nadal failed to enter The Slams due to injury? We cannot have double standards. Much like others saying that it isn't fair that the WTF is only held on Indoor Hard Court every year.

Well i can provide the counter argument , why don't any of the Slams specifically provide an Indoor Tournament? Yet there are 4 Slams & all of them are primarily OutdoorTournaments (roofs provided to 3 of the 4 due to scheduling issues with rain delays only) . Why are The BNP Paribas Masters & The WTF's the only 2 'Big Tournaments' that are played Indoors?

I can see the point if there were more Indoor Tournaments throughout the year but really , Indoors & Grass are by far the 2 surfaces/conditions that are well behind the rest. Grass due to it's maintenance costs & Indoors? Well there is no reason really apart from the costs associated with installing a roof .

If anything i'd love to have a 4 Slam Spread of Indoor Carpet (AO) Outdoor Clay (French) Outdoor Grass (Wimbledon) & Outdoor & Indoor Hard Court on a rotation per year (USO) & then have the WTFs rotate each year between the 4 Slam Surfaces rotating between Indoor & Outdoor . So the Slams & WTFs work together to cover 4 distinct surfaces whilst implementing a nice dose of Indoor conditions to the mix.
I'm not saying the WTF isn't worthy of its place on the tour. I'm saying it's not worthy of a higher place on the tour.
 

mr tonyz

Semi-Pro
which in itself even though a team may lose 1 leg, they still win the aggregate, so in a way they didn't lose.
Even worse still in UCL you can theoretically win the tournament without winning a knockout game , a bunch of 0-0 1-1 draws through to the final , all won on a Penalty Shoot-Out. So if you think about it all this negativity towards the WTFs should only be amplified as in the UCL or even The FIFA World Cup as you don't even need to win to win in many aspects. A Penalty Shoot-Out in football is vastly different than a Tie-Breaker in Tennis as you are still playing the same way you would to earn points within that Tie-Break as you would throughout the set. In Football a Penalty Shoot-Out practically has nothing to do with the way the game is played normally apart from putting the ball in the back of the net.

So again if all of this negativity is thrown toward the WTFs , there should be even more thrown the way of the biggest Football Tournaments in the world as in not only can you win the tournament whilst losing you can also win said tournaments without actually winning them. I'm in favour of a full match replay to determine winners like back in the old days , i don't believe in p.s.o's. It's too much of a lottery to determine a winner.
 

PMChambers

Hall of Fame
A 5th Major will come from an existing Tournament most likely Masters. Rome was going to be the 4th Major but 3x in Europe was considered unbalance and the next likely would have been another US. Since few countries outside US and Western Europe seem to be able to support a 5th and the need for a 5th is not there yet. The most likely event would be super masters 1500, likely IW by increasing field to 128 instead of 96, and increasing the length to two weeks and prize pool.
The WTA is not a Major and never will be considered as such. It feels like an EXO which is not derogatory as historically EXO where high value / prestige H2H encounters especially in 70 and 80s. The Pro Tour was effectively a traveling EXO. The format will never give it the prestige of a Major, and some like myself still look at some Masters as more prestigious 6 ad and desirable.
Since the 80 and 90 the WTF never redly had same level of value regardless how ATP trying to pivot it. The WTF works best when players either hate each other, need it for money, really play each other. Since masters because compulsory its point of existence was reduced.
Making the SF and Finsl BO5 would definitely help.
Adding the next gen will diminish its value. It's value is only, best v best.
 

jackmd57

New User
interesting,
I get the idea of how to make WTF more value but unless it is play as slam format. It can not be a Slam. just in my opinion.

I love the idea of make it a 2 weeks event to make it difference from other masters. IW and Miami are 1.5 week long of knock out format which somehow make me feel like these 2 events are bigger and harder than WTF.

OP suggest combine the nextgen final in. Which I found quite promising. you can blend them in the RR format too.

I suggest how about of 8 groups of 3 players.
1st player is the top 8 by current ranking.
2nd player is top 9-16 or slam winner
3rd player is mixed up of slam final, nextgen star or whatever.

each group play RR for QF spot and then continue as knockout format til final.
So the winner will play 2 RR and 3 KO matches. Compare with current system which is 3 RR and 2 KO matches.

just my idea.
 

Rod Laver

Professional
The biggest drawback for me is that it's a round robin format. I hold the view that whatever sport it is, if you've lost already you can't be declared the winner of the tournament.
If it's ever to be considered a 5th slam, then at the very least all matches must be best of 5.
You must not like football then?
 
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