Posts Tagged ‘masters series hamburg’

ATP lawsuit could remake non-team sports

July 29, 2008

Daniel Kaplan at SportsBusiness Journal is all over the lawsuit filed the organizers of the Hamburg tournament against the ATP. At the core of this debate is whether the ATP is seen as a professional league (which, under U.S. law, is allowed to collude and pool television rights, set schedules, and set terms for athlete participation) or if it’s just a loose group of businesses who all happen to run tennis tournaments. A loss for the ATP could spell trouble for the WTA and other individual sport orgs like the PGA and LPGA tours. Here’s what Kaplan wrote up two weeks ago (on July 7). Subsequent articles to follow.

In 14 days, the ATP World Tour will square off against one of its tournaments in a Delaware courtroom. At stake: Not just the future of men’s tennis, but perhaps the governance of all non-team sports.

Barring a settlement, the antitrust case could determine just how far a rules-making body can go in setting tournament schedules, compelling players to compete in certain events, establishing a ranking system and awarding sanctions. These functions are claimed not only by the ATP, which is being sued to undo a series of schedule changes, but also by other entities ranging from the PGA Tour to Olympic federations.

“An ATP loss would set a dangerous precedent for professional sports governing bodies … that make all sorts of decisions that primarily affect the players regarding format of play, where they are going to play their tournaments, the number of events in which they will participate [and] how the players are going to be ranked,” said Rick Karcher, director of the Center for Law and Sports at the Florida Coastal School of Law. He also has written about the case as a contributor to the Web site sportslawblog.com.

“If any third party can challenge these decisions on antitrust grounds,’ Karcher said, “it puts these organizations at risk.” (Read on…)

Trophy Watch: the last of the pre-French clay contests

May 18, 2008

(This post is timestamped for last week, but showing up this week, so those consuming via RSS might get thrown off. I apologize for any trouble…)

Both the men and the women played out the last of their French Open warmups in Germany and Italy this week.

Rafa Nadal cemented his spot in the third Sunday of the French Open by winning the Masters Series Hamburg over Roger Federer. Rafa prevented Roger from defending his title with the 7-5, 6-7 (3-7), 6-3 win. This puts Rafa at three clay titles for 2008 — the most of anyone in the top 10.

On the women’s side, Jelena Jankovic successfully defended a title for the first time in her career, taking out Alize Cornet 6-2, 6-2 at the Italian Open in Rome.

(photos by Getty Images)


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