Top 10 Off-Court Moments of 2017: Smaller events experience struggles

by: Kamakshi Tandon | December 05, 2017

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The Memphis Open is moving to New York in 2018. (AP)

With the destination of the Davis Cup determined, the professional tennis season has come to a close. Thus, we begin our look back at 2017, a memorable year on and off the court. Our Top 10 On-Court Moments, and our Top 10 Off-Court Moments, will remind you of everything that transpired.

Smaller events, when compared to the tour's biggest tournaments, seem to be shrinking. While some have a long history and solid standing, others do not. About a quarter of ATP 250 events and WTA Internationals have seen a change of organizers or locations in the previous few years, which this season included Chennai, Memphis (which is moving to New York), Biel and the organizers of the ATP 500 in Hamburg. An application to move the Metz ATP 250 tournament to Taiwan was blocked by the ATP tour.

The dominance of a few big names in men's tennis has squeezed smaller events, which often do not have the appearance fees or ranking points to attract the top players. And even WTA CEO Steve Simon acknowledged in 2016 that the WTA Internationals are not positioned to have a good economic footing. Even some Premier-level events do not turn a profit.

At some events, particularly in Asian countries where the game is not as established, the sparsely-filled stands are the most telling of all.

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