Chinese embarrass themselves with astonishing attack on Andre Agassi

What do you expect if you arrange a tennis tournament in November, when many of the players are carrying imjuries at the end of a (ridiculously) long season? Players withdrawing when they aggravate injuries. That’s what you expect.

At the Masters Cup in Shanghai, though, so-called tennis officials - though one must wonder if they know anything about the game - rounded on Andre Agassi, making some astonishing, anger-fuelled comments after he withdrew with injury after his opening match.

“I certainly don’t appreciate what Agassi has been doing,” said Wang Liqun, the deputy director of the organising committee, before adding in a fit of pique that the 35 year-old Grand Slam winner should return to Shanghai to “show his professionalism”.

News for you, fellow - the Cultural Revolution is over. Ordering people to make self-criticisms, making them wear a dunce’s cap and beating them over the head is no longer practised in civilised societies. Mind you, if the cap fits, perhaps you should wear it…

Do you have a link to the story? This is the first I’ve heard of it.

Here you go.
I can only guess as to why they’re being so pissy. Perhaps it’s because a number of the top players didn’t come to the tournament at all, and then just after Rafael Nadal withdraws, Agassi (the game’s biggest star) does the same. Must be difficult for them, but I have no idea why they thought these comments would improve things.

Well, you COULD look at this a different way. Instead of asking why the Chinese are being so loud and angry, we could ask why the prooters of OTHER tournaments DON’T get as vocally angry when tennis pros do things like this.

Yes, yes, I know injuries happen, they come with the territory. But this sort of thing happens in tennis far more often than in other sports. Tennis pros regularly commit to playing in a (relatively) minor tournament, then call in at the last minute with a convenient injury. Meanwhile, the promoters who’ve been trying to sell tickets are in a bind. “Damn it, our whole advertising campaign has centered on Venus Williams and Andy Roddick being here… now, two days before the tournament, they’re pulling out with phantom injuries, we can’t give these tickets away, and 2,000 people who already bought tickets are demanding refunds!”.

This happens so often, promoters of minor U.S. tournaments just fume quietly, instead of raising a big stink (they figure if they make too loud a fuss, name players will boycott them in the future.) But this is new to the CHinese, who naively think a player who commits to appearing in a tournament should keep his/her word.

The Chinese may seem arrogant, but in this case, I applaud them. Players shouldn’t be able to blow off their commitments as often or as easily as they do.

…except for the fact that tournament organizers just as often benefit from the fact that a star had opted out of a prior tourney elsewhere, in order to give a minor injury a chance to heal, which made it possible for them to appear as scheduled at a later one.

Besides, can you honestly say that Agassi has a realistic chance of winning when injured, given his increasing difficulties in recent years even when healthy?

I find this OP extremely ignorant at least, and extremely offensive at worst.

It isn’t “the Chinese” that embarrass themselves, if anyone does. It’s Wang Li Qun, who last I checked, is only one person. Look, I agree that Wang is acting a little harsh, but there is a little more to it. The Shanghai tournament has turned into a minor disaster.

Even Roger Federer has said the tournament organizers anger is justified. Link

I really find the Cultural Revolution comment way out of line. All the tournament head said is that he finds Agassi unproffesional. You are comparing his comments to the Cultural Revolution? Can’t Chinese people just be vocally pissed off? Would you say, “Brittish embarass themselves” if the head of the Wimbledon tournament got upset and numerous pull-outs of that tournament?

If you are going to post ignorant, idiotic, and mean things, either put it in the Pit or, better yet, go to another message board.

To give this a little context, it’s not rare for Agassi to withdraw from a tournament. He plays fewer events than the other top players so he can spend more time training and tries to focus his energy on a smaller number of big tournaments that he can win - the four majors, the Masters events, and that’s about it. He can and does decide to shut it down during a tournament at times if he doesn’t feel he’s totally healthy. He doesn’t want to play if he isn’t 100%, and he doesn’t want to overstrain himself. He won in Los Angeles this year and then immediately withdrew from the next week’s tournament for that reason. Between his already-limited schedule and some health problems, he has not played much this year.

Federer is right that the tournament organizers have a right to be disappointed. But what are you going to do? Agassi is 35 and he didn’t withdraw because of exhaustion. It sounds like he’s going to play next year, and he’s focusing on being healthy for that instead.

But he managed to show up for one match, and collect his full appearance fee, anyway, right?

How about making appearance fees like progress payments for stars with a habit of stiffing promoters like that - the player gets a part of the fee for every round played, not a full upfront payment for which he only needs to do the bare minimum, as he did here.

Maybe this promoter is just new to the business and hasn’t been stiffed by a star before. Give him time, he’ll get more jaded.

He’s won $30 million during his career and makes $25 million annually from endorsements. I’m not inclined to think he went all the way to Shanghai for an appearance fee, and he played well, so I don’t think that backs up the ‘cashing in’ theory. He held leads in both sets.

I was referring to Agassi’s health. What you propose isn’t bad, I’m just not sure it would work unless everyone does it. The ATP already does what it can to ensure the top players go to all the major event. There have unfortunately been a lot of withdrawals from Shanghai. Roddick, Hewitt and Safin weren’t lured by the appearance fee money, and I’m not sure if Nadal gets paid for going and not playing.