WTA leads by example
With the governing body of the men's game, the ATP, still without a leader for next year - Adam Helfant deciding not to renew his contract when it expires in December - the women's tour, the WTA, is showing admirable stability at the top as it prepares for its showpiece tournament.
Canadian Stacey Allaster, the pocket rocket of a Chief Executive, has just signed a new five year contract on the eve of the season-ending WTA Championships in Istanbul.
The ATP board meets in London next month to finalise their choice for Helfant's replacement with the campaign for former Wimbledon champion and Rotterdam Tournament Director, Richard Krajicek, gaining momentum.
Helfant - a former Nike executive - gave six months' notice of his departure in June, presumably to give his employers plenty of time to find a suitable replacement, and how they've needed it. Talks, interviews, knock-backs, more talks. A decision will come next month we're told.
The world's top eight players come together this week, as they play the final major event of the year at the Sinan Erdem Dome stadium. PHOTO: Getty
Having said that, there is plenty of life left in the ATP season.
As the women prepare to wrap in Turkey, the men are in Vienna and St Petersburg this week with valuable tournaments in Valencia, Basle and Paris still ahead. That's all before we reach the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals in London which start on 21st November.
The ATP tour remains hamstrung by the number of rich and historic tournaments late in the year. How can they shorten the calendar without a lawsuit or three?
This is where Stacey Allaster and her predecessor Larry Scott have done an excellent job. Three years ago the WTA, under Scott's leadership, recognised it had a problem. The solution was simple; they had to shorten the season.
They negotiated, they traded, they got it done.
The creation of a "Roadmap" plan has led to a 24% increase in top player participation at the WTA's top events and an 18% reduction in withdrawals.
And most significantly here we are, in the final week of October, with the WTA end of year Championships. Players not involved in the Fed Cup Final, between Russia and Czech Republic, will have a clear off-season lasting two months.
Li Na, Petra Kvitova and Sam Stosur, the wonderful trio of first-time major winners from 2011, are also in Istanbul but the perceived "big three" - Clijsters, Venus Williams and Serena Williams - have not played enough this year to qualify.
For all the good work done at the WTA to shorten the season, there is little more they can do to persuade part-timers and working mums to play more. The ATP may soon face a similar situation with working dad Roger Federer, who this year skipped the entire Asian swing.
They may not be enjoying the golden era of the men - Wozniacki's domination without a major is the main story to most outsiders - but with Allaster at the helm until 2017, at least the WTA has leadership, vision and a clear strategy to take the sport forward.
In these tricky political times, that's exactly what the ATP needs.