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ESPN's Tandon provides "WTA's Roadmap 2010 Guide for Dummies", a tool for confused tennis fans everywhere

Kamakshi Tandon is on it. The ESPN scribe, who is following the controversy surrounding WTA Tour's Roadmap 2010, has made a valiant attempt to break down the supremely confusing Roadmap into 10 major highlights - a "WTA's Roapmap 2010 Guide for Dummies" which is something I can understand, at least I think so.

Most of the Top 10 is pretty understandable: No. 4 - a longer off-season! No. 5 - more prize money!! No. 9 - Bye bye to first round byes!!!

But here's where the confusion and controversy lie:

1. Premier tournaments

The WTA tournaments below the Grand Slams are currently divided into four groups: Tier I, Tier II, Tier III and Tier IV. Officially, there will be just two next year -- premier and international events.

Unofficially, however, the premier events will consist of four distinct types: mandatory (all eligible players must play), premier five (seven of the top 10), premier (two to three of the top six marquee players), and open (no minimum or maximum commitment because the events are a week before a Grand Slam or the year-end championships -- expect a feast-or-famine situation).

Mandatory events: Indian Wells, Miami, Madrid and Beijing
Premier five: Dubai, Rome, Canada, Cincinnati and Tokyo
Premier: Paris indoors, Charleston, Stuttgart, Stanford, Los Angeles and Tokyo
Premier open: Sydney, Berlin, Eastbourne, New Haven and Moscow

2. International tournaments

These will be a minor league of sorts for the tour, as only one of the top 20 will be allowed to participate in each event. Top players will be able to play only one international tournament during each half of the season. This would allow a player like Radwanska to play her home event in Warsaw but would limit her to premier events for the rest of the summer and fall.

There also will be a year-end event in Bali for the top eight performers in international events -- a poor woman's Sony Ericsson championships, as it were.

Essentially, the WTA Tour is being split into two tribes: the big ballers vs. the baby ballers and rarely the twain shall meet.

So a top-20 lady baller is only allowed to play one "international" minor league tourney huh? I guess the days of entering these lower-tier tourneys to grab confidence-building wins and quick cash for gracing the masses with their appearance are over.

(image via Getty)

*Via Down the Line!

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