Re: SHOULD SOME CLAY COURT TOURNAMENTS BE TAKEN FROM ATP SCHEDULE
Hi, I'm Philippe,
I don't specifically have a problem with the number of clay court tournaments but I think the scheduling of clay court tournaments is appalling.
There should not be what is effectively a five-week (from start to finish) clay court season after Wimbledon (four if you don't include this current week where there are no tournaments).
Think about it...if somebody such as Gaudio or Puerta had no clay court tournaments to enter between the French Open and Bucharest (which starts the week after the US Open), then they would have 14 weeks to fully concentrate on grass court and hard court tournaments.
Think about conventional hardcourt players - this is what they have to endure for 15 consecutive weeks during the clay court and grass court seasons: they have to go through a 9 week claycourt season (when there are no hardcourt tournaments whatsoever) a 4-week grass court season (when there are no hardcourt tournaments whatsoever) and a further two weeks after Wimbledon in which there are also no hard court tournaments.
If Gaudio and Puerta faced this endeavour, they would be able to focus all their energies into performing well in the North American hard court season. As it stands, they might skip the grass court season, play four clay events and then play Montreal, Cincinnati, skip a week and then the US Open - and that is it.
If it was an 14-week exclusive grass and then hard court season, then they would play in more hard court events because they wouldn't have a choice - it is either that or a long rest (which would further damage their preperation for future tournaments). They would learn to value the hard court season more, have a greater quality of specifically-hardcourt preperation and this would improve their quality of play, and results, in the lead up to the US Open - which this stage of the season is all about.
As it is, clay court players are able to pick a schedule 'which suits them 100 per cent' whereas hard court players are not allowed this luxury for 15 consecutive weeks.