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post #1 of 44 (permalink) Old 10-12-2009, 06:32 PM Thread Starter
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ATP scheduling

18 tourneys/year is really too much???

From Tennis Mailbag:

A few thoughts as the season winds to an end ...

1. Get me rewrite! For months now, the WTA has been less stable than AIG's stock price. But the hits keep coming. Dinara Safina lost to an unknown player yet again -- the latest being wild card Zhang Shuai in the second round of the China Open -- and surrendered the top ranking to Serena Williams. However, Serena didn't fare too well herself, falling in the third round to Nadia Petrova in a match that turned on ... wait for it ... a hotly disputed line call. Maria Sharapova ran out of steam in a third-round loss to Peng Shuai. Venus Williams was upset by Russian teenager Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova for the second time in a week. And Svetlana Kuznetsova returned from the deep freeze to win the Beijing title. Inasmuch as budget cuts are looming at WTA HQ, here's a plea to spare the tour's scriptwriter. Week in and week out, the material is reliably riveting.

2. If Rafael Nadal's career were traded publicly, the short sellers would be out in full force come fall. Mr. October, he ain't. As a matter of ritual, Nadal's results go off a cliff in the autumn, a function of the grueling, violent tennis he plays in the first half of the year. Still, the state of Nadal's game -- and, more specifically, his body -- is more than a little troubling.

After missing June and July with knee injuries, Nadal returned for the U.S. hard-court swing, but his progress was undone by an abdominal injury. Clearly injured in the U.S. Open semifinal, he offered little resistance against Juan Martin del Potro. Last week he was thrashed in a similar fashion, mustering just four games against Marin Cilic in a semifinal in China. While Nadal abides by the "jock code" and doesn't attribute defeat to injury, it's clear he is playing hurt. (The stats don't lie either: He had zero aces and lost the majority of points on his serve against Cilic. That's saying something.) When one of the sport's most magnetic figures -- a supreme athlete and consummate professional -- simply cannot make it through a season abiding by the entry rules as currently written, think it might be time to rethink the schedule?

3. As the seasons wind down, it's an appropriate time for players to take stock of their careers. For most, it means plotting for 2010 and contriving a playing schedule that enables them to maximize gain and minimize risk, usually in the form of injury or emotional fatigue. For others, particularly on the wrong side of 30, it entails deciding whether to soldier on or step away.

Fabrice Santoro, Marat Safin, Nathalie Dechy, Ai Sugiyama and Denmark's Kristian Pless have gently informed us of their departures. It will be interesting to see which of their colleagues join them. An online BBC sports poll last week asked readers: "Do you think Amelie Mauresmo will call it a day?" Ultimately, though, these are deeply personal decisions that depend on what answers the athletes get when they ask the tough questions of themselves.

--------------------------
What Andy and Nadal said:

SHANGHAI (AP) -- Rafael Nadal and Andy Roddick complained Tuesday that the ATP season is too long and that tennis players need a proper offseason.

Both players, who are in China for the Shanghai Masters, reiterated criticism of the sport's punishing schedule.

"It's impossible to play 1st of January and finish 5th of December," said the 23-year-old Nadal, who did not defend his title at Wimbledon because of a knee injury. "It's impossible to be here playing like what I did the last five years, playing a lot of matches and being all the time 100 percent without problems."

Roddick, a veteran at 27, said players need a longer offseason to recover, and noted that both Roger Federer (fatigue) and Andy Murray (wrist injury) are skipping the Shanghai tournament.

"It's ridiculous to think that you have a professional sport that doesn't have a legitimate offseason to rest, get healthy, and then train," Roddick said. "I just feel sooner or later that common sense has to prevail."

The top players on the men's tour are required to play at eight of the nine Master Series events -- with Monte Carlo being the exception. And the top eight players of the year also have an extra week by qualifying for next month's season-ending tournament in London.

Roddick said that merging the player's union and tournament operation under the ATP umbrella, which was considered a cutting-edge concept that would benefit the players when instituted in 1990, hasn't turned out to be overwhelmingly positive.

"I certainly don't see any other sporting leagues or federations following our lead as far as not being individually represented," Roddick said. "I don't know that it's up to the players to be making business decisions about the schedule. At a certain point, I wish our input would be.

"It's got to be someone's job to figure that out, right?"

-------------------------------------------
Roddick blasts 'ridiculous'

Share Print It My T&R An exasperated Andy Roddick said the ATP men's tour must give players more time to rest during the season or risk shortening the careers of the "stars" of the sport. The world number six lost to qualifier Lukasz Kubot in the first match of his title defense at the China Open last week and said then that the top players were playing too much tennis. He renewed his attack at the Shanghai Masters on Monday while admitting the ultimate negotiating tool, a players' strike, was unlikely. "I think it's ridiculous to think that you have a professional sport that doesn't have a legitimate off season to rest, get healthy, and then train," the 27-year-old told reporters at his 16th tournament of the season. World number one Roger Federer pulled out of Shanghai citing fatigue, while number three Andy Murray blamed a wrist injury for his absence from the inaugural $3.24 million tournament. "I don't think that's all of one big coincidence, and I just hope that the shortsightedness doesn't affect the length of careers," he said. "I think in tennis you definitely want your stars around as long as possible." The top 30 men's players are obliged to play the four two-week grand slam events and eight of the nine Masters Series tournaments. In addition, their best four results in ATP 500 events and best two in lower level tournaments count toward their rankings, effectively meaning they must play at least 18 a year.
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post #2 of 44 (permalink) Old 10-12-2009, 06:35 PM
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Re: ATP scheduling

This old chestnut, there are about 3 threads on this subject.

Same shit every year and nothing changes.

On Nadal bumping him on the changeover, Rosol said: "It's ok, he wanted to take my concentration; I knew he would try something".


Wilander on Dimitrov - "He has mind set on imitating Federer and yes it looks good. But he has no idea what to do on the court".

Quote:
Originally Posted by Filo V. View Post
I definitely would have preferred Gaba winning as he needs the points much more, but Jan would have beaten him anyway. I expect Hajek to destroy Machado, like 6-1 6-2.
Machado wins 6-2 6-1
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post #3 of 44 (permalink) Old 10-12-2009, 07:12 PM
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Re: ATP scheduling

It's the same thing every year. And get this, schedule has become SHORTER. In the '90s, ATP consisted of 85 to 90 events, as opposed to ~67 today. And season was as long or longer than today.

In early '80s, schedule had something like 140 events! If you were top player, you played

-Australian Open and Davis Cup final in December

-Season-ending championships in January! (There was no room for it in the calendar anywhere)

-February begins, back to saddle. Where's the offseason? Nowhere, that's why many top players chose to skip AO.

And players played a lot. Lendl was most extreme, routinely 100+ singles matches in a year (one year he played ~130 matches). Navratilova played 80 to 100 singles matches in a year, and full schedule of doubles on top of that. These days? Serena MIGHT be able to log 50 matches in a season. If she really pushes for it.

Schedule is not too long. If anything, it is too short, showcasing decline of appeal of professional tennis.

But there are too many hardcourt events. THOSE are injuring the players.

"If Kafelnikov said that, he is right. Kafelnikov is always right."
-Marat Safin
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post #4 of 44 (permalink) Old 10-12-2009, 07:17 PM
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Re: ATP scheduling

The schedule is too long and not a proper off season at all, but hardcourts are cheap, therefore maximising more profits, while causing more injuries.

On Nadal bumping him on the changeover, Rosol said: "It's ok, he wanted to take my concentration; I knew he would try something".


Wilander on Dimitrov - "He has mind set on imitating Federer and yes it looks good. But he has no idea what to do on the court".

Quote:
Originally Posted by Filo V. View Post
I definitely would have preferred Gaba winning as he needs the points much more, but Jan would have beaten him anyway. I expect Hajek to destroy Machado, like 6-1 6-2.
Machado wins 6-2 6-1
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post #5 of 44 (permalink) Old 10-12-2009, 07:19 PM
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Re: ATP scheduling

Season is not too long. Literally, there is less than FIVE players in ENTIRE TOUR who complain about schedule being too long. Vast majority of the pros want more events.

Now, I agree that whole mandatory event thing needs work and is probably too demanding for top pros.

"If Kafelnikov said that, he is right. Kafelnikov is always right."
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post #6 of 44 (permalink) Old 10-12-2009, 07:21 PM
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Re: ATP scheduling

You only hear the big players whining, because the other ones voices are less likely to be heard.

On Nadal bumping him on the changeover, Rosol said: "It's ok, he wanted to take my concentration; I knew he would try something".


Wilander on Dimitrov - "He has mind set on imitating Federer and yes it looks good. But he has no idea what to do on the court".

Quote:
Originally Posted by Filo V. View Post
I definitely would have preferred Gaba winning as he needs the points much more, but Jan would have beaten him anyway. I expect Hajek to destroy Machado, like 6-1 6-2.
Machado wins 6-2 6-1
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post #7 of 44 (permalink) Old 10-12-2009, 07:30 PM
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Re: ATP scheduling

Non-top players have no similar obligations: they are free to choose their schedule - and they overwhelmingly choose to play as many events as humanly possible. Challenger tour runs longer than the main Tour, and Futures tour runs all year long.

"If Kafelnikov said that, he is right. Kafelnikov is always right."
-Marat Safin
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post #8 of 44 (permalink) Old 10-12-2009, 07:33 PM
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Re: ATP scheduling

Well they don't do because they want to play that many events, it's more out of sheer economics, most of the players on the lower level aren't swimming in money or have big backers. So they don't play, they don't earn, it's basic economics.

On Nadal bumping him on the changeover, Rosol said: "It's ok, he wanted to take my concentration; I knew he would try something".


Wilander on Dimitrov - "He has mind set on imitating Federer and yes it looks good. But he has no idea what to do on the court".

Quote:
Originally Posted by Filo V. View Post
I definitely would have preferred Gaba winning as he needs the points much more, but Jan would have beaten him anyway. I expect Hajek to destroy Machado, like 6-1 6-2.
Machado wins 6-2 6-1
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post #9 of 44 (permalink) Old 10-12-2009, 07:39 PM
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Re: ATP scheduling

no 5 sets finals, 5 matches to win a Masters event and these bastards still complain

only 12 tournaments are mandatory, play only those and stop whining

http://www.menstennisforums.com/show...&postcount=378

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That will be the last victory of Rafa for quite some time.. With his joke mentality and pathetic game, I hope the disgusting player loses every single match next season. He's disgraceful. He should just retire. He's a joke.
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post #10 of 44 (permalink) Old 10-12-2009, 07:40 PM
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Re: ATP scheduling

Gonzo is smart, he hasn't played many events this season and by choice.

The system is there and they have to adjust to life within it.

On Nadal bumping him on the changeover, Rosol said: "It's ok, he wanted to take my concentration; I knew he would try something".


Wilander on Dimitrov - "He has mind set on imitating Federer and yes it looks good. But he has no idea what to do on the court".

Quote:
Originally Posted by Filo V. View Post
I definitely would have preferred Gaba winning as he needs the points much more, but Jan would have beaten him anyway. I expect Hajek to destroy Machado, like 6-1 6-2.
Machado wins 6-2 6-1
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post #11 of 44 (permalink) Old 10-12-2009, 07:42 PM
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Re: ATP scheduling

Quote:
Originally Posted by Timariot View Post
It's the same thing every year. And get this, schedule has become SHORTER. In the '90s, ATP consisted of 85 to 90 events, as opposed to ~67 today. And season was as long or longer than today.

In early '80s, schedule had something like 140 events! If you were top player, you played

-Australian Open and Davis Cup final in December

-Season-ending championships in January! (There was no room for it in the calendar anywhere)

-February begins, back to saddle. Where's the offseason? Nowhere, that's why many top players chose to skip AO.

And players played a lot. Lendl was most extreme, routinely 100+ singles matches in a year (one year he played ~130 matches). Navratilova played 80 to 100 singles matches in a year, and full schedule of doubles on top of that. These days? Serena MIGHT be able to log 50 matches in a season. If she really pushes for it.

Schedule is not too long. If anything, it is too short, showcasing decline of appeal of professional tennis.

But there are too many hardcourt events. THOSE are injuring the players.
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post #12 of 44 (permalink) Old 10-12-2009, 07:48 PM
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Re: ATP scheduling

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mannequin View Post
no 5 sets finals, 5 matches to win a Masters event and these bastards still complain

only 12 tournaments are mandatory, play only those and stop whining

They also have to play 5 ATP 500 tourneys.

And calling the players bastards is absolutely classless. On the one hand, the players have to plan their schedule better, Nadal's schedule for example this year was slightly so he shouldn't complain too much. Roddick on the other has a point when he says that ending the season with Masters in December is insane. There must a proper off-season of at least 1.5 months for the Top Players.
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post #13 of 44 (permalink) Old 10-12-2009, 07:50 PM
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Re: ATP scheduling

Quote:
Originally Posted by Timariot View Post
It's the same thing every year. And get this, schedule has become SHORTER. In the '90s, ATP consisted of 85 to 90 events, as opposed to ~67 today. And season was as long or longer than today.

Longer than today? I doubt it. And you cannot compare the tennis of the 90s with today's men's tennis.
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post #14 of 44 (permalink) Old 10-12-2009, 08:00 PM
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Re: ATP scheduling

Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt01 View Post
Longer than today? I doubt it. And you cannot compare the tennis of the 90s with today's men's tennis.
Yes, it's true, todays players kinda suck

But you don't have to doubt, look for yourself:

http://tennis.webz.cz/res/1995/1995.html

Season began 2nd January, and last event, Grand Slam Cup, was in early December. Note how there were three events (two of them big) just prior to Season-ending Championships.

GS Cup was not a mandatory event, you didn't even get ranking points from it. But top players participated because of HUMONGOUS cash prizes.

"If Kafelnikov said that, he is right. Kafelnikov is always right."
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post #15 of 44 (permalink) Old 10-12-2009, 08:04 PM
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Re: ATP scheduling

Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt01 View Post
They also have to play 5 ATP 500 tourneys.

And calling the players bastards is absolutely classless. On the one hand, the players have to plan their schedule better, Nadal's schedule for example this year was slightly so he shouldn't complain too much. Roddick on the other has a point when he says that ending the season with Masters in December is insane.
Masters is not in December.

Of course, in the 'good old days', Masters was held in January. With AO and DC finale in December, there was no room for it. So it was always pushed back to next year. "New" season began in first week of January just like today, but most top players granted themselves couple of weeks off by skipping the AO, and actually began the year by playing the Masters.

"If Kafelnikov said that, he is right. Kafelnikov is always right."
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