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post #1 of 63 (permalink) Old 05-29-2006, 12:18 AM Thread Starter
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Federer, Robredo and Sharapova criticize Sunday start at RG

From Reuters

Roger Federer criticized organizers of the French Open for making him play on the opening day in Paris, the first time a grand-slam event has begun on a Sunday.

Federer said he had asked not to play on the opening day but his requests were rejected by organizers who have extended the event to 15 days in order to increase its exposure, particularly on television.

"I requested not to play Sunday, so I wasn't happy to play today," Federer told reporters. "I heard I was going to play Sunday a couple weeks ago. I was never happy about that idea. I told everybody that I didn't want to play Sunday.

"Anyway, they decided to do it that way. That's grand slams. They don't listen to us as much as the other tournaments, which is unfortunate sometimes.

"I asked when I was going to play my second-round match in case I win. They said Wednesday. I wasn't happy the last time I had a Monday-Thursday in any tournament. It's been ages ago."

Federer was concerned that he could lose his rhythm before his second-round match on Wednesday. "I think it's just tricky," Federer said. "You play Sunday, first up. You feel like the tournament hasn't started and right away you're challenged.

"Full stadium, pressure. Then you have to wait. I think if you pass the first two rounds, then obviously it's okay because you're in the rhythm. I think it needs the first two days to get over."

"It was very similar to the match I played in Australia in the first round (against Denis Istomin)," Federer said. "This time around it was even more difficult because I only knew one day ahead who I was going to play, and I never heard of his name. First time I saw him was five minutes before the match."

Seventh seed Tommy Robredo also criticized the Sunday start. "If my match had been a five-set match in five hours, I would have had two days to rest," said the Spaniard, who beat Tomas Zib 6-4 6-2 6-2.

"If you have a two-hour match with three sets, then you have two days off, it's a bit unfair really. I need to be able to manage those two days because it's like starting a new tournament. When you have two or three days off, it's a bit dangerous sometimes."


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post #2 of 63 (permalink) Old 05-29-2006, 12:22 AM
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Re: Federer, Robredo criticize Sunday start at RG

Starting on Sunday is an unnecessary and stupid change...and that's being generous.

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post #3 of 63 (permalink) Old 05-29-2006, 12:22 AM
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Re: Federer, Robredo and Sharapova criticize Sunday start at RG

Obviously the French Federation want to milk as much money out of it as possible, but it certainly doesn't seem popular with the players and it is an awkward schedule playing Sunday, then Wednesday. Maria Sharapova was even more scathing saying the Federation care only about making money and the French players.
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post #4 of 63 (permalink) Old 05-29-2006, 12:24 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Federer, Robredo and Sharapova criticize Sunday start at RG

May 28, 2006 — By Bill Barclay

PARIS (Reuters) - Roger Federer and Maria Sharapova slammed the new Sunday start at the French Open after both ran into trouble on the opening day of the claycourt grand slam.

For the first time the tournament began a day early with organizers hoping to increase exposure of the event.

Instead they attracted criticism.

Men's top seed Federer started poorly before overcoming Argentine qualifier Diego Hartfield 7-5 7-6 6-2 in the first round while women's fourth seed Sharapova, who is suffering from an ankle injury, saved three match points in a 6-2 5-7 7-5 win over American Mashona Washington.

Sharapova, who has not played for nearly two months, said she had been asked to play despite making a request to delay her first round game. Some first round matches will not be played until Tuesday.

"I asked them if I could play later. The answer was, 'You're playing Sunday fourth match.' Obviously, it's not in their best interest," the Russian said.

"It doesn't make you feel great when you know that the French federation, all they're thinking about is selling tickets, making money and about their players. I mean, you can't be too happy about that."


Federer was also unusually outspoken after revealing his appeal not to play on the Sunday had fallen on deaf ears.

The world number one had not played since his Rome Masters final defeat by Rafael Nadal two weeks ago and trailed 3-0 and 5-3 in the first set before eventually subduing an opponent playing his first match at tour level.

Federer is more used to winning finals on Sundays than contesting first round matches and he was not happy.

"I requested not to play Sunday, so I wasn't happy to play today," said the Swiss, who is seeking to become only the third man to hold all four grand slam titles simultaneously by winning the claycourt event.

"I didn't want to be the guy who starts the tournament. I was never happy about that idea. I told everybody that I didn't want to play Sunday.

"I'm happy I didn't lose because otherwise I'd be very angry right now."


In contrast France's Amelie Mauresmo, the women's world number one who has often wilted under the spotlight at her home event, was unflustered in an impressive 6-4 6-4 win over American Meghann Shaughnessy.

The Australian Open champion, who has benefited from a favorable draw, appropriately sealed victory with an ace and said: "It's satisfying for a first round, even if it was not the match of the century."

NADAL BID

Men's third seed David Nalbandian of Argentina swept through to round two with a 6-2 7-6 6-4 victory over Switzerland's Stanislas Wawrinka, whom he also beat in the second round of this year's Australian Open.

"For me I think it was a very tough first round," said Nalbandian, the 2004 semi-finalist. "It was not an easy one. I played against him in Australia and it was very tough so winning in three is good."

Nadal was due to play Sweden's Robin Soderling in his first-round match on Monday. If he wins, he will break Guillermo Vilas's 1977 record of 53 consecutive wins on clay.

Another Spaniard, Tommy Robredo is a potential quarter-final opponent of Federer. On Sunday the seventh seed and Hamburg Masters winner eased past Czech player Tomas Zib 6-4 6-2 6-2 in his first-round match on Court Suzanne Lenglen.

Briton Tim Henman, the surprise 2004 semi-finalist, was a 6-3 6-4 4-6 6-4 winner over Denmark's Kenneth Carlsen. Spain's Carlos Moya, the 1998 champion, beat Juan Antonio Marin of Costa Rica 7-5 6-3 6-3.

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post #5 of 63 (permalink) Old 05-29-2006, 12:28 AM
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Re: Federer, Robredo and Sharapova criticize Sunday start at RG

I think it's great. However it needs to be managed such that players don't hang around for 2 or 3 days doing nothing! I mean come on! The first round could be finished in 2 days. No need to drag it all the way to Tuesday. Also if Rogi says he doesn't do Sundays, please listen to him . The US Open and Australian Open are to follow suite, so it's going to be interesting to see how they sort out the scheduling because so far it's a mess.
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Re: Federer, Robredo criticize Sunday start at RG

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Originally Posted by betterthanhenman
Starting on Sunday is an unnecessary and stupid change...and that's being generous.
And what's the deal with playing R1 over three days? Why is that necessary? Other than the greedy slams only interested in making more $$. Starting a tournament on Sunday, the same day as the finals is weird.

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post #7 of 63 (permalink) Old 05-29-2006, 12:31 AM
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Re: Federer, Robredo and Sharapova criticize Sunday start at RG

But their concerns are for different reasons. Maria is upset because she was hurt and thus had to play a day earlier, so she feels like her health was put aside to favor the French players and for money - anyone can understand that. Roger and Tommy's concerns are about playing Sunday then having a few days off before his next match. You can't lump them together. If Maria had been healthy and had no concerns, she may not have had any complaints. But since she did and her request for a Monday start was denied, she is obviously justifiably upset.

But it's good they're speaking out loudly about it - if they make a big enough stink maybe it won't happen again and maybe the other slams won't follow suit (Which apparently at least some of them are interested in doing)
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Originally Posted by Allez
Also if Rogi says he doesn't do Sundays, please listen to him .
yeah, all tournaments should be scheduled just how Roger wants, because he's not really that talented and needs all the help he can get to win...... :retard:

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post #8 of 63 (permalink) Old 05-29-2006, 12:36 AM
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Re: Federer, Robredo and Sharapova criticize Sunday start at RG

I think it's a tricky situation - it looks like the slams are going to make a habit of this in future (except Wimbledon which probably won't embrace the idea for 20 years or so )

So the top players are going to have to start managing this sort of thing.

The organisers want to do it and they have to put together an attractive enough card to get the crowds in on the first day - not surprising they pulled Federer and Sharapova in. Even if Federer requested not to start on Sunday, and even if doing so actually hurt their own player Clement, taking possibly two days extra he could have had to rest. Same with Sharapova - no question she would rather have started Tuesday with her ankle bugging her.

First time round it's going to be wierd for the players but I think they'll get used to it eventually.

I'm not surprised it bugged Federer though -he really is a guy who is happiest when he knows what's going on and when and can slip into a fast rhythm. Starting the tournament on a day he's not used to, against a player that changed late on is bound to unsettle him quite a lot and he did seem quite grumpy again on court today.

Still - everyone got through so it hasn't blown up in the organisers faces.
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post #9 of 63 (permalink) Old 05-29-2006, 12:38 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Federer, Robredo and Sharapova criticize Sunday start at RG

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Originally Posted by Allez
I think it's great. However it needs to be managed such that players don't hang around for 2 or 3 days doing nothing! I mean come on! The first round could be finished in 2 days. No need to drag it all the way to Tuesday. Also if Rogi says he doesn't do Sundays, please listen to him . The US Open and Australian Open are to follow suite, so it's going to be interesting to see how they sort out the scheduling because so far it's a mess.
But if they finish R1 in 2 days what's the point of having an extra day? Obviously if they're going to play R1 over three days and start on a Sunday somoene has to play. But I think if the #1 seed requests a couple weeks in advance not to play on Sunday the tournament could grant their wish. I'd say the same thing if Nadal had played today but requested to play Monday or Tuesday. I remember last year at the US Open they scheduled Federer first match on center court on Tuesday. When the match started the stands were less than half full. Then he didn't play again until Friday night. :retard:

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Re: Federer, Robredo and Sharapova criticize Sunday start at RG

I don't understand Federer, Robredo and Sharapova. The French Tennis Federation decided to organise the French Open that way. Someone had to start playing on Sunday. If they want these players to play on Sunday they just have to. It is obviously one point to discuss whether or not it makes sense to start a tournament on a Sunday but organisers can't always only follow the instructions of players and do what they want. IMO the comments of the three are just selfish. Every other player would have had to play on Sunday as well if scheduled. That is the bottom line.

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Re: Federer, Robredo and Sharapova criticize Sunday start at RG

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Originally Posted by debra ¡|:!
But their concerns are for different reasons. Maria is upset because she was hurt and thus had to play a day earlier, so she feels like her health was put aside to favor the French players and for money - anyone can understand that. Roger and Tommy's concerns are about playing Sunday then having a few days off before his next match. You can't lump them together. If Maria had been healthy and had no concerns, she may not have had any complaints. But since she did and her request for a Monday start was denied, she is obviously justifiably upset.

But it's good they're speaking out loudly about it - if they make a big enough stink maybe it won't happen again and maybe the other slams won't follow suit (Which apparently at least some of them are interested in doing)yeah, all tournaments should be scheduled just how Roger wants, because he's not really that talented and needs all the help he can get to win...... :retard:
God I hope the other slams don't follow suit. Like you say maybe if the players bitch about it enough the other slams will think twice.

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post #12 of 63 (permalink) Old 05-29-2006, 12:45 AM
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Re: Federer, Robredo and Sharapova criticize Sunday start at RG

I think this is one reason Federer feels so happy and comfortable and settled and happy at Wimbledon.

There the scheduling for the defending champ is fixed and regular and only affected by the weather - he knows where he needs to be at 1pm on the opening day and should play every other day that week, then monday, wednesday, friday and sunday the following week.
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post #13 of 63 (permalink) Old 05-29-2006, 12:47 AM
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Re: Federer, Robredo and Sharapova criticize Sunday start at RG

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Originally Posted by GermanBoy
I don't understand Federer, Robredo and Sharapova. The French Tennis Federation decided to organise the French Open that way. Someone had to start playing on Sunday. If they want these players to play on Sunday they just have to. It is obviously one point to discuss whether or not it makes sense to start a tournament on a Sunday but organisers can't always only follow the instructions of players and do what they want. IMO the comments of the three are just selfish. Every other player would have had to play on Sunday as well if scheduled. That is the bottom line.
Well to some extent I agree with you. But I don't even like Sharapova and I see why she's so upset. I mean, she was hurt, every day to recover might make a huge difference - Andy will probably play on Tuesday, but if his match had been today he probably would not have. I mean that's a big difference, if she was talking about playing or not b/c they refused to give her a Monday start. you can see why she is so frustrated that from her perspective the tourney just wanted to make money and favor its own players instead of granting her very valid request for a later start.

Tommy wasn't commenting on it about himself really but moreso but that it's unfair to the 116 players in the draw who don't get the extra day that the 12 players who DID play on Sunday have. They're saying they don't think it's a good idea at all - for them or anyone else.

However I don't understand what Roger's problem is with the tournament "starting with him" - that doesn't make sense to me why he wouldn't like that.

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post #14 of 63 (permalink) Old 05-29-2006, 12:47 AM
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Re: Federer, Robredo and Sharapova criticize Sunday start at RG

The Slams will do it anyway and expect the players to adapt.

The financial imperative is driving this forward and the players will come to terms with it after a few times around the block.

I understand all their gripes and I'm relieved ultimately it didn't affect anyone adversely in their results but complain as much as they like, the organisers will do what they feel best for the tournament.
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Re: Federer, Robredo and Sharapova criticize Sunday start at RG

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The financial imperative is driving this forward and the players will come to terms with it after a few times around the block.
They can always refuse to play if there are no players and no matches, the slams will stop doing it

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