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Old 07-25-2011, 04:34 PM   #1
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Default Smart Tennis Scheduling: Mardy Fish

The one aspect of the tennis season that gets less press than it probably should is the schedule. Players complain all the time that the season is too long or that certain events are too close together. Players need time to rest and practice to be able to compete at the highest levels and still avoid injury. Rafael Nadal usually makes headlines about once a year for very vocally protesting a certain aspect of the schedule. This year, he recently protested that the David Cup Quarterfinals are too close to Wimbledon and that a player who makes a deep run in London won't have time to recuperate to compete a few weeks later.

I'm not here to give my opinion on this subject. Players do get worn down or injured and it's a terrible thing to see. One the other hand, we have portions of the schedule, like the six weeks immediately following Wimbledon, where most of the top players do not compete in any tournaments. The top players (those who finished the previous year in the top 30) are obligated to compete in all 4 Grand Slams, 8 Masters events spread throughout the season, and any 4 500 level events. The first obligatory event after Wimbledon is Canada (it rotates between Montreal and Toronto) in early-to-mid August.

Now, not every top player sits out this entire break between Wimbledon and Montreal. This year alone, top 10 players Mardy Fish, Gael Monfils, Tomas Berdych, Robin Soderling, and Nicolas Almagro have already competed in tournaments since Wimbledon. Granted, Fish is the only member of this group to reach the Wimbledon quarterfinals, so these players are obviously not as worn out from Wimbledon as players like Nadal, Murray, and Djokovic would be. Still, they do give excitement to what most fans assume is a "dead zone" on the tennis schedule.

Just because a player is not yet worn out, however, does not mean that they can play as much competitive tennis as possible without worrying about what it will do to their bodies. Which brings us to our ridiculous question of the week: What on Earth is Mardy Fish thinking?

To read this entire article, please click here. As always, thoughts and opinions are welcome and requested.
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