I think that this topic deserves to be treated separately.
I've said what I said about it in other threads but the topic in other posts was always about the only Federer
Let me be fair about that : imo it's bad for the whole tour and especially for fans, and it may also be bad in the end for Djokovic or Murray, maybe even worse than for Federer
(the only one who benefits from it for sure is Nadal as his opponents will get less ATP points while he's absent) :
- Djokovic, Murray and Berdych decided not to play Basel (Djokovic had played there 3 previous years and Murray had entered) to avoid playing 3 weeks in a row Basel+Paris+WTF(+Davis cup final for Berdych) ;
- Federer withdrew from Paris whereas he's the title holder and indoor hardcourts are his favourite conditions ;
- Tsonga retired after 4 games in valencia because his priority was PAris and the WTF ;
- Del Potro we will see but I would be surprised if he went further than R1 in Paris after winning Vienna then Basel, considering his past with injuries it would be stupid from him imo to fully play Paris ;
- Djokovic, Murray, Berdych, Tsonga and anyone who will go far in Paris and then will play the WTF may have problems in the WTF, which is a very tough competition where you have to be good from the beginning
This is not a new topic at all : the decision to cancel the week between Paris-Bercy tournament and the WTF had been taken one year ago after the WTF, and curiously has not been talked much about in this forum. The general idea to lengthen the off-season seemed to be enough to cancel any protest ... whereas this peculiar decision solves nothing on this topic and only makes problems
Personally I had said it was stupid since it was decided.
Federer also said in the beginning of this year that it was a bad decision in his opinion but he had not opposed it because he's old and the youngsters seemed to want it.
Ljubicic said it was also very bad months ago.
I had guessed and many people in France had guessed for months that Fed would not play Paris-Bercy this year because he could never play Basel+Paris+WTF 3 weeks in a row. I fail to remember when Fed played 3 indoor hardcourt tournaments 3 weeks in a row, and Basel and WTF are clearly Fed's priorities. The organizers had guessed his absence for months. The only thing which made it quite a late announcement was the YE number 1 being at stake.
Why was this decision taken ? One year ago, if you remember you had a strong pressure from Nadal and other top-players, notably Djokovic, to make a much shorter year, and there was especially Nadal's plan approved by Djokovic to put the WTF right after the US Open.
According to what we heard a few months ago by Djokovic and more recently by Forget, Paris-Bercy director, this plan is under good way, and Paris-Bercy would be moved to february in 2014 and the south-American season would be moved to the end of the year, after the WTF which would be put soon after the US Open.
But ... in the intermediate period, the ATP made this kind of "compromise" to artificially shorten the season :
- to cancel one week indoor tournaments before Paris ... which is good for many players who are not top-players as they will enjoy one more off-season week
- to cancel the week between Paris and the WTF ... which is good for ... for who exactly ?
This latter decision : cancelling the week between Paris and the WTF was just an easy, lazy and artificial decision : this way the ATP didn't have to erase any tournament from the calendar but by some magic, they created one more week in the off season
... for top-players and only for top-players, that is the Nadal, Djokovic and co. Because the other players are not concerned by the WTF, this decision changes nothing for them and some will keep on playing challengers for weeks !
Oh what a fantastic improvement by the ATP : one more week in the off-season !
Yes, but ... the whole European indoor season has suffered from that decision.
And sorry from a fan who's going to attend Paris tournament, I don't like it. I'm not like journalists like Mr Tignor who want one more week holidays and say they're tired watching tennis. Paris-Bercy is the only tournament I attend live in the year and like many French fans, I wanted to see Fed once again ... but had guessed for months that I wouldn't.
The fans who wanted to see Djokovic and Murray in Basel or Tsonga in Valencia probably think the same.