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drive
02-03-2009, 08:16 AM
Oz champ Nadal wants changes in tennis schedule

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP)—A day after winning his first Grand Slam on hard courts, Rafael Nadal called on tennis officials to be mindful of the physical toll the hard surface takes on players in an ever expanding schedule.

“This calendar I am playing with this surface—hard court surface—is tougher than grass or clay for the body, and all the time we are playing more on this surface,” said Nadal, who beat Roger Federer 7-5, 3-6, 7-6 (3), 3-6, 6-2 for his first Australian Open title Sunday.

“In my humble opinion, we have to change that a bit more,” the Spaniard said. “I can say that because I won a grand slam on hard (courts).”

Nadal, 22, has previously won four Grand Slams on the French Open clay courts, as well as Wimbledon on grass last year.

“Before if I say that, a lot of people think `He wants to change because he’s a clay player.’ But believe me, I don’t think anything about if I am a clay court player or not.

“When I say this, I think about the best for the players and for the future. It’s not possible to have a lot of injuries on tour like this. So we have to try to change something.”

The Australian Open marked the first time Nadal reached the final of a major on hard courts, having been knocked out in the semifinals of the Australian and U.S. Opens last year.

Even this time, he had to struggle to make the last weekend at Melbourne. He held off a fellow Spanish left-hander Fernando Verdasco in the semifinals on Friday in 5 hours, 14 minutes—the longest match in the tournament’s history.

“To play with this aggression and with this rhythm all the time from the 1st of January to 31st of December is impossible,” he said.

Nadal said he was worried the rigors of the present ATP Tour could hinder his quality of life after his tennis.

“I love (soccer)—I can’t play (soccer) right now because I am playing (tennis)—but I would love to play (soccer) with my friends later when I finish,” said Nadal, whose uncle Miguel Angel Nadal played for Barcelona and represented Spain.

“I would love to continue playing tennis and to do what I want,” he added. “But if we continue to play this (many tournaments), later maybe it’s going to be tough to practice sports.”

Nadal, who now needs a U.S. Open title to complete a rare career Grand Slam, on Monday blamed exhaustion for his semifinal loss to Andy Murray at Flushing Meadows last year.

“Last year was tough at the U.S. Open,” he said. “I arrived playing well, winning Olympics, winning Toronto, having semifinals in Cincinnati. So I was playing a high level of tennis.

“But I felt during the tournament it was going to be almost impossible to win the title because I feel too tired. Mentally and physically, I wasn’t there. The semifinals especially, against Murray, I really can’t move.”

What do you think about?

drive
02-03-2009, 08:18 AM
I think that it would be cool to have more tournaments on grass and less on HC. About Nadal i think that he should skip some HC events like Rotterdam or Dubai.

TopShelf
02-03-2009, 08:22 AM
Keep the same amount of hardcourt tournys but improve the surfaces to remain fast but more "knee friendly".

And from there, it could help trying to sway other cities and local parks to convert their tennis courts to this type of surface.

Pricey? Sure, but it doesn't have to be done overnight. Maybe New York start it off, and in three years, 4 major cities and so fourth. Just like cell phone towers 10 years ago.

leonidas1982
02-03-2009, 09:03 AM
This argument of there being too many hard court events is not really the truth; from this week up until October there is at least one clay court event per week -- except for weeks of Grandslams, Davis Cup, and Masters' events. By the numbers, yes there are more hard court events, but every week has a clay court alternative. Right now there is a clay court event in Chile, and there will be one next week and the week after. Dubai is 500 series event, if a player feels he can't handle hard courts, Mexico also hosts a 500 series during that same week. It's more about politics than reality.

Topaz
02-03-2009, 09:15 AM
Keep the same amount of hardcourt tournys but improve the surfaces to remain fast but more "knee friendly".

And from there, it could help trying to sway other cities and local parks to convert their tennis courts to this type of surface.

Pricey? Sure, but it doesn't have to be done overnight. Maybe New York start it off, and in three years, 4 major cities and so fourth. Just like cell phone towers 10 years ago.

New York needs to stay how it is...it is the only really fast (outside of San Jose I believe) HC left! Everything, from the AO to Wimbledon grass, has been slowed down.

If we really want a variety, then some things need to stay fast.

This argument of there being too many hard court events is not really the truth; from this week up until October there is at least one clay court event per week -- except for weeks of Grandslams, Davis Cup, and Masters' events. By the numbers, yes there are more hard court events, but every week has a clay court alternative. Right now there is a clay court event in Chile, and there will be one next week and the week after. Dubai is 500 series event, if a player feels he can't handle hard courts, Mexico also hosts a 500 series during that same week. It's more about politics than reality.


Excellent points. And, of course, I'm sure Nadal would *love* to see more clay...but isn't he just a bit biased there? I think we've already upset a balance between variety in surfaces, with the nod right now going to the slower speeds. To put even more events on clay would tilt it even further in that direction.

Variety is good. I would argue for more variety, and the one area surface that we don't have a lot of is grass. Can't really agree with an argument supporting more clay (except for the very real fact of how much easier it is on the players' bodies).

TennezSport
02-03-2009, 09:17 AM
This is just Rafa worried about his knees. While there are a few players that complain about HC tourney's, most don't and it's the same surface for everyone. It's Rafa style of play on HC that is the real killer and he knows it. He stated on his website that he always plays with pain and HC tourneys aren't making it any easier on him.

I remember a time when spanish players would not even show up at Wimbledon because there was little bounce on court and their clay court style of play never worked. The clay court players fought long and hard to get Wimbly to change the surface and now we have clay court style fast(slooow) grass. We also have a HC major that is now a Slow HC, I think that is enough "Homogenization" of surfaces as we have almost completely lost S&V play, even on grass which will make for boring tennis in the future IMHO.

Cheers, TennezSport :cool:

seffina
02-03-2009, 09:21 AM
I would like a Grass and Carpet Masters. For variety's sake and it would be fun. Pure grass like Queens and some blazin' fast carpet. Come on, let's get to it.

Ludas
02-03-2009, 09:30 AM
I agree with most above except that Nadal is doing this because he's a better player on clay. I don't doubt his real reasons is his fear of getting injured. However what TennezSport said above about Rafa's style of play on HC is correct imo since Federer, who played at least just as many matches over more than 4 years as Rafa di last year, isn't complaining. What would be interesting is to hear Djokovic's opinion to Rafa's statement since he is also often "injured". Not gonna speculate more if he really is or not now.

leonidas1982
02-03-2009, 09:38 AM
Nowadays, grass-court specialists are having a hard time breaking into the top flight as most challenger events are played on either clay (primarily in Europe and Latin America) and hard courts. Just look at how exciting the Paris Open was with all-court play from Tsonga and others; they could stay back or come in -- it was a good balance.

drive
02-03-2009, 10:26 AM
This argument of there being too many hard court events is not really the truth; from this week up until October there is at least one clay court event per week -- except for weeks of Grandslams, Davis Cup, and Masters' events. By the numbers, yes there are more hard court events, but every week has a clay court alternative. Right now there is a clay court event in Chile, and there will be one next week and the week after. Dubai is 500 series event, if a player feels he can't handle hard courts, Mexico also hosts a 500 series during that same week. It's more about politics than reality.
6 out of 9 Masters events are played on HC, 2 out of 4 slams, the TMC and even the olympics are played on HC. Fair? not really.

tennis-hero
02-03-2009, 10:32 AM
need more grass

[and in the words of mauresmo] need more carpet

muzza123
02-03-2009, 10:32 AM
6 out of 9 Masters events are played on HC, 2 out of 4 slams, the TMC and even the olympics are played on HC. Fair? not really.

the grass court season is not even a season - it's barely a month culminating at Wimby. I mean, FO ends on June 7 this year. Doesn't Wimbledon start at the end of June? Anyway, we all know grass courts just cost too much to maintain for them to be anywhere near as prevalent as clay or hard.

user92626
02-03-2009, 10:35 AM
"Nadal said he was worried the rigors of the present ATP Tour could hinder his quality of life after his tennis."

wow, my admiration for rafa was just increased after reading that statement.

He actually thinks about future and gave me the perspective that greatness or not, everything will come to pass.

NamRanger
02-03-2009, 10:35 AM
the grass court season is not even a season - it's barely a month culminating at Wimby. I mean, FO ends on June 7 this year. Doesn't Wimbledon start at the end of June? Anyway, we all know grass courts just cost too much to maintain for them to be anywhere near as prevalent as clay or hard.


Then how was grass played on 3 out of 4 slams before? Yeah........ that cost argument doesn't make any sense.

mfischer
02-03-2009, 10:37 AM
6 out of 9 Masters events are played on HC, 2 out of 4 slams, the TMC and even the olympics are played on HC. Fair? not really.

thats right

besides, the clay court season is still compressed to a short period of the year

leonidas1982
02-03-2009, 10:49 AM
6 out of 9 Masters events are played on HC, 2 out of 4 slams, the TMC and even the olympics are played on HC. Fair? not really.

2 hard court masters' for post-Australian Open
3 clay court masters' for Roland Garros
2 hard court masters' for US Open
2 indoor court masters' for YEC
The courts for Olympics are based on the venue; for 2012 (London) it will be on grass.

The ATP has nothing to do with what surfaces the slams are played on.
The weather at the tail-end of the season does not favor outdoor play. Indoor play has been a staple of the tennis calender; there is nothing new there.

There are 4 hard court vs 3 clay court Masters'. The top players are obligated to play 6 (2 slams and 4 masters') hard court events. I fail to see how a world class athlete can't handle that. Again, if you want to bring up fairness, how about those grass court specialists who have a hard time breaking into top flight tennis due to lack of grass court events at challenger level let alone the ATP tour.

Gorecki
02-03-2009, 10:56 AM
This is just Rafa worried about his knees. While there are a few players that complain about HC tourney's, most don't and it's the same surface for everyone. It's Rafa style of play on HC that is the real killer and he knows it. He stated on his website that he always plays with pain and HC tourneys aren't making it any easier on him.

I remember a time when spanish players would not even show up at Wimbledon because there was little bounce on court and their clay court style of play never worked. The clay court players fought long and hard to get Wimbly to change the surface and now we have clay court style fast(slooow) grass. We also have a HC major that is now a Slow HC, I think that is enough "Homogenization" of surfaces as we have almost completely lost S&V play, even on grass which will make for boring tennis in the future IMHO.

Cheers, TennezSport :cool:

you could have stoped at the bolded part. it's self explanatory and absolutely true...

drive
02-03-2009, 11:04 AM
2 hard court masters' for post-Australian Open
3 clay court masters' for Roland Garros
2 hard court masters' for US Open
2 indoor court masters' for YEC
The courts for Olympics are based on the venue; for 2012 (London) it will be on grass.

The ATP has nothing to do with what surfaces the slams are played on.
The weather at the tail-end of the season does not favor outdoor play. Indoor play has been a staple of the tennis calender; there is nothing new there.

There are 4 hard court vs 3 clay court Masters'. The top players are obligated to play 6 (2 slams and 4 masters') hard court events. I fail to see how a world class athlete can't handle that. Again, if you want to bring up fairness, how about those grass court specialists who have a hard time breaking into top flight tennis due to lack of grass court events at challenger level let alone the ATP tour.

It makes no sense to play IW and Miami on HC when, like you said, these tournaments take place after AO, that's not the reason why they're played on HC.
ATP can change the TMC surface and then Paris and Shanghai (Madrid before) could change the surface (with roof or with no roof a HC is still a HC).
I would love to see a grass court MS. I think that there are enough clay MS events although they're played in a row.

matchmaker
02-03-2009, 11:06 AM
6 out of 9 Masters events are played on HC, 2 out of 4 slams, the TMC and even the olympics are played on HC. Fair? not really.

I fully agree. I don't think Nadal wants more clay. What about more grass court tournaments or some carpet ones?

Too much HC the whole year through, especially the masters. Why no grass masters?

leonidas1982
02-03-2009, 11:21 AM
It makes no sense to play IW and Miami on HC when, like you said, these tournaments take place after AO, that's not the reason why they're played on HC.
ATP can change the TMC surface and then Paris and Shanghai (Madrid before) could change the surface.
I would love to see a grass court MS. I think that there are enough clay MS events although they're played in a row.

IW and Miami are Masters' extraordinaire in that they fill the long gap between slams. Also, they're combined events and are two weeks long. Outside of the slams, they pull in a greater audience (both tv and spectators). IW and Miami were played on hard courts before Australian Open switched. These 2 Masters' are in a category by themselves and therefore can't really be dictated to.

The solution for those who are unable to cope with hard courts is

1)change your playing style on the surface as hard court and grass players change their style on clay.

2) rather than have 8 mandatory Master's, have 7. Although the consequence will be ranking points that could be gained from participating.

ATP won't change the surface of YEC, because it has always been held on indoor courts, and it follows the European indoor season (Europeans hold weight in the winter months) . After the disaster that was the recent WTA's outdoor YEC in Doha where the stadium was virtually empty and the crowds lacking enthusiasm. ATP will do well to not go down that route.

drive
02-03-2009, 11:33 AM
IW and Miami are Masters' extraordinaire in that they fill the long gap between slams. Also, they're combined events and are two weeks long. Outside of the slams, they pull in a greater audience (both tv and spectators). IW and Miami were played on hard courts before Australian Open switched. These 2 Masters' are in a category by themselves and therefore can't really be dictated to.

The solution for those who are unable to cope with hard courts is

1)change your playing style on the surface as hard court and grass players change their style on clay.

2) rather than have 8 mandatory Master's, have 7. Although the consequence will be ranking points that could be gained from participating.

ATP won't change the surface of YEC, because it has always been held on indoor courts, and it follows the European indoor season (Europeans hold weight in the winter months) . After the disaster that was the recent WTA's outdoor YEC in Doha where the stadium was virtually empty and the crowds lacking enthusiasm. ATP will do well to not go down that route.

it could be indoor grass, indoor clay.. it's not impossible i think.

leonidas1982
02-03-2009, 11:55 AM
it could be indoor grass, indoor clay.. it's not impossible i think.

but the ambiance of those surfaces really does require the outdoor element. There is no point to clay if extended rallies are without the sun and wind making your opponent tired as you move him side to side -- that is how I find clay enjoyable. When it's played indoors, like in some David Cup ties, it loses it's luster -- same with grass.

seffina
02-03-2009, 12:22 PM
In my dream world, the French Open would be moved up a little and a grass masters would be added before Wimbledon. And we end the year with a carpet masters. That would make it 3 clay, 1 carpet, 1 indoor, 1 grass, 3 hard. Shanghai could easily be carpet. As for the grass, hmm.. I don't know which Masters could afford it. Paris, IW, Miami, Cincinnati, or Toronto/Montreal. For that time of the year, Paris could work, but they've just finished Roland Garros.. so they might not want to host two events back to back.

Of course this is dream world. La la land.

bobbynorwich
02-03-2009, 01:11 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tennis.com
Oz champ Nadal wants changes in tennis schedule

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP)—A day after winning his first Grand Slam on hard courts, Rafael Nadal called on tennis officials to be mindful of the physical toll the hard surface takes on players in an ever expanding schedule.

“This calendar I am playing with this surface—hard court surface—is tougher than grass or clay for the body, and all the time we are playing more on this surface,” said Nadal, who beat Roger Federer 7-5, 3-6, 7-6 (3), 3-6, 6-2 for his first Australian Open title Sunday.

“In my humble opinion, we have to change that a bit more,” the Spaniard said. “I can say that because I won a grand slam on hard (courts).”

Nadal, 22, has previously won four Grand Slams on the French Open clay courts, as well as Wimbledon on grass last year.

“Before if I say that, a lot of people think `He wants to change because he’s a clay player.’ But believe me, I don’t think anything about if I am a clay court player or not.

“When I say this, I think about the best for the players and for the future. It’s not possible to have a lot of injuries on tour like this. So we have to try to change something.”

The Australian Open marked the first time Nadal reached the final of a major on hard courts, having been knocked out in the semifinals of the Australian and U.S. Opens last year.

Even this time, he had to struggle to make the last weekend at Melbourne. He held off a fellow Spanish left-hander Fernando Verdasco in the semifinals on Friday in 5 hours, 14 minutes—the longest match in the tournament’s history.

“To play with this aggression and with this rhythm all the time from the 1st of January to 31st of December is impossible,” he said.

Nadal said he was worried the rigors of the present ATP Tour could hinder his quality of life after his tennis.

“I love (soccer)—I can’t play (soccer) right now because I am playing (tennis)—but I would love to play (soccer) with my friends later when I finish,” said Nadal, whose uncle Miguel Angel Nadal played for Barcelona and represented Spain.

“I would love to continue playing tennis and to do what I want,” he added. “But if we continue to play this (many tournaments), later maybe it’s going to be tough to practice sports.”

Nadal, who now needs a U.S. Open title to complete a rare career Grand Slam, on Monday blamed exhaustion for his semifinal loss to Andy Murray at Flushing Meadows last year.

“Last year was tough at the U.S. Open,” he said. “I arrived playing well, winning Olympics, winning Toronto, having semifinals in Cincinnati. So I was playing a high level of tennis.

“But I felt during the tournament it was going to be almost impossible to win the title because I feel too tired. Mentally and physically, I wasn’t there. The semifinals especially, against Murray, I really can’t move.”



Good for him to speak out so frankly. :mad: