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new_tennis_player
07-13-2010, 11:19 PM
I came across this article. It helps to explain the rash of injuries, inconsistencies, and lack of a recognizable roster of "top" names in professional tennis.

Pro tennis has got to have a legitimate "offseason" during the late fall/early winter. 3 months practically speaking should be the minimum. 4 would be even better. Whatever money is lost from fielding fewer tournaments would easily be regained in longer careers and higher quality play.

The game has been grinding the top pros into dust for decades now; there has to be a change.

Discussion welcome.
http://espn.go.com/sports/tennis/blog/_/name/tennis/id/5121460
Can the WTA solve injury woes?

By Stephen Tignor, TENNIS.com


In 2009 the WTA, after years of debate and struggle, finally shortened its season. Of course, since we're talking about tennis, "shorten" is a relative term. The women were offered a total of 14 more days off -- the offseason went from seven to nine weeks -- before they had to start up again in 2010. This, along with a reduced number of required events for the top players, was the cornerstone of the tour's Roadmap, which was designed to do two interrelated things: Keep the biggest stars from getting injured, and get them to face off against each other more often.

By the end of '09, it seemed that those goals might be reached. Serena Williams, who had rarely made it to the end of the year in top shape, was fresh enough to win her first season-ending tour title in eight years. Starting her comeback as a professional player and mom, Kim Clijsters liked the new flexibility. And whether or not the two extra weeks made much difference, the women began the new year with a strong opening Slam in Australia, where two big stars, Williams and Justine Henin, faced off in the final.

Then the tour ran off the road. Williams hasn't played since Melbourne, missing two mandatory events, one of which, Key Biscayne, is located near a beach where she recently was seen frolicking. Maria Sharapova appeared, briefly, in Indian Wells. Dinara Safina is out with a stress fracture in her back. Venus Williams played, and lost, the Key Biscayne final with a bandage on her right thigh and another on her left knee. Svetlana Kuznetsova complained of shoulder problems after a dismal loss at the same tournament. This week Victoria Azarenka pulled out of Marbella with a hamstring issue, and Caroline Wozniacki retired from her semifinal in Charleston after she rolled her ankle. The problems have spread to a couple of young hopefuls, Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (foot) and Sabine Lisicki (ankle).

One of the WTA's motivations for the Roadmap was to give a tournament like the Family Circle Cup in Charleston, a former keystone event of the tour, a chance to attract more big names again. It did, until Serena and Sharapova pulled out. As of now it appears the events that will benefit most will be the ones the WTA doesn't run, the Grand Slams. The Aussie Open had a loaded draw, and Serena should be rounding into shape for the French.

The players have blamed the usual suspects -- better competition, more physical play, even the schedule. The only thing that seems clear is that the hard-hitting, physical style of today's game is tough on the players' bodies. You can't even accuse the young and hungry players, like Wozniacki and Azarenka, of overplaying -- each competed in just one event, Dubai, in all of February. Short of a revolution in technique and training, none of this will change. The WTA has reduced mandatory events to just four, as low as it can go, but the tour can't legislate injuries away. Now it's up to the players to realize the pitfalls and make their own schedules with the long haul in mind. We have the Roadmap. The question now is whether there's any destination at the end of it.

BevelDevil
07-14-2010, 12:10 AM
Of course, the more interesting topic is how to tweak the rules, tournament structure, surfaces, payouts, ranking system, etc., to reduce injuries.


Speed up the surface?

Replace the 3rd set with a tie breaker of some sort in the early rounds?

Give some players a 2-round bye?

vortex1
07-14-2010, 01:11 AM
They need to go back to more natural surfaces. Make USO clay again and introduce more MS1000 grass events, while cutting back on hard courts. AO can stay HC slam, which would be fair.

mikro112
07-14-2010, 03:02 AM
lol.. The "injuries" come from avoiding doping tests, not because the players are actually injured.

Bud
07-14-2010, 03:17 AM
lol.. The "injuries" come from avoiding doping tests, not because the players are actually injured.

You have evidence of this?

TMF
07-14-2010, 06:14 AM
Real injuries is bad enough already, but FAKING an injury makes it alot worse for the game!

coloskier
07-14-2010, 07:56 AM
They need to go back to more natural surfaces. Make USO clay again and introduce more MS1000 grass events, while cutting back on hard courts. AO can stay HC slam, which would be fair.

Actually, they should make USO back to it's original surface, grass.

tennis_guru
07-14-2010, 07:57 AM
Make everything HC and let the real men rise above the weak.

Nadalfan89
07-14-2010, 07:57 AM
lol.. The "injuries" come from avoiding doping tests, not because the players are actually injured.

When will you tinfoil hatters give it a rest?

swordtennis
07-14-2010, 08:04 AM
Make everything HC and let the real men rise above the weak.

I love it! All slams Hardcourts! :)
Tin foil hat straw man! LMAO!

vortex1
07-14-2010, 08:25 AM
Actually, they should make USO back to it's original surface, grass.

That works too. :twisted:

BevelDevil
07-14-2010, 05:21 PM
maybe they should play on bubble wrap. Resurface every game.

mikro112
07-14-2010, 06:50 PM
You have evidence of this?

No evidence, but most of the points of time, at which the usual suspects cite injuries for withdrawing from tournaments, come very convinient for them because they probably won't be tested out of competition. And if they are supposed to be tested out of competition in that period of time, they can just decline the test. The blog tennishasasteroidproblem had some very nice discussions lately. You might want to check them out.

I'm not saying that every top tennis player is juicing, but reading the discussions on that blog actually brings some sense to this topic.

When will you tinfoil hatters give it a rest?

You're simply too naive and you probably still believe that your beloved tennis is a clean sport. lmao (And yes, I love tennis as well!)

veroniquem
07-14-2010, 07:27 PM
lol.. The "injuries" come from avoiding doping tests, not because the players are actually injured.
Yeah Nalbandian never had hip surgery and Del Potro is just out for an intensive 6 months doping program :???: