Andy Murray vs Philipp Kohlschreiber, Wednesday, Time - 8:30pm BST - Discuss the match
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Ferrer only plays as much as he does, because it's the only way he can sustain his ranking. Does that deserve recognition? Sure, hard work always does. But why would the Big 4 risk being burned out by Wimbledon just to prove a point? They are trying to maximize their potential of going deep in slams or well, win them. A prospect that Ferrer (and most of those ranked below him) probably knows, isn't very realistic for him at this point.

He'd be able to sustain his ranking now without playing so much - a lot of the smaller events he plays aren't counted in his ranking total. He could definitely cut down on the number of 250s he plays. The problem for him is that he hasn't adjusted his schedule from the days when he wasn't a top 8 player and didn't do as well in the masters and slams. I don't get Bodo's point though as Ferrer's looked very tired from all the tennis he's played, hasn't played particularly well and is now injured.

Andy's scheduled very sensibly this year. There's no danger of him feeling burnt out in the stretch of the season that matters to him the most (Wimbledon-US Open), and he's also improved his performance in the Masters series so far from last year.
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He also wants to treat IW and Miami as single weeks, because the top players don't start until the Wednesday.  Yet the top players all have promotional commitments to do press and signings and mini exhos such as the one Andy and Nole are doing today in Monte Carlo.  This on top of their regular training and playing practice sets, which are probably just as demanding as a typical league football match.

One minute people are complaining when players want a longer off-season, because they play non-mandatory events during the year.  When top players decide to forgo points and money by skipping mandatory events during the season, they are now demonstrating that they don't need really an off-season anyway.  It's bonkers.

Scheduling is always going to be a bit of a gamble for players.  Overplay, and you risk injury or fatigue and then unplanned breaks.   Top players don't really like to admit to having injuries if they can possibly help it, but it's inevitable they pick up a few niggling ones, and breaks mean they can avoid playing on them, or withdrawing and making a song and dance about it.

It's possible Andy might have played more this year if Roger was, or if his his top 4 seeding was at risk.  But with Rafa fresh from his extended bread, and Roger playing a reduced schedule, Andy can't just afford more breaks, he'd be at a disadvantage if he went into meetings with them overly-tired.  It remains to be seen if Nole can maintain his pace, but I wouldn't be surprised if his ankle injury gives him pause for thought.
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points taken Sparkle, especially when one remembers that Andy's hold on no2 position is by no means secure
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Being number 2 is nice, but not worth an injury.

I can see why players might fight for ranking points to stay top 8, or maybe push into the top 4.  Fed played a lot to return to #1 because he wanted the record.  He must have known he risked injury, and subsequent drop in points, but for him it was worth the risk.  This year he knew that clinging onto the #2 spot for a bit longer wasn't worth it.  He's probably working his schedule so that he has the best chance of doing well in the tournaments he has entered, and to stay top 4. 

To a certain extent, scheduling amongst the top players is a bit like a game of chicken.   If, later this year, Andy ends up 120 points behind Nole, we might start wondering if Andy should have picked up that wild-card for Delray Beach, but we'd also be wondering if he'd still have won in Miami.
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Does anyone know whether Djokovic is in or out of Monte Carlo?
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Does anyone know whether Djokovic is in or out of Monte Carlo?
Think he's said he will play. The draw is out today. He played an Exo set with Andy this morning.
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So odd that the draw's taking place right now and there's no live tweeting by any journalist nor by the tournament's own official twitter account...lacking in any real buzz, if you know what I mean...
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So odd that the draw's taking place right now and there's no live tweeting by any journalist nor by the tournament's own official twitter account...lacking in any real buzz, if you know what I mean...

I have a feeling it starts on the hour. So noon our time.
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I have a feeling it starts on the hour. So noon our time.

I'm under the impression it started at noon in Monaco hence, 11am in the UK.
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I'm under the impression it started at noon in Monaco hence, 11am in the UK.

Wikipedia's draw is not filling up and they normally fill it up as the draw goes on.
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Here it is...

 Monte Carlo Masters AM draw - Haase/Qualifier: - (13) Wawrinka/(WC) Monfils/Istomin/Q - (6) Tsonga/(10) Almagro - (3) Rafa - (1) Nole


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Here it is...

 Monte Carlo Masters AM draw - Haase/Qualifier: - (13) Wawrinka/(WC) Monfils/Istomin/Q - (6) Tsonga/(10) Almagro - (3) Rafa - (1) Nole




A much more simple route through to the semis, one thing I would look out for is Tsonga vs Nico. Nico could well beat Tsonga in straights.
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A much more simple route through to the semis, one thing I would look out for is Tsonga vs Nico. Nico could well beat Tsonga in straights.


What's Nico like on clay?
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What's Nico like on clay?

Just below Ferrer and Rafa, he's one tough cookie to beat on it. I'd be very careful where you put your money  if that match-up occurs.
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Article from The Scotsman about Andy's clay court season


http://m.scotsman.com/sport/tennis/andy-murray-to-embark-on-trying-red-clay-period-1-2894473
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