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Is the ATP Tour too long?

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Roger Federer has raised the question, once again, about the length of the ATP Tour, saying there should be a six week break and a proper off-season to avoid players suffering from burn-out.  http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/tennis/9172921.stm

Nadal epressed the same concern last year, and Djokovic also did so in 2008.  Andy too has put his weight behind this saying (Tennis News, 10 Nov) that

"There's no time for you to take a break to get rid of an injury.  Instead players end up playing through it and that actually shortens careers. There should be fewer mandatory tournaments because you get punished so much for being injured and I don't really think that's fair.

My own feeling is that if the WTA Tour can finish at the end of October, then why can the ATP not do the same?  And John McEnroe has gone even further saying that there should be no tennis from November through to February, with the AO being held at the end of that month instead of in January, which would have the added advantage of avoiding the worst of the heat of the Australian summer.

Any thoughts?  
[ Last edit by Aileen November 10, 2010, 11:52 PM ] IP Logged
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Agree the Tour is far too long.  The schedule is punishing.  Don't think though that moving the AO would be a good idea since it would cause quite radical changes, but Murray has a good point by saying that there should be fewer mandatory tournaments.  That, plus a 6 or 8 week break, should be sufficient.
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From a purely selfish perspective, I miss tennis when it isn't on so I wouldn't want the off-season to be too long.  I think letting the players be more choosy over which tournies they play in is a great idea.
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I agree, but I think we could maybe handle a slightly longer off-season (6 weeks as Fed suggests), and I certainly feel that fewer mandatory tournaments would also be a good thing.  Players should absolutely not be pressurised into playing when they are injured/exhausted.
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An interesting point. The Football league take 8-10 weeks off, although, there are some competitions or "friendlies" in that period. But in all seriousness I tend to agree with Peter Fleming who stated the other night that a tennis player has to play (in order to win a tournament) up to 7 matches of five sets in GS over 13 days or, as this week, at maybe 5 or 6 of three sets in the space of 5/6 days. Thinking about the fitness levels required at this level makes me feel tired writing this..the mind if not the body "boggles"
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http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/tennis/9214257.stm

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It also means qualifying for the 2012 London tournament, which will start on 5 November that year, could still be in the balance up until the Paris final the day before.

That should be interesting!

 nervous
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Glad the ATP have finally seen sense. Smile
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Boo lazy lazy Federer and Nadal. Everyone did it in the past...so stop complaining and play the game you signed up to play or quit.
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Boo lazy lazy Federer and Nadal. Everyone did it in the past...so stop complaining and play the game you signed up to play or quit.

Actually I think I'm right in saying that many of the big names didn't go down under in the past - but correct me if I'm wrong.  Also I don't think the game was quite so physical then?  I'm sure it makes sense to have a longer break even if it deprives us of tennis for longer. 
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Tommy, you crack me up.

Lazy Nadal, one of the most dedicated athletes of all time.
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Ok...if he is so dedicated, he should shut it.
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Andy supported the changes, should he 'shut it' too?
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Yeah he should. Have you ever seen me steer away from criticizing Andy when I think he deserves it?

The tour has been played like this for years. If generations of players have done it...I think todays players should not grow lazy, but do it as well.
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I  don't think it has to necessarily be about laziness. They probably want longer careers, but can't do that because they are physically taxing their bodies on small tournaments throughout the year.
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