Quotable Quotes: Yeah yeah yeah…


 “We’ve been saying for a long time that it’s tough to compete 11 months a year, yet we actually end up finishing the season a little bit later now,” Roddick told the Independent newspaper.

“I don’t think it’s coincidental that you see Murray and Roger a little bit hurt now, or Rafa missing four months in the middle of the year, or maybe some odd results from Del Potro and myself last week.

“I just hope that the short-sightedness doesn’t affect the length of players’ careers. In tennis you definitely want your stars around as long as possible.”

“It’s impossible to play first of January and finish fifth of December,” said the 23-year-old Nadal, who did not defend his title at Wimbledon because of a knee injury. “It’s impossible to be here playing like what I did the last five years, playing a lot of matches and being all the time 100 percent without problems.”

Source: Seattle Times

 

In the chorus of “the season is so long it’s atrocious“, lemme be the devil’s advocate.

Well not entirely – I do think that the season is too long. In that sense, Rafa and Roddick make a valid point. 

A point that would’ve gained more sympathy from me had I not found out on the same day that he and Federer (along with a few other players) have both signed themselves up to the Abu Dhabi Cashcow Invitational due start on the 31st of December this year.

Color me unimpressed. If you want to complain about the season starting on the 1st of January, then how about you don’t sign yourself up to a tournament that starts on the 1st of Jan? 

 

 

And then of course, the players have been calling for years for the Australian Open to be moved back to February, which I’m 100% against. 

Google Trends show that I happen to live in the most tennis obsessed country in the world, in fact, the most tennis obsessed city. Honestly, I’d like to keep it that way. Moving the Australian Open back to February would do much to damage the popularity and accessibility of tennis in this country. 

For starters, going to the tennis was part of my school holidays growing up and indeed part of every child’s summer holidays. Move it back to February, and you’ll lose a significant portion of family attendances during the week.

Not to mention, Ch 7 – the local free-to-air network – is able to give full devotion to not just the Australian Open but also the smaller events leading up to it. We’re talking 11am-11pm uninterrupted coverage (save for the newscast), free for all to access. Why? Because it’s able to hold off its normal programming from New Year’s until February. Move the Australian Open back a month, and you bet the amount of tennis coverage on free-to-air networks is going to go down. 

Then there’s the minor issue of the Australian Open having to compete with the Motor GP season. We’re talking about booked out hotels, strained resources, lesser attendance at both events, the entire city going nuts …

And all that aside, are we really naive enough to think that having Australian Open in January is the problem? Move the Australian Open back, and expect to see a whole new bunch of Cashcow Invitationals popping up in January in the Middle-East and Asia. And you bet the top players will take them on and still complain about the schedule in October.

 


 

The real problem with the ATP Calendar isn’t precisely the length, although that does play a part, but the intensity from May to September. We’re looking at 3 slams, 4 ATP 1000 tournaments, half a dozen ATP 500s, not to mention 2 Davis Cup ties.

All up, about 7 weeks of best-of-5-set tennis and at least 4 weeks of mandatory, high-level ATP tour tennis. Of course, that’ll never change either. Whatever problems Australia has with moving its major events around, every other country will have. To me, the “cancer” of the tennis season lies in having Roland Garros and Wimbledon almost back-to-back. And if I ruled the tennis world, Davis Cup ties would be played intensively in 2 weeks, in a best-of-3-set format, slotted nowhere near the slam schedule.

Although that’s coming from me, who couldn’t give a fuck about the Davis Cup, except that it provides me with images of man-love and hilarity. 

 

 

But I digress, what I meant to say with this post is that – sure, the tennis season is too long, it could do with some minor tweaks. But as the saying goes, it takes two to tango.

We can change the schedule all we want, but if players sign themselves up to a bunch of exhos and extra tournaments, at the end of the day, we’re still going to be left with the same decimated field by October each year.

The drawn-out season sucks, but players need to take responsibility for choosing a wiser schedule. Because sometimes injuries cannot be avoided, sometimes they can.

No one is debating that it’s a tough life. That’s why players are paid millions to live it. 

 

Ahem, occasionally I rant. Deal with it.

xx doots

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17 responses to “Quotable Quotes: Yeah yeah yeah…”

  1. Paul says :

    Have some cyber love, excellent article!

  2. Dippy says :

    Minds of players are so fickle. Here they go ranting that there are too many tournaments and season is too long starting on Jan 1st but when some organisers wave stack load of cash in their face. They crumble and sign up to play. Sure you need dough to pay for your lavish lifestyle, at least be a man about it like Koyla. He is honest about playing a lot of tournaments to support his wife’s shopping habits. Please ignore me, I am ranting here.

  3. robert says :

    Roddick has just withdrew in his match with Wawrinka because he injured his knee ligaments. A typical long-term-tiredness injury.

    As for Abu Dhabi, it is simply an abbreviated 3-day tuneup for AO, to which you cannot enter cold. Apparently, Federer chose that instead of Kooyang. It pays better.

    The issue is not that there are too many tournaments, the issue is that they are not well spaced and there are too many Masters.

    • dootsiez says :

      No robert, Roger has not chosen Abu Dhabi *instead of* Kooyong. And if he does, I’d give him just as much crap for it. But I’d cut some slack for Fed playing Abu Dhabi at this point, because for him, it’s almost a local tournament, he just drives down from Dubai for a few days, the twins can probably just stay home….

      For the other players, they have to fly down from presumably Europe on the 28/29th Dec, then fly again to Aus. No one is saying that they enter the AO cold, but there are plenty of tournaments that don’t start as ridiculously early as Abu Dhabi and aren’t as meaningless and out-of-the-way either.

      But yes on the “not too many tournaments, but just badly spaced” point, that was what I was getting at when I said that the problem is more to do with “intensity”. At least one of Cincy/Montreal should be optional IMO. If I had it my way, all of the Masters would be optional, chances are players are still going to turn up to most of them anyway.

  4. FortuneCookie says :

    It’s a tough one,in one sense,I feel exactly like you do,players like Rafa as
    much as I love him can be kinda hypocritical at times…as much as you’d like to,you simply can’t say yes to every tournament director,play all your home events AND expect to remain injury free and then feel that you can
    slag off the ATP when you get injured!
    But when you’ve got guys like Roger and Roddick who aren’t playing huge schedules AND still picking up injuries,then you’ve gotta think
    something needs to be done,at least regarding the intensity of it all…
    This is kinda due to his GOATness rather than it being the ATP’s fault lol, since May he’s played 37 matches (if my maths is right:p ),that’s A LOT of tennis!
    And I really don’t understand why WTF is so late this year!

    • FortuneCookie says :

      Apropos of nothing,but totally made me laugh that tennis managed to get discussed twice in different lessons today…
      First,we find Roger and Rafa being discussed in our psych textbooks (relating to whether sporting excellence is the result of natural talent or hard work),with a debate over who’s hotter taking over the lesson,Roger won in a group of 17/18 year olds some might be surprised to hear :p
      Then in French my teacher starts explaining how mens and womens surnames change in certain countries,and used Dinara and Marat as her example,prompting a ‘omg why is he retiring??’ discussion haha!

      • Salma says :

        I wish I was at your school.🙂

      • dootsiez says :

        Nice school!😉

        No I agree, something needs to be tweaked in the schedule. But I just find the whole argument that “had the schedule been better we would never be injured” from the players oversimplistic. They have to take responsibility for some of the injuries too.

        Some injuries are a fact of life. Others are induced either by the schedule or how the players space themselves. As for Roger, he essentially won everything over the most intense part of the year May-Sept. I think he’s more burnt out and taking preventative measures, than being actually injured.

        • FortuneCookie says :

          Haha,I was sat there like,’2nd time in one day that tennis has been topic of conversation IN OCTOBER?REALLY??’,although our French teacher was so happy about Jo beating Rafa at AO last year that she made us watch the entire match in class under the pretence of ‘trying to understand the
          commentary’…😉

        • dootsiez says :

          LOLLL!!!

          Man I wish I had a French class like that😛

        • FortuneCookie says :

          And she’s a tea obsessed Fed KAD,I think
          she’s the French you :p Oh and I totally thought of you and the blog when on breakfast tv this morning they had a tourists guide of Melbourne and they were talking about St Kilda with ‘its bohemian atmosphere and great cafes’ lol!

        • dootsiez says :

          LOL bohemian St Kilda. Also known as the red light district of Melbourne.

          Bet they didn’t mention thaaat😛

  5. meretricula says :

    I’m pretty new to following tennis, but it seems to me that there’s a bit of a difference between playing a tournament and playing an exho, isn’t there? I mean, let’s face it, how seriously is Maria Sharapova planning on competing in her Sexy-Off tour through South America with Gisela Dulko. I think to say that players who don’t want to have to seriously play best-of-three or best-of-five tournaments week-in and week-out but agree to play exhos in the offseason are being hypocritical is a bit strong. they wouldn’t be resting on the couch at home if they’d decided not to play the exhos; they’d be training, and probably working a lot harder than they do in exhibition matches. it’s probably a nice break to play tennis and not take it seriously, and I don’t think that wanting to make some money for not working particularly hard is something we should necessarily criticize.

    as far as Rafa goes, he’s always going to be part of his own problem, since he genuinely believes that he can’t play his “best” tennis without several weeks of warm-up, and I really wish someone on his team would put their foot down about it. that said, he is under immense pressure to play as much as possible (he admitted he would never have played Madrid if there hadn’t been so much pressure on him as the Spanish no. 1 to show up in Spain). and it’s clearly not just Rafa having problems at the end of the season, given that Fed, Andy Murray and now Andy Roddick are out of Shanghai with injuries. obviously the top ten or twenty and the rest of the field have very different problems with their schedules, since they *play* different schedules; Rafa, Roddick et al. are voicing the problems of their immediate peers, not the rest of the field. that may be self-centered, but it isn’t hypocritical.

    • dootsiez says :

      Hi meretricula, I agree somewhat. I don’t think the players’ complaints have no merit. Certainly I agree that finishing in Dec is a bad idea, but at the same time, playing exhos in the off season is different to training at home. You have to take into account the jetlag from travelling, the idea of being on the road before the season started or ended … and then those players find themselves in Oct wanting to be on break already. You’re just not going to find me that sympathetic.

      Rafa has heaps of problems that are going to happen with or without changes to the calendar. Because nothing’s going to stop him from playing a full clay schedule plus Barcelona.

      The problem is – you can’t have your cake and eat it too. You can’t live up to your obligations to tournaments and fans in your own country, and want to remain injury-free and feel fresh by the summer hard court season. Somethings sacrifices need to be made. Rafa needs to know when to make them, however unpleasant that may be.

  6. JFK says :

    Great post!
    It does take 2 to tango. Just look at what happened to Rafa he played a bunch of clay tournaments before the French all to secure the #1 ranking and then what happened?How is that anyone’s fault other than his own? Yes, the season is too long but scheduling is crucial.

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