We’ve been following the (never ending?) story of the tennis players vs. the tennis schedule this week, as both Andy Roddick and Rafael Nadal have said that current scheduling commitments are hurting the players. Roddick, who retired from his second round match in Shanghai, offered some solutions to the problem via Twitter today (I cleaned up the Twitterisms a little bit):
Obviously I know we are all very blessed to be able to be able to play tennis, but when asked what I think could improve the tour, I will definitely share my opinion . . .I think a shorter schedule will keep stars like Roger and Rafa around for more years and therefore be beneficial for the sport that we all love. I just don’t think it makes sense that we have a year as long as we do, and then people act shocked when injuries play a part.
If you would combine Palm Springs and Miami to three weeks combined, and cancel the off week between Paris (Bercy) and (the year end) Masters, you would eliminate two weeks without canceling any tournament. It would take some cooperation from those tournaments which might be the problem at this point. Plus if you had Monday and Tuesday night finals in Palms Springs you wouldn’t be going against March Madness on the weekends there which would make for better TV.
He also addressed Marat Safin’s comments that Andy Roddick should have listened to him during the 2004 Olympics, when Marat had spoken out against the length of the season:
(Our discussion) wasn’t exactly about the calendar. It was more about the fact that there was too much tennis in the Summer of 2004. I agreed with this, but found it odd that he (Safin) chose to play in Sopot the week before on clay. I didn’t think it gave him much of an argument as far as complaining about too much tennis. That being said, I really like Marat and his opinions and am excited that at the very least this issue is getting discussed and yes, I certainly feel like I know more now than I did when I was 21. I don’t really know anyone who wouldn’t feel that way 6 years further into a career. . .
What do you think of Andy’s fix, which would give the players an extra two weeks of off-season (or an extra two weeks of exhibitions)?