The ATP, men’s tennis governing body, has taken a step to meet the players half-way in their demand for a longer off-season. After an executive meeting in London, the 2012 and 2013 calendars were altered to give the players a seven-week break between seasons.
Given the physical demands of the sport in recent times, the players, led by world no.1 Rafael Nadal, had been complaining about the tough schedule and the lack of a proper off-season.
“The length of the off-season is arguably the biggest issue confronting the sport of tennis, and it was the responsibility of the ATP to find a way to address the problem,” Adam Helfant, ATP executive chairman and president said.
The ATP seems to have come up with a quick fix remedy for the time-being. A longer break has translated to a more packed schedule, with the players ending the season two weeks earlier effectively because the spare week between the Paris Masters and the ATP World Tour finals has been done away with and rescheduling of four tour events.
Though Roger Federer hadn’t been too vocal on the subject, he reckoned a longer off-season was a step in the right direction. “I think it’s good to have somewhat of a longer off-season,” he said. “In six weeks you can heal problems and it still leaves you time for bit of a practice.
“But only time will tell. Will we have less or more injuries because the season is more packed? I don’t know. I think every player needs to know for himself how many tournaments he needs to play. Some players need practice more than the others. So you just have to work with what the tour gives you.”