Players' wishes ignored: Roddick
Frustrated Andy Roddick says players' views are often ignored when it comes to tennis power politics, with efforts to tackle the punishing schedule likely to come to nothing.sports Updated: Oct 04, 2011 14:27 IST
Frustrated Andy Roddick says players' views are often ignored when it comes to tennis power politics, with efforts to tackle the punishing schedule likely to come to nothing.
The American, who exited in the first round of the China Open on Monday, is backing calls from Scotland's Andy Murray for talks between players and the organisers of the ATP tour to lighten the load, cutting out some of the required events.
World number four Murray told the BBC last month he had held several talks with other players at the US Open and they would be discussing the matter further at next week's Shanghai Masters.
But a meeting of elite players looks unlikely with Roger Federer missing the tournament to rest and top-ranked Novak Djokovic a possible absentee because of injury.
Matters came to a head at the US Open where rain forced some players such as Spanish star Rafael Nadal to play matches on three successive days, then have one day off and travel to Europe to play Davis Cup.
But despite the growing calls for change, 29-year-old Roddick is not confident there will be changes soon from a board that includes player representatives and tournament representatives.
"It's a little tedious," said the American. "I think in 2001, 2002 we finished around Halloween (late October) at Paris Bercy. We've had all this talk about shortening the season. Now that tournament finishes two weeks later."
When it comes to a vote on the board, the players always end up on the losing end, said Roddick, a former US Open winner.
"If we've been talking about it for this long and nothing's been done, then as far as our opinions and our voice, it's a flawed system. The players' council can vote 6-0 or 7-0 for something.
"When it gets to the board we can conveniently get out-voted. It's a numbers game, and they don't seem to make sense as far as what we feel we need as far as our bodies and frankly our careers (are concerned).
"It's a more physical game than it used to be, and the season is longer than ever. So it doesn't seem to make sense."
The sport's administrators claim that the players have themselves to blame for the heavy schedule.
International Tennis Federation president Francesco Ricci Bitti said last month that complaints were "inconsistent", adding that players voted for the current dates, against the ITF's wishes, back in 2009.
The ATP too have hit back, saying they have taken into account the stresses on the players by reducing most finals to the best of three sets and allowing top eight seeds byes into the second rounds of tournaments