Too much tennis? It's time to talk
Updated: 2011-10-12 07:55
China's Zhang Ze tries to return a ball while playing against Radek Stepanek of the Czech Republic during their first-round match at the 2011 Shanghai Masters tournament at the Qizhong Tennis Center in Shanghai on Tuesday. Stepanek won 6-3, 6-3. Gao Erqiang / China Daily
Grueling schedule to be subject at meeting of players sometime soon
SHANGHAI - Rafael Nadal refused Tuesday to discuss any potential meeting between players in Shanghai this week to discuss the punishing demands of the tennis schedule.
America's Andy Roddick said on Monday that Shanghai Masters no-shows from world No 1 Novak Djokovic and 16-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer were stark evidence of the of heavy playing commitments.
It followed comments from Britain's Andy Murray last month that he had held several talks with other players at the US Open and they would be discussing the issue in Shanghai, though he said on Tuesday there had been no developments.
"There is something there, but is not the right moment to talk about it, especially when nothing clear is done," Nadal said.
"Always is better to talk about the things when you know exactly what's going to happen and when you know exactly what we are going to do," he added.
But the Spanish world No 2 said there was broad agreement among players over the issue.
"I am in touch always with the rest of the players. You know, I talked a lot with a lot of players last month. We'll see what we can do."
"The important thing is that, yes, I can say because I'm sure we are, most of us, almost everyone, in the same way. So like this we have power. Now we'll have to keep finding what we really want for the future and make that happen if possible."
World No 4 Murray said the players would try to set up a meeting before the end of the year, but he sought to play down the issue.
"The players haven't met. The players will try and meet. When we do, you know, then I think it's really between the ATP (Association of Tennis Professionals) and the ITF (International Tennis Federation) to try and come to an agreement," he said.
"And until something's kind of done in writing or there's been any discussions, there's not really any point in saying anything because it just starts speculation."
"I think the tour is in a great place just now. But it's basically just a matter of like two or three weeks in the year that really I think need to change," Murray added.
Roddick said players were still fired up over the issue and insisted Federer and Djokovic were "only a phone call away," but he was unsure what would happen in Shanghai.
(China Daily 10/12/2011 page22)