Nadal rips French Open scheduling

Friday, May 31, 2013 /by
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After his victory over Martin Klizan on Friday, Rafael Nadal complains about his scheduling at Roland Garros. Nadal was scheduled to play last on Thursday, but his match was postponed overnight due to rain. His third-round opponent, Fabio Fognini, finished his match on Thursday.

“I cannot play third after men's and girls when our possible opponents plays second after girls,” Nadal said. “That's not fair. And today I was playing almost three hours on court, and my opponent was watching the TV in the locker room. So if you told me that's fair, I say that's not fair. Only thing that I can do is be positive, smile, and try to win my match and try to be ready for tomorrow. But that's not the right thing. And I hope they accept the mistake, because girls plays best of three. For them is a normal tournament. Even if they play Grand Slam and all the matches of the career and all the tournaments, they play best of three they have to play two days in a row, is not a big deal. For us it's completely different. That's the excuse they told me was because [Fognini’s opponent, Lukas] Rosol have to play doubles. I am sorry, but that's a joke. You have one more week to play doubles if you want to play doubles. Why do you want to protect the player who has to play doubles? So I'm going to write myself on the doubles draw then and I have the priority to play? I don't want to keep talking, because it seems like I am the bad guy saying that, but that's the real thing, and everybody here knows that's not right.”

Nadal added that he is not for a shorter season, but actually for a longer one, as he does not believe it is the length of the season -- which runs from January 1 until the first week of December if a player’s nation reaches the Davis Cup final -- that causes injuries.

“I never was against the longer schedule,” he said. “If you have tournaments during every week during the whole year, 1st of January to 30th of December, for me is great. Because when that happens, you create jobs. More people have the chance to live from tennis. More player have the chance to win money to pay a coach and to travel with better conditions. The problem is the mandatory tournaments. The problem is the way that the ranking is made; that you cannot miss important tournaments if you want to have chances to be in the top. So at the end, you have to put everything on a balance and you try to make the right decisions. But is always the same. There is the same people here for long time. They are happy like this. They don't make big decisions. Probably most of the people who take positions are in a comfortable position in this moment, so they don't want to take a risk and take chances to change things that, in my opinion, are more positive for the players, more positive for the tournaments, and more positive for the show.”

Former Roland Garros champion Ana Ivanovic agreed with Nadal.

“Especially now when it's like maybe they have back to back because of the rain, I think it's just fair that they play first because they can get more time to recover,” she said. "In a way he's maybe right, but for then us it also gets quite late. But especially now when he has to play day after day, I think he's right. They should play early.”

Roger Federer added that sometimes it’s just luck.

“I understand that he's frustrated,” he said. That is, he would like to play the second day like any other day. But 50 percent of the players couldn't play their match, I think. Then it makes the situation very complicated for everybody. Some coaches coach two players, so maybe they say, ‘Please don't make them play at the same time, one in the morning, the other one doesn't want.’ Anything goes. Anything is possible for all players, for all organizers. It's probably complicated. I think they didn't do it on purpose. You know, they do their best.

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