Foot Fault!

Calling all the lines of professional tennis

Quotable Quotes: Nadal Calls For Less Hardcourt Tournaments

Right off the back of the calendar, rankings and Davis Cup drama that we spent so much time on in the fall of 2011, Rafael Nadal has opened up yet a new can of worms by suggesting that the amount of hardcourt events should be cut due to the effects the courts have on tennis players’ bodies;

“The only negative thing about tennis, if I have to say one, is that the competition is too much”

*he says after spending the last three months complaining about every aspect of professional tennis he could possibly complain about*

“The calendar makes the sport too hard; the hardcourts are too aggressive on the body. I really believe that can change. Without health, (performance) is impossible… I am not saying that we don’t have to play in this type of courts, but thinking about health, I don’t see footballers on the hard like this. I don’t see the basketballers playing on the hard like this. All the sports that have aggressive movements are playing on softer surfaces. This surface, in my opinion, is very bad for the lower back, for the knees, for all of this. It makes me scared for my body for the future.”

On one hand Nadal actually has a point; with every passing year, tennis is taking more and more of a toll on the body. At this point, it feels like the sport is screaming out for just a slight return to simpler times when the Grass season was actually a season, rather than there being just two tournaments squashed between two slams. After all, a more prominent grass season would have great benefits from an entertainment point of view as well as the good it would do to players’ bodies.

However, hardcourts are hardcourts and will always play a pivotal and the most important role on the tour. What makes them so dangerous on the body isn’t their mere existence, but rather the (selfish) decision from the tennis governing bodies to slow practically every single hard court in the world over the last decade.

The solution of speeding up the courts is an simple one, but would Nadal really ever agree to a move that - though it would benefit him physically - would likely have less favourable consequences for his game and results? Yeah… no. And so once again it appears, probably not even intentionally, that Rafa wants to have his cake and eat it too.

All that said, it has been quite refreshing to see Nadal so candid and open about his issues with the tour, rather than sitting back and hiding behind the language barrier and his whole ‘quiet and humble’ persona. Despite common sense sometimes evading him and personal bias clouding his judgement at times, he has brought up some important points and his heart is certainly in the right place.

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2 Responses to Quotable Quotes: Nadal Calls For Less Hardcourt Tournaments

  1. Miles January 15, 2012 at 1:06 am

    He has been saying these things for years. In Spanish and in English interviews.

    And he was always stressing this is not for the current generation of players to benefit (they are slowly on the way out), but for the future ones.

  2. Pingback: 99 Fragen an die neue Tennis-Saison [Teil 1] » Sportsaal

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