ATP may shorten tour
Shanghai - The ATP Tour may shorten its 11-month season by two or three weeks from 2012 to give players more rest and help them avoid injuries and burnout.
"We are taking a good, hard look at our calendar to see if there is a meaningful way to lengthen the offseason that would allow players more time for rest, fitness and working on their game," spokesperson Kate Gordon said on Friday.
The ATP board of directors will meet during the ATP Tour World Finals in London next month to vote on schedules for the 2012 and 2013 seasons. Some of the proposals being considered would shorten the calendar by two or three weeks.
"The issue of season length has been around for a long time and there is no quick fix, but we are committed to giving it real consideration," Gordon said.
The top players have advocated for a shorter tournament calendar for years.
Rafael Nadal, who admitted to being tired this week after playing three tournaments in a row and 16 overall this year, has suggested allowing the top players to stop playing after the final top-tier Masters events in the autumn and forgo late-season smaller tournaments without having to worry about giving up ranking points.
"The perfect schedule is if you have the chance to play and you have the chance not to play," he said at the Shanghai Masters this week.
Andy Roddick, too, has wanted longer offseasons for players.
"I've been pretty upfront with saying I think (the schedule) is too long," he said in Shanghai. "I think luckily our voices seem to be getting to the point where they're being heard."