Tennis

Federer: Strike talk nonsense

2011-11-24 21:51
Roger Federer (File)

London - Roger Federer has rubbished suggestions that player power could lead to a strike over the length of the ATP Tour season.

World No 3 Andy Murray raised the possibility of players going on strike following the recent US Open, which saw a host of injury withdrawals, while Rafael Nadal has also expressed his unhappiness at the demands placed on players by the gruelling 11-month schedule.

Tennis stars currently only get a month off at the end of the year before returning the tour in January and some of the sport's leading names have looked exhausted during their matches at the season-ending Tour Finals in London this week.

Murray was forced to pull out with a groin injury, while Nadal and Novak Djokovic have also been below their best.

The players cancelled a meeting during the Shanghai Masters last month to discuss their options, but 16-time Grand Slam champion Federer believes the strike talk would be a waste of time.

"It's not been an option really, in my opinion. Next year's season is going to be shortened by two weeks," Federer said.

"That's as much as we can squeeze it really because otherwise a lot of tournaments would have to go, or we would have four tournaments the same week, which I don't think is a very smart idea to be honest.

"It was brought up a few months ago, the whole boycott thing. It's nonsense. It's not going to happen any time soon.

"Things are good right now, so I don't see a reason why we should just boycott. There's absolutely no reason for it."

Federer believes the appointment of a new head of the ATP, with current incumbent Adam Helfant stepping down next month, is crucial to the future of the sport, with former Wimbledon champion Richard Krajicek the leading candidate to take over.

"I've had a few CEOs in my lifetime as a player," he said. "I've got to understand how important that role is.

"That person has to be between the tournaments and the players, understanding both sides, wanting to talk and listen to the players and the tournaments, I think is a very important one.

"I think it's a very difficult job to do because you'll always upset someone on some side."

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