Tennis

Novak, Rafa call for more time

2012-06-24 19:17
Novak Djokovic (File)

London - Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal have endorsed the proposal to insert an extra week into the grass court season to ease what is now a tight two-week transition from the clay of Paris to the grass of Wimbledon.

World No 1 Djokovic and Nadal, the seven-time Roland Garros winner, both said they support the longer turnaround time on the eve of Wimbledon's Monday start.

"We are all trying to work for the good of the sport," said Djokovic, the top seed.

"Everybody who is involved in tennis, we all love this sport and all try to make it better for everybody. We've had this schedule forever, it has been always exactly the same with only two weeks between end of Roland Garros and start of Wimbledon."

That schedule is too short in the Serbian's eyes.

"We need an extra week because it would work in the favour of players because it would give especially the top players a little bit more time to get used to the surface."

Djokovic said the workload required for even the best to move from the slowest surface in the game to arguably the fastest would be aided by the proposed extra seven days.

The idea got the approval of staid Wimbledon but is likely to be rubbished by the Americans who do not want to give up a week of their own hardcourt season which follows.

Nadal agreed with his Serbian rival.

"I always say it is great to play more and more on clay and grass because those surfaces are historic in the world of tennis. I will never have anything against playing more weeks on grass or clay," said the Spanish ace.

"I think it's easier for the physical performance, (and preventing) for the injuries for the players."

While he stands atop the rankings for now, Djokovic is under pressure from both Nadal and Roger Federer, with his No 1 ranking in danger.

According to preliminary calculations, he must reach the final in a fortnight to make sure of remaining atop the table. Federer could bypass Nadal and return to the summit with a record seventh Wimbledon title while two-time champion Nadal also has his own chances for No 1.

Djokovic begins his title defence on Monday against Spanish veteran and former No 1 Juan Carlos Ferrero while Federer will be sent out to Court No 1 for his start against Spain's Albert Ramos.

French Open women's winner and 2004 champion Maria Sharapova also plays on Centre Court in the first round against Australian Anastasia Rodionova.

Like his elite colleagues, Djokovic does not worry about rankings, preferring to concentrate on titles.

"It's not an issue at all. I'm feeling great on the court, and that's what matters the most for me," he said of his possible fall from the top spot.

"Rankings are following up all the results. If you worry too much about calculations, you're going to lose that necessary focus on the court."

Read more on:    novak djokovic  |  rafael nadal  |  tennis
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