Australian Open

Nadal wants Oz Open later start

2015-01-24 11:20
Rafael Nadal enjoying the Fast4 tennis. (Paul Crock, AFP)

Melbourne - Rafael Nadal would like to see the Australian Open start later in the year to allow players more down time, but admits it is not likely to happen.

From the end of season ATP Tour Finals to the start of the new year, many of the top players barely had five weeks off before having to start all over again.

Roger Federer revealed that he took just eight days off during the off-season, with exhibitions and other commitments narrowing his free time considerably.

He was sensationally knocked out of the Australian Open on Friday in the third round by unseeded Italian Andreas Seppi.

Nadal said it was natural for players who travel the world constantly to want to stay at home with family around the Christmas and New Year period, but most have tournaments starting early January to prepare for Melbourne.

The Spanish world number three, who is on the comeback trail after a three-month injury layoff, said it would be better to start the opening Grand Slam of the year later, perhaps in February.

"For us, it is important to spend the new year at home. It important to spend Christmas at home with family. Those dates are very important," he said.

"Players have family, players have small kids. You want to spend that time with them.

"With this calendar, it is tough to have and enjoy this period of time with your family. It is true that if we went two weeks (later), it would be better."

He also said playing just one warm-up tournament ahead of a gruelling Grand Slam was not ideal.

"Two tournaments would be the right period of time before the tournament to play," he said, while admitting that for all the talk, nothing would change.

"Today we are talking for talking, because I don't see a change in that calendar for the future."

Calls to change the dates of the massively popular Australian Open have been raised in the past, but dismissed with the tournament falling during the school holidays, guaranteeing huge crowds and a party atmosphere.

Nadal, who battled dizzy spells and stomach cramps in an epic five-set second round match at Melbourne Park, plays big-hitting South African Kevin Anderson for a place in the quarter-finals on Sunday.

Read more on:    atp tour  |  australian open  |  rafael nadal  |  tennis


Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights


When all is said and done, who of the 'Big 3' in men's tennis ends their career with the most Grand Slams?

Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...

Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter


The 2018/19 Absa Premiership season is in full swing. Will Mamelodi Sundowns retain their title? Or can one of Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates, Wits, SuperSport United - or another team perhaps - snatch glory from the Brazilians? Be sure to visit Sport24 for all the latest news!

Latest blogs

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.