I have read some interesting comments from Rafa Nadal about what to do about the long tennis season. He talks about how to protect players like Del Potro who are out for long periods of time and lose their ranking position. He suggests a two year rolling ranking system, which would protect a ranking. I agree with him there mind, it seems totally unfair to me that Djokovic had to play Del Potro in the third round, this match is more like a semi or quarter final encounter, the level these guys can play at. I know you can say well it’s the same for everyone, but that still doesn’t make it fair for the players involved, especially if you look at some of the other ties. If Del Potro had played nearly everyone one else, maybe apart from Federer, Nadal, Murray and Soderling, he would have probably won or been very close. Djokovic has only lost nine sets this year, which is pretty incredible, Nadal has not even won a set off the great Serb on clay this year, yet Del Potro troubled Djoks on Friday night. At least he is nearly back to being in the top 10 which is good for tennis.
I heard some other strange comments from the Director of the Madrid Open I think, saying they should make the sets only to 4 games instead of 6. He said tennis was not as popular as it was, and making shorter sets might make it more popular. I think this is utter rubbish; men’s tennis is one of the most popular sports in the world at present, they don’t need to change the format. Yes get rid of let courts off serves, yes get rid of warm-ups, but no don’t make the sets shorter.
I even heard someone suggest that they make the balls bigger and easier to see, no, no, no!!! Don’t change the essence of the game when it is great.
The problem with tennis and the season is very simple; it is one word, Wimbledon. Wimbledon is too close to the French Open, it means they cannot have a Masters 1000 tournament on grass and it means there is a long gap until the US hard court season begins. Wimbledon needs to be a month later than it is or at least two weeks, but then this causes problems in itself because of the sheer size of Wimbledon, it is a leviathan monster. Plus the British weather is at its best around then, or at least it is supposed to be. As long as they have Wimbledon in late June, early July there will always be issues with the tennis season.
Then again you could do this; you could take Monte Carlo out as a Masters 1000 event, move Madrid forward a week and Rome, then move the French forward one week as well. Move Wimbledon back one week, now you have a month between the end of the French and the start of Wimbledon. Then they can fill that gap with a grass Masters 1000, which I think they need to do, grass should have a Masters 1000 event.