This is a tough problem.
The real issue is, of course, that women's tennis has become far more athletic since Graf/Williams Sisters. And the off-court, injury-preventing regimen for women's bodies doesn't seem to have yet been able to compensate. I'm not sure if the physical training establishment has yet been able to develop approaches to prevent the myriad injuries plaguing the WTA. They're doing better over at the ATP, although Rios, Magnus Norman, Ferrero, Haas, Kuerten, etc would all have something to say.
Still, it doesn't make sense to argue that a longer off-season wouldn't help. Injuries and exhibitions are multiplying during the off-season because there is considerable pressure to be sharp come the Aussie Open in January. This same pressure keeps top players playing through to November. Sorry folks, but there's no denying that a reasonable 4-month off-season would allow players to heal for at least one of those months (while continuing with conditioning work) and then slowly phase back into Tour-level physical exertion.
In some kind of fantasy tennis calendar, I'd have the season end October 1 and start up again February 1. I'd make the two hardcourt seasons one, have either the US or Aussie Open be on carpet and give each slam a proper run-up of 5-6 weeks of tournaments. The likelihood of these changes occuring all at once is low, but similar radical ones have been done one at a time. Let's keep the pressure on.
Someone is quietly turning back the clock...to them bulldozer dayz...
Always on the lookout for a great tennis match.
Last edited by azinna; Jan 8th, 2005 at 08:36 PM.