I must say I agree w/this article and have been saying the same thing for the last three years. Venus & Serena always had the right idea - but had to listen to the critics and pundits put them down for it. Of course this year they have played more - but got mentally and physically drained towards the year's end because of it.
Although - we have to give it to Serena for rolling thru tourneys in order to capture the #1 ranking. She still hasn't played the questionable 17 tourneys that are requirted in 2002. Some media types swore that would be the only way for either Venus or Serena to gain the #1 ranking. Serena proved them all wrong.
I still say they should implement my scoring system.
WTA, ATP should trim length of calendars
More stories about tennis
Post or read comments in our online forums
By Leighton Ginn
The Desert Sun
October 17th, 2002
This might sound like another cry of "the sky is falling," but the WTA and ATP might need to take action soon.
It is critical that both tours take steps in downsizing their current schedules or face losing more top stars.
This is nothing new. Many people have said and written the schedule needs to be shorter. And it’s nothing new that both tours have done nothing to address this problem.
While the schedule remains long, many stars are ending their careers prematurely.
The long tour schedule has already claimed the careers of Patrick Rafter and Jim Courier because of burnout. If Russia wins the Davis Cup in December, Yevgeny Kafelnikov will be next.
Mark Philippoussis and Richard Krajicek are only a shell of themselves any more.
You can only wonder if former No. 1 Gustavo Kuerten, who had hip surgery earlier this year, might face the same fate.
And on the women’s side, has anyone heard from Mary Pierce?
Lindsay Davenport missed most of the year after knee surgery and many wonder how much longer she’ll stay on tour.
Anna Kournikova has been besieged by ankle and foot problems the last two years.
Kim Clijsters has been trying to play all year on a bum shoulder. It’s a startling list of injuries for a non-contact sport.
The latest tennis player to take the rest of the year off is Martina Hingis, who said she came back too soon from ankle surgery.
She said she also needed to, in her words, free her mind, which suggests burnout.
Her announcement also raised speculation that Hingis might retire. She’s only 22 years old.
You have to wonder how many stars will retire prematurely before the tours do something to address the schedule.
The first place to start is any tournament after the U.S. Open, with the exception of the tour championship tournaments.
Interest drops off dramatically following the U.S. Open. What’s the point in having the season dragging on?
Yet, there are seven more weeks worth of tournaments before the tours’ championship tournaments.
Nothing good can come from playing in those seven weeks. Only bad things can happen.
Last year, Hingis and Davenport suffered their injuries after the U.S. Open.
So for the millionth time, shorten up the schedule, preserve your stars and preserve the sport.