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View Full Version : Other than shortening the season possible ways to reduced injuries


JennyS
Aug 18th, 2005, 11:25 PM
I think there are other ways to shorten it. How about....

-having no tournaments the week after a Grand Slam
-have seperate US, European and Asian circuits, outside of 4 Slams, 5 men/women's Masters series events, DC/FC and the YEC. Less overseas travel could help a LOT.
-reduce the match load per week. All one week tournies (ATP, WTA) would have draws of 28 players. First round byes for top players is a GOOD idea
-get rid of best of 5 set matches for men for the first 4 rounds of Slams and for the finals of any one week tournies.

Any other ideas?

Wiggly
Aug 18th, 2005, 11:29 PM
Bye is not really goor idea! It's unfair for other player who can be injuried in this 1st round match!

Do you knows ow many girls would want to be in a Tier I draw? ;)

Jem
Aug 18th, 2005, 11:40 PM
Honestly, I think much of the injuries are more a function of the way players hit the ball today. Plus, the game is so much quicker than it used to be because of the racket technology. Also, there's a lot of grueling off-court training takingj place that may be contributing to an injury. Look at Serena; she hardly plays, yet is constantly injured. She simply can't keep injury free. If a player is smart, they can create a schedule that affords plenty of rest. Clijsters, for example, should have never scheduled herself for three straight hardcourt tournaments, if she knew in advance she also would have to play in Toronto this week. That's nobody's fault but hers. The season is long enough and the opportunities are available for players to take good four-week break during the season, plus two months at the end of the season. You just have to be smart about it. Take Myskina this week. She's battling a shoulder injury, so what does she do. Plays Stockholm, where she certainly got appearance money, then jets halfway around the world to play the very next week. It's hard to sympathize with her. Those are just two examples that come to mind. I've always thought Davenport was daft for playing those three hard court tournaments in a row in California year after year. It's not asking too much of a tennis player to play a minimum of 15-16 tournaments a year. They can accomplish that and get the rest they need, too, if they're smart about it. As for this idea of having no tournaments the week after a Grand Slam, what does that do to benefit the top players. Usually, it's small tournaments the week after a grand slam, and the big players aren't playing them anyway. All that would do is rob the lesser knowns of opportunities.

The idea of separate tours harkens back to the old WCT days in the early 1970s, but I don't think the women could support that kind of tour. I'm also not a fan of reduced draws, because there again you're denying opportunity to the lesser lights, plus making it less likely for a tournament to make money.

I guess I'm not offering much constructive , but I believe the problem is primarily one of poor scheduling, and a different way of playing the game that puts more strain on the body. I'd like to see the season end at the end of October, but I don't think a shorter season will do anything to lessen the injuries.

vogus
Aug 18th, 2005, 11:43 PM
byes give the top players an unfair advantage. And dividing up the circuits geographically is basically already a reality, i fail to see what more could really be done in that respect.

Jenny i know that you are a Democrat and you believe regulation is needed to solve all problems. But i think we need to trust the market in this case.

Women's (and men's) tennis has a basic economic issue - a labor shortage, as we say in Econ 101. The WTA and ATP have more tournaments than their marquee players can support. It's an over-supply of sponsor dollars, which is a problem that any business should love to have. Either the market will correct the situation by cutting back the number of tournaments, or the over-supply of money will continue to trickle down to lesser known players. Neither of those outcomes is a bad thing for the sport.

sartrista7
Aug 18th, 2005, 11:54 PM
Less hard courts. More clay. More grass.

More brains used when it comes to scheduling and training.

propi
Aug 19th, 2005, 12:12 AM
Bring some clay :)

Geisha
Aug 19th, 2005, 02:18 AM
How about...

Players scheduling correctly and the WTA reducing the Minimum Divisor tournaments.

Atrixo
Aug 19th, 2005, 05:01 AM
Nice commentary, Jem! :D

I agree with the notion, that much of injury problem among the players, is the result of poor scheduling decisions. The season isn't too long at all; there are plenty of opportunities over the course of the season, to take breaks here and there. I'm definitely against reducing the size of the main draws; I'd actually want a standard of 64 for the main draw for every tournament (minus the Grand Slams, YEC, and Super Tier Is); with NO byes for the seeds. If you're a top player, you shouldn't have it that easy. And this way, it would give many lesser players a chance to get in a tournament, and prove themselves. That, and there's plenty of wealth to spread around to the lesser players; who actually earn almost all their income from their tournament winnings, and not major endorsements (like to elite).

I also agree, that many players (especially the elite) overtrain WAY too much; and when you combine that with the style of play prevalent nowadays; the preponderance of hardcourts; and as mentioned, the advances in racquet technology; you have a perfect recipe for potential injury.

Players have to realize that they need to strike the right balance. They can't possibly expect the WTA to make that decision for them.

With regards to getting top players to play at Tier I (and key Tier II) tournaments; the WTA and tournament organizers need to make these tournaments so attractive (prestige, prize money, ranking points, exposure, etc...), that the players would have to be INSANE to not attend; or withdraw from. Maybe then, the WTA wouldn't need to FORCE the players to play these tournaments.

TF Chipmunk
Aug 19th, 2005, 05:05 AM
-Less tournies
-No more of this "commitment" crap :rolleyes:

rrfnpump
Aug 19th, 2005, 06:53 AM
Less hard courts. More clay. More grass.

More brains used when it comes to scheduling and training.

I completely agree :worship:

More grass!! So no player needs to play just right after FO to prepare for Wimbledon

Wimbledon should be scheduled later

rrfnpump
Aug 19th, 2005, 06:54 AM
-Less tournies
-No more of this "commitment" crap :rolleyes:

You cant do that
players outside Top100 need to play a certain amount of tournaments to get money

JennyS
Aug 19th, 2005, 12:28 PM
byes give the top players an unfair advantage. And dividing up the circuits geographically is basically already a reality, i fail to see what more could really be done in that respect.

Jenny i know that you are a Democrat and you believe regulation is needed to solve all problems. But i think we need to trust the market in this case.

Women's (and men's) tennis has a basic economic issue - a labor shortage, as we say in Econ 101. The WTA and ATP have more tournaments than their marquee players can support. It's an over-supply of sponsor dollars, which is a problem that any business should love to have. Either the market will correct the situation by cutting back the number of tournaments, or the over-supply of money will continue to trickle down to lesser known players. Neither of those outcomes is a bad thing for the sport.

I am NOT NOT NOT a Democrat! LOL. Heck, the only political issue that I care about it the war on terror, which I support and I voted for BUSH the last two elections. Please don't ever call me the D-word again, LOL!

SEriously, the only reason I want the schedule to be changed is that I hate seeing top players injured. That's it. It's not polical. I hate politics!

rjd1111
Aug 19th, 2005, 12:36 PM
I think there are other ways to shorten it. How about....

-having no tournaments the week after a Grand Slam
-have seperate US, European and Asian circuits, outside of 4 Slams, 5 men/women's Masters series events, DC/FC and the YEC. Less overseas travel could help a LOT.
-reduce the match load per week. All one week tournies (ATP, WTA) would have draws of 28 players. First round byes for top players is a GOOD idea
-get rid of best of 5 set matches for men for the first 4 rounds of Slams and for the finals of any one week tournies.

Any other ideas?


Cut out all Clay Tournaments

sartrista7
Aug 19th, 2005, 12:38 PM
Cut out all Clay Tournaments

:retard:

Cut out the surface which is KINDEST to the body? You're out of your mind.

JohnBoy
Aug 19th, 2005, 12:46 PM
Well said Jem, I also think fittness plays a part in it as well.. Serena is hardly the fittest player on the tour at the moment.. I keep asking myself why don't the men get as injured as the woman when they play just as much or even more tournaments and their matches last longer than the leading ladies... I hardly think 18 - 20 tournaments is that hard when they already get two months off between Nov/Dec..

Shortening the schedule is no answer as you know full well that during the off season many of the leading players play exhibitions for big money !!

rjd1111
Aug 19th, 2005, 12:52 PM
:retard:

Cut out the surface which is KINDEST to the body? You're out of your mind.



Serena Originally injured her knee on CLAY. Her present injury happened
on CLAY. Venus originally tore her Ab on Clay. Venus Got hurt last year and
had to withdraw from the finals of a CLAY tournament. As i think back
most of their significant injuries have happened on CLAY.

SelesFan70
Aug 19th, 2005, 12:56 PM
Go back to wooden rackets...problem solved. Today's rackets are way too light.

SelesFan70
Aug 19th, 2005, 12:58 PM
Serena Originally injured her knee on CLAY. Her present injury happened
on CLAY. Venus originally tore her Ab on Clay. Venus Got hurt last year and
had to withdraw from the finals of a CLAY tournament. As i think back
most of their significant injuries have happened on CLAY.

2 players out of thousands is not a good enough ratio to cancel an entire surface. :lol: Not even if it's Venus and Serena. Now, if you can name about 75 more players as an example you might have a point.

Andy.
Aug 19th, 2005, 12:59 PM
There never used to be this many injuries in the 90's when players played around 15 tournaments a year 20 at the very most some even less. I think there should be a limit of around 20 tournaments a year that the pros most play no more than that.

Ceecor
Aug 19th, 2005, 01:00 PM
i know i have said this before BUT lowering the divisor/cut* for ratings for ranks to maybe 12 from 17 would help. best 12 (1 in 4 weeks with holday respit) instead of 17 (1 in 3)

*best 12 instead of best 17

DanWoody
Aug 19th, 2005, 01:13 PM
I think 12 is too low; If 12 then you must also change the way the points are given and calculated (maybe stronger emphasize of the grand slams; and a shorter period than 1 year...)

kabuki
Aug 19th, 2005, 01:26 PM
Less Hardcourts
No Ad Scoring
Play the lets

Basically WTT on clay and grass. :lol:

Pengwin
Aug 19th, 2005, 01:27 PM
Less Hardcourts
No Ad Scoring
Play the lets

Basically WTT on clay and grass. :lol:

:o

SelesFan70
Aug 19th, 2005, 01:35 PM
Less Hardcourts
No Ad Scoring
Play the lets

Basically WTT on clay and grass. :lol:

I hate no ad scoring. :o

CanadianBoy21
Aug 19th, 2005, 01:46 PM
reduce the best of 18 tournies to 14.
Other than that, it's up to the players to deal with their schedules, as they know their bodies best.
You can't blame them though, they have to work out, play matches, etc...
The level that women's tennis has reached is was too though for any extended breaks.
Also, maybe reducing the tournies the girls play won't do anything to prevent injuries, they'll just get injured in practice. Their practices are very intense.

For example, Kim was playing a few points towards the end of her practice with her partner and she was doing splits to win the points. She was amazing, but it does increase the risk of ijury. Look at Mary, she got injured in practice.

rjd1111
Aug 19th, 2005, 01:49 PM
2 players out of thousands is not a good enough ratio to cancel an entire surface. :lol: Not even if it's Venus and Serena. Now, if you can name about 75 more players as an example you might have a point.


My primary concern IS the Williams and
As I don't follow the injuries of other players I can't give specifics.
But Logic dictates that far more than 75 players have been injured
on clay.

Experimentee
Aug 19th, 2005, 02:01 PM
I dont think theres anything more that the tour can do. The players themselves have to take responsibility for training and scheduling correctly. It is correct that the high number of injuries is due to the increasing physical nature of the game and that cant be changed by anything the WTA does.
People were suggesting getting rid of Rebound Ace when there were injuries before the AO, now lets see if people suggest getting rid of American hardcourts.

Fingon
Aug 19th, 2005, 02:03 PM
I think the title of this thread pretty much explains the reason why the WTA (or the ATP) haven't found a solution to the injuries problem, or other problems.

The think is, we (me included) tend to believe we know what's going on, then we make the diagnostic and create a fix for it, without knowing if we are attacking the real problem(s).

First of all, the season has been this long for a long time, and injuries didn't happen that often. That's not to say that the long seasons is not to be blamed but seems to indicate it's not the ONLY reason.

I've also read numerous opinions stating that it's up to the players how the schedule, and if they are concerned about their health, then they should play less like the Williams or Justine do.

Problem is, players have pressures on them, and many of them are very young. Everything is pushing them to play more, and they are not mature enough (or experienced enough) to know what their limits are. True, it's STILL their decision, but it's NOT only their problem, since the WTA and the tournaments are getting hurt by this.

Justine learnt it the hard way, the Williams were lucky to have an entourage that protected them (notably their parents), taht's not the case for most players.

At the end, we can find a lot different causes for the streak of injuries, and I think the WTA, the ATP, the ITF and probably the national tennis federation should give it serious consideration and study why it's happening. In short, get medical advice, ask the doctors why the players are so injury prone. Talk to the trainers, coaches and the players themselves, do a serious study and find out what the reasons are, not just guess them.

Of course, that can take time, and there might be some things that obviously need to be fixed, they can do that but they still need to have reliable information on why the injuries are happening, they can't just try a fix and if it doesn't work try the next one.

It will cost money of course, but how much money are the players, the tours and the tournaments, not to mention the sponsors and TV networks losing with this?

Joana
Aug 19th, 2005, 02:06 PM
Serena Originally injured her knee on CLAY. Her present injury happened
on CLAY. Venus originally tore her Ab on Clay. Venus Got hurt last year and
had to withdraw from the finals of a CLAY tournament. As i think back
most of their significant injuries have happened on CLAY.

You should have said: "Venus and Serena are least likely to win on clay, so I want clay tournaments out."

rjd1111
Aug 19th, 2005, 02:31 PM
You should have said: "Venus and Serena are least likely to win on clay, so I want clay tournaments out."


The Williams Sisters play well on any Surface. Last year Venus had a long
winning streak and won 2 tourneys and would have won a third if she
hadn't got injured On CLAY in the Semi. Serena won 1 FO and would
have won 2 if Not for the Justcheatine Incident. Vee was also in that
final with Serena.

andrewbroad
Sep 22nd, 2005, 05:51 PM
Fewer hardcourt-tournaments, especially those after the US Open that used to be played on carpet.

--
Dr. Andrew Broad
http://www.geocities.com/andrewbroad/ (http://www.geocities.com/andrewbroad/)
http://www.geocities.com/andrewbroad/tennis/ (http://www.geocities.com/andrewbroad/tennis/)

PaulieM
Sep 22nd, 2005, 06:05 PM
Less hard courts. More clay. More grass.

More brains used when it comes to scheduling and training.
that is the main thing that needs to be done. and i personally wouldn't mind seeing more grasscourt play so i vote for that too.

Slumpsova
Sep 22nd, 2005, 06:42 PM
best of 15 ranking system.

Pengwin
Sep 22nd, 2005, 06:44 PM
Cover the court in bubble wrap.

Alek
Sep 22nd, 2005, 06:47 PM
Don't play injured just because for then the injury to be worse and be out more time.

TeamUSA#1
Sep 22nd, 2005, 07:55 PM
Serena Originally injured her knee on CLAY. Her present injury happened
on CLAY. Venus originally tore her Ab on Clay. Venus Got hurt last year and
had to withdraw from the finals of a CLAY tournament. As i think back
most of their significant injuries have happened on CLAY.


Actually Serena injured her knee bending down to pick up an earing :tape:

TeamUSA#1
Sep 22nd, 2005, 07:58 PM
14-15 divisor ranking system
longer gap between the FO and Wimbly
Longer Grass Season
No tournaments for 1 week after a GS
DEF. NO Fed Cup/Davis Cup immediately before/after a GS
Condensed Fed Cup/Davis Cup competition to happen over 2 weeks in the Fall

and...
A LONGER OFF SEASON (3 to 3 and 1/2 months)

vogus
Sep 22nd, 2005, 08:07 PM
14-15 divisor ranking system
longer gap between the FO and Wimbly
Longer Grass Season
No tournaments for 1 week after a GS
DEF. NO Fed Cup/Davis Cup immediately before/after a GS
Condensed Fed Cup/Davis Cup competition to happen over 2 weeks in the Fall

and...
A LONGER OFF SEASON (3 to 3 and 1/2 months)


14 tournament divisor is too few. That means top players will probably only play 9 events outside Slams and YEC, a ridiculously low number.

everybody knows what happens if you extend the offseason. Top players will play exho's while lower ranked players will get screwed.

I think no tournies the week after each GS is a good idea - however, you can also argue that the second week of the Slams already IS a vacation week for most players. It would also be nice if Fedcup was in a condensed format.

ys
Sep 22nd, 2005, 09:13 PM
Bring back wooden rackets.. Injuries will be gone.. :)

Timariot
Sep 22nd, 2005, 09:32 PM
I think no tournies the week after each GS is a good idea - however, you can also argue that the second week of the Slams already IS a vacation week for most players.

Exactly. Lets think beyond top 8 or so. Very few players who make it to Slam QF or beyond play next week anyway, so it's trivial.

Mudbone
Sep 22nd, 2005, 10:01 PM
Balance the surfaces....3 months on grass, 3 months on clay, 3 months on hardcourts(including indoor)...3 months off

Venusfan4EvEr
Sep 22nd, 2005, 10:11 PM
ya dont have fedcup right after a grandslam and extend the grasscourt season

fammmmedspin
Sep 22nd, 2005, 10:57 PM
Anyone able to compare the biodynmaics of serving at 120 v 100 mph? You have Lindsay with a bad back, Maria with pectoral strains, Momo with a bad back, Sveta with a bad shoulder, Venus with pulled chest muscles and knees, Justine serving at 115mph on a 65" tall body with a bad knee and assorted viruses and a dodgy serve, Nastya with a bad shoulder, Schiavone who serves as fast as Serena on another 65" body with a bad knee and shoulder , Bovina injured and Mary with a career interrupted by shoulder problems. there seems to be something in common here before you look even for injuries caused by getting the ball back.

Volcana
Sep 23rd, 2005, 12:41 AM
1) Lower the number of tournaments that count toward ranking

2) More sport specific weight training. SOme of these players are the splindiest things you've ever seen! They have so little muscle, their joints take all the stress.

3) Less extracurricular crap. Players need to realize how hard a sport tennis is on certain body parts. They need to rest more between matches. Too much fashion week this, magazine cover that.

xan
Sep 23rd, 2005, 12:56 AM
I don't believe the length of the season OR playing 20 tournaments a year cause the injuries. A lot of the injuries occur in training or during or just after breaks in the season, probably as a result of resuming stressful activities suddenly after a lay-off.

I do believe te main contributors to injury are:

1. The Hard Court Surface increasingly becoming standard instead of grass, clay and carpet of former years. More stress on joints.

2. The increased athleticism and power of the modern game. More stresses on the body.

SOLUTIONS

* Reduce Hard Court tournaments. There's no excuse for indoor hard court tournaments. Outdoors new surfaces need to be brought in that are more natural and kinder to the body than concrete.

* Get rid of the "heavy" balls.

* More year-round conditioning for athletes, so there aren't the strains after lay-offs from exercise.

* Byes for top players are fair since they will generally go deeper into each tournament, and therefore play more matches per week on average than lower-ranked players.

* Better nutrition for players (more amino-acids) to aid the repair of muscle and sinew.