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View Full Version : Year End Retirements due to poor tournament scheduling or player schedules?


AndreConrad
Nov 8th, 2009, 02:11 PM
There was a lot of retirements in the year end events in Bali and Doha. I will not recount them again here; just look at the parallel running threads. Although they are not slams, they still should serve as prestige conclusion of the season. The retirements in such big numbers casts a shadow over them. What do you think is causing it. Badly designed WTA tournament schedule or are the players guilty themselves poorly managing their own schedules.

In my my opinion it is the WTA. Some of the events are bunched up so close to each other that there are periods of the year that the players have hard time to take some time off to breathe. I think it puts too much stress on their bodies. There is no question that some of the yonger players are overscheduling too, but being the challengers they don't really know how successful they will be in the season and the overall schedule along with the rules around it don't help.

It is just my opinion; perhaps I am not seeing everything. Share your thoughts. What do you think?

Keegan
Nov 8th, 2009, 02:17 PM
I think it was a mix of the two. The Roadmap because there's like tournaments every week. There are players that know not to play these tournaments, but some players play these tournaments for some ridiculous reason. If I were a player, I wouldn't be too bothered about a longer off-season at the end of the year if I could have more breaks throughout the year. Like the claycourt season, they have to play Rome, Madrid and Roland Garros in the space of 5 weeks. And then to have premier events the week before a Grand Slam or other big event (Eastbourne, Warsaw, New Haven, Moscow etc.) will just degrade those tournaments because everyone wants rest before a GS. They need to have more recovery breaks during the season so we don't have so many retirements.

Either that or ban the unfit players.

jimbo mack
Nov 8th, 2009, 02:19 PM
also depends on the players, some are fighters who will play through minor injuries, some will not enter in the 1st place, some can't face losing and just quit when one of their chronic injuries flares up mildly...

BuTtErFrEnA
Nov 8th, 2009, 02:35 PM
I think it was a mix of the two. The Roadmap because there's like tournaments every week. There are players that know not to play these tournaments, but some players play these tournaments for some ridiculous reason. If I were a player, I wouldn't be too bothered about a longer off-season at the end of the year if I could have more breaks throughout the year. Like the claycourt season, they have to play Rome, Madrid and Roland Garros in the space of 5 weeks. And then to have premier events the week before a Grand Slam or other big event (Eastbourne, Warsaw, New Haven, Moscow etc.) will just degrade those tournaments because everyone wants rest before a GS. They need to have more recovery breaks during the season so we don't have so many retirements.

Either that or ban the unfit players.

agree with all except your last comment....what determines if someone is unfit? the fact that they get injured?

tennisbum79
Nov 8th, 2009, 02:37 PM
I think it is both.

Physically ill prepared players, the tour roadmap.

Physically ill prepared can mean both extremes.
Not enough physical training to handle the demand of the game.

Too overworked by zealous coaches who put more emphasis on physicallity than the fundamentals.
As a result, some WTA players play in actual matches as if they were doing a drill during their
practice session: giving everthing to every single shot. And it is simply unsustainable in a 90-mintture to 120-minute match.

In Bartoli's case, her father's drill sargent approach is a big factor.

AndreConrad
Nov 8th, 2009, 02:54 PM
I think it was a mix of the two. The Roadmap because there's like tournaments every week. There are players that know not to play these tournaments, but some players play these tournaments for some ridiculous reason. If I were a player, I wouldn't be too bothered about a longer off-season at the end of the year if I could have more breaks throughout the year. Like the claycourt season, they have to play Rome, Madrid and Roland Garros in the space of 5 weeks. And then to have premier events the week before a Grand Slam or other big event (Eastbourne, Warsaw, New Haven, Moscow etc.) will just degrade those tournaments because everyone wants rest before a GS. They need to have more recovery breaks during the season so we don't have so many retirements.

Either that or ban the unfit players.

I think it is both.

Physically ill prepared players, the tour roadmap.

Physically ill prepared can mean both extremes.
Not enough physical training to handle the demand of the game.

Too overworked by zealous coaches who put more emphasis on physicallity than the fundamentals.
As a result, some WTA players play in actual matches as if they were doing a drill during their
practice session: giving everthing to every single shot. And it is simply unsustainable in a 90-mintture to 120-minute match.

In Bartoli's case, her father's drill sargent approach is a big factor.
There is no question that players themselves contribute to the trouble, but I still think the overall schedule is horrible. If you take a look at Doha you can see that almost every player (including the replacements) was absolutely exhausted. What could help a little bit is relaxing the rules about withdrawals. If you went very far in couple of conscutive tournaments it should give you some basis to withdraw from the third one. That is just an example how the rules could be adjusted.

TheBoiledEgg
Nov 8th, 2009, 03:19 PM
why not have Bali the MM event straight after the Asian season.......
instead of Luxembourg, Doha and then Bali or just put the Bali event in Europe.

Chrissie-fan
Nov 8th, 2009, 03:25 PM
Modern equipment has made the game faster and more physical compared to the tennis of old. Add to that the fact that there are so many tournaments these days on hardcourts instead of more forgiving surfaces like grass and clay plus the reasons already mentionned by the OP and it's easy to understand that so many players get injured.

sammy01
Nov 8th, 2009, 03:30 PM
well the new head of WTA stacy whatersface reckons retiremens and withdrawal are down thanks to the amaze roadmap lmao.

Irute
Nov 8th, 2009, 04:36 PM
well the new head of WTA stacy whatersface reckons retiremens and withdrawal are down thanks to the amaze roadmap lmao.

I really hope that they will not become defensive about the roadmap. It certainly accomplishes some objectives but it has tons of flaws and overburdening players is one of the outcomes. I hope they will learn lessons and make further improvements to the roadmap and schedule!

C. Drone
Nov 8th, 2009, 05:46 PM
roadmap is fine.
players are who can't manage their own schedule, mostly because they are brainwashed by managers/sponsors/family and dollar signs.
If somebody injured or out of form, then she should withdraw or just not enter. Ivanovic did that, skipped Madrid and Beijing, two mandatory tournament.
When Serena "played" in Rome, she accused the WTA that they'll fine her if she would withdraw. But she is very quiet about the $300,000 what she got from the bonuspool, because she played 4 Premier-5 tournament...

laurie
Nov 8th, 2009, 05:47 PM
Modern equipment has made the game faster and more physical compared to the tennis of old. Add to that the fact that there are so many tournaments these days on hardcourts instead of more forgiving surfaces like grass and clay plus the reasons already mentionned by the OP and it's easy to understand that so many players get injured.

This is THE one thing I have found extremely difficult to understand.

I thought there was a study in the early Noughties (2000s) that stated that Hard court Tennis was punishing on the body and ushered in more injuries - am I imagining that?

I also remember in 2005, Jim Courier was interviewed on BBC during Wimbledon championships and he expressed the view that one of the reasons why less players are playing an all court game or can volley well was due to the fact that most of the Indoor carpet events were becomming extinct and hard courts were now as slow as clay in many instances.

And yet, more than ever, they are now playing Hard court events all year round!! First, since 2008, the Australian season is now on Hard court as opposed to rebound ace (a more rubberised surface laid over concrete). Then there is the American Hard court season in Indian Wells, Miami and a few other smaller events. Then there is the summer Hard court season from July to September. After that there is the Asian Hard court season from September to October.

Then after all of that Hard court Tennis, the season now finishes with - Guess what? Hard court year end tournaments in Doha and Bali!

The other thing to consider at least on the WTA tour, most indoor tournamenst have also actually switched from carpet to Hard court, so there is really no escape.

We know Hard court is low maintenance but you really have to wonder whether the Governing organisation has the best interests of its players at heart by asking its players to play on Hard courts so often all year round, year after year.

Matt01
Nov 8th, 2009, 06:01 PM
I think it was a mix of the two. The Roadmap because there's like tournaments every week. There are players that know not to play these tournaments, but some players play these tournaments for some ridiculous reason. If I were a player, I wouldn't be too bothered about a longer off-season at the end of the year if I could have more breaks throughout the year. Like the claycourt season, they have to play Rome, Madrid and Roland Garros in the space of 5 weeks. And then to have premier events the week before a Grand Slam or other big event (Eastbourne, Warsaw, New Haven, Moscow etc.) will just degrade those tournaments because everyone wants rest before a GS. They need to have more recovery breaks during the season so we don't have so many retirements.


Because of the new Roadmap, the number of big tourneys for the top players was reduced and they have to play less tournaments now. Under the old rules, they had to play more but the rules/punishments for skipping a tourney were less strict. Besides, now the players have a longer off-season (as the player were requesting) and the top players do have breaks between the tournaments (e.g. 3 weeks after Wimbledon or 2 weeks after US Open).

The Roadmap is still crap, though, because it forces the players to play tournaments they don't want to play (so they tank) and there are too many tourneys on hardcourt.
Plus the tourneys are not well placed. If you want to play two big tourneys between AO and IW, you have to be in Europe (Paris) one week and have to fly to Asia (Dubai) the next week. In the fall, there are tournaments in Asia, the next 2 weeks the tourneys are in Europe, and the next week you have to fly back to Asia if you ant to play Doha or Bali. That's a bit ridiculous.

pwayne
Nov 8th, 2009, 06:48 PM
Roadmap worked better than I thought therefore, players poor scheduling is leading to retirements.

AndreConrad
Nov 8th, 2009, 09:16 PM
Roadmap worked better than I thought therefore, players poor scheduling is leading to retirements.
Players are always a factor; some are better then others. The year end on the other hand was in my perception worse in terms of injuries and retirements then in previous seasons. Even the players that did not get injured or retired seemed to be exhausted.

Irute
Nov 10th, 2009, 12:52 PM
Players are always a factor; some are better then others. The year end on the other hand was in my perception worse in terms of injuries and retirements then in previous seasons. Even the players that did not get injured or retired seemed to be exhausted.

I agree, but I only see two camps. One which complains about the roadmap and one which says it is great. I would rather see people acknowledging what worked well and learned from things that did not work to improve it next year.