After playing an epic five-set 5-hours plus marathon in Rome on Sunday, not surprisingly both Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer have decided to pass up playing in Hamburg, which would have required the two to compete on Tuesday.
I’m sure Hamburg tournament organizers were glued to the screen yesterday hoping the match would go short. But at soon as it went five you know they were sweating thinking these guys won’t post.
Sure enough they are not.
Also absent from Hamburg are Andy Roddick, who has a bad back/shoulder, and Lleyton Hewitt who pulled with a left calf injury.
That leaves Ivan Ljubicic as the top seed this week for the Hamburg Masters Series. Are you kidding me? Ivan Ljubicic? The top seed. Now that’s a tough sell…
But you really can’t blame the players, that is Roger or Rafael. Both are understandably physically and mentally exhausted, especially Federer, and both appear to be in form and ready for Roland Garros. So why bother playing in the slower, cooler conditions in Hamburg.
And you really can’t blame the tournament. That’s just bad luck. Really bad luck. Had Roger and Rafael lost Saturday both probably would have shown up in Hamburg. Now they get hosed getting Ljubicic and Nikolay Davydenko as their top two seeds after putting up nearly $3 million in prize money. That sucks!
So who’s to blame? Easy. The ATP.
Is there really a need to have back-to-back Masters Series events? How do you expect a player to play five hours on Sunday and then fly to a different country and play first round on Tuesday without feeling some exhaustion or some interesting pulling out? If you want the players to have a chance to play the next event reduce the final to best-of-three sets or have the next event begin on a Wednesday like Miami or simply a week later.
Don’t put them back-to-back when you got best-of-five sets finals.
After all, these Masters Series events are supposed to be the ATP’s showcase events, but all it’s really showcasing is their lack of common sense.
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