Nadal, Federer Pass on Hamburg

by Sean Randall | May 15th, 2006, 1:31 pm

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.ADHEREL

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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4 Comments for Nadal, Federer Pass on Hamburg

Bharathan Gopalakrishnan Says:

Well said. there is absolutely no need for another clay masters. Scrap the entire week, push RG forward, and introduce a grass court masters in the gap, before Wimbledon. And anyway grass court tennis is better to watch.

will Says:

i prefer clay, but i agree with your idea.

Lucy Says:

And where on the calendar are you going to put the grasscourt Masters? If you cram it in to the current calendar, people will start skipping that one, too. And the last thing the ATP needs is someone like Max Mirnyi or Greg Rusedski earning Masters series titles.

But yeah, back-to-back Masters are a bad idea on any surface, and a horrible idea on clay, which is physically taxing.

AAA Says:

I wouldn’t mind a Masters on grass; seems only fair. As far as back to back, there’s the Canadian Open then Cincinnatti (sp?), I believe, and another directly after Australia. On the other hand, there’s a point; Roger LOVES this tournament and it had to be bad for him to bow out. Weighing the pros/cons I have to agree that three Masters on clay seems excessive. And Hamburg really felt it this year; not only Rog and Raf but Nalbandian and a couple others as well.

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