Rafael Nadal Discusses Resignation From ATP Player Council

by Tom Gainey | March 28th, 2012, 1:27 pm

The rumors are true. Rafael Nadal confirmed yesterday that he has resigned as the vice president from the ATP Player Council. Nadal, who’s been in the middle of several issues of late, said he no longer give a full effort to the position.

“I have been there for a couple of years,” Nadal said. “I really don’t know how to do things without put my 100%. So if I go to play golf, I try my best in every moment. If I go to the player council, you know, I try my best in the player council. I put all my energy there. So last year at the end of the season, you know, was a lot of things there. You know, finally I believe I put too much energy there. I am happy to represent my players there for the last couple of years. I believe that we did few things well for the sport. I believe it’s not enough. So today I believe that I am not the right one to keep working there. So I think another people can do better than me today.”

Nadal has been outspoken about current tour problems like scheduling, ranking systems, on court time violations and leadership.

“I cannot still put in my 100% there in the player council,” he added. “I can be there just listening, but that’s not my style, no? I understand my period finish, and that’s it. No, no, I am not frustrated. I believe that we can do much more things than what we have done until the day that I left. My feeling is a great opportunity to improve the sport, because today the players are very unified. So, you know, there is always troubles there. I understand sometimes the trouble from the other part, from tournaments, but I don’t understand sometimes the trouble from our part, from the from our reps, no? So that’s all. No, no, no, I am not frustrated. I try my best. I go. I resigned to the player council knowing that I tried my best and I put all my effort to try to represent my players the players that I represent they are the top 25 players as good as I can. So today I feel that another player can do better than me, because I spend probably three, four years. We did things, but not enough. That’s my feeling.”

Nadal was first voted onto the council by his peers in June of 2008, and was re-elected for a second two-year term in June 2010. Roger Federer remains the council’s president.

Nadal plays Wednesday night against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the quarterfinals of the Sony Ericsson Open Miami, a title the Spaniard has never won.

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103 Comments for Rafael Nadal Discusses Resignation From ATP Player Council

skeezerweezer Says:

Is this a direct quote or Is this really the English translation? Your jokin right?

Don Spiegel Says:

This sounds like a playback of a recorded interview or press conference. Not a translation. Some reporters love to disparage his less than perfect English verbalizations He uses “No?” a lot to ask the listener if they agree or understand.

Brando Says:

”I resigned to the player council knowing that I tried my best and I put all my effort to try to represent my players the players that I represent they are the top 25 players as good as I can.”

IF rafa’s job was to represent the top 25, then he did his best!

It’s over now, rafa- time to move on now!

NOT for the haters of course, how can we ever forget them.

Expect them to arrive, in full force, in THREE TWO ONE……

Jan Says:

WTF? I have no idea what he is trying to say. He really needs to speak better English. Everyone else from all of the other countries on the ATP tour speak great English except him. Seriously, he needs to get a tutor.. he can afford one.

Jack Lewis Says:

Do you have to be a hater to find the notion of a two year ranking system a bit nuts?
>>IF rafa’s job was to represent the top 25,…
That’s a big IF indeed.

Huh Says:

Ok I think I get it, emphasis on think. He resigned because, basically, nobody was listening to him. He thinks he did the top 25 a solid in some areas, but there’s still a lot more improvement to be done. But seeing as not many Players are agreeing with him ( he didn’t say this but it’s pretty much implied) he feels it’s time to step down as there is nothing else he can do to convince certain people. Now, he said he wasn’t frustrated, but he sounds pretty frustrated to me, but whatever you say Rafa. Ps. Rafa, LOVE YOU, do something more about your English, and I’d love you even more, if that’s even possible.

jane Says:

Nothing wrong with Rafa deciding to withdraw; it’s up to him if he wants to serve on the committee anymore or devote himself solely to tennis. At least he tried it out and put in some time.

Tenn Says:

His English? Those comments are tongue & cheek, no? Not too many years ago when he was just begining to make waves on the tour, he spoke no english at all (okay…’thank you berry much.) He seemed not friendly – perhaps even a bigger ego than Federer. In the last 2 or 3 yrs, while learning Engish, his true nature was finally being seen. He is a nice guy, humble & respects people. His work ethic is a little too excessive but, that is obviously the way he was brought up. His english is not bad for someone from his island off of Spain…much harder to understand him than guys like Ferrero, Robredo, etc. BTW, when he is nervous or strssed, it is much harder to understand him..sort of not really answering questions the way one would expect.

Think of a “real” reason to knock on him.

michael Says:

Really Rafa’s english. He does pretty well for it not being his native language. At least he tries to get his point across. So sometimes it gets lost in translation. People are not going to be agree with him because he beats them

Barb Says:

He speaks better English than some who were born here. Give the man a break, he’s trying the best he can. I wonder how you’d fare if you went to where he’s from.

leona Says:

I’m surprised how easy it is for some to focus soley on Rafa’s english skills instead of the fact he put the time and effort into trying to address some of the issues that players must deal with. I don’t consider it any different than employees who are part of a union. They expect their representatives to stand up for their rights and advocate on their behalf.
Just out of curiosity, it would be interesting to see how well some of the people who are apparently well versed in English would do – working in a foriegn language.

Roger de Vries Says:

Let’s just hope he’ll never become a politician. Plus the guy’s not too intelligent in certain departments, looking at how he’s handled this, his tennis growing up and his many habits. But that’s a part of why he has such big successes on the court, his smartness shows in other parts like on a tennis court.

People can defend him with grit but you gotta admit this 2-year ranking thing is a disaster and makes some people feel as if he did it mostly for himself. I don’t conclude that of course, just I find his way of handling things around this already crazy proposal surprising.

Also he won’t have gained any hearts among the lower-ranked players, it would be terrible for them to see his proposals implemented.

Roger de Vries Says:

Btw, he’s not getting the criticism others would have gotten for his behaviour and proposals of late, partly because he’s an all-time popular great. So Rafa fans should be satisfied already, I reckon.

Nirmal Kumar Says:

It’s important everyone has an opinion. If Rafa’s opinion is not being shared by many, he made the right choice. We can hardly change someones opinion. What’s the point in him continuing. It’s good for his tennis.

Richard Says:

Give the guy a break. He’s doing what he feels is right for him and that must be respected. My guess is that he is tired of butting heads.

For those who seem to revel in criticizing his English: How’s your Spanish, French or German? Americans aren’t exactly famous for their language skills either!

Wog boy Says:

You beat me, I was about to ask those who are commenting Rafa’s English how many languages they speak. I don’t see any problem with his English as long as you want to understand him I also don’t see any problem with pulling out, he wanted to put through his ideas…didn’t work and what else can you do but to get out and concentrate on your tennis. Do I have to say that I am not Rafa fan but I think he did a right thing and leave him alone and his English, his tennis speaks for him in all languages.

Michael Says:

It is his decision and we should respect it. But I thought he should have consulted Roger before taking this decision.

Wog boy Says:

Sorry but I disagree. By consulting Roger he would make himself to look like …..I am thinking of a right word… may be junior player and he would feed Rogers ego. Why would you do that if you respect yourself, Roger is, arguably, GOAT, but Rafa is better ranked player for almost two years. He is his own man and makes his own decisions and this one is right one.

Skeezerweezer Says:

Ok gang , i get it. But this is an english site, not Spanish nor whatever. Wether you like it or not English is the most media common language in the world, and if you are making gazillions and want to communicate to the world, you need to speak the english language. Rafa has the means ( MONEY) to LEARN if he wants to speak to the International world. He could easily be accused of hiding behind his low skills of a langauge. Delpo, Ferrer, Davy, Tsonga, Gasquet, Baggy, Nole, Murray, etc… All come from different cultures / languages but still can communicate somehow effectively and plainly to the English language. Most all the international players can communicate effectively for the sport (Tennis)…..why can’t the former #1 and role model/speaker of our sport…… Rafa? Is it by choice or he just can’t or won’t?

Michael Says:

Wog Boy,

This has nothing to do with Roger’s inflating ego which is always overstated by his critics. Rafa and Roger have shared an excellent rapport so far. My point is Rafa should have engaged an discussion with Roger to discuss the points he has raised and the practicality of implementing it. In this way, he could have cleared any misgivings he had on this issue. That is the way he should have gone about it. But instead he has taken a rash decision I would say and damaged the confidence the Tennis Players have reposed on him.

Michael Says:

If Rafa is not comfortable with speaking English then I think he can stick to Spanish and go for a translator instead.

Wog boy Says:

Point is, wheather Rafa’s english is good enough for people to understand his point of view or not. I didn’t have a problem reading this, whatsoever, but to make sure that it is not only me I gave it to my doughter whose first language english to read it and to tell me if she gets what Rafa is saying, she didn’t have a problem either. That was just few minutes ago. He can improve his english that is true, but his english is good enough for people who wants to understand him, of course for the other ones it will not be good even if he graduates from Oxford.

Wog boy Says:

Michael, if he couldn’t get his ideas through in last couple of years working with Federer what is the point doing it now. By saying this, I am not saying Rafa’s ideas were right, what I sm saying is that this one is right. It is quite notmal to resign if you feel that after few years (not few months) working with the same people you cannot sell your ideas, no big deal.

Ajet Says:

First of all, the issue here actually was how people view rafa’s admitted reasons for his reignation! But now it has turned to bashing rafa taking the excuse of his relatively imperfect english!

but actually who can speak english perfectly, seriously speaking??? only people of english nations of course!! then come close the europeans becaues they’ve more or less the similar mother latin accent in their language! then follow the rest of the world! and to be very honest, I find rafa’s english involving his spanish accent quite ok, but really really stylish as well!

I’m sure I can do nothing to come even close to speaking english the way nadal does with his stylish european accent! my spoken english is at least a million times worse than nadal! the accent just doesn’t come to me like it comes to english/europeans or even middle-easterns/chinese/japanese/russians/south american/most of the other asian/south-asian countries folks etc.
how great english you’ve is known from the proximity of your accent with english accent! how much english one knows would be clear the moment you sing an english song, because it sucks to sng them if your english is not really european-style! i personally know how i sound when singing eng songs. :(
so i would never comment on rafa’s eng!

thus, i would simply leave nadal to speak his english the way he does coz it’s 100% understandable to people around the globe! never expect him to be a natural english speaker, at least i do not expect so! he’s doing well in his place! so let’s not surmise a lot or suggest nadal to do something about his english, because as wogboy says(even though i don’t like his references to fed having inflating ego) ”rafa’s tennis itself speaks for him in all languages”!

Mark Says:

@Ajet. Great post.

Lisa Says:

Rafa speaks English as well as any other non native speaker mentioned above except for Roger Federer who is a few years older than he and has a natural ear for many languages. Tennis is global, much more popular in Europe and other areas than in the U.S. and some other English speaking places and yet EVERYONE should be required to speak impeccable English? I love listening these athletes and marvel at their willingess to take on a second language. Have any of the American players stepped out of their comfort zones in order to speak well in a language of a country where they go year after year to play? Rafael does exceptionally and charmingly well in speaking English.

Wog boy Says:

OK I will try not to talk about Federer’s ego…..but it is going to be hard…. It is so visible, so to say.

OK, OK …… just teasing you:-) no more.

Michael Says:

Wog boy,

I feel the decision of Nadal to quit is a bit premature and momentarily taken without thought. The issues that he has raised has lot of imponderables and to effect it may take time plus it requires the consensus of not just the top level Players alone which is exactly Roger’s point. I am wondering why they have not given thought on what other players are thinking about these issues ?? Why not have a voting take place amongst the 1,500 players on the ATP Circuit on the range of issues bothering them which will give some input as to the pulse of the players on such issues ?

Michael Says:

In his after match interview, Tsonga literally lambasted the Umpire and said that he is afraid of Rafa. He was particularly perturbed about the Umpire not overruling line calls and he has to challenge it many times in the match only to be proven right. He plainly said that the Umpire is afraid because if he earned the displeasure of Rafa he would not be officiating in the Semis and finals. We have many posters here complaining about how Roger is doiminating the Tennis World and ensuring that he has a say in each and every decision and now I what they have to say about this comment from Tsonga – a top level player ??

Nirmal Kumar Says:

Michael: It’s a great catch. If your note is true, it’s not good for tennis.

Michael Says:


I am just reproducing the interview given by Tsonga after his match with Nadal.

Q. At the end of the match when you were talking to the chair umpire, you were like complaining or something?
JO WILFRIED TSONGA: Yeah, I was complaining because all the match, you know, I’ve got to I have to challenge, and I was right, you know, many, many times.
So never take how you say? (Through translation.) He never take, you know, initiative when it’s against Rafa, you know.
And you know now it’s all the time like this. All the time.
So, you know, I have to be, you know, really focused, you know, on the ball, because if the ball is out, it would never if it’s really close, he would never say out against Rafa. Always to say against me. If Rafa don’t like him anymore, I mean, he would not be in the chair many times on final and semifinal.
So it will not, you know yeah. That’s it.
So sometimes, I mean, it’s not fair. Because I have to take decision, you know, all the time. And he never take decision. He just say the score. That’s why, you know, sometimes I’m upset

alison hodge Says:

to be quite honest im glad rafas resigned from the council,that way he can concentrate on just playing tennis,everyones right the two year ranking idea was bs,not that it was likely to happen anyway,with regards to his speaking english,well ive lived in norfolk for almost a decade now,and many people still struggle to understand my broad yorkshire accent,rafa does his best and quite frankly speaks better english than some english people,i cant speak spanish,french or any other language for that matter,so he does much better than i do.

tash Says:

it is not an enigma to understand what he wanted to say. his english is good enough to understand him. he left the council because he didn’t want to just sit and listen but he wanted to have a voice and be heard about what is he representing together with top 25 players he represented in the council. “I can be there just listening, but that’s not my style, no? I understand my period finish, and that’s it.”

problem was that Federer didn’t have good ears for what the players asked for and doesn’t support any idea that comes from Rafa and the players he represents. that is why Rafa says (quote) “there is always troubles there. I understand sometimes the trouble from the other part, from tournaments, but I don’t understand sometimes the trouble from our part, from the from our reps, no? So that’s all.”

well, why would he keep his position in the Council if he is not having any results on changing things (like Calendar) that players would like to change? what Rafa did is honorable, he resigned because he realized he cannot do more for the players and that is something everyone should do once they realize they cannot move forward, no matter how right or wrong they are, if you cannot do anything more because your ideas are not accepted then give a chance to someone who maybe can ( IF anyone can, l don’t believe so), Mr.Federer is just too strong and he will not let the calendar get shorter than it is.

Nirmal Kumar Says:

well, why would he keep his position in the Council if he is not having any results on changing things (like Calendar) that players would like to change?

Who are those players who wanted to calendar to change?

Angel Says:

tash, then thanks God Roger Federer is the President, because I don’t think the calendar is too long. You only have to play 12 tournaments in the whole year and one more if you qualify for it. That’s one tournament at month in which many times you lose before you get to the final (exception Federer 2006) so you don’t play it entirely. So usually you play less than 5 matches at month if you stick to the mandatory. So that in average these players are force to play 5 matches in 30 days, excuse me but these guys earn ridiculous amounts of money for this, not to mention all the money they make outside the courts thanks to tennis.

Dave Says:

Why did Nadal and/or his expensive publicity manager leak his resignation to the news media just hours before Federer’s match against Roddick? Why did Nadal not quietly resign next week, after Miami is over? After all, Nadal did not make press statements when he became vice-president… so why is he making a noisy exit now? If Nadal truly believes what he claimed (that he does not have energy/time, he does not like listening, not enough has been done, trouble comes from players reps, he is not the right person to be council vice president)… he could have quietly resigned outside the tournaments, instead of making a big public spectacle of his grievances and/or resignation during two important tournaments (Australian Open and Miami).

In any executive committee/council, it is a code of honor for ex-co members that what happens in the committee is supposed to stay within the committee. lnstead Nadal the vice-president violated the honor code by publicly airing his personal grievances at the start of the Australian Open and again at Miami. This whole affair smells like a dirty public relations campaign to tarnish Federer in an election year for presidency of the ATP Players Council.

The London Telegraph broke the news about Nadal’s resignation at least three hours BEFORE Federer’s match with Roddick, so every news media was aware of Nadal’s resignation. Yet at the post match press conference not one news media (not even the London Telegraph) asked Federer for his views on Nadal’s resignation. It appears the mainstream news media has been publicizing and sensationalizing Nadal’s side of the story… while neglecting to give equal air time to the views of Federer and the other eight members of the ATP Player’s Council who have been doing the hard work of representing the 2,000 ATP player community while dealing with the politics of trouble makers.

This whole affair proves Nadal’s savvy at public relations goes beyond publicizing his injury excuses and into ATP politics and power. Nadal’s expensive public relations manager Benito Perez-Barbadillo must be very good at his job (he owns the B1PR company and also represents Djokovic).

Unlike Nadal, Federer does not have a PR manager to help him on public relations regarding such problems, so Roger has to do it himself. It is likely that poor Federer — as Players Council president — has been wasting his time and mental energy dealing with Nadal’s personal agenda, whining, dirty politics, his leaks of information to the news media, reporter’s questions, etc over the past two months during important tournaments like Australian Open and Miami. Surely Federer wasted his time during the first few days of Miami trying to reach a compromise with Nadal to keep him from resigning. Federer is human, not a robot who can automatically shuts out such emotional distractions. No wonder Federer looked distracted and mentally off in his Miami matches against Harrison and Roddick. Roddick played well — but Federer also played distracted and flat at critical moments. Not surprisingly, Federer admitted he was mentally tired at his post-match conference, even though he was under more stress playing while sick in Indian Wells. How convenient for Nadal — Federer’s early loss at Miami keeps Roger from closing in on Rafa’s No. 2 ranking.

Nadal has been a trouble maker whose personal agenda has distracted the other nine ATP council members from doing their job representing the needs of 2,000 ATP players. The player community voted Federer to be president of the players council — not Nadal. Nadal has forgotten that he was elected to be vice-president to represent the needs of the player community and to work with the other nine council members from the same song sheet — it is Nadal who has to cooperate with Federer, not the other way around. Instead the self-serving Nadal has been using the Player’s Council for his personal agenda that that first and foremost benefits himself.

Not one of the 2,000 ATP players has publicly supported Nadal’s self-serving demands for a change in the tennis ranking system to a two-year system. Had Nadal’s two year ranking system been implemented before Monte Carlo, it would have primarily benefited Rafa since he was dominant between 2010 Monte Carlo to 2010 US Open. Did Nadal resign now because he sees no chance of the two year ranking system being implemented within the next few months while it still benefits him? Besides the tennis ranking system, Nadal had been seeking the appointment of his under-qualified friend Richard Krajicek to the complex job of ATP chief executive. Nadal has not been interested in the main issue preoccupying the player council — the size of the pay packets of hundreds of lower-ranked poorer players who tend to lose early at the four grand slam tournaments.

Nadal keeps whining despite several changes in traditional tennis conditions to accommodate his incessant demands since 2006: elimination of five set matches from all tourneys except the Grand Slams and Davis Cup; reduction of number of rounds top players play in tourneys except the Grand Slam championships; continued homogenization and slowing down of tennis courts; reduction of the number of mandatory tournaments that top players must play; reduction of tennis calendar by 3 weeks in November; reduction in indoor hardcourt tournaments (e.g., Madrid indoor Masters has been replaced by Shanghai outdoor Masters); reduction in perception of importance of the World Tour Finals. It’s odd that Nadal — who continues to play lucrative exhibitions and minor tournaments (like 2010 Bangkok that paid him $1.5 million appearance fees) — has not whined about three obvious tournaments that could shave another 3 to 4 weeks off the tennis calendar: two-week Indian Wells, two-week Miami and the four rounds of Davis Cup that plays best of set matches. The rigidity of the Grand Slams have been a problem for players for over a century.

The ATP has already made the calendar much easier than it has ever been (see link): this year Nadal can play as few as the 12 mandatory tournaments if he wishes. Top players now have only 12 mandatory tourneys – plus they can voluntarily choose to add their best six results from other events toward their ranking (as long as they have played four ATP 500 events). The problem is really Nadal’s deficiency of winning fewer tourneys outside the soft court season (clay/grass) while competing in an era where Federer and now Djokovic set the bar very high for points needed to be No. 1 (as did Lendl in the mid 1980s, etc). So selfish Nadal is whining about the calendar when the real problem is Nadal’s failure to win more of the tourneys he plays in. In 2011, Nadal won only 3 clay titles, and hasn’t won a title since the French Open. What Nadal really wants are fewer tourneys that he can focus on winning – in other words he is trying to change the ATP ranking system to fit his needs.

The 10-member ATP Player Council delivers advisory decisions to the ATP Board of Directors, which has the power to accept or reject the Council’s suggestions. The Council consists of four players who are ranked within top 50 in singles (Roger Federer (President), Rafael Nadal (Vice President), Sam Querrey and Fernando González in 2010–2012), two players who are ranked between 51 and 100 in singles (Peter Luczak and Jarkko Nieminen), two top 100 players in doubles (Eric Butorac and Nenad Zimonjic) and two at-large members (Yves Allegro and Ashley Fisher).

Ajet Says:

Federer looks more justified than rafa and novak when he opines against novak/rafa wanting the shortening of season. Nobody forces these two to play all the tournaments! and why should the calender be shortened??? low players have the right to earn money too, and keeping their interest roger’s stand of not being in favor of season’s shortening’s far more justified! nadal can sit out from some minor tournaments if he is so disturbed by the amount of tennis he plays, but he cannot be allowed to have his way in his own whimsical stand of shortening the season, seemingly keeping only in view of his own self(and of his other allegedly good friend djoker)! gretaer interest of the majority players is bigger than the interst of just top 25! Others are also professionals and no kids who can be rolled over the way nadal/djoker like! Obviosly it’s only nadal, murray and djoker who have been whining about shortening of season, except these three, almost nobody minds the way the length of the season is right now! let the lesser players also earn something by playing as many tornaments as they can, as it’s clear that earning money isn’t easy or even possible for them by playing limited tournaments, unlike the top guys who’ll either win or go deep in each tornament they enter, and conseqently earn money, thanks for being more gifted then the lesse players! but that in no way means tennis is all about 2 or 3 guys and helping them only to lengthen their careers by shortening the season so that they can win more and more and become more and more filthy rich!

so please give federer a break for being more justified then rafa on this matter!

David Bulgarelli Says:

Ah, so he thought it was his job to represent the Top 25 players only. That explains a lot.

If that’s the case, it’s for the best that he stood down. The Vice President of the council has to represent EVERYBODY.

Dave Says:

This is not an issue of Nadal’s self-interests versus Federer’s self-interests, as is portrayed by the news media. It is really an issue of Nadal’s self-interests versus the positions of the other nine ATP council members as well as the needs of the other 2,000 ATP players.

Nadal’s public whining and breaking of ranks has weakened the position of players while, paradoxically, strengthened the position of the Grand Slams, ITF and other tournaments. [As long as Nadal does not whine about or at Indian Wells (where Rafa was strangely quiet), I’m sure Larry Elliso won’t mind having Nadal as a house guest in future… while continuing to increase the pay packets of the top players at his tourney.]

anon Says:

to all you english majors: if you can understand him, be satisfied with that … how’s your spanish? that’s if you have one, isn’t it?

jane Says:

“Obviosly it’s only nadal, murray and djoker who have been whining about shortening of season,”

Actually that’s not true Ajet. Others, including Roddick, have made mention that the off season should be longer.

carlo Says:

Federer is right on this. It’s good Nadal steps down – David Bulgarelli said it succinctly @1:04 p.m.

Also agree with Ajet…again :D

jane Says:

I don’t necessarily agree/disagree with shortening the season; I can see reasons for both. I think a slightly longer off-season would be nice, especially looking at the number of player injuries from Dave’s list on the other thread. A lot of those injured players were lower ranked than top 25. I do agree with Fed, definitely, that the two-year ranking would be a bad idea. I do take issue with saying only Rafa, Nole and Murray have talked about a longer off season. Definitely other players have as well.

From this article alone, it implies that many many players wanted a longer off-season, and quotes Verdasco and Roddick as well.


In any case, the season has been extended, so that’s done. This year they will get a full 7 weeks off.

Sean Randall Says:

Do some of you actually think Federer lost b/c Nadal resigned? Hilarious.

Federer is able to block out devastating losses, sick children, wind and rain to win titles, but if Rafa resigns his VP post his game goes up in smoke?

Am I to really believe that with Federer having 3 break points at 0-40 on Roddick’s serve in the third set, Rafa was weighing on his mind?

That’s some serious fandom. (speaking of smoke)

Mark Says:

As far as I can see Rafa has resigned – end of story. What are all the arguments about? There will be a new Vice President on the Council. So please stop the Rafa bashing. What is the point? HE HAS RESIGNED!!!

Sean Randall Says:

Jane, it’s like a shorter work week. If you can get paid the same who wouldn’t want that?

Virtually all the top players would want a longer off season b/c they can make up any missed tournaments with lucrative, low pressure exhibitions.

That said, I doubt it chances much in the foreseeable future. Every generation has their issues and the schedule is always one of them.

Ajet Says:

Sean Randall is BOMBING MODE today!!!

His boom boom CANNON SHOTS can be heard everywhere!!! ;)

jane Says:

It’s done though isn’t it Sean? The off-season has been lengthened to 7 weeks beginning this season.

Like I say, I can see both sides on this one; i.e., lower ranked guys wanting to play more for more cash, higher ranked or injury-prone guys wanting to play less to preserve careers.

Other options for lower ranked guys include picking up Challengers I suppose, or for higher ranked players, it includes playing less, although a lot of what they play is mandated! Nole, for example, had a smarter schedule last season and it showed.

So, like I say, I can see both sides.

Ajet Says:

my post @12.49 pm was basically directed at tash coz of his claims that federer didn’t have ears for the fellow players, while nadal was the virtual don quixote fighting for them!

Sean Randall Says:

Ajet, watching women’s tennis sometimes does that to me.

Jane, I guess for the lower ranked guys the Challengers will always be there. But better money can be had at the ATP events, of course.

Players do get a longer off season – like this year – but it’ll never be enough!

Ajet Says:

sorry to all nadal fans except tash if i came across as bashing him, coz that wasn’t my intention. rafa resigning or continuing is his own decision which everybody has to accept and i fully resect his decision, as it for rafa to call his own shots in his life! whether he wants to continue or not, whether he wants to focus soley on tennis after resignation, only he has right to decide, not me! so i shouldn’t comment on that!

my only issue was some people saying that nadal is more concerned for fellow [layers than federr, to which i fully object of course!

skeezerweezer Says:

“Players do get a longer off season – like this year – but it’ll never be enough!”

Touche, and then they play exhos, so what’s up with that?

Dave Says:

What’s really hilarious is when someone thinks a toilet break rule that was changed from changeovers within sets to set breaks at end of set still allows a player to take toilet breaks on changeovers within sets!

Yes, it’s one thing to block out devastating losses and start playing well one week later. Federer has done that 188 times in his career after 188 losses.

Yes, it’s one thing to block out sick children and start playing well the next day. Federer has confidence relying on his expensive and qualified nanny the past 27 times his kids have been sick in their young lives (if all else fails, it’s in Mirka’s job description to look for a new nanny).

Yes, it’s one thing to block out wind and rain to win titles. Federer has learned through the experience of 135 wind and rain matches how to win in such conditions.

But another thing when Nadal drops the public bomb of his resignation just a few hours before Federer’s match with Roddick. This is the first time in Federer’s four years as president of the 10-member players council that a council member has resigned — his vice president, no less. Not only did Federer probably waste his time the previous few days trying to persuade Nadal to change his mind, he probably had to communicate with several other council members and other players as well. To make matters worse, it seems Nadal leaked his resignation to the news media (London Telegraph) instead of doing the right thing and keeping it quiet until after Miami ended. In other words this was a major distraction of the type that Federre was not used to dealing with.

Anyone who has held a (real) job knows that when you resign, you submit a resignation letter to your boss. It is protocol that your boss announces your resignation to the company. An employee who resigns while bitching about his boss and why he resigned — that’s a red flag that shows his character.

I know, I know. It’s easy to criticize when one hasn’t held leadership positions in anything substantial.

Eric Says:

If Rafa got his way, the ATP tour would consist of Monte Carlo, the French Open, and Wimbledon a month later, and off season the rest of the year. All of his signature issues – shortening the season, transitioning to a two-year ranking system – are undeniably and quite transparently designed to benefit those who are already at the top of the rankings and who don’t need to play more than a few events a year, because they command million-dollar appearance fees at exhibitions and make tens of millions of dollars per year in endorsement and advertising contracts. If Rafa had his way, new players like Raonic and Dolgopolov would probably still be ranked outside the top 100. I love Rafa as an athlete and tennis player, but his goals for the ATP are purely self-serving and frankly disgustingly so.

Eric Says:

Oh, and Isner would probably still be like no. 30 or 40. How is that fair or just?

Sean Randall Says:

Dave, “public bomb”? So are you suggesting that Federer, president of the council, had no inkling of Nadal’s resignation until just hours before his match?

I’m sure Fed was aware of the change well before the media had notice. He is the president after all.

And Dave, I’m still waiting for your tally on how long Nadal was off court for that IW toilet break.

Because I know you have read the rule book you know the rules do allow for players to leave the court, but it has to be within 90 seconds or suffer the time penalty.

Sean Randall Says:

Eric, you sound like someone who works for Nadal! Haha.

Mark Says:

@Dave. Sometimes your rants go way too far. So it is Rafa’s fault that Fed lost to Roddick?? Fed is a grown cry baby and would hardly let Rafa’s resignation affect his loss. Don’t make excuses. You truly believe that Fed is a saint and that is your prerogative but stop bashing Rafa. You do that in most of your posts with your extensive research to skirmish Rafa’s name. Give it a rest!!!

alison hodge Says:

while i do agree with what everyones saying about nadal and his policies,2 year rankings,shortening the calendar,he has resigned now anyway,so its much ado about nothing.

Mark Says:

@Eric. If Fed got his way every single tournament would be on a surface similar to the WTF. Right??

alison hodge Says:

i have to agree here with mark,while i dont condone some of rafas policies, and the time violations,mtos,(although i have to ask,is he expected to pee on court?)surely rafa cant be held responsible for a defeat inflicted on him by andy roddick?

dari Says:

Dave- its too far of a stretch to say roger lost because rafa rrsigned!
How about the more obvious answer, like rod played great and fed has played a ton of twnnis already?!
You know you are actually DISCREDITING this amazing player by insenuating he would be so mentally affected

alison hodge Says:

yeah well said dari.

steve-o Says:

Eric, I think you’re giving Nadal far too much credit for generosity when you suggest he cares about the other top players.

You think he is looking out for Federer, Djokovic, and Murray? He cares only about one player: himself.

After he won AO in ’09, he proposed replacing some hard court tournaments with clay tournaments.


He made the absurd disclaimer that “I can say that because I won a grand slam on hard (courts)…

“Before if I say that, a lot of people think `He wants to change because he’s a clay player.’ But believe me, I don’t think anything about if I am a clay court player or not.

“When I say this, I think about the best for the players and for the future.”

Of course his motive was precisely what he claimed it wasn’t, and anyone who believed him was either naive or not too bright.

The two-year rankings system would allow his clay-court points from any given year to count double when determining the rankings: once in the year he won them, and again in the next year. This would make it easier for him to be #1 since he is so consistent on clay and nearly always wins two or three Masters.

And then regarding shortening the season: Which tournaments do you think Nadal proposed to cut in order to shorten the season? I’m guessing it’s the fall hard-court run where he does poorly. Not the clay tournaments, of course, where he cleans up.

If some hard court tournaments are eliminated, then his clay points make up a greater percentage of all rankings points, which gives him a better chance to return to #1.

Each time one of his proposals failed, he came up with a slightly slicker proposal that he hoped would go down easier with the rest of the players, but would have the same effect. The last attempt was probably the cleverest–wrapping himself in the mantle of concern for the players overplaying and injuring themselves and using that as a justification for cutting hard-court tournaments.

The pretense was completely transparent and readily seen through.

If he were a smoother politician, he might well have gotten his way eventually. But the ATP ain’t like Spain where athletes are treated like gods. He created a backlash.

Then when he couldn’t get his way behind closed doors, he lashed out publicly at Federer just before AO, claiming that Federer didn’t care if the rest of the players burned, trying to use the media to bully the players into giving him what he wanted by creating a controversy. Federer sensibly refused to be drawn and said that this was a matter to be settled by the Players’ Council.

After that, I suspect there was a lot of widespread resentment at Nadal’s behavior (especially his attempt to use the media to go behind the backs of the players and force the Council’s hand) and he became persona non grata on the Player’s Council. And that’s why he’s leaving.

This resignation statement is the usual “I want to pursue other interests” boilerplate that you give when you are trying to bail on a sticky situation and want to save face.

Nadal was probably facing the prospect of being voted out the next time they had an election for the VP (which, judging by the timeline given above, is in June of this year), and rather than endure that humiliation, he quit to preserve whatever shreds of dignity were left to him.

(And here, I thought one of the big selling points of the guy was that he never quit, that he was a fighter who fought till the bitter end! What happened to that never-say-die attitude, and facing up to the consequences of what you do? Guess that was all bullshit.)

Eric Says:

Mark, allow me to clear something up for you: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hyperbole

steve-o Says:

@Mark: So far as I know, Federer has never proposed having more tournaments on the surfaces that he prefers at the expense of other tournaments, although I’m sure he would love more grass and indoor events.

So your “point” is totally hypothetical and exists only in your own mind.

Why is it that Nadal fans are incapable of defending their man on the merits, but must always refer to supposed sins of Federer?

And why is it that the imaginary sins of Federer are accepted as a valid way to justify the actual, real sins of Nadal? How can one person’s sin absolve another person of their sin?

Tennis brings up all these deep theological questions.

Skeezerweezer Says:

Nice read Eric, and where was a proposal to change some HC to grass also? Even better on your body than Clay…….bogus.

Ajet Says:


I completely support you on the issue of federer’s loss to roddick. i am sure it has got nothing to do with nadal’s resignation. federer’s too good a pleyer to be affected by the resignation of his biggest rival of all guys! and federer also clearly said that he was mentally feeling a bit tired over the streak and stuff, and it’s understandable, but that does in no way mean he was any less focussed for victory agains roddick! federer is a guy who never likes to losee, and am sure that was also the case in the roddick match. but roddick played simply better and forced fed to be defeated. it’s simple: the cause of fed’s loss!

and dear alson, please don’t get hurt by people getting critical of nadal here. you’re the best and fairest poster here. so keep heart. may the racquet of your guy do the talking to silence his detractors! that’s all i want for you, even though by no means i like nadal, and still will root against him everytime except when he plays berdych. but if nadal wins, the good thing for me will be that sweet people like you, lulu, brando and kimberley will be happy. :)

take care sweetie. :)

Ajet Says:


i definitely share your sentiment that nadal should not be blamed for federer’s loss to roddick.

no personal offense to anybody believing otherwise though. you are free to speculate as much as people like alisona and me are free to believe in this matter.

Dave Says:

Clip: Roger Federer on why “I can’t support it” two-year ranking system

One year ago — in mid March 2011 — this predictive two-year ranking system still considered Federer the best player in the world (even though his ATP rank was No. 2). Nadal was considerd No. 3 (even though his ATP rank was No. 1) and Djokovic considered No. 2 (even though ATP rank No. 3). Whatever two year ranking system was used in March 2011 would have factored Federer’s three slams won and one slam finals between March 2009 to March 2010, even though he did not reach a slam final between March 2010 to March 2011. Would that have been fair to Nadal or Djokovic?

Because of golf’s two year ranking system, Tiger Woods was able to remain the world’s No. 1 golfer until October 30, 2010 despite winning his last major title in June 2008 (US Open) and his last PGA Tour title (BMW Championship in September, 2009). Okay, I lied — after 30 months without winning another title, Tiger finally won his 72nd title — the Arnold Palmer Invitational last Sunday on March 25, 2012. But my point is that Tiger kept his No. 1 ranking even though he was far from the upper echelon of golf.

This Economist Magazine article on the issue has many good points, although it misportrays the issue as Nadal versus Federer, rather than Nadal’s position versus the 10-member ATP Players Council as well as 2,000 ATP players:

The author of the above predictive 2 year ranking system: The Fatal Flaw of Nadal’s Two-Year Ranking System

Dave Says:

Sean: “Dave, “public bomb”? So are you suggesting that Federer, president of the council, had no inkling of Nadal’s resignation until just hours before his match?”

Tell me Sean, do you think Federer had any inkling that Nadal was stabbing him in the back just before the start of the Australian Open? “Australian Open 2012: Rafael Nadal claims Roger Federer cares more about his image than fellow professionals
The illusion of harmony at the top of men’s tennis was shattered when Rafael Nadal tore into his long-time rival, Roger Federer, for caring more about his own image as a “gentleman” than the long-term interests of the game.” Thank goodness Federer had over a day to digest what he read and deal behind the scenes with Nadal’s public bomb. Federer publicly downplayed the issue and Nadal soon backtracked on what he said.

The issue is not whether Federer had no “inkling” of Nadal’s resignation. Federer probably understood where things were with Nadal and had been wasting time trying to reach a compromise with him at the start of Miami.

However, just because Federer is president does not mean that Nadal resigned to him first before going to the media. You simply do not know whether or not Nadal had informed Federer he would resign before the story came out in the news. Since Nadal was not paid for his position, he loses nothing by just walking off the job. Given his childish behavior, this is not inconceivable. It certainly would have been much worse if Federer found out about Nadal’s actual resignation through the news media.

The public bomb I spoke of is that Nadal leaked his resignation to the news media (London Telegraph broke the story just hours before Federer’s match). Whether or not he had informed Federer of his resignation, it was still an extremely unprofessional thing to do. In any business organization that is how it would be viewed. If the president of any 2,000 strong organization had his vice-president resign and then go public with his resignation in such a manner, you can be assured that president is going to be distracted by that issue for at least several hours dealing with the fallout. Several other related isues could have flared up — who knows, maybe Nadal was intigating a small strike or some other rebellion that Roger had to put out.

Ask any friend who is a senior executive/manager of a large company what would happen if his number two executive resigned and leaked his resignation to the news media. Ask him what he would be doing for the next several hours to deal with the fire. I don’t expect mark or dari to be old or experienced enough to understand this.

Sean, did you actually ask me to tally on how long Nadal was off court for that IW toilet break? Or maybe I was in such deep shock that your first response was that it was okay to take a toilet break during changover that I was numb to anything you think you asked me thereafter. Do you really want me to read the rule book again?

Dave Says:

Toiletgate Resolution: Proof Nadal took more than 90 seconds for toilet break during change over within second set. Go to the 1:37 mark of this full match clip of Federer vs Nadal, 2012 Indian Wells. It was approximately 120 seconds between end of last point before changeover and beginning of first point after changeover.

However we try to portray it, it still gave Federer something extra to think about during changeover and he had to walk out to an empty court because Nadal had not yet returned. Does anyone serious think Nadal actually had a proper pee — if he actually peed or even reached the toilet — during those 120 seconds?

Dave Says:

2012 ATP Rule Book
Toilet break rule on page 128

Sean Randall Says:

So Dave, given what you have presented I still fail to see any wrongdoing on Nadal’s part.

Per the rulebook, Nadal is within the rules to LEAVE THE COURT:

“Additional breaks will be authorized, but will be penalized in accordance with the Point Penalty Schedule if the player is not ready within the allowed time.

Toilet Visit
Case: In a best of three (3) set match, a player has used his one toilet visit. The player informs the chair umpire that at the next changeover he would like to take another toilet visit prior to his serving.
Decision: The chair umpire may allow a player to leave the court but must inform the player that any delay beyond the 90 seconds will be penalized in accordance with the Point Penalty Schedule

Agreed? Now he must take care of biz within 90 seconds.

From the video, Rafa left the court at 1:37:20, returned just as the umpire clearly called “time” at about 1:38:50. 90 seconds. Amazing.

So what’s the problem? Where’s the violation? I agree what Nadal did was dubious but it was within the rules. And any other player could have done the same.

As for Nadal’s resignation, just as you cannot provide proof Nadal did this to damage Federer’s chances Monday night (a claim I find laughable), I admit I cannot prove he didn’t. But common sense tells me Federer knew of Nadal’s departure long before he took the court Monday night against Roddick, and likely even before the tournament.

Any headline issues that bring the council together get taken care of during the early part of the event, or pre-event, since players are present. Not in the second week when many players have left. Again, common sense applies.

So Nadal probably informed the players/officials he was stepping down either at Indian Wells or early last week in Miami. Or perhaps even during the Australian Open when word first broke of his dissatisfaction with tour operations and a possible resignation.

Dave Says:

Sean, what you presented was irrelevant so it does not clear Nadal’s violation. This was not Nadal’s “additional” toilet break, therefore your quotes from the rulebook are irrelevant (see rule below). This was Nadal’s first — and only entitled — toilet break for this three set match. Thus this only entitled toilet break is subject to Rule O.1.

Rule O.1 states “toilet breaks should be taken on a set break” (the old rules were amended a few years ago, which had then allowed toilet breaks during changeovers within a set allowing desperate gamesmanship-playing players to abuse the rules by taking toilet breaks at critical moments of their matches). Based on the rules, the umpire should have denied Nadal the toilet break. Based on what Federer had said in a post-match interview during the 2009 Australian Open, Roger was possibly upset that Nadal asked for a toilet break during a changeover within set and the umpire allowed Nadal the toilet break.

Regardless, let’s put aside the issue of whether the toilet break should have been asked by Nadal and allowed by the umpire. According to the second case example in Rule O, the 25-second clock to resume play starts when the chair umpire announced “Time” (which he did at the 90 second or 1 min 30 sec mark). Nadal was required to playing to the reasonable pace of the server Federer. We know that Federer tends to take only about 15 seconds to serve (which the ITF chief umpire Eric Molina stated was more than enough) so Federer should have hit his serve around the 105 second or 1 min 45 second mark. According to Rule M.4.b, the chair umpire must issue a Time Violation before the expiration of the 25 seconds if the receiver’s actions delay the reasonable pace of the server.


The ATP rule states Federer has to hit his first serve after changeover within 90 seconds from the moment the ball went out of play on the last point before the changeover. However Federer was unable to hit his serve until 122 seconds because Nadal

Go to around the 1:37 mark of this full match clip of Federer vs Nadal, 2012 Indian Wells. Start a stop watch such as online-stopwatch.com (or use your computer clock) to count the elapsed time from the moment the ball went out to end the 4-5 game, second set to the moment Federer hit his next serve.

Here’s what happened:
– 10 seconds: Nadal asks umpire permission for toilet break
– 12 seconds to 1 min 20 seconds: Federer occasionally looks annoyed as he thinks to himself “it’s been 7 years since Santoro pulled the old pee trick at 6-0, 5-0 final set. Rafa must be reading Sean Randall’s site again, exonerating him from such acts of blatant desperation. Ugh! When is Rafa going to run out of gamesmanship tricks to pull on me everytime he is losing. Damn it. That’s why I lose to him, cuz I can’t tolerate having to endure these gamesmanship ploys just to win a match. Now I’ll be late for the dinner Sampras owes me for letting him win Macau!”
– 1 min 21 sec: Federer gets up from his chair. Nadal still not on court
– 1 min 30 sec: Umpire calls time (thus starting the 25 second clock), Federer is walking behind baseline to serving position
– 1 min 32 sec: Camera shows Nadal, with racquet in hand, just running back on court
– 1 min 40 sec: Nadal picks up his towel from his court bench, despite already being 10 seconds late.
– 1 min 45 sec: Federer was ready and waiting to serve, bouncing the ball using his racquet edge
– 1 min 51 sec: Nadal towels his arms and face as he is still walking to back of court to give ballboy his towel (after that, Nadal turns and slowly walks toward his receiving position while tugging his shorts)
– 2 min 02 seconds: Federer is finally able to hit his first serve. It was 32 seconds after the 90-second changeover ended and “Time” was called. It was late by 17 seconds that Federer would usually have served (it also exceeded the 25 seconds by 7 seconds, but that’s irrelevant to receiving at “pace of server”).

Agreed? No? Well here are the rules. It’s all clear what’s right, and what’s not.

Page 128, The 2012 ATP Official Rulebook states:

O. Toilet Break
1) A player may be permitted to leave the court for a toilet break. A player is entitled to one (1) toilet break during a best of three set match and two (2) toilet breaks during a best of five set match. Toilet breaks should be taken on a set break and
can be used for no other purpose.

2) Any time a player leaves the court for a toilet break, it is considered one of the authorized breaks regardless of whether or not the opponent has left the court.
3) Any toilet break taken after the warm-up has started is considered one of the authorized breaks. Additional breaks will be authorized, but will be penalized in accordance with the Point Penalty Schedule if the player is not ready within the allowed time.
Toilet Visit
Case: In a best of three (3) set match, a player has used his one toilet visit. The player informs the chair umpire that at the next changeover he would like to take another toilet visit prior to his serving.
Decision: The chair umpire may allow a player to leave the court but must inform the player that any delay beyond the 90 seconds will be penalized in accordance with the Point Penalty Schedule.
Toilet Visit: When Does Play Resume?
Case: After play has been suspended for an authorized toilet visit, when does the “clock” start to resume play?
Decision: When the player returns to the court and has had the opportunity to retrieve his racquet, then the chair umpire should
announce “Time”. This announcement shall signal the players to resume the match.

Page 124 to 125, The 2012 ATP Official Rulebook states:

M. Continuous Play/Delay of Game
Play shall be continuous, except that a maximum of twenty-five (25) seconds may elapse from the moment the ball goes out of play at the end of one point to the time the ball is stuck for the next point. When a changeover ends, ninety (90) seconds may elapse. The procedures for enforcing this rule are as follows:

2) 90 Seconds/Change-Over (Changing Ends)
a) Start Stop Watch. The chair umpire must start the stopwatch the moment the ball goes out of play
b) “Time.” The chair umpire must announce to players “Time” after one (1) minute has elapsed. If requested, prior to the match, by a television broadcaster, the chair umpire shall have the authority to delay the start of play until the end
of the ninety (90) second changeover period.
c) “15 Seconds.” The chair umpire may announce to players “15 Seconds” if the players are still at their chairs and/or have not started toward their playing positions.
d) Time Violation or Code Violation. The chair umpire must assess a Time Violation or, when applicable, a Code Violation (after a medical time-out or treatment) if the ball is not struck for the next point within the ninety (90) seconds allowed, provided there has been no interference which prevented the Server from serving within that time or a delay by the chair umpire.

4) Not Playing to the Reasonable Pace of the Server
a) Start Stop Watch. The chair umpire must start the stopwatch when the player is ordered to play or the moment the ball goes out of play.
b) Time Violation or Code Violation. The chair umpire must assess a Code Violation if the receiver is employing “gamesmanship.” The chair umpire must issue a Time Violation before the expiration of twenty-five (25) seconds if the receiver’s actions delay the reasonable pace of the server.

Steve 27 Says:

Dave Pekinzee is a great comedian. Federer’s defeat was for Nadal resignation. How hilarious is that!

Sean Randall Says:

Geez Dave, forget that Rafa left for a toilet break, instead look it like he just LEFT THE COURT, which he is allowed to do as long as he makes it back in time. Which even you agree that he did.

And the 90 seconds is for the changeover time, not time between last point and next first serve in cases of TV matches.

Irrespective I don’t see anything unreasonable in this case. Chair ump declared “ready to play” and Federer served. So what?

Chair up calls time at 1:38:48, both guys look ready to go at 1:39:13 mark when chair ump tries to quiet crowd. Fed serves at 1:39:20. Problem?


Skeezerweezer Says:

Steve 27,

Wrt Dave and the opinion that Feds defeat had something to do with Rafa I agree with u, but his argument about the toilet break is consistent with Rafa’s disrespect for the rules……you apparently choose what best suits you…..Dave is not going to win every point…but at least he backs it up with good knowledge……you?

Skeezerweezer Says:


Lol at your last post. Think you’ve had enough ;)

Dave Says:

Sean, as for Nadal’s resignation, it is relevant as a mental stressor and distractor. E.g., Nadal’s parent’s breakup in Spring 2009 has been considered a likely factor in Nadal’s performance problems by 2009 French Open and his subsequent withdrawal from Wimbledon (sports doctors and knee surgeons had said that it was possible for Nadal to play a tournament with his claimed injury — quadriceps tendinities — as it was not a serious or career threatening injury). In other words, Nadal was probably so mentally affected by what happened that he needed some time out to clear his mind — even though he was a 23-year old adult. Many people in their 20s tend to have grown up enough not to be that affected by the break up of their parents, though in their 20s they can be mentally affected by what happens at work and in their love relationships.

Anyone who has actually experienced senior management responsibilities in a large organization would understand that the resignation of your right hand man — especially for a 30-year hold who is experiencing these things for the first time — can be a sigificant mental stressor and distractor. Without such organizational experience it is difficult to understand that what Nadal did leaking the information to the news media was highly unprofessional and probably extremely disruptive to Federer’s mental state during the match.

What I find laughable is the repeated use of “common sense” to try to give credibility to poor guesswork.

– Common sense should inform us that it is highly questionable why Nadal’s leak of his resignation occured just before Federer’s match to Roddick. As it is also highly questionable why none of the news media (including the London Telegrapgh that broke the story) failed to question Federer about Nadal’s resignation even though the story broke a few hours before the match (I was first to post the Telegraph story here, which I did before the match)

– Common sense should inform us that people who haven’t experienced much (or any) actual life in large organizations really don’t have the common sense to speculate whether or not Federer knew of Nadal’s departure long before he took the court Monday night against Roddick. After all, common sense and practical judgment comes from real experience in such matters.

– Common sense should inform us that — if Nadal did provide notice of resignation — Nadal simply would have submitted his letter to Federer the council president (professionalism dictates this be done in person, but it is also possible to do it electronically if they didn’t meet). I hope you didn’t think that the entire council is convened in person simply to hear from a council member that he is resigning. If so, I’d be the first to recommend Federer be fired for poor time management for allowing that to happen. Most council communications occur by phone, text or e-mail, at te player’s loung, not always in a formal boardroom as it’s difficult to get everyone together in person, depending on quorum.

– Common sense should inform us that if — as you speculate — Nadal had already resigned at the Australian Open (while Nadal was back stabbing Federer to the news media), during Indian Wells (while Federer was sick) or early last week in Miami (before Federer arrived to start practice)… then it was monumentally unprofessional and classless of Nadal not to wait one more week for Miami to end before leaking the information to the news media.

What I find laughable is that we tend to think in a a linear manner to explain why a player lost a match, instead of considering that several factors are usually at play. Furthermore, the fact that Roddick lost so easily the next day to Juan Monaco suggests that had Federer been just a bit more focused, Roger too could have beaten Roddick even in straight sets (as shown by the second set when he was focused). When a player lacks focus and plays a match that gives his opponnet hope — yes, a former No. 1 like Roddick (who has beaten both Nadal and Djokovic in recent years) is capable of taking his chances and stepping it up.

Sean Randall Says:

Dave mah man, from the sound of it if Roger (Federer) himself called to tell you that Rafa’s resignation had nothing to do with his loss to Roddick, you still wouldn’t believe him, would you?

My goodness.

You are one HARDCORE Federer fan. I tip my cap and salute you.

Dave Says:

Sean, the ‘toilet break rule’ O.1 as well as the ‘not playing to the reasonable pace of the server rule’ M.4.b still apply, not your irrelevant rules that you keep pulling put of your hat.

Nadal cannot just leave the court which you claim “he is allowed to do as long as he makes it back in time.” Which rule allows him to do that? Page 164: “Leaving the Court i) A player shall not leave the court area during a match (including the warm-up) without the permission of the chair umpire or supervisor. ii) Violation of this section shall subject a player to a fine up to $3,000 for each violation. In addition the player may be defaulted and shall be subject to the additional penalties for failure to complete match. (e.g., a player cannot leave the court to put in contact lenses or change his shoes, etc.)

I DID NOT agree that Nadal made it back on time. He should have been ready to play at the server’s pace within 1 minute 45 seconds (at Roger’s usual pace). Nadal was late getting to his returner position and should have been given a time violation.

The Chair ump declaring “ready to play” is totally irrelevant. What is relevant is his declaration of “Time”. Remember, the 25 second clock starts when the umpire declared “Time”! Regardless, Nadal does not have all those 25 seconds, since he is required to play at Federer’s pace — which he clearly did not. In the end, Nadal exceeded not just the server’s pace (by 17 seconds) but also the 25-second clock (by 7 seconds)

The rule on TV matches is not an issue in this context (since the rule simply means the players can only start playing when the full 90 seconds has elapsed from the end of the last point… remember it is Federer serving, not Nadal)

Use a stop watch since the youtube time marker on a long clip is inaccurate. “Chair up calls time at 1:38:48, both guys look ready to go at 1:39:13 mark when chair ump tries to quiet crowd. Fed serves at 1:39:20. Problem?” Or you can just trust my time sequences based on a stop watch.

Of course you wouldn’t see anything unreasonable in this case. And that is why I am sorry but we cannot have you umpire any of our matches. Imagine skeezer and me beating up on Steve27 and Humble Rafa. What happens when Steve 27 asks for a toilet break at matchpoint?

Dave Says:

Sean, when all else fails, downplay the poster using facts, logic and reasonable argument as simply “one HARDCORE Federer fan.” Anyway, I salute and tip my hat to you too for being able to engage in a discussion without getting vicious and overly defensive once the arguments run out. Anyways, good night.

Skeezerweezer Says:

“Imagine skeezer and me beating up on Steve27 and Humble Rafa. What happens when Steve 27 asks for a toilet break at matchpoint?”

Lol Dave…..I will let HR respond to that…ya know he will have somethin bad a$$ to say …..

wrt Sean…he has rarely come out and participated …..so be nice and don’t scare him away…he runs a great site imho ;). I for one enjoyed your 2 ‘s engagement….so ..when is the marriage announcement?(lol)

harsh4 Says:

Dave is indeed a more than hard core Federer fan…nicknamed “federina” by some reader a while back on this forum… The fact that Nadal consistently gets the better of Federer is the prime motivator of their anguish…they will do anything to belittle Nadal…you se they have been brainwashed into believing that Roger Federer is larger than life and the best of the best ever… when this theory comes crashing down (Nadal beating Federer comprehensively at the slams and elsewhere) they feel so violated and abandoned, they will go to any length to call Nadal unworthy of what he works hard to obtain. Oh well…I am an admirer of Federer for his athletic and other abilities as a champion that he is…but this band of blind fans are waste of space really… @Sean, don’t bother reading what these federinas write.. it’s the same old song, the same old whine, the same old cry…trouble is it has lost credibility due to excessive use…oh well…

alison hodge Says:

Ajet thanks very much for that lovely post@ march 29th 6.32pm,and right back at you,to be honest though im scrolling down on many of the haters posts these days,as they are not worth bothering with,all hot air,although i do admit rafa is no angel,and some of his policies leave a lot to be desired,so i dont mind objective critisism,and to be honest even though i do love rafa,im a brit so i would love for muzza to win a slam this year too,as he is my other fav,i just hope for an open and exciting year whatever happens,so sorry about the late reply to your post,as ive only just got up,so sorry if i sound like im rambling on,and i have to say your one of my favourite bloggers on the forum,have a lovely day ajet.

alison hodge Says:

i have to say i do not know the ins and outs,of the rules regarding tennis,so ill leave that to dave,however i do know one or two things about the human body,i work in a care home for the elderly,and the majority of the people are badly incontinent,and are even scared to drink too much for fear of making things worse,so i do know when you have to go you have to go wherever you are and whatever your doing,rafa and all the other tennis players drink alot to keep themselves rehydrated,so it stands to reason they may need to go more,and i cant see any player been able to concentrate on playing tennis with a full bladder,besides trying to hold it in can also cause utis,cystitis and kidney problems in later life,ive seen it happen,and its not very nice,so i would say at least leave the man alone and let him go to the loo when he needs too.

Sean Randall Says:

Dave, I even used a my own stop watch it matches with youtube time. 22 seconds after the chair ump called time both players appeared ready for play (Nadal was done with his towel routine).

Because of crowd noise Roger couldn’t get his first serve off until 32 seconds.

I just don’t see anything unreasonable with the timing, nor did the TV commentators or the press. Dubious play from Rafa, yes. But allowable.

As for the break, Nadal asked permission, permission was granted and he has 90 seconds to return, which he did just as the ump called time.

Again, per the rule you posted, it’s allowable.

(Would you believe I have chair umpired a match involving pros? I really have.)

In regards to Rafa’s resignation, as I said you have no proof, I have no proof. So I won’t engage in that discussion any further.

Tom Gainey Says:

@Sean/@Dave, looking over the transcripts the only player asked so far about Nadal’s resignation was Nadal.

I bring that up because this story (Federer-Nadal council rift) which was at its height during the Australian Open appears to have little press interest right now beyond the actual confirmation from Rafa earlier in the week.

If Rafa wins might the press ask again? Of course the topic may gather some steam when the tour shifts to Europe.

It was also reported BEFORE the Australian that Nadal was considering stepping down (as far back as 13 Jan). When that actually took place is still unclear.

“In a move that would further confirm the splits forming at the top of the men’s game, Rafael Nadal is considering his position as a vice-president of the ATP Player Council and may choose to step down today.”


Steve 27 Says:

“Imagine skeezer and me beating up on Steve27 and Humble Rafa. What happens when Steve 27 asks for a toilet break at matchpoint?”

the sense of American humor as seinfeld is great, but pekinzee, you sense of humor only understand the irrational followers of the Swiss.
What I have to admit is that apart from having a lawyer who defends you, your pragmatism and methodical sense of things is admirable, perhaps you’re not a scientist or engineer? But beware, presumably intelligent people were the most irrational, then, a lot of intelligence is synonymous with being irrational and who only relies on scientific methods, statistics, do not know the true meaning of things, it only supports cuantificabe but not explain what lies behind all these postulates.

Steve 27 Says:

only relies on the quantifiable but not explain what lies behind all these postulates.
I mean.

Dave Says:

alison, that makes two of us as I know one or two things about the human body as well. The reasons an elderly person has polyuria (diabetes, kidney problems, interstitial cystitis, prostate problems, etc) are usually completely different from the reasons a young healthy athlete like Nadal needs to urinate during a tennis match.

Do you know that the rules forbid a player from leaving a tennis court if he has contact lens problems? Same principle should apply to an experienced professional athlete who chooses to drink too much on a cold day (assuming he really needed to pee) — too bad if he can’t “concentrate on playing tennis with a full bladder”. Default the match and that will teach him not to drink so much next time.

Regardless, the fact that Nadal keeps pulling stunts like these at critical moments for so many years — and yet his fans keep making excuses for his repetitive behavior tells a lot. Have you heard the story of the boy who cried wolf? Has there been any other top player who has so consistently for so many years used excuse after excuse at a critical points in a match?

During the 2009 Australian Open, Federer said the following about players who resorted to gamesmanship to interrupt the flow of the matches in order to give thems a chance to win: “When I came out on the tour and I was young, and I — back then the rule was different. You couldn’t — what was it, a toilet break any time you wanted except obviously between the two games you were on the court. So you could basically take it at 6-5 in the third set. So that’s changed. Now you can only take them on set breaks, which I think really works out well now. But then with the trainer, I guess it’s a tough thing. I really felt when I was coming up the young players abused it, especially against a player like me. A little bit unsecure [sic] about finishing matches, you lose a set easy, and then you go to the toilet and call the trainer and strap your ankle. Next thing you know, you’re twenty minutes extra out on the court. Things go through your mind. Then once I got out on center court, you know, I guess I got the respect I deserved. People stop doing it against you. I think that’s nice, in a way. Probably on the outside courts it’s still being abused at times. It’s there to be used, so why not use it to give yourself a better chance to win? You don’t fly to Australia to not give it your best shot. I’m almost in favor to just say, you know what, if you’re not fit enough, just get out of here.”

Dave Says:

harsh4 (March 30th 2:56 am) is indeed a more than hard core Nadal fan…nicknamed “rafawhinywussie” by some reader a while back on this forum… These whinywussies will do anything to belittle Federer fans. you see they have been brainwashed into believing that Rafael Nadal is larger than life and better than Federer. They feel so violated and abandoned by the fact that — since Nadal won his first major title in mid 2005 — Federer has outshone Nadal by
– winning 16 major titles (12 Slams and 4 Year-End Championships) to Nadal’s 10 Slams
– being the World No. 1 player for over 213 weeks to Nadal’s 102 weeks (twice Nadal lost the No. 1 ranking while in his prime)
– being voted Laureus World Sportsman of the Year three consecutive years to Nadal’s only one year
– travelling outside Europe to play away Davis Cup ties while Nadal always skips away ties outside Europe
– beating Nadal 5-2 on all surfaces and conditions betwen 2006 Wimbledon and 2007 World Tour Finals… until mononucleosis and recurring back injury gave Nadal an advantage for 5 matches. Since 2009 Madrid, when Federer beat Nadal on clay in Spain, their H2H has been a close 4-5 even though Nadal has been in his prime.
– demolishing Nadal at last November’s World Tour Finals, winning 67% of total points in an hour (the most-one-sided beatdown among the Big Four players, see link).
– rolling over Nadal at IW, winning 55% of total points (it could have been more lop-sided had Federer not — out of compassion — taken his foot off the gas when serving for the match at 5-2 second set) and drawing a desperate toilet break from Nadal.
– fighting a close match at the Australian Open — Nadal won just 52% of total points in a match that lasted almost 4 hours. As Steve Tignor said recently: “Nadal escaped a hot start from Federer, a tight third-set tiebreaker, and break points while serving for the match on a similar surface in Melbourne”.

As for Steve27, I think we have confirmed that you’re not making a lot of sense. Never did.

Dave Says:

Sean, misintrepreting the rules is one thing, bad counting is another! At 20 to 21 seconds after umpire called “Time”, Nadal was in the back court throwing his towel to the ball boy. It would be a miracle for Nadal to be ready to play one second later at 22 seconds. At the pace Nadal was moving and given his returning rituals it would have taken him another 6 to 9 seconds to move from the backcourt to be ready for play. Go to 1:39:47 of clip…

The crowd was still noisy as Roger started his service motion. Federer didn’t (and doesn’t) care about the crowd noise, he just served once he looked up to make sure Nadal was ready.

Regardless, the rules states Nadal should have been ready to play at the server’s pace, which for Federer should have been about 15 seconds after Time was called by the umpire. (Had Nadal not gone to the toilet, Federer would have started serving at the end of the 90-second changeover — which was when “time” was called).

Rarely have those TV commentators or the news media questioned Nadal’s gamesmanship on court. That doesn’t mean it isn’t wrong or unreasonable.

The rules are clear: taking the entitled toilet break within a set should not have been allowed and Nadal should have been given a time violation for failing to play at the server’s pace after “time” was called.

Federer should know the rules (see quote in my post to alsion above). His understanding of the rules is consistent with my understanding. As president of the player’s council, he would have been privy to explanations of the rules by the ATP and ITF. And has a seven-time recepient of the sportsmanship award, obviously he complies with the rules more often than other players. Thus we would have to pick Federer’s explanation of the rules over yours.

Nadal should not have asked for permission to have his only entitled toilet break within a set. Even worse, the umpire erred in granting permission for the toilet break and erred in not giving Nadal a time violation. The lower ranked players are fed up that top players like Nadal are allowd to bend and break the rules like that, with complicity of the umpires.

The toilet break should not have been allowable.

Sienna Says:

A two year ranking is just a foolish idea. Fed is absolutely right to state it is dull and not interesting.

Fed might just try to be a litle bit more firm on the mandatory master events. They should be able to skip atleast two. 2 out of 8 is still 6 mandatory masters.

So now we can finally talk about rankings…

With Nadal retiring from the tourney in semi how many points does he loos. I guess the difference between Fedal stays about the same. So advantage to Fed after the two North American HC masters.

Up to the clay where the #2 will be even more stretched to remain top 2.

Sean Randall Says:

Dave, In regards to the toilet break I’m going strictly 100% by the rulebook. There is no misinterpretation.

Still, round and round we go…

Since you feel so strongly that players cannot leave the court for a toilet break during a set, why don’t you take it up with the ATP (or ITF) directly. I’m sure they’d love to learn of one of their veteran umpires (Steve Ulrich) in a crucial moment of a match didn’t follow proper protocol and allowed a player to leave the court.

Seriously, do that and report back. If you need an email address or phone # I can find one for you.

tennissports Says:

my opinion, I think Nadal withdrew because he didn’t want to play Djokovic in the finals.

Nadal is the last person to withdraw if he knew he stood a chance at winning. He has lost to Djooker the whole of last year and doesn’t want to continue losing to him again this year. Shame on you Nadal.

Steve 27 Says:

Dave pekinzee sorry of my “bad” English, I’m not am anglophone like you are, but your theories around the swiss defeats are really hilarious. You only have blame excuses and don’t accept that. You are sore loser, you have to accept that!

skeezerweezer Says:

Steve 27,

The match there referring to Fed won. Maybe Dave is a sore winner? ;)

Btw steve, your english has been fine, wish my spanish was a good as your english.

alison hodge Says:

eer too bad if a player cant concentrate on playing tennis with a full bladder,that will teach him not to drink too much during a match WTF,they drink alot to keep themselves rehydrated,they run alot and loose alot and have to replace it especially on the hottest of days,by all means,i know rafas no angel by a long chalk,critisize his mtos,his but picking,the two year ranking,the gamesmanship,even blame rogers defeat by roddick on rafa if you must, whatever,but for crying out loud,let the man go to the bloody loo,in peace for heavens sake.

Steve 27 Says:

yeah, skeezerweezer, but every post from him is disrespectful to Nadal, his hate is only one particular player: the man who has fatherhood over the Swiss. He cant denial that.

Carol Says:

Rafa has talked very clear, HE DOESN’T WANT TO BE ANYMORE ATP vice president player council.
And the ones here that they don’t want to understand what he says it’s because they are stupid or they know to talk just one language and probably not too good

Carol Says:

Sorry but I think there are here many comments worse than mine and with a lack of respect to one of the greatest players of the tennis history. This blog deserves better posters and comments

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