A very successful 2013 season ended two Mondays ago for Rafael Nadal, but reading this site, you wouldn’t know it. Rafa’s been anything but in restful, relaxing, recovery mode.
Nadal has long been among the outspoken leaders complaining that the tennis calender is just too long.
Now with the season done and dusted, the same top stars including Nadal who belly-ached, continue to travel the globe, putting their body at risk all for the mighty buck.
The dirty secret is, it’s easier and more beneficial for the bank account to play a couple matches in South America than say playing the Paris Masters. And the top stars know it.
Since losing to Novak Djokovic in the ATP Finals, Nadal, his troublesome knees and likely his accountant have been very busy.
Nadal went to Necker Island for a Richard Branson exo. $$$.
Nadal played a match against David Ferrer in Peru. $$$.
Nadal just played Djokovic on Wednesday, Nalbandian Thursday, hit on a glacier yesterday and will play Djokovic against tomorrow. $$$ $$$ $$$ $$$.
That’s six different stops in about 10 days, and who knows what else I missed.
Eventually, Nadal said in London, two weeks after his last official match Nadal will finally return home to Mallorca on Tuesday. Then, and maybe only then, might the season be over. But for someone who wished for (and got) a shorter season, why is he still on the court? I know he’s not playing at 100%, but why?
Now I’m not here to singularly bash Nadal. His partner in crime this week, Djokovic, also supported the shortening of the season, yet after a extremely taxing fall the man with the 24-match win streak plays on.
Roger Federer has been a vocal critic of a longer off season, still last year the Swiss cashed in on a lucrative South American trip.
Even Andy Murray, who missed the last couple months due to back surgery, was scheduled to make some extra dough at an event in the Barbados next week before its cancellation.
And other players have also hit the money circuit, er courts, rather than rest and heal like they say they needed to do.
To further pound it home, when the season does kick-off at the end of December, look who’ll be among those picking up the pesos at the Abu Dhabi exo: Nadal, Djokovic and Murray! Yup, some of the same guys who claim they don’t want to play more events are playing events that are not even part of the tour.
So are we really to believe these players when they say they want to the season to be shortened so they can rest at home and heal their tired, aching bodies?
The only thing a short season breeds is a longer, more lucrative “silly season”. And this year, some players are just sillier than ever. Cha-ching.
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