ATP CEO Kermode Admits Players Are At A Disadvantage If They Finish Late
by Tom Gainey | May 7th, 2015, 11:47 am

After the second late finish by a Big Four player this season, ATP CEO Chris Kermode says the tour will look at making changes.

In February, Rafael Nadal didn’t finish his match until 3:18am in the Rio quarterfinals. A weary Rafa returned later that evening only to lose in the semifinals to Fabio Fognini in three sets.

Yesterday, Andy Murray didn’t finish his second round match against Philipp Kohlschreiber until 3:00am in Madrid.

The Daily Mail had this statement on the issue from Kermode:

‘There are a number of challenges inherent with match scheduling at tennis events, with multiple interests at stake across players, promoters, ticket holders, TV broadcasters and media,’ he said.

‘The scheduling issues in Madrid were unfortunate, with players going on-court past 1am at a disadvantage for the following day’s matches.

‘It is critical that the interests of both players and tournaments are protected in a balanced manner on the Tour moving forward. While such instances are rare, we will look at reducing the risk of similar instances occurring in the future.’

The schedule yesterday featured six matches on stadium court starting from 11am. Miami and Indian Wells, both of which have night sessions, follow similar early round schedules, milking every dollar they can from extra sessions. But that can backfire. On Wednesday, four of the five matches prior to Murray went three sets, with three of those going to the maximum third set tiebreaker. And Murray’s match didn’t begin until 1:12am, a minute shy of Nadal’s 1:13am start.

Without tickets, without TV, Murray-Kohlschreiber could have been moved to another court. But the tournament would have come under fire from paying fans and broadcasters. So the players take the fall.

Bad luck or not, Murray now has just 16 hours to quickly regroup for his 7pm third round against Marcel Granollers later today.

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18 Comments for ATP CEO Kermode Admits Players Are At A Disadvantage If They Finish Late

Margot Says:

Amelie has tweeted that she asked the organisers to change the court and they refused.

jane Says:

what a lightning rod admission! lol.

M Says:

@Margot – that wouldn’t be the first time.

At the … I think it was the 2013 US Open, there was a storm coming and Muzz was taking forever to beat Tomasz Berdych (I was there) and the organizers wouldn’t put Novak & Ferru’s semi on Armstrong, preferring to make fans wait, stop it in the middle, and then have to resume the next day.

@jane – that did kind of shock me. I mean, the thing is, if they move some matches to the next day it’s going to disadvantage some other players. What are the options that are fair to everyone …?

KatH Says:

If you want a fair contest you provide fair conditions – no brainer.

jane Says:

m, part of the problem is planning for contingencies like this: what if there is inclement weather; what if all the matches go the full 3 sets; etc. they need to start matches early, with plenty of extra time built in.

otherwise, it’s this:

“Without tickets, without TV, Murray-Kohlschreiber could have been moved to another court. But the tournament would have come under fire from paying fans and broadcasters. So the players take the fall.”

with the us open, i think you mean 2012. it ended up, because of that weather, by the time novak and ferru played – the second match – a tornado was approaching and the stands had to be evacuated! novak ended up playing 3 or 4 days in a row or something.

the us open has notoriously bad scheduling, taking 3 days to get through the first round and then cramming so much into super saturdays. hence all the monday finals for years.

tournament organizers need more apt contingency plans, so players don’t end up getting the short end of the stick. even the us open can’t benefit from having monday p.m finals as opposed to sunday ones.

RZ Says:

TV is the problem. Tickets really aren’t an issue. Move the guys to another court, and let ticketholders decide which court they want to be on. A few die-hard fans would be upset about the change and willing to stay up until 3am, but most would probably be okay with it as long as they had the option of watching the moved match. When you consider that all except last minute ticket buyers don’t know who they will be seeing when they buy the tix, I don’t see this as an issue. But TV negotiations are definitely a problem is this scenario.

KatH Says:

The organisers don’t gain anything by making absurd decisions – you could have counted the number of spectators at the Murray-Kohl match – no way was TV going to concentrate on that. My feeling is that the top seeds normally have a voice – but the top seed was defeated and even the Spanish top seed (which one can understand the slide towards favouritism given he is the Clay King)- so you are left with the top seed of the tournament (Andy) should have been given a choice) – evidently Amelie asked. What bugs me is one rule for one and another rule for another – nothing to do with TV coverage at 1.00am in the morning.

Colin Says:

Andy recovered sufficiently to see off Granollers 6-2, 6-0. Murray was unusually subdued tonight, with hardly any shouting and gesticulating. I think he was just too damn tired to do it!

M Says:

That’s the second bagel Muzz has dished in as many days.

And Amelie just sitting there, scouting Milos, preggers & texting, LOL.

Got to admit, I’m kind of scared of that team; they’re being a machine right now.

Colin Says:

Andy will probably still be tired when he plays Raonic, and remember the Canadian leads him head-to-head. If Milos gets that serve going, Andy may not be fresh enough to keep getting it back. I’m not optimistic.

Margot Says:

Gr8 image ta! :)
Be afraid…be very afraid ;)

Wog Boy Says:

Since we have some over sensitive Roger fans on the other thread I’ll post this here on neutral thread for Nole fans, he is already in Rome practicing:

skeezer Says:

^lol sensitive much? You are creating this false sensitivity, not a “Fed Fan”. Maybe the one who is posting about it is the one who is sensitive, no?

Wog Boy Says:

Can you stop stocking me from thread to thread, what is your problem, don’t you have anything else to do, I didn’t mention your name, if you recognized yourself in my post that is not my problem, chill out dude.

Wog Boy Says:

^^ “stalking”

skeezer Says:

“Since we have some over sensitive Roger fans on the other thread ”
I am not fooled, who is stalking whom? I read the “other” thread you vacated.
Therein is my point ……”sensitive”.
There is no stalking. Provoking invites response and a fair opinion back. Don’t like it? Quit trash talkin Fed for worthless reason and keep praisin your idol.
“Nole is great and way better than Fed will ever be. He is clearly a “superior” being.”

Wog Boy Says:

I told you chill out, just think about #17, take a deep breath, pray to St Roger and you will be right, now repeat what I said.

Giles Says:

I don’t believe the media complained when Rafa played till 4am in Rio earlier this year. Why now?? Anyway let’s hope the organisers of all the tourneys make sure there isn’t a repetition of this debacle. I don’t know what the solution is but then again it is for them to work it out. I think the mixed events in some instances are to blame.

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