Nadal calls for surface change at World Tour Finals

Discussion in 'Pro Tennis (Mens)' started by scoop, Nov 13, 2015.

  1. scoop

    scoop Futures Player

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2015
    Messages:
    117
    Likes Received:
    72
    Trophy Points:
    28
    http://www.tennis-prose.com/bios/nadal-wants-world-tour-finals-on-clay/

    “I am not sure if it is 100 percent fair that we qualify for the World Tour Finals playing on grass, hard, clay and indoors, and since 2005, when I qualified [for the first time], it is already 11 years that every single time [it has been played] on indoor hard courts,” Rafael Nadal told the Daily Mail.

    Nadal has won 67 career titles, but he has never won the ATP World Tour Finals. Currently ranked No. 5, Nadal reached the final of the World Tour Finals twice – in 2010 and 2013. The hard court in London’s O2 Arena is considered to be a slightly faster surface, conditions that don’t exactly favor Nadal’s game which excels on slower surfaces like clay and grittier hard courts.

    “I believe that it’s not fair that a player like me really never played on a surface that was a little bit more favorable,” said Nadal echoing similar sentiments made by marcelo Rios over a decade ago. “I always played on the worst surface possible for me. If it’s indoor at London, then great, but you can build a different type of surface there. It is a fantastic place to organize a World Tour Finals. The atmosphere is just amazing and I am very happy it is there. I enjoy it every time I have had the chance to be there, but we can play on clay there too.” (Artwork by Andres Bella)
     ------------------Here’s an idea: How about alternate surfaces each year – hard – clay – synthetic grass – har tru – carpet – or have a draw out of a hat at the US Open to decide the surface – that would be fun –
     
     
  2. calitennis127

    calitennis127 Masters Champion

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2015
    Messages:
    534
    Likes Received:
    76
    Trophy Points:
    28
    I must say that I am somewhat puzzled at why everyone is so annoyed with Nadal saying this. It is completely logical and there is nothing offensive about it. I think he is absolutely right that the year-end surface could be mixed up a little bit; there is no logical reason why it must be a low-bouncing, awkward indoor court. And I am saying this largely as someone who would love to see Djokovic have more chances to improve his clay H2H against Nadal.
     
  3. shawnbm

    shawnbm Masters Champion

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2015
    Messages:
    608
    Likes Received:
    135
    Trophy Points:
    43
    I have seen his comments and I understand them.  Even though there was a time way back when tennis was finding itself as an international sport of marquee value (the mid-Seventies) that end of the year invitee only event was played on other surfaces, it has remained a hard court event for decades, almost always indoors.  I think there are two reasons for this evolution over time--first, it is played at a time and in major global cities (New York, London, etc) when winter is coming down and, second, it comes at the end of the fall/winter indoor tennis season.  On top of that, indoor tennis is hard court (the most ubiquitous of surfaces and the surface of more events on the tour than any other) and only the grass season turns out shorter than the indoor season.  So, it would appear this is the way it is going to be for the foreseeable future, as it has been for decades.  The bar is set high for the top players to excel across all surfaces and against all types of players.  When I recall guys like Lendl, Borg and Vilas winning this event on indoor hards, I have a hard time accepting that this is somehow unfair to a player of the Nadal mold.  He has made the finals there but did not prevail.  It is not because it is hard court--he has won 3 majors on hard court and lost a number of hard court major finals--to go along with over something like seven or eight Masters hard court events!  Rafa can play and dominate on any surface; he just has not been able to get it done in London.  It is a tall order to be excellent all throughout the year--it is not easy.  I get his issue with it, but I disagree with changing it about after so much water and history having passed under the bridge, as it were.
     
  4. Denis

    Denis Masters Champion

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2015
    Messages:
    642
    Likes Received:
    129
    Trophy Points:
    43
    It's played on indoor hards cause the GS are played on other surfaces and cause it's the indoor season.

    I can't believe we're going over this again.

    that said I wouldn't mind if they change it up a little and do indoor clay for a change, after Nadal retires of course.
     
  5. Moxie

    Moxie Multiple Major Winner

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2015
    Messages:
    5,163
    Likes Received:
    1,221
    Trophy Points:
    113
    I sort of disagree with your conclusions in a couple of ways:  indoor isn't always HC, for one.  Davis Cup is being played on indoor clay in a couple of weeks time.  This speaks to two points, which are not yours, but general, about this being the indoor HC part of the season, and players switching surfaces:  it is the "indoor HC" part of the season, yes, but those playing Davis Cup (all during the year) are often required to switch surfaces, depending on the choice of the host country.  There is no reason that indoor clay, at least, couldn't be rotated in.  Temporary clay surfaces have been made, though I don't know about temporary grass ones.  And the calendar is not so neatly drawn between surfaces.  There are times when surfaces come back during the year.  (Indoor HC in Rotterdam after the AO, clay after Wimbledon.)  And, while you point out that HC is the most ubiquitous surface in tennis now, it hasn't always been that way, by a long stretch.  IF the WTF is to be considered a huge point in a player's resume, it should change surfaces to even the playing field.  Indoor HC is a very specific surface...low-bouncing, generally, and weather is not involved.  Yes, Rafa has won Majors and MS on HC, including indoors (one, I think,) but that's because he's a great player.  But indoor HC is indisputably his worst surface.  And it is one of Roger's best, as well as Novak's.  Just by closing the roof at Wimbledon, everyone knew it favored Roger.  And Novak is rather known for being affected by the elements.  Whereas Rafa has I think the best outdoor record of them all, if not all-time.  You see where I'm going with favorable circumstances.

    There is also no reason that the WTF has to be played in the winter of the Northern Hemisphere, if they pushed it a week.  It could be played outdoors in Buenos Aires, Rio, Sao Paolo, or South Africa and including on grass there.  Obviously, they have renewed the contract with the O2 in London through 2018, so this is all for the future.  But there is no reason to be so intractable about it being on indoor hards.  That's a failure of imagination, IMO, and rather unfair, as it's always the same surface, and deemed to be such an important tournament.   And it's not like it's the same as a Major.  It's the last 8 men standing, given everything they've done in the year.  In this sense, Rafa is right:  players have competed on 3 or 4 surfaces throughout the year.  Why should the last contest always be on just one, always the same, and one of the rarer?  I don't think any of this will change before it helps Rafa, but I still think it could be changed and rotating.

     
     
  6. Billie

    Billie Nole fan
    Nole's World Moderator

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2015
    Messages:
    3,802
    Likes Received:
    813
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Well I remember DC finals in the last couple of years being played on indoor hard courts.  It's just that this year the hosts decided on clay for their own advantage (as they think) and that is the reason it is being played on clay.   Host country can decide what surface they are going to play their tie, plain and simple.   Most players are at this point used to hard courts as the whole summer and fall tournaments are played on this surface.  Just because 1 player prefers clay, doesn't mean that all other 7 should "suffer" playing on it without any lead up tournaments on this surface.

    And Nadal has a good record in outdoor tournaments because of so many clay wins.  His record in other tournaments played outdoor (especially majors) is not as great.

    Frankly indoor tennis really shows us the tennis skills of players on this surface, they don't have to worry about weather, wind, rain, heat, humidity.
     
  7. Moxie

    Moxie Multiple Major Winner

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2015
    Messages:
    5,163
    Likes Received:
    1,221
    Trophy Points:
    113
    And DC finals have also recently been played on clay:  Spain v. Argentina in 2011.  You're sort of missing the point there.

    No one is saying that other players should "suffer" because one prefers clay for the YEC.  If that is your point, then you are saying that a surface favors some, but not others.  Imagine if the YEC were always played on clay.  Oh..the hew and cry!  The argument is only that the surface should rotate.  Not a terrible idea, nor is it unworkable.

    I don't think you're right that Rafa's outdoor record is merely down to clay, but you can tell me if I'm wrong.  (Do the research.)  But he does have a better record outdoors than Nole and Roger:  (Rafa:  692-125 = .847; Nole: 561-111 = .835; Roger: 795-174 = .820.)

    And you're just wrong about the notion that indoor tennis shows their skills without the effects of weather.  That's not the only quotient.  Indoor courts play differently, so, in and of themselves, they are a different experience.  Which makes another argument for the YEC to be played in some rotating different venue:  Indoor tennis is rare, compared to outdoor.
     
  8. EdbergsGhost

    EdbergsGhost Masters Champion

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2015
    Messages:
    729
    Likes Received:
    154
    Trophy Points:
    43
    In the 45 year history of the Year End Championships, only three times has it ever been held outdoors - 1974 on grass in Australia and 2003-2004 on cement in Houston. Forty-two years it has been played indoors, either on carpet or cement. If there is to be any kind of change to the surface, they should try going back to carpet.   :good:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ATP_World_Tour_Finals
     
  9. Moxie

    Moxie Multiple Major Winner

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2015
    Messages:
    5,163
    Likes Received:
    1,221
    Trophy Points:
    113
    I don't see why 'just because they always have done' addresses the discussion, or means it isn't small-minded and wrong.  There is no more carpet, (thank god) so forget that.  And there are more options than just London and indoors, as I have stated previously.  The YEC is a relative newcomer to the realm of important tournaments, and it has, therefore, flexibility.
     
  10. brokenshoelace

    brokenshoelace Masters Champion

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2015
    Messages:
    955
    Likes Received:
    271
    Trophy Points:
    63
    It depends on perspective and how you see things: If you see the WTF as the culmination of the indoor season, then it makes sense to be played indoors. If you view it as the culmination of the tennis season (which is a valid view, since players are qualifying to that tournament by playing on all surfaces), then it makes sense to switch the surface up every now and then.
     
  11. britbox

    britbox Multiple Major Winner

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2015
    Messages:
    13,592
    Likes Received:
    2,315
    Trophy Points:
    113
    It was pretty big in MSG days?

    Part of the reason it lost prestige was they kept moving it around (in my opinion).  I'd like to see it stay in the same place and it makes sense to play it on indoor hardcourts IMO due to the time of year.

    But, despite being a Brit, I don't think London was a great choice.  They should have put it in South America. It would strengthen the global nature of the sport and I don't think a tournament this size should be held in a city already hosting a grand slam event.
     
  12. ClayDeath

    ClayDeath Major Winner

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2015
    Messages:
    1,518
    Likes Received:
    227
    Trophy Points:
    63
    truth be told London has been a success for this event.

    that being said Rafa is just talking to be talking or just offering options for the future just for kicks.

    he is not going to win this on any surface now anyway. he could not win this when he dominated the sport so how the hell can he do it now.

    go work on your game and your fitness Rafa. and set some concrete goals for clay next year.
     
  13. britbox

    britbox Multiple Major Winner

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2015
    Messages:
    13,592
    Likes Received:
    2,315
    Trophy Points:
    113
    London is a good venue and the event is a success, but I'm looking at the global appeal of the sport.  I think they should have taken it to another corner of the globe and kept it there.... I don't actually want it moving around - it needs stability and to develop it's own history and "image".  So the next time they move it, it should be for the long term not on a short 3 year contract.  If London gets it long term then that's fine but I think they missed a beat to bring something substantial to the South American market.
     
  14. ClayDeath

    ClayDeath Major Winner

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2015
    Messages:
    1,518
    Likes Received:
    227
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Excellent post.
     
  15. amicitia81

    amicitia81 Junior Member

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2015
    Messages:
    25
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Nadal insists on changing the surface of the Masters. Read the article from

    http://tennismem.com/editorial/2015/11/14/la-superficie-del-masters-otra-vez-a-debate-2/
     
  16. amicitia81

    amicitia81 Junior Member

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2015
    Messages:
    25
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
Loading...

Share This Page