ATP may shorten tour by 2-3 weeks in 2012

The ATP Tour may shorten its 11-month season by two or three

weeks in 2012 to give players more rest and help them avoid

injuries and burnout.

”We are taking a good, hard look at our calendar to see if

there is a meaningful way to lengthen the offseason that would

allow players more time for rest, fitness and working on their

game,” spokeswoman Kate Gordon said Friday.

The ATP board of directors will meet during the ATP Tour World

Finals in London next month to vote on schedules for the 2012 and

2013 seasons. Some of the proposals being considered would shorten

the calendar by two or three weeks.

”The issue of season length has been around for a long time and

there is no quick fix, but we are committed to giving it real

consideration,” Gordon said.

The top players have advocated for a shorter tournament calendar

for years.

Top-ranked Rafael Nadal, who admitted being tired this week

after playing three tournaments in a row and 16 overall this year,

has suggested allowing the top players to stop playing after the

final top-tier Masters events in the fall and forgo late-season

smaller tournaments without having to worry about giving up ranking


”The perfect schedule is if you have the chance to play and you

have the chance not to play,” he said at the Shanghai Masters this


Andy Roddick also wants a longer offseason for players.

”I’ve been pretty upfront with saying I think (the schedule) is

too long,” he said in Shanghai. ”I think, luckily, our voices

seem to be getting to the point where they’re being heard.”

Roger Federer, playing his 14th event of the year in Shanghai,

also supported a shorter tour. But he realizes the top players were

in a better position to pick and choose their tournaments than

others who are chasing money and higher rankings.

”It’s a smart idea to cut the calendar short without hurting

too many tournaments, and I hope that we can reach a good agreement

there,” he said.

”I don’t remember the year finishing so late ever. But it’s

what it is. I think if the season is long, you have more breaks in

the season than you do normally, if you’re smart about it. If you

ran after points and tournaments, it’s normal that the season

becomes endless.

”I can live with either one. I think if you’re injured for a

period of time, you can get some points down the stretch and your

ranking is not going to drop like a stone.”