Oz Open champ Nadal calls for shorter ATP Tour season

February 2nd, 2009 - 1:48 pm ICT by ANI  

Rafael Nadal

Melbourne, Feb.2 (ANI): Spaniard Rafael Nadal is using his Australian Open triumph to call for a shorter ATP Tour season.
Expressing major concerns for player welfare and the tour itself, the Sydney Morning Herald quoted Nadal as saying on Monday: “I worry about the tour more than I worry about myself because the life after tennis continues.”
“This calendar I am playing with this surface - hardcourt surface - is tougher than grass or clay for the body, and all the time we are playing more on this surface. In my humble opinion, we have to change that a bit more, Nadal said.
“I can say that because I won a grand slam on hard (court). 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. It’’s not possible to have a lot of injuries on tour like this. So, we have to try to change something, he added.
For the Spaniard, quality of life after his tennis career is all-important.
“I love football - I can”t play football right now because I am playing (tennis) - but I would love to play football with my friends later when I finish,” said Nadal, whose uncle Miguel Angel Nadal was a star for Barcelona and Spain.
“I would love to continue playing tennis and to do what I want. But if we continue to play this (many tournaments), later maybe it’’s going to be tough to practise sports,” said Nadal, the holder of three of the sport’’s four grand slam trophies, after adding the Australian Open title to his French Open and Wimbledon successes of last season.
He also won the Olympic gold medal in Beijing and finished 2008 with a tour-best 46-10 record on hard courts. (ANI)

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