Nadal, Djokovic call for new rankings system

May 14th, 2009 - 3:08 pm ICT by IANS  

Rafael Nadal Madrid, May 14 (DPA) Rafael Nadal Wednesday called for the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) ranking to be calculated over two years instead of the current 12-months rolling to save the overworked players from burnout.
The world number one is competing at the Madrid Masters for the fourth week on clay out of the last five. Should he lift the title, he would have a handful of days to rest before travelling to Paris before the French Open starts a week from Sunday.

“I’ve been saying for some time now that for me, it would be better to have a two-year ranking system - it would be better for the players,” said the Spaniard who has won three titles from his last three events (Monte Carlo, Barcelona and Rome).

“Today it is mandatory to play every week and everywhere you are defending and if you lose you lose lots of points, especially in my case. It affects everyone and not just the high-ranked player but any player in the top 100.

“A two-year ranking would be much favoured and will give players some peace of mind. It would also help extend their career,” he said.

The top seed got the backing of Novak Djokovic, who Monday dropped a place to fourth position in the world.

The Serb who won the Belgrade title at the weekend said he’s fired up to get his place back - and more.

“It really motivates me even more to get back to the third spot or even go a step further. I try not to pay too much attention to the rankings, but to be realistic, playing three Masters Series finals in a row (Miami, Monte Carlo, Rome) and winning a 250 event (Belgrade) is incredible success - even if you are dropping a spot down in the rankings.

“That shows how cruel the ranking system is in this sport.”

Djokovic said players just have to get on with the job, hoping that injuries don’t strike them down.

His slip on wet clay during his Wednesday win over Spain’s Oscar Hernandez was the perfect example. “I guess I was lucky that I fell in the right way and it wasn’t a major injury,” said the player who turns 22 next week.

“You just try to play your best tennis. But because of the ranking system a lot of players are dropping in that pressure zone as they have to defend the points each year. It’s not really the best system possible.

“If you defend titles each year you basically don’t gain anything.”

“Federer has been winning or Nadal has been winning four or five Grand Slams in a row and they haven’t won a single point. I think this is an issue we have to talk about.”

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