Somebody who is running the tour should think [a] little bit about what’s going on. Too many people getting injured. Rafael Nadal
Too much pressure?
By Roger Childs
Nadal is one of the greatest sportsmen of the 21st century. He’s currently ranked number one for men’s tennis in the world, but last night had to retire from the Australian Open with an injury.
Despite the best efforts of medical staff, Nadal was not able to continue in the fifth set of his epic quarter final against Marin Cilic.
After the match he made some thoughtful comments about pressure and injuries.
The health of players
Rafa is a player who is greatly admired in the sport. On court he is all focus and puts his body on the line. He is one of the greatest retrievers the game has ever seen, but inevitably tearing backwards and forwards across the baseline takes its toll.
It is easy to forget that the men and women who make the grand slam finals will play seven matches in the tournament.
For the ladies every match is just the best of three sets, but the men may play a number of five set encounters on the hard surfaces.
Nadal commented last night:
I don’t know if they have to think a little bit about the health of the players. Not for now that we are playing, but there is life after tennis. I don’t know if we keep playing in this very, very hard surfaces what’s going to happen in the future with our lives.
Best of three sets?
Maybe one suggestion, which would reduce the pressure, would be to make the men’s grand slam matches the best of three, like the women.
Many of the men’s tournaments during the year have this pattern.
It would mean the end of the phrase five set thriller, however surely the crowds, commentators and media could accept this, in the interests of player health.