Roger Federer Blames Age For Rise In Player Injuries, Not Scheduling - UBITENNIS
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Roger Federer Blames Age For Rise In Player Injuries, Not Scheduling

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LONDON: World No.2 Roger Federer has hit back at critics of the current ATP Tour calendar, arguing that the surge in injured players is due to age.

 

The 36-year-old weighed in on the debate moments after qualifying for the semifinals of the ATP World Tour Finals for the 14th time in his career. This year’s event has been marred by notable absentees. Defending champion Andy Murray is nursing a hip injury, Novak Djokovic is recovering from an elbow problem and Kei Nishikori has been troubled by his wrist. On top of that, world No.1 Rafael Nadal withdrew from the tournament on Monday due to a knee injury.

“Shave 10 years of our age, and we probably will do better.” Federer joked about resolving the extensive casualty list.

The men’s tour has previously been criticized for their long season, with tournaments taking place between January-November. Former Wimbledon finalist Milos Raonic, who also ended his season early due to physical problems, has been very vocal in his opposition. Calling for the calendar to be reduced to seven months.

Raonic’s calls have been met with scepticism from tour veteran Federer, who points out that more players are playing into their 30s. Meaning that injury is more likely to occur. In the 2016 ATP year-end rankings, 36 players inside the top 100 were over the age of 30. Furthermore, 12 of those were either at or tied with their ranking best.

“A lot of the guys are just touching 30 plus. Back in the day, at 30, a lot of guys were retiring. Edberg, Sampras, it was like normal at 29, 32, to start looking towards the end of your career.” Federer pointed out.
“Now you guys expect everybody to play till 36. When somebody is injured at 31, it’s like, ‘Oh, my God, how is this possible?’”

Of course people like 26-year-old Raonic disproves Federer’s theory. Although, he explains why so many younger players are being hit with wrist injuries. Once again insisting that it isn’t due to the scheduling of tournaments.

“Wrist to me is not something that comes from overplaying, especially if it’s your left hand.” Said Federer. “ From what I’ve been told, the wrist is always in a troubled position with that flicking that’s going on more and more these days.”

So what is the solution to the problem? Should tennis fans just accept that in the future more players will be spending time away from the sport to recover? Federer has an answer to that, illustrated by his own approach to the tour. His decision to skip the entire clay-court season raised eyebrows, but it enabled him to return stronger. An approach he urges his rivals to follow.

“The season has been the same for many, many years, as we know.” He explained.
“I think just when you get older, you maybe have to manage your schedule, maybe a little bit differently.’
“But some guys, they just go maybe all out for 15 years, and they do it until you sort of break down, then they just reset.”

List of injured players

PLAYER INJURY AGE
Rafael Nadal Knee 31
Stan Wawrinka knee 32
Novak Djokovic Elbow 30
Andy Murray Hip 30
Tomas Berdych Back 32
Kei Nishikori Wrist 27
Milos Raonic Various 26

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Kei Nishikori Confirms Safety Amid Hurricane Ian, Sets Out End of Year Plans

Kei Nishikori is set to return to tennis in November.

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Kei Nishikori (@WSOpen - Twitter)

Former US Open finalist Kei Nishikori has confirmed that he and his family are safe as Hurricane Ian continues to cause destruction in America.

 

Nishikori lives and is based in Florida, where Hurricane Ian is doing most of its destruction at the moment.

So far at least two million people are without power with a handful of people losing their life due to the hurricane.

Some of Nishikori’s fans were concerned about his safety but the former top ten player confirmed that he and his family are safe, “Hi everyone, just a quick note to say my family and I are safe,” Nishikori confirmed on social media.

“Thank you for all the messages. It was a scary day and hope things will be back to normal as soon as possible. My thoughts are with all the people facing the results of the storm. I hope everyone stays safe.”

It’s pleasing to hear Nishikori is safe as the storm continues to cause destruction on many people’s livelihoods in the US.

Speaking of Nishikori, the Japanese star has been fairly muted on the court with him not playing a single event this season.

Injuries have been the story of Nishikori’s career and it looks as if that trend has continued in 2022.

However Nishikori could be expected to make his return to the tour in November on the Challenger tour.

That’s because Nishikori has been confirmed to compete in the Calgary and Drummondville challenger events.

The two events take place between the 6th and the 20th of November with Nishikori looking to gain some match time ahead of next year’s Australian Open.

Tournament directors Alain Calle and Danny Da Costa had this to say on Nishikori’s participation, “We’re thrilled to have Kei at our tournaments,” they jointly said in a press release.

“He’s been one of the most prolific players on the Tour since the start of his career, and even though he’s coming back from a major injury, he remains a very talented player. We’re looking forward to seeing him play again in Canada, and there’s no doubt our fans will be, too.”

The events will be Nishikori’s first since Indian Wells in 2021 where he lost to Dan Evans in the second round.

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Novak Djokovic Praises ‘Passionate’ Tel-Aviv Crowd Ahead Of Quarter-Finals

Novak Djokovic is into the quarter-finals in Tel-Aviv and will play Vasek Pospisil on Friday.

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Novak Djokovic (@DjokerNole - Twitter)

Novak Djokovic spoke about the crowd in Tel-Aviv ahead of his last eight showdown with Vasek Pospisil.

 

The Wimbledon champion progressed to the quarter-finals in Tel-Aviv with a dominant display over Pablo Andujar.

Djokovic dropped only three games as he returned to imperious form as he looks to boost his ranking over the coming weeks.

Speaking after the match Djokovic spoke about the ‘passionate’ crowd in Tel-Aviv and how it boosted his performance, “Fantastic atmosphere here tonight, thank you very much,” Djokovic said in his on-court atmosphere.

“I like the court, it’s very intimate and it’s very loud. The crowd here is very passionate about the sport, about tennis and I’m really, really happy to be here and to perform here in front of you, so thank you for your support.”

Djokovic’s last appearance in Tel-Aviv came as a teenager in 2006 when he played a Davis Cup tie.

Now 16 years later, Djokovic is relishing the occasion playing in Israel again as he looks to make up significant ground on the world’s top ranked players.

Djokovic will now play good friend Vasek Pospisil in the last eight with the Serb leading the head-to-head 5-0.

Here are the other quarter-finals that will take place on Friday in Tel-Aviv:

Arthur Rinderknech v Roman Safiullin

Constant Lestienne v Maxime Cressy

Liam Broady v Marin Cilic

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Iga Swiatek Annoyed By Scheduling Dilemma Ahead Of Season Finale

Iga Swiatek has admitted it’s unlikely that she will play the Billie Jean King Cup Finals after a scheduling dilemma.

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(@thenet_m - Twitter)

World number one Iga Swiatek admits she is annoyed by facing a scheduling dilemma ahead of the end of the season.

 

Swiatek has dominated the 2022 season having won two Grand Slam titles and five other titles this season.

This means she has qualified for the WTA Finals which will take place on the 31st of October in Texas.

However Swiatek is now becoming the victim of her own success as she now faces a dilemma over whether to represent Poland at the Billie Jean King Finals.

The BJK Cup Finals, take place the week after in Glasgow where Poland will face the Czech Republic and the USA in their Group.

Speaking to Polish media Swiatek admitted she is unsure whether she will compete in Scotland and criticised the WTA for their lack of organization over the events, “I am dissatisfied, although I know that arranging everything is complicated,” Swiatek was quoted by Give Me Sport Women as saying.

Certainly, the fact that the WTA and ITF federations in a sense did not cooperate to facilitate our task is irritating to me. I will definitely take steps to let them know about my dissatisfaction.

“I don’t understand the scheduling. I’m not gonna lie that I’m happy about the fact that if I go deep in [the] Finals, I will have to not only play tired but also jetlagged the next day. So I can’t confirm whether I’ll represent Poland or not. I’m sorry.”

Swiatek’s father, Tomasz, backed up his daughter’s criticism and wishes for more communication between the WTA and players in the future, “It’s an extremely unfortunate deal,” he said.

“And yet we have a very difficult group for that in the BJK Cup. The dates of both events are missed. There is a clash between the ITF (organisers of the BJK Cup) and the WTA (organisers of the WTA Finals). Instead of taking care of the development of women’s tennis, they cannot communicate.”

So far both Swiatek and Ons Jabeur have qualified for the WTA Finals with Coco Gauff and Jessica Pegula expected to join them.

Caroline Garcia, Aryna Sabalenka, Daria Kasatkina and Simona hold the other four spots with just weeks left of the season.

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