ATP tennis players set to strike

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Updated: September 20, 2011

Strike action could be on the cards for the top players in the tennis world, according to British number one Andy Murray.

Murray claims that the top players are ‘serious’ regarding their demands for changes to the tennis Calender ahead of a players meeting in Shanghai next month to decide their next move.
The news comes in the wake of player upset at overcrowding in the schedule, a complaint which featured heavily at this months US Open.

Both Murray and current world number 2 Rafa Nadal were vocal in their discontent at the US Open schedule of play which saw Nadal reach the final after playing three matches in three days. He then had one day off before playing for four hours against Novak Djokovic.

Murray beleives that strike action is something that both he and his fellow players are willing to consider and it is a subject that will feature in the upcoming meeting in China.
“Let’s hope it doesn’t come to that but I’m sure the players will consider it.”
“We’ll sit down, talk about it with the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) and International Tennis Federation (ITF), see if they will come to a compromise and, if not, we’ll go from there”, said Murray.

Murray firmly believes that scheduling a few less tournaments each year would serve to considerably lessen player worries regarding the schedule.
Last year ATP chief executive Adam Helfant, who has since decided to leave the governing body, announced the Paris Masters and the World Tour Finals would be played back-to-back, in order to save two weeks in the 2012 ATP calender.

However according to Murray, the lenght of time required in order to instigate a change is also a major worry.
“To get another change implemented may take five or six years at the rate things are going and then all of us will be done [retired]. We want it to happen sooner rather than later.”
ITF president Francesco Ricci Bitti said last week that complaints by Nadal over the Davis cup scheduling,which saw the spaniard travelling to spain just four days after the US Open Final for the competition, were “inconsistent”, saying players voted for the current dates, against the ITF’s wishes, back in 2009.

A statement from the ATP added: “The players should and do have a major say in how the game is run. We remain committed to working with the players and other governing bodies to continue to address their issues.”

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