ATP to rethink schedule to avoid player burnout

London: The governing body for men`s tennis is seeking a "meaningful way" to shorten the season and protect players from burnout and injury after world number one Rafa Nadal reissued a plea for the ATP calendar to be revised.

A tired-looking Nadal crashed out of the Shanghai Masters quarter finals on Thursday, just hours after the Spaniard had reaffirmed his view that the season was too long.

"We are taking a good, hard look at our calendar to see if there is a meaningful way to lengthen the off-season that would allow players more time for rest, fitness and working on their game," an ATP spokeswoman said in a statement on Friday.

"The issue of season length has been around for a long time and there is no quick fix, but we are committed to giving it real consideration.”

"The health and well being of players is a tour-wide issue -- preserving and extending the playing careers of our top players is critical for the long-term good of the sport," she added.

Several top players are behind the appeal for a tour overhaul including world number two Novak Djokovic, who sits with Nadal on the Players` Council.

The ATP is to finalise its proposed calendars for the 2012 and 2013 seasons at a series of board meetings in London during the World Tour Finals in November, but there will be no changes to next year`s schedule.

"The 2011 calendar has already been approved and is essentially the same as this year," the official added.

Bureau Report

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