Sometimes it's amazing what comes out of people's mouths.
Murray attracts praise in defeat
Jean-Francois Caujolle, tournament director of the BNP Paribas Masters, singled out Andy Murray for special praise at his end-of-event review and disclosed that next year there could be a dramatic change to the format in Paris. There is a powerful case, Caujolle believes, for the tournament to become a 32 rather than 48 man draw - "for it is quite normal that the draws become progressively smaller in order to arrive towards the Masters where there are only eight players."
He said Murray had been a victim of the current numbers and the consequent pressure it places on scheduling with only one court at the Palais Omnisport of a standard required for an event of this prestige. "[Murray] ended one match on Wednesday at 1.45am and there had been a real problem with the scheduling that day because we had six matches to play on he Centre Court," Caujolle said. The problem had been exacerbated by Marat Safin's three set loss to Juan Martin Del Potro, after which there was an extended retirement celebration for the Russian that put another spanner in the works.
"The next day Murray had to play on Court No 1 (against Radek Stepanek) and sincerely I believe he would not have lost that match if it had been on the Centre. He was a victim of those problems we have with a tournament with 48 players. He was extremely decent and said nothing about it. He just said the other player was better than him."
Caujolle revealed that his plans for a reduction in draw size would be put to the ATP Board next week. He also declared that an ATP 250 tournament would be scheduled in the same week as Paris next year - "so we are not only guaranteeing the existing jobs of the players but creating new ones," he said. "I trust it will be possible."
To make a long story short the TD is saying that his facility is not up to the standards of an ATP 1000 event. Interesting. Will the event be moved somewhere else? And what is the purpose of the proposed ATP250 event to be held during the same week? Is that to make the guys who don't make the cut for Bercy feel better? Are we seeing the ATP go the way of the WTA and splitting their tour in two?
Film at 11 folks.
Of course I'm using the term "Journalist" loosely...
The Shame of American tennis journalists continues. During his post match presser after his loss to Radek Stepanek Andy Murray mentioned that there will be over 200 journalists attending WTF. What he didn't mention is that none of them, not one, will be American. What the hell is up with that?
(Andy)Murray made a point of mentioning in the press conference after his defeat to Stepanek that he had heard there would be 200 journalists attending the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals at the O2 Arena. That is a pretty formidable level of media interest but the Net Post hears that not one of those writers is coming from the United States; whether Andy Roddick comes or not. It is quite some dark moment in tennis-writing history that not a single member from America will make the trip, and this from the richest nation in the tennis world. Truly terrible news.
The link is the same one posted above.
Since applications for credentials have to be in a month or two before the tournament I'm not sure Andy Roddick's injury should be used as an excuse here. I mean this is the end of year Championships for the ATP, the sport that these guys spend time covering for us. I can understand bloggers not being sponsored but ESPN, Sports Illustrated, the New York Times, among others, have been giving tennis a lot of coverage lately so I find it amazing that not one credentialed journalist will be coming from here.
The Davis Cup final will be played December 4-6 between Spain and the Czech Republic. I don't think I have to speculate about what the coverage will be on this side of the pond.
The exhibition season will be underway shortly for both the men and the women. I won't be posting as often but I do plan to do my "Coaches of the Year", best matches of the ATP and best matches of the WTA. I'm also going to a "Tennis Year In Review". This was one of the most bizarre years in recent memory.