What’s going on with the ATP?!

If I remember correctly the ATP calendar for the 2009 season will be ready when the Hamburg lawsuit is settled. I’m an amateur blogger, so don’t turn my info into official info, but I think that it will be settled this week. I would never have thought that the ATP would delay the calendar and the information about the upcoming season SO much. If the 2009 changes are as big as said to be, then it must be a problem for all the tournaments who have yet to receive a finalized schedule for next year. I assume most people involved know when they will host a tournament, but what if changes occur in the last minute?! Must be a freakin’ headache for all involved.

Why haven’t they at least gone into more detail what will happen with the ranking points, the race points, the layout in terms of rules and new regulations on play and particiaption. I know there’s a lot of new stuff for the 09 season, and the few things already mentioned have indicated that we haven’t gotten the spicy details for the coming season.

So we have the 9, not 8, masters series. Last time I checked Monte Carlo was also supposed to be eliminated from the 1000s series. That didn’t happen and is now part of the 9 masters tournaments, just like today. Hamburg’s execution will be determined shortly and Shanghai will switch places with London as host of the the ATP WTF. Don’t blame me for the WTF, it stands for World Tour Finals. Why they had to change it, I will never know. It says that Monte Carlo will NOT be mandatory for the top players. The other 8 are. What the hell is that supposed to mean?! Won’t most top players skip it then?!

Then there’s the 500s tournaments, which supposedly are for the top guys. If the draws will, on average, be 32… then the +- top 50 will always get to these one’s. Much like Dubai, Queen’s, Barcelona are today. My only problem is that now there will be even more reason for Federer, Nadal and other top 10 players to completely ignore 250 point tournaments. I mean… wouldn’t you?! Just look at the great Roger. He plays the 4 slammers, 9 (8) masters + WTF. That’s 16 already. Then maybe Basel and Halle. Already 18!! He hasn’t been playing more than 18 in years. Will the 2009 changes “force” players to play even more!? I don’t get it.

And there’s another problem for me. Green is the grass, but not fast. It seems to be slowing down every year, and maybe in a decade or two, Wimbledon will change to hard courts. Grass was very much used in the 70s, now we have three (4 with Newport) weeks of grass! Not one tournament as Masters Series (1000), not one planned as 500 series either. The prestigeous Queen’s Club will be receiving the same amount of ranking points as Umag and Warsaw (no offense). Unfair!

Who will come better out of this mess? Players who adore clay. With Monte Carlo, we now have 3 1000 series and 2 (I think) in the 500 class. I think Valencia will have hard courts, but I’m not sure.

I still don’t understand the details of the role of the 500 series, but I believe I read somewhere that they will count the 4 best 500 tournaments (sort of mandatory) and then Davis Cup points (if enough points achieved) will also go under this category. So if you play four 500s, and the 4th best of those is a QF, but your DC points is higher, the DC points will count. This is straight from what I think I read, so don’t read if you don’t want. It it mentioned on ATPtennis.com, but it’s very short and doesn’t give details.  I do like the DC points though. If a player goes undefeated throughout the year, he deserves some damn points. If you do that, like Roddick did last year, they’ll get 500 points.

And one more thing that I really don’t understand. I can see why ATP has shortened some tournaments for the top seeds by letting them skip the first round (with byes). In most Masters series, there are now R56, where top seeds only play 5 rounds. But what the hell is going on with the tournaments that are NOW? Is that an indication for the changes for 2009? Last week’s tournaments, AND this week’s, several tournaments have S28! players in the draw, meaning that the top guys get byes. What the hell?! Is 5 rounds too much for the poor guys?! So.. you win ONE match and you are in the QF! That’s not how it’s supposed to go! Please!

While we are waiting for the Canada Masters to start, Umag, Indy, Amersfoort and Kitzbuhel will make sure we have a week more of tennis action. I will write more about the silly 2009 season as soon as information becomes declassified for interested tennis fans. I really hope they don’t destroy the sport.

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