Djokovic calls for shorter tennis season

The highest priority in men’s tennis was to shorten the demanding playing season, world number three Novak Djokovic said on Thursday.

Djokovic is on the ATP Players’ Council along with Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal and they are considering a revolutionary plan for a World Cup, which could signal the end of the 110-year-old Davis Cup.

The players see a potential World Cup, 32 nations playing once every two years, as one way of streamlining the burgeoning season and giving them a longer off-season to rest and recover.

“That is the highest priority, because players feel like the season is just too long,” Djokovic said after progressing to the third round of the Australian Open.

“I think the most important thing is that the top players are together right now, and they share more or less the same opinion,” he said.

“And we are fortunate enough to have the present leadership of the ATP very understandable on the issues that we have and on our problems that we want to solve.

“So we are all working towards the future and making this sport better for players and better for everybody.”

Djokovic said the players would have to be mindful to balance the demands of tournaments and sponsors with the players’ wishes.

“I can’t say more than that because everything is still in the process and it’s pending,” he said. “Hopefully, in the next couple of months we can make some decisions.”

Djokovic, who played his last 2009 match at the ATP World Tour Finals in London in late November, said he had little time to rest and prepare for the new season.

“We were unfortunate because we didn’t have a lot of time in the off-season,” he said.

“I tried to use it in the best way. That short, off-season period was one of the reasons why I didn’t participate in the opening tournaments in 2010.

“I tried to work really intensively. I came 10 days before the Australian Open started and spent a lot of hours in the heat.” — AFP

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