Game changer: Extended tennis tournaments spark controversy

Game changer: Extended tennis tournaments spark controversy.

Game changer: Extended tennis tournaments spark controversy. Image: Rafa Nadal / Facebook.

The recent extension of tennis tournaments in Madrid and Rome from eight days to nearly two weeks has been a lucrative move for organisers.

More competition days mean increased ticket sales, extended TV coverage, and greater financial gains.

However, while these changes have been financially beneficial for organisers, they have been met with mixed feelings from players, particularly those at the top of the rankings who consistently reach the later stages of these tournaments.

Top players, like recent Monte Carlo champion Stefanos Tsitsipas, express concerns about the physical and mental toll of back-to-back extended tournaments, likening it to a superhero feat.

One key issue for top players is the perception that these extended Masters-level events are attempting to emulate Grand Slam tournaments but still lack the same level of prestige.

Finding a Balance

Players like Victoria Azarenka emphasize the importance of balancing the desire for more dramatic tournaments with the need to consider the well-being of players.

While the expanded events offer benefits like byes to the second round and days off between matches, top-ranked players argue that this doesn’t equate to true rest, especially considering the time spent away from home and family.

The issue of injuries, particularly to top young players like Jannik Sinner and Carlos Alcaraz, has brought further attention to the debate surrounding tournament lengths.

While some players, like Daniil Medvedev, believe the two-week format and day off between matches are beneficial and unlikely to cause injuries, others, like Rafa Nadal, acknowledge the complex relationship between player welfare and tournament profitability.

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Written by

Anna Ellis

Originally from Derbyshire, Anna has lived in the middle of nowhere on the Costa Blanca for 19 years. She is passionate about her animal family including four dogs and four horses, musicals and cooking.