Alexander Zverev has turned up his volume on his criticism of the length of the ATP’s season. The German has made no bones about his feeling on this issue in the past, and on Wednesday after wilting in the second set against Novak Djokovic he called for change once again.
“I haven’t felt my best in, like, two months, to be honest,” Zverev said, according to George Bellshaw of Metro.co.uk.
Zverev: ‘I haven’t felt my best in, like, two months, to be honest… The issue is that our season is way too long. That’s the issue. But I’ve said it before. We play for 11 months a year. That’s ridiculous. No other professional sport does that.’
— George Bellshaw (@BellshawGeorge) November 14, 2018
Zverev’s comments echo sentiments that he shared after a quarterfinal loss to Karen Khachanov at the Paris Masters two weeks ago.
“I hope the season gets shorter,” the 21-year-old said,” adding: “I do hope at some point the ATP will realize that tennis players can’t play for 11 months a year and that we actually need time to take for our bodies and actually rest.”
Zverev will face John Isner in his final round robin match on Friday in London. The German still has a shot to qualify. Not matter what happens, he’ll be done for the year by Sunday. That will give him about six weeks to enjoy some rest and prepare for the beginning of the grind in early January.
It’s not an ideal situation for a sport that has become increasingly physical over the last ten years. The ATP shortened the season by two weeks starting in 2012, but many feel that it isn’t enough. The men’s season still runs two weeks longer than the WTA season.
Personally think it’s great that Zverev says it how he sees it every time. And he’s right, the season is too long. Just because it might have been longer in the past doesn’t mean it’s the perfect length now.
— David Law (@DavidLawTennis) November 14, 2018
“The issue is that our season is way too long,” Zverev said “That’s the issue. But I’ve said it before. We play for 11 months a year. That’s ridiculous. No other professional sport does that.”