Nadal nags ATP about schedule

Rafael Nadal, who will play in the Miami Masters final, says he's not happy with back-to-back US events stretched over four weeks in March.

updated: April 15, 2008 12:38 IST
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Rafael Nadal goes into the final of the Miami Masters wishing he were someplace else.

The Spanish world No.2 complained on Friday after beating Tomas Berdych for his spot in the title match that the annual March marathon of two US events is a touch too much for European players.

"I'm very comfortable in United States, but not this time," said the Spaniard, who is annoyed by back-to-back Masters events in Indian Wells and Miami which take nearly four full weeks to complete.

"It's not fair to have one month, two tournaments, and after go back to Europe and we have to play three Masters Series on clay."

Nadal has the added stress of reporting immediately to Bremen upon arrival Tuesday for Davis Cup duty as Spain face Germany in a quarter-final starting Friday.

The three-time French Open winner will than have only a week of rest before plunging into the defence of his Monte Carlo title on his favoured surface.

"We only have three Masters Series (Monte Carlo, Rome and Hamburg) during all the season, and we have three in four weeks. For us it's terrible.

"And three Masters Series in the middle of the biggest tournament on clay in the world: Barcelona. So if you see the calendar, that is unbelievable."

Nadal said that the problem of tight scheduling cannot all be laid at the door of the Beijing Olympics in August. But he did blame the American college basketball playoffs also held in March for crowding the tennis schedule.

"I know here it's very important, the college basketball, because I saw always the American players and the men in the locker room watching always this," he said"

"But, we can't have the (ATP) thinking about the college basketball, no? So we are 100 per cent disappointed about this (scheduling) decision of the ATP.

"European players are very angry about these decisions. For me it's terrible," he said. "I'm a clay player, but I can play very well on all surface. But playing four weeks it's impossible if you are playing well."

Nadal was joined in his criticism by Berdych.

"It's really too long to stay here in the States," he said of the hardcourt grind.

"For these two tournaments, it's really long. Maybe not the right way, but it's all right. I have to just get more ready for it."