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SBD/August 27, 2012/Leagues and Governing Bodies
Australian Open Officials Confident ATP Players Will Not Boycott Over Prize Money
Published August 27, 2012
GOLDEN AGE: In a special to USA TODAY, Douglas Robson in a sports section cover story writes the men's game is “in the midst of its own so-called golden age” led by Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal. But “how much longer can this period of excellence last?” Federer is “31, when tennis skills generally decline,” and Nadal is “plagued by chronic tendinitis in his knees.” Although Djokovic is “still in his prime,” he has “fallen off from his dominant form of last year.” Andy Roddick’s coach Larry Stefanki said, "There's been a lot of special eras." He calls the designation golden era "overused." Robson notes “most agree, however, that this is a unique time,” as tennis has “never been deeper.” The best players have been “popping out memorable matches like a PEZ dispenser.” Tennis Channel analyst and former ATPer Justin Gimelstob said, "In terms of the quality and what it takes to win points and tournaments and Grand Slams -- it's a new level. This is the apex, right here" (USA TODAY, 8/27).
BEST FORMAT? On Long Island, John Jeansonne notes the “idea of a more compact best-of-three-sets format in men's Grand Slam tennis was volleyed around a bit this summer (to no clear conclusion).” Two “respected stewards of tennis conscience,” Billie Jean King and journalist/commentator Bud Collins, both are “on record favoring best-of-three play.” Collins would have the men “play best-of-three until major quarterfinals, then best-of-five.” King has said, "All tennis should be best-of-three. I want the players around for longer careers" (NEWSDAY, 8/27). In N.Y., Ray Krueger notes there is “one way to put this issue to rest: let the women play best-of-five.” But the extra time on the court “raises concern over injuries and wear and tear on players” (N.Y. TIMES, 8/27).