Saturday, 21 January 2017


No tennis player on the planet should be forced to start a tennis match at almost midnight due to many reasons but the main being that it totally puts the body clock out and in a Grand Slam event, well that is crucial.
Sure it may be the 'luck' of the draw however it's never the Big 4 who are asked to set foot on a tennis court when most will have already had themselves at least two hours sleep.
Yes folks I firmly believe that it's all in the name of stupidity, perhaps advertising, perhaps poor scheduling, perhaps the Tournament organisers not allowing for long matches prior to the final one of the night, but hang on wasn't Rafa playing another baseliner earlier in the afternoon ???
So when doing the scheduling for that match didn't the light globe go off ? Not in a fat fit was that match ever going to be under three hours, moreso the 4 plus that it took as both the great man himself and his younger opponent Zverev don't venture much past the furthest line that they can find on a tennis court.
Scheduling a Womens match inbetween the two Mens matches is the dumbest thing you could possibly do because if both go the distance ( which they did ) then you will see a farcical situation as we did last night with Dimitrov and Gasquet which did no one any favours, least of all the players.
Rescheduling is the only way to in fact look after the players in a situation like this yet that doesn't seem to be on the agenda, stupidity prevailed instead.
The Womens match could have been rescheduled to the next day or if that sounds sexist then perhaps the Gasquet/ Dimitrov match could have been put back to Sunday with a promise of an extended time between that result and their following match. Surely either one would have been both accepted and respected by the players in particular.
That way the crowd actually gets to go home by midnight, still a long day at the tennis. You can't tell me that some would have opted for an 'early' night rather than watch the final Mens match last night, it was obvious if you looked at the many empty seats that this was the case.
Experts will always tell you the same thing 'They are Professionals, they have to play and perform no matter what the circumstances ', however what Gasquet and Dimitrov were forced to do was nothing short of plain silly. Have you played a tennis match at say 8 pm then tried to go to bed at a reasonable hour and ask your body to simply relax and forget what just happened ?? These two were asked to play at midnight !!!
The body is pumped full of adrenalin after running around a tennis court no matter what time it is and it requires a period of relaxation before it in fact is asked to sleep. I would suggest that Dimitrov who won the match would not have got to bed much before 5 am after stretching, eating, relaxing and doing whatever else was required to allow his body to eventually sleep.
The Hewitt/ Baghdatis match in 2008 was even more farcical with a 4.30 am finish and from memory I believe that Hewitt got smashed in his next match by Novak. Sure he was playing Novak however what that finishing time did to him was rather obvious. Poor scheduling taken to a new level of incompetence.
It will be interesting to see how Dimitrov performs in his next match though he is playing Istomin who has played ten sets in his past two matches so he may just have luck riding on his side.........

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