Nadal frustrated as 'strike' talk swirls

Updated: 15 January 2012 15:10 IST

Rafael Nadal voiced frustration at the lack of progress towards better pay and conditions on Sunday as fresh speculation over a players' strike blew up on the eve of the Australian Open.

Nadal frustrated as 'strike' talk swirls
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Melbourne:

Rafael Nadal voiced frustration at the lack of progress towards better pay and conditions on Sunday as fresh speculation over a players' strike blew up on the eve of the Australian Open.

The Spanish second seed, a leading proponent of change just a few months ago, said he was fed up with talking and that he was unprepared to take a figurehead role, a day after a players' meeting.

"When you are talking about Davis Cup, when you are talking about grand slams, when you are talking about the calendar, when you are talking about a lot of things that can be better for the tour... most of the players think that's the right way," Nadal said.

"That is not happening. That's talk for talk. I want to talk when we have real chances to make that happen."

"When we don't have chances to make that happen, because with how the world of tennis is working today, we don't have any chance on changes because we don't have the support of the structure."

Players met new men's tour chief Brad Drewett in Melbourne on Saturday and are reportedly unhappy over Davis Cup scheduling and their share of prize money at the grand slam tournaments.

The Australian Open, which starts on Monday, is the richest grand slam in history with a total purse of AU$26 million ($26.7 million) and prizes of AU$2.3 million for both singles champions.

The Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) refused to comment on Saturday's meeting and no response was immediately available from Tennis Australia.

But Russia's Alex Bogomolov Junior gave an emphatic response via Twitter late on Saturday.

"A players strike here at the Australian Open?? YES SIR!!" he tweeted, before adding: "Finally all the players united! Waited for 10 yeArs for this! Witnessing history in Tennis!"

Bogomolov was not available for interview on Sunday.

The latest exchanges come after Andy Murray last year spoke of the possibility of a players' strike, with Nadal refusing to rule out such action.

Nadal said on Sunday he would support the majority if they chose to strike, but was reluctant to put himself in the firing line as a leader of the players' movement.

"I give information for you to write newspapers. But at the end of the day I look like I am the one who always talks about things that must change, and I don't win nothing on that," he told journalists.

"I just lose time, energy, and the people can think that he's always the one who says the bad things, the negative things."

"We are not in that way to change situations even with the support of the super majority of the players. Even like that we didn't win nothing. Sorry, I am tired of keeping working on these things," he added.

Topics : Tennis Australian Open 2012 Rafael Nadal
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