ITF chief hits back at Nadal tour rage

Updated: 18 September 2011 10:44 IST

International Tennis Federation chief Francesco Ricci hit back at Rafael Nadal on Saturday, insisting the Spanish superstar was wrong to claim the gruelling tennis schedule was damaging players' welfare.

ITF chief hits back at Nadal tour rage

Cordoba:

International Tennis Federation chief Francesco Ricci hit back at Rafael Nadal on Saturday, insisting the Spanish superstar was wrong to claim the gruelling tennis schedule was damaging players' welfare.


Nadal had even hinted at a players strike in protest at a calendar which required him to play Davis Cup just four days after losing in the US Open final in New York.

"I have the deepest respect for Nadal. He is a great champion and a sporting role model, but to accuse the Davis Cup of putting players' physical well-being at stake is incomprehensible," said Ricci.

"Why doesn't Nadal address his complaints to the ATP which controls 90 percent of the calendar when we control just a few weeks?

"And to say that the ITF turns a deaf ear, this really doesn't hold water. We have always listened to the players. For example, I have always said that a September date for the Davis Cup wasn't fair and that we wanted to change it."

Ricci also believes that the authorities have nothing to fear from Nadal's hint of strike action.

"We are always open to dialogue. I have talked to the president of the ATP who has asked me to address the ATP player council. We are in the process of finding solutions."

But the ITF chief added that his organisation will not be forced into making changes that they consider are not necessary.

"It is not acceptable to us to relax the Davis Cup calendar. The players already play less than two weeks of Davis Cup each year. We want to find more favourable dates, we are already putting all this on the table.

"We will see what solutions we can find."



Topics : Rafael Nadal International Tennis Federation Tennis
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