ATP TENNIS FROM LONDON • BOAT RIDES • COURT SPEEDS, AND CONTROVERSIES AT THE NITTO FINALS

Written by: on 13th November 2018
Print This Post Print This Post
IMG_3359
ATP TENNIS FROM LONDON • BOAT RIDES • COURT SPEEDS, AND CONTROVERSIES AT THE NITTO FINALS  |
Photo by 10sBalls

 

 

By Ricky Dimon

 

The only thing better than the elite eight-man field at the Nitto ATP Finals may be the boat rides. That’s getting to and from the O2 Arena, of course. The players take it from their hotel (well, when they aren’t hopping on the tube like they did once before the tournament began), and tournament staff and media have the opportunity to do the same.

 

While the boat may take a few minutes longer than the underground, it’s still the way to go. Duh.

 

My Monday morning trip along the Thames–starting at the London Eye, going under London Bridge, passing by Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, getting a look at the Tate Modern, and eventually ending at the O2–also included Kei Nishikori, doubles players Robert Farah, Juan Sebastian Cabal, and Michael Venus, and Alexander Zverev’s dog (and his mom, as well, although the dog is obviously most notable). There may have been some other players, too, but the boat is always so big and so packed in the morning that it’s hard to see everyone on it.

 

To say it is preferential treatment for players, staff, and media would be an understatement.

 

Speaking of preferential treatment, that was one of the hot topics at the event on Monday. Julien Benneteau started it when he griped during an interview with French radio that Roger Federer, specifically, benefits from favorable scheduling at the Australian Open.

 

John Isner disagreed that it’s unfair.

 

“I don’t think that is the case at all,” Isner said when asked about it after losing to Novak Djokovic on Monday night. “The top players, they sell the most tickets therefore they should get the most. That’s what I think. So I don’t think there’s a favoritism system like that at all. I think those guys are the ones that by and large carry our sport in a big way and they deserve everything they’ve ever earned.

 

“If anything, they may be should get more special treatment because those guys, the top players, have made other players below them a lot of money. It is like the Tiger Woods effect in golf. So that is how you can look at a guy like Roger. He is men’s tennis in my opinion. So, he deserves everything and more that he’s ever had.”

 

“In a way he deserves the special treatment because he’s six-time champion of Australian Open and arguably the best player ever,” Djokovic said of Federer. “If he doesn’t have it, who is going to have it? People want to see him play on the center court, and they want to see him play in showtime, the best hours, which is 7:30 at night in Rod Laver Arena.

 

“I really don’t see a very strong argument there. I mean, I understand Julien’s point because sometimes it does seem that maybe certain players get more favored year after year in certain tournaments. You kind of have to follow the pattern to really understand whether there is a case or not. Again, on the other side, you have to understand that also Federer is a driving force of tennis in terms of revenue, in terms of attention, in terms of all these different things.

 

“Julien and guys like him are also benefitting from tennis, because of Roger, because of what he has done for the sport.”

 

Another issue ruling the day is court speed inside on the O2 Arena, on which players cannot seem to agree. According to the ATP, the court index is officially medium slow–slightly slower than the Paris Indoors. Federer agrees that it’s slow. Alexander Zverev insists that it’s fast; faster than Paris. Marin Cilic says that it plays average.

 

When told that Federer thinks it’s slow, Zverev responded, “Roger wants to play on the fastest court possible.”

 

The 21-year-old German may have summed it up best: “The court is very weird.”

 

Ricky contributes to 10sballs.com and also maintains his own tennis website, The Grandstand. You can follow him on twitter at @TennGrand.

 

Photo by 10sBalls

 

Topics: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,





10sBalls Top Stories

In Case You Missed It

DUSAN VEMIC SHARES HIS THOUGHTS ON MAX MIRNYI WITH TENNISBALLS • 10SBALLS thumbnail

DUSAN VEMIC SHARES HIS THOUGHTS ON MAX MIRNYI WITH TENNISBALLS • 10SBALLS

Father, son, brother, and a fellow tennis player, respected by all of his peers, called 2018 his last season on the ATP World Tour.
10sBalls.com Shares a Great Gift For A Tennis Player – The Functional Tennis Match Journal thumbnail

10sBalls.com Shares a Great Gift For A Tennis Player – The Functional Tennis Match Journal

Released earlier this year The Functional Tennis Match Journal has proved very popular. By it as a Christmas gift!
TENNIS CHAMPION AND OLYMPIAN MAX MIRNYI OF MINSK RETIRES | PHOTOS BY 10SBALLS thumbnail

TENNIS CHAMPION AND OLYMPIAN MAX MIRNYI OF MINSK RETIRES | PHOTOS BY 10SBALLS

IMG Academy would do justice to model a training module around the work ethics of the "Beast" Max Mirnyi. As I remember since I first saw him in 1994, and throughout all of the years of my time at the academy, no other player has shown more dedication and professionalism than the Beast!
TENNIS PLAYERS’ UNION – IS IT NEEDED?  BY MARK WINTERS thumbnail

TENNIS PLAYERS’ UNION – IS IT NEEDED? BY MARK WINTERS

Roger Federer did it. So, did Caroline Wozniacki. They were the applauded and appreciated Australian Open singles winners. Much less well received was the brutal heat that turned the fortnight into the Dehydration Open.
BELARUS TENNIS NEWS • FORMER NO. 1 ATP DOUBLES PLAYER MAX MIRNYI HANGS UP RACKET AFTER 22 YEARS thumbnail

BELARUS TENNIS NEWS • FORMER NO. 1 ATP DOUBLES PLAYER MAX MIRNYI HANGS UP RACKET AFTER 22 YEARS

‘The Beast’ is hanging up his racquet. After 22 years as a professional, Max Mirnyi, former No. 1 player in the ATP Doubles Rankings, has announced his retirement.