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Page last updated at 20:11 GMT, Sunday, 21 November 2010

ATP approve seven-week Tour break from 2012


Tennis set for extended off-season

The men's tennis calendar will be shortened by two weeks from 2012 giving the players a seven-week off-season.

With events running from January to late November many players have argued for more rest time to prevent injury.

"We've been trying for a few years to make clear that it's too short an off-season," Andy Murray told BBC Sport. "I hope this will make a difference."

"There's a consensus that the players need a longer break," said ATP Tour chief Adam Helfant in a statement.

The players claim that the current month-long break is not adequate, though the new schedule will not allow any break between the Paris Masters and ATP World Tour Finals, pushing back the start of the London event to a Monday.

It also means qualifying for the 2012 London tournament, which will start on 5 November that year, could still be in the balance up until the Paris final the day before.

"I'm happy to say that these new calendars and the expanded off season reflect the broad consensus among our members that the players, and really the sport as a whole, needed a longer break," said Helfant. "It didn't take long to find that consensus.


"Our players do not have adequate time to rest, work on their fitness and work on their game during our off season."

The players have long argued that the current month-long break exposes players to injury and burnout.

World number two Roger Federer backed the changes, saying: "I think it's good to have a longer off-season. I definitely think it's a step in the right direction.

"But only time will tell. Will we have less or more injuries because the calendar is more packed? I don't know."

The women's tour ended last month with their season-ending WTA Championships taking place in the final week of October.

The Davis Cup, however, is still scheduled to be played after the ATP finals.

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see also
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Federer faces up to his thirties
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Nadal will miss Davis Cup final
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Federer backs six-week ATP break
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Del Potro forced to quit Shanghai
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Djokovic slams punishing schedule
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