Left field

The Reuters global sports blog

Are there more cons than pros for shortening ATP season?

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federerOne person you will not find moaning about the length of the tennis season is Roger Federer.

While the ATP have trumpeted their decision to reduce the men’s season by two weeks to create a seven-week off-season, the 16-times grand slam champion has shown so far at the ATP World Tour finals that, at 29, he is feeling as fresh as ever.

Straight set victories over David Ferrer, Andy Murray and Robin Soderling put the Swiss into the semi-finals seemingly without breaking sweat and his record since losing in the Wimbledon final has been hugely impressive.

In fact, despite giving the new schedule, that will not take effect until 2012, a general thumbs up, you get the feeling Federer would be happier if it was left alone.

How important is the Federer-Nadal rivalry for tennis?

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The ATP World Tour Finals are supposed to be a showdown between the world’s eight best players although even before a ball has been hit in anger, the talk of a Roger Federer-Rafael Nadal final showdown has been gathering momentum.   

The Federer-Nadal rivalry has been the lifeblood of tennis since the duo first traded shots at the Miami Masters over six years ago but lately fans have been suffering withdrawal symptoms as the two men have locked horns just once all season.

Has Nadal’s career already peaked?

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TENNIS-MEN/FINALSRafael Nadal has electrified men’s tennis since bursting on to the scene in 2005 but there are worrying signs that the Spaniard’s career may already have peaked.

With six grand slam titles to his name already Nadal has already staked his claim as one of the greats of the game but the aura he used to bring to the court has vanished.

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