Rafael Nadal is still steaming about the tennis calendar and he doesn't care who knows it - especially the ruling body of the ATP.
The defending Barcelona champion publicly lashed out at the ATP again for the action-packed calendar this year including a shortened (by a week) clay-court tour and the Olympics saying Europe and its players are being 'destroyed':
These people are destroying Europe and Europe used to be the foundation of the tour. I think it's completely impossible to play at one's best level for all four tournaments -- Monte Carlo, Barcelona, Rome and Hamburg.All players and fans know the calendar is over-scheduled but it seems Rafa is taking it very personally - as if it was created just to mess up his run on his favored clay surface. He's definitely feeling the pressure of not defending all of his points - or if he does, he'll be spent at the end.
You just have to accept this situation, all the players will be the same, they will not be able to play at their high level for all four, I think it's totally impossible. I think that when a player loses in the first round or pulls out -- and they get criticized -- the tournament should ring these people (the ATP) and tell them that it is their fault.
I have some email conversations with these people but it is true that they end up doing what they like and I am getting tired of it all.
One question: Why didn't he just opt out Barcelona, the one non-Master Series tourney here, to give himself a break? Surely he could save energy and make up the points somewhere else.
The more that is said about the calendar this year the more I respect Andy Roddick's tough decision to skip the Olympics. He seemed to realize you can't do it all and tough choices need to be made - so he made the right one for himself regardless of any criticism. Smarty-pants.
(image via Getty)