The time between the end of the French Open, and the beginning of Wimbledon is the rancid icing on the cake of an already questionable tennis schedule.
Nine days ago Rafael Nadal won the French Open, and in less than a week he’ll be back at it again gunning for his second Wimbledon crown.
In the two weeks off between slams Nadal has managed to celebrate a historic win, play another tournament in London (to get some grass matches under his belt), and head back home for a little R and R before rocking up to the gates at the All-England Club.
All in told the Spaniard finished his Wimbledon preparation with a record of 2-1 on grass over two weeks. A far cry from the two months and 15 matches played on clay ahead of the French.
Unbalaced and condensed scheduling along with a busy summer “sportswise” in the UK has put the kibosh on any kind of a caldender flip for Wimbly.
Here’s my solution, albeit just a rough outline…
Move the French Open up to the second week of May, right after Rome, thus eliminating Madrid which more than one player (Serena Williams) has already complained about.
Turn one of the tournaments at the begining of June in England, Germany, or the Netherlands into the ninth Masters 1000 event. Automatically, it would become a great opportunity for players to gear up for Wimbledon as well as fill the void of a 1000 series grass court event. Finally, push the start of Wimbledon back a week.
End result? Seven weeks between the two Grand Slams instead of two, and one more big event for tennis’ original surface.
Realistically it’s going to take a hell of a lot more than a whimsical blog posting to accomplish any of this considering the International Tennis Federation’s history of intransigence.
Who knows though… the French is on the verge of saying “peace out” to Rolland Garros, and Wimbledon held its first match under artificial light just last year.
The winds of change are a-blowing!