Federer wants to shorten tennis season

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The Independent Online

Roger Federer backed on Tuesday calls to shorten the tennis calendar to protect players from burnout by creating a six week off-season.

World number one Rafa Nadal and top French player Jo-Wilfried Tsonga are among the high-profile absentees due to injury at the Paris Masters this week. Nadal has previously said the season is too long.



"I think it's time we shifted back a bit and we get a proper off-season really," Federer, who has never got further than the quarter-finals, told reporters.



The ATP is to finalise its proposed calendars for the 2012 and 2013 seasons at a series of board meetings in London during the World Tour Finals in November. The governing body has said it was looking at a "meaningful way" to reduce a punishing schedule.



"Four weeks is just not enough off-season really," Federer said. "Six weeks I think is much better as already you can take two weeks off...practise three, four weeks which is a lot for us in our world."



Several top players are behind the appeal for a tour overhaul including world number two Novak Djokovic, who sits with Nadal on the Players' Council.



Federer, who meets Frenchman Richard Gasquet in the second round on Wednesday, said it was in the "best interests" of tournaments which are often hit with a series of withdrawals towards the end of the tennis calendar year.

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