David Ferrer looks back on his three-set victory over Stan Wawrinka to finish third at the Mubadala World Tennis Championship. He also discusses this week's Qatar ExxonMobil Open in Doha, where he is the defending champion.
Fans enjoy Stan Wawrinka's fun clinic at the Mubadala World Tennis Championships in Abu Dhabi.
With more and more top players aged 30 and above, it’s normal that suddenly the tour appears to have more married men and fathers around. After all, the sport is ageing – older guys are dominating – and it’s only natural they advance in their personal lives while still competing professionally.
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– INTERVIEW: Stan Wawrinka holds high hopes for 2016
– INTERVIEW: Andy Murray on fatherhood and 2016
2015 saw numerous players tie the knot, particularly the Spaniards, with Feliciano Lopez, Nicolas Almagro, Marc Lopez and David Ferrer all getting married. Is Spanish No. 1 Rafael Nadal feeling the pressure at all to follow suit?
“No. I have enough personality to do it when I feel ready for it,” Nadal said. “But at the end of the day it’s not something about myself, it’s something about two persons. My girlfriend (Maria Francisca Perello) and me have been together for the last 11 years so a wedding is not very important for us today and we feel happy the way that we live.”
Meanwhile, I spoke to South African world No. 12 Kevin Anderson about his role on the ATP Player Council, what it’s like and what should be on top of the agenda for 2016.
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“I’ve been on it for a while (since 2012), it’s been a very interesting experience for me. Just so different getting to see the scenes behind the tour and how it operates,” said the 29-year-old.
“It’s a very interesting structure, everybody has different opinions and it’s quite tricky pleasing everybody. Sometimes it’s impossible as well.
“Looking at this year I think we’ve accomplished so much with grand slams and Masters Series, they’re helping more players survive. I think the prize money increases have been great, not just at the top, but throughout the rankings.
“I think in 2016 we should just try to continue on that note. Obviously want to make it as lucrative and supporting for as many players as possible, not just the top guys but also guys on the Challenger Tour.”
Anderson is right. Pleasing everyone is tough. Take one simple concept like an on-court shot clock. It is used in the IPTL, to make sure players don’t take too much time before serving and some players think it should be used in official ATP matches while others don’t.
Nadal is known to sometimes take too much time between serves and while he says he enjoyed the pace of the IPTL, he isn’t pro adopting the shot clock on tour. “No,” was his immediate answer when asked if he’d like one in official matches.
“IPTL is a very interesting format, an amazing competition that I feel very happy to be part of it this year. But the Tour is another story. Here we have our rules. Maybe changing some rules will be interesting for the crowd, to improve our sport for the future but for the moment we need to keep going and to make the sport as much exciting as possible for the fans.”
Meanwhile, I asked world No. 4 Stan Wawrinka about one thing he’d like to change about the tour.
The Swiss said: “I just played the IPTL. The on-court shot clock, I think it was quite good. ATP came back stronger with the time, they wanted time violations, but then they let it open again. So with the clock at least you don’t have discussion. I think it’s worth it to try it.”