ATP World Tour Finals: Rafa Nadal calls for annual surface change
Rafael Nadal says the ATP should rotate the surface used at the World Tour Finals every year.
Last Updated: 06/11/13 6:41pm
The event has been held on indoor hard courts for the last nine years, in Shanghai and - since 2009 - London's O2 Arena.
Nadal, the undisputed king of clay, has never won the tournament and he says the ATP should consider changing the surface every year.
Nadal, who opens his tournament against David Ferrer - who beat him in Paris last week - said: "It is not only fatigue. One of the small reasons was fatigue, one of the main reasons was I have never been a fantastic player on the indoor surface. Also I have been unlucky.
"The Tour Finals have been indoors from 2005 until now, so I am a bit unlucky with this. For me it is more fair to have it outdoors on different surfaces.
"In this tournament we qualify by playing on all surfaces, but the Tour Finals are always on hard courts."
Nadal reached the semi-finals in 2010 before losing to Roger Federer a six-time winner of the event who loves the quicker indoor hard courts.
The O2 Arena is contracted to host the Tour Finals until at least 2015 and there is no chance of any immediate change to an event which was last staged outdoors in Houston in 2004.
"I know it won't happen in my generation. It's not for me. I say it for the next generation and because it would be interesting for the fans," Nadal said.
"This is a great place to play, I have never been to a tournament with a better atmosphere, but that doesn't mean the ATP can't be a little bit more fair with the players.
"We could change every year to play it on the surfaces we qualify for the Finals. That means, for example, a good clay-court player would have the chance to play on his best surface."
Meanwhile, Novak Djokovic believes the tournament should be moved from London when the current contract expires in 2015 despite the success of the event at the O2 Arena.
The season finale has been held at the O2 Arena since 2009 and has attracted over one million fans while also proving a popular venue with the players, but Djokovic feels different cities should be given the chance to host.
"I think this tournament should definitely be organised at different places more often," he said. "Not to be held in one city for more than three years. This is my opinion.
"It is in the ATP's hands, obviously, to think about this kind of thinking that I have, and I know various players share the same opinion, because of the promotion of tennis, popularising the sport in a place where maybe tennis isn't as popular.
"If we are looking to expand the consciousness about our sport, then we should look into that."
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