Simon Reed

Greed at the heart of burnout

Simon Reed

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Andy Roddick has described the players' schedule as 'ridiculous', but it is most definitely a two-pronged problem and both the players and organisers must take some responsibility.

The players are their own bosses; yes, they should play the mandatory events, but there has to be a sense of responsibility from them over their schedules.

Roddick is well equipped to talk about it because he is not injured much, but neither is Roger Federer because he organises himself brilliantly.

Other players simply go too far and, particularly on the women's tour, many are carrying multiple injuries and simply stagger through tournaments.

I think players definitely bring it upon themselves to a large extent and it is mostly players coming from Eastern Europe, who see the dollar signs. You cannot stop them from taking that approach.

The money is huge and many of those players feel they have to go for everything and not take a long-term view.

I think Roddick is an intelligent guy who organises himself very well and seldom has any injuries, and he is therefore a good spokesman for the players.

To say that careers will be curtailed is a slight over-statement, but on the women's side there is still many cases of burnout.

On the men's tour, there is less of a problem because I think with the women it is more an emotional than physical burnout.

You have to take the situation on a case-by-case basis: Federer remains on top of his game, while Rafael Nadal only has one way he can play and, frankly I am astonished he is still going at that level.

Players should be more responsible and a little less greedy and take a long-term view, while there still needs to be a bit more tinkering with the schedule.

I do not think there is much of a problem on the men's side, but with the women it is more emotional and specific to Eastern Europeans who have dollar signs in their eyes.

They love rising to the top and taking scalps, but once they get there they hate being targeted by others and subsequently lose their enjoyment of the game.

I think the WTA are moving slowly in the right direction by having cut out a lot of the European tournaments in September and October.

I do think it has to be addressed, but if anything it is better than it was. How far the organisers can go with it I simply do not know: there have already been wholesale changes to the schedule this year.

To change the Masters series around shows that the organisers have tried to help the players, but there is only so much that can be done.

Even the spectators will get burnout if we keep going in this direction, but the whole thing is cyclical and it will come to an end which will be good for everyone.

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