Milos Raonic has had the best year any tennis player could possibly have. In just a single season, he managed to reach the career-best world rank at the number 3 spot. He also played in his first-ever Grand Slam final. For many players, this is as good as it gets.
But Milos wants to push himself even further.
The number 3 spot isn’t good enough. He wants to break into the top two. A Grand Slam final cannot whet his appetite. He wants to win one. And he’s preparing himself mentally and physically to reach the top of the charts.
But is he making a mistake? “I was desperate to play the highest level of tennis right away,” he recently told reporters. The desperation is evident. He suffered from frequent injury problems last season. Despite managing to reach the Australian Open semifinals, he couldn’t compete due to an injury.
Others accuse him of being a one-trick pony. Service is Raonic’s strong point. But critics say he needs to up his game even further if he wants to improve or even sustain his current position.
But he is hopeful.
When asked if he could manage to reach the most-coveted number one spot in the rankings in 2017, he said, “I hope so, that’s the goal.” Consistency, he thinks, is what enabled the top two to sustain their position in the past few seasons. Maybe that’s exactly what he needs right now.
A total of 34 players have been caught in match-fixing by the Spanish police.
Yesterday, the Spanish police went on a roll and arrested six players who are undoubtedly involved in the crime. Investigation is in pursuit for the other 28. However, the Interior Ministry has refused from giving out any names as of yet.
The players have been linked to matches being fixed in 17 different events. The staggering amount involved was 500,000 Euros at the least.
The investigation was pursued by the infamous Buzzfeed and the BBC, who found a part of the top levels of tennis corrupted. The shocking part of it was that sixteen of the players among the 34 are those who have managed to secure a position in the top 50 players of the previous decade. The reliability of this list is certainly at doubt among many.
Despite the fact that these players were regularly flagged, there was no certain action against them until now. They kept competing—throwing matches away for that matter—and minting money.
The players were reported to receive anywhere from 500 Euros up to a 1000 to give away matches.
Nick Krygios, who just rose to his best ever career ranking (13th) according to the recent ATP list, showed his temper during a match. When the match against Mischa Zverev did not go as expected, Kyrgios lost it and started raging over the umpire and one of the supporters.
The ATP initially put a $25,000 penalty on the player, and suspended him for eight tournament weeks. Apparently, the ban was reduced right after the player agreed to see a sports psychologist, as per the offer by the ATP. Kyrgios later released a statement, saying:
“Following the ATP’s decision I would like to take this opportunity to apologize again for the circumstances in Shanghai.”
He further cleared his situation and said that he had a rough tournament; however, he does not want to use it as an excuse for the events that occurred. Nick Kyrgios’s ban has been reduced to three weeks by the ATP, for which he said:
“I do understand and respect the decision by the ATP and I will use this time off to improve on and off the court. I am truly sorry and look forward to returning in 2017.”
Andy Murray has had a phenomenal year so far.
But he’s aiming for an even better one.
For the Scottish tennis legend, who won his second Olympic gold medal this year, slowing down is just simply not an option. He wants to go even further and claim the World Number 1 spot for himself. If he can achieve that, it would be the first time in his already illustrious tennis career that he would occupy the top spot. And he’s absolutely on the top of his game.
The same can’t be said for the current Number 1 Novak Djokovic who aims to pull out of the ongoing China Open citing an elbow injury. This would further clear the road for Murray to do what seemed, for a long time, almost impossible.
It won’t be easy though.
When it comes to Tennis, less is more for American tennis player and former president of the ATP Player Council, Eric Butorac. He is of the opinion that tennis must have shorter matches if it wants to engage a younger audience.
This, apparently, is what Butorac told his successor in the ATP Player Council, Novak Djokovic, and the member of the board, Andy Murray. “It’s too slow,” Butorac told Murray, “I’m too busy. I’ve got two kids, I’ve got stuff to do. I love watching you guys play but I don’t need four hours of it.”
On one hand, Butorac’s suggestion makes perfect sense. Men’s matches do have a tendency to go on for far too long, a fact that can be quite frustrating in today’s fast-paced lifestyle. The length of an average men’s singles match in the US Open in 2014 was around 2 hours and 44 minutes. And there was the legendary face-off between Djokovic and Nadal at the Australian Open final in 2012 which went on for 5 hours and 53 minutes.
The solution to the problem, however, is not as simple as it seems.
Firstly, it could face serious opposition from the tennis players, and there are a lot of them, who think longer is better. Even if, by some miracle, the proposal is accepted by the wider tennis community, it would raise more problems than it solves.
Would the matches consist of fewer sets in a match or fewer games in a set? Will the tennis community ever come to an agreement on this?
For now, that prospect seems highly unlikely.