Novak Djokovic bemoans lengthy tennis season as he urges role players to reorganise calendar

Novak Djokovic interview

Novak Djokovic believes tennis is a good place, but insists more should be done when it comes to the calendar and the promotion of the sport.

The tennis season is one of the of the longest on the sporting calendar as it starts early in the new year – sometimes even in late December – and runs until November.

This year the ATP Tour started on December 29, 2022 with the United Cup in Australia and it will come to a conclusion on 26 November with the Davis Cup Finals in Madrid.

There 70 tournaments on the calendar this year – including mixed events like the United Cup and Hopman Cup, team events like the Laver Cup, the ATP Next Gen and ATP Finals and the Davis Cup – although many of the tournaments run concurrently.

However, there is also a lot of travelling involved in tennis as one week a player could appear in a tournament in the United States and the next week they have to be in Asia.

Djokovic feels something needs to be done with the calendar, but he is also not too optimistic that things will change as “it is a little bit complicated”.

“The season is long. For me it’s too long, in my opinion. I have been saying that quite some time – these days when I’m a bit older than I was 10 years ago,” the 22-time Grand Slam winner said.

He added: “I just feel like we can reorganise our season in a better way. It’s a little bit complicated. It’s another subject. There’s too many interests, governing bodies in tennis that decide on the calendar. Overall I think tennis is in a good place, but we must use the potential and the global reach that we have.

“We are not using that potential to its maximum at all. We are one of the most global sports watched around the world, over a billion people watching.

“I feel like we collectively have to do a better job in promoting the tennis. It’s a very popular, historic sport. Marketing-wise and using, so to say, potential commercially is not as close to all the other global sports.”

Djokovic also spoke about the evolution of players as he feels you have to be very athletic these days in order to make it to the very top.

“I do agree it has become more physical in terms of running, sliding,” he said.

“You have to be very athletic. You have to be an all-around, all-surface player in order to be No 1 in the world. Nowadays everyone is playing pretty much every big tournament, so the competition is very, very high.”

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