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Vasek Pospisil lashes out at ATP and tennis authorities

The Canadian aired his frustrations following Canada's Davis Cup loss to Finland. Pospisil said tennis is "falling behind other sports" saying the blame lies firmly with organizers.

After Canada’s Davis Cup loss to Finland, Vasel Pospisil didn’t hold back his contempt for those running tennis, from anger about the balls and scheduling, to their inability to grow the sport.

When asked whether he was annoyed about the balls being used on tour, the Canadian said: "Absolutely."

"Don't even get me started," he continued at a press conference in Malaga. "I could just tell you a little bit about what happened with my elbow the last two years. I had a tear in my UCL, second-degree tear. Almost fully tore it. We were playing challenger events in France. Every player was complaining about the ball. It was like we were playing with a rock. I have never experienced anything like it in my life. Every time you hit the ball you felt pain in your wrist and elbows and shoulder. Unfortunately, I played very well those two weeks. I guess they were good for my game but terrible for my body. By the second week, I had a second-degree tear in my UCL. Almost tore it all the way through. I was out for a long time. Since then I've just been having a lot of issues in my elbow.

Pospisil lamented the tennis authorities - among them the ATP as the governing body of men's tennis.

"They (the authorities) wanted to make the points longer for fans so it was more entertaining. First of all, nobody wants to see a 60-ball rally every point. They like variety. So that failed. The next thing is, one out of two players, seem to have wrist, elbow, shoulder issues in the locker room. Then recently people started to tweet about it. Now there is a bit of talk, and they're, "Oh, yeah, we are addressing it." Players don't talk about it openly. They are in the locker room. How many wrist surgeries have we seen this year?

And Pospisil said the authorities are not doing enough to protect the players, nor grow the sport, given its vast potential.

"Tennis is a huge global business, multi-billion-dollar industry. I think we should be treated as partners. Obviously I think players bring a lot of value to this business, and that hasn't been the case. I have seen it. I have been on the council. I know exactly how things go.

I think when we get to a place where players are able to impact decisions like this, that impacts their

health, including the length of the season... it would just be nice to have more collaboration. There is a facade of collaboration," he told reporters, before reiterating any attempts by those that run the sport is just "fake."

" Obviously now there is a lot of pressure because of player association, because it's being spoken about a lot more. So there is some movement there in the right direction. But it's been a big problem."

Pospisil feels he has suffered at the hands of tennis organisers.

"I feel quite a bit of resentment," he said, "because even when I had my back surgery in 2019, at the end of 2018 I played a match, I finished at 12:30 in the morning, a three-and-a-half-hour match in Paris-Bercy. I was exhausted, and they scheduled me to play at 1pm. the next day. I think I went to bed at 430am, slept until 10am. Then played at 1pm. Then fourth game into the match I blew my disc completely. I was out for nine months. These are the kind of things, right? So players can complain, complain, complain. At the end of the day they don't really have that much say in this sport, unfortunately.

But he said he has hope for the future. "It's changing quickly. I think when it does, this sport will be a lot better. I think it will grow organically the way it should be growing, because it has so much potential. It's the third-most-watched sport in the world, second-most bet-on sport in the world, and it's falling behind the other sports. It's not because of the quality of the product. It's because of the quality of the organization running the sport."

Do you agree with Pospisil?

  • Yes, tennis needs to get its act together

  • No, tennis is just fine


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