Can’t bear to watch 4-5 sets of tennis: Gasquet

The French player believes tennis needs to shorten playing time to make the sport more viewer friendly

Richard Gasquet wants shorter matches

French player Richard Gasquet has said that the men’s governing body is a ‘catastrophe’ and that tennis authorities are completely overwhelmed by the pandemic.

“The ATP is a catastrophe,” Gasquet said in an interview to French publication L’Equipe.

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“They don’t say anything to the players. They are simply overwhelmed. Nothing is said in Zoom conferences, so I do not attend.”

“With the ATP you can do nothing. You open your mouth a little, you say something bad, it’s a $3,000 fine. Your coach whispers something, you get punished. It’s unbearable.”

Future tense

The tennis tours have been suspended since March due to Coronavirus but the sport seems to be inching back to life. Both, the ATP and the WTA, have announced revised provisional calendars and the US Open and French Open are to take place.

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But the fate of all tournaments still hangs in balance given that players will have to fly in from all around the globe and the quarantine rules in each country are different.

“I said from the start that tennis was going to be the sport most affected by this kind of pandemic,” said the 34-year-old, who is currently ranked No 50 in the world.

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“It is confirmed. Here we are in a total blur. Nothing is known about possible quarantines upon return from the USA. And planes? At the moment you cannot book flights. Nobody knows anything.”

Shorter matches

Gasquet, who has reached a Grand Slam semi-finals thrice in his career, also made a case of shorter matches to make them more viewer friendly.

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“I can’t even watch Roland Garros anymore,” said the former World No 7.

“I can’t watch four or five sets of tennis, even for a (Roger) Federer-(Rafael) Nadal match. We are the only sport where you play more than four hours…. There are some things to think about to shorten playing time.”