First, a quick note on this week’s winners. Federer playing in Gstaad I have mentioned before. This is his first home tournament win, and his 7th title of the year. If he wins the US Open in Sept, it would be his 3rd slam of the year. No-one has done that since Wilander in 88.<br /><br />Rusedski won in Newport, and if he gets a few more points in the next week or two, will get auto entry to the US Open, which means he is back on track. I wrote before that his career might go into freefall, but I am happy to be proved wrong.<br /><br />Now, let look at this week coming up. Is anyone else confused by the schedule? We have the Mercedes Cup in Stuttgart. And the Mercedes-Benz Cup in LA. After last weeks Bastaad/Gstaad this is getting silly. Plus there is the Priority Telecom Open in Amersfoort (Netherlands), which looking at the draw is hardly a priority for the top players.<br /><br />This is the time of year where tennis loses out. The US Open tune-ups start, and there are two European clay events going on. It doesn’t make sense. These clay events aren’t much use to anybody in terms of preparation for the bigger titles. The draws are fairly empty, the crowds are often small, and the clay season is basically over. It just seems a bit fragmented. You can’t blame the fans or promoters, who want to take tennis to other countries. There are too many events in the US as it is. But in the next few weeks there are also the Austrian, Polish and Croatian clay events. It feels like a separate tour – like the US/European tours in golf. Is that what we want?<br /><br />The overall schedule needs a big overhaul.
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