Roger Federer has told players who complain about burnout to manage their schedules better.
The Swiss believes the complete autonomy tennis players enjoy compared to other sports is a ‘massive privilege’, while the lengthy calendar offers more opportunities to lower-ranked players.
Alexander Zverev has been a strong critic of the 11-month season, branding it ‘ridiculous’ after he failed to produce his best form against Novak Djokovic on Wednesday.
But Federer advised the 21-year-old German to be ‘very disciplined’ with his scheduling in future and insists he ‘really can’t complain’.
‘You can get rid of 20 tournaments,’ the 20-time Grand Slam champion said after beating Kevin Anderson at the ATP Finals.
‘I don’t know who wants that. ‘Not those 20 tournaments. Not the 200 or 1000 players on tour. That’s one option.
‘The other option is as a team, player and team, to decide which are your priorities and how much can a body take, how much can a mind take, how much travel can someone endure. ‘The good thing is we as players are not employed by a club.
I can walk right now out of the door and go onto vacation if I want to. Nobody is going to stop me. They won’t like it, but I can. That’s a massive privilege, I believe, that a tennis player has.’