Turnhout | July 3, 2012
The grass season was disappointing for me this year, because I didn’t win one singles match. You can stand still and think about what happened, but that doesn’t get you anywhere as a professional athlete: you have to move on. The 2012 season is still long and there will be lots of chances to get to a better level and win some matches. In addition I always try to focus on the things that went well after a lost match. My service, for example, is working well. I hope I can take my positive feelings and good serve to my upcoming matches and improve some other aspects of my game. There was one match I actually did win on grass; at the beautiful Stoke Park in London, I played an exhibition match against Almagro during “The Boodles event”. It was a fantastic experience to play here and I was playing some good tennis, winning in two sets. But off to something else.
Something nice happened to me during the grass season. I was elected by the players on the ATP tour to sit in the ATP Players Council. With nine other players, I will represent all players that have a world ranking and we will have to take some tough decisions. Just as in politics, we will sometimes focus on smaller, trivial stuff but occasionally we also need to vote on some high impact issues. This makes it a “job” with high responsibility. I will have to read a lot and prepare for topics in depth, but I believe this can be fun and certainly interesting. I already have some ideas to discuss in our first meeting during the US Open.
Some more info on the council: Every two years, a new player council gets elected. Players need to nominate each other and nominees actually do need to have the intention to join the council. Then, players vote on the nominees and 10 representatives will be chosen. I did not lobby at all, but managed to get enough votes in the end. I can assume that players know me well enough and that they know that I will represent them as best as possible and that I will not be afraid of expressing my own and the general opinion.
I already have some ideas to make the sport more attractive to watch for fans and increase the entertainment value. We also have to deal with more serious issues, such as pensions and price money. Related to the latter, I hope that the players council can make a difference in the next two years. I do not want to go into detail but will explain the issue thoroughly in another post. Basically, there are two key questions:
Should players earn more price money at grand slams?
Should men and women earn the same price money?
I won’t answer these questions now but will do this another time.