If I were a tennis player, and worked my arse off eleven months of the year, I would totally kill someone if they even thought about encroaching on my precious off-season. I've been told I'm conscientious for writing this blog every day, even when I have absolutely nothing to say (eg. today!) but it takes me maybe twenty minutes, tops. Tennis players train for hours and hours a day - which you have to, considering the fact that you have to grind away on court, day in, day out, to keep your career going (and even then, as we have been discussing re: Todd Reid, it might not be enough.) Tennis is just so freakin' hard, when it comes down to it.
Which brings me to my point. They get no time off, pretty much. There's all this talk about shortening the season and all, but sorry, I'll believe that when I see it. So if you're a player and the halcyon days of the off-season are finally here, wouldn't you just want to lie on a beach somewhere and chill out for a month? Obviously you'd have to do some training, because of the whole Aussie swing and that Grand Slam lurking dangerously early round the corner, but you'd want to do some quality quivering in the corner first - maybe chill with your family at home, have a nice Christmas or whatever, yeah?
So why do these players seem to be jetting off all over the world at the whims of sponsors and such like? I saw pictures of Rafa Nadal hanging out with Marat Safin in Moscow today. What on earth is Rafa doing in Moscow? Surely with all his knee issues he should be at home in Mallorca with Xisca and his feet up on a pillow, watching telly? It was apparently some corporate type function he was at for something money related - but why on earth would Rafa need more money? He's about the same age as me - a bit younger, actually - and he's already made more than I will in ten lifetimes. Doesn't he deserve some time off? Off-season for tennis is preciously short - it shouldn't be on-season for corporate deals.
Rafa, some words of advice, straight from me to you. Go home. Rest. Do absolutely nothing for at least a week. These top tennis players seem to have everything in the world: Boris Yelstin once described Marat Safin as the ideal Russian, which I suppose means the ideal Russian is all fast sport, fast cars, fast women. But the one thing they don't have is time. Grab on to what you have with both hands, boys - heaven knows you deserve it!