TENNIS: Is it just me, or should professional tennis players realise injuries are part and parcel of their trade?
Rafa Nadal was forced to retire in the fifth set of his Australian Open quarter-final clash with Marin Cilic on Tuesday night with what seemed a serious hip flexor injury.
Other top players Novak Djokovic (elbow) and San Wawrinka (knee) were far from healthy in their earlier losses and Andy Murray and Kei Nishikori weren't healthy enough to take to the court at Melbourne Park at all.
Nadal, after his withdrawal, said: "Somebody who is running the tour should think little bit about what's going on”.
"Too many people getting injured. I don't know if they have to think a little bit about the health of the players.
"Not for now that we are playing, but there is life after tennis.
"I don't know if we keep playing in this very, very hard surfaces what's going to happen in the future with our lives.”
Now, on the surface, this seems fair enough - nobody likes seeing people get hurt.
My gripe is these players are paid handsomely. I mean, really, really well.
An Australian Open first-round loser gets paid $60,000, more than a lot of Australians get paid in a year.
The men's and women's tournament winners get $4,000,000, more than many Australians will earn in a lifetime.
If the workload is the problem, play fewer tournaments. That plan seems to be working well for Roger Federer, who is red-hot favourite to take out the Australian Open. In fact, in 2017, Federer played just 12 tournaments. Nadal, by comparison, played 18.
The next option is don't be a professional tennis player.
Harsh, I know, but if part of the job is putting your body through extreme physical stress, then that is what you have to do to be successful.
If you can't or don't want to, then find another job.
Australian Open prizemoney:
Round of 16
Round of 32
Round of 64
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