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Nadal favours Australian switch

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Originally published on: 26/02/10 12:14

Defending champion Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer, who is president of the ATP Player Council, have also been vocal in their support of the move, which they say would ease the workload on players at the start of the season.

“It is a very good option, yeah. I would love to have the first grand slam of the season a little bit later,” Nadal said.

“I think the feeling is the same for everybody. You start the season and after one week you are playing one of the most important tournaments of the season.

“If this can change, I think it’s going to be perfect for us. If not, we continue (to) fight like this.”

Australian Open officials have been reluctant to change the dates of the year’s first grand slam, reasoning it is in the perfect timeslot during school holidays at the end of January.

But the world’s top three players, at least, agree that the current timing of the event is a health concern.

Last week Federer, who heads into the Australian Open gunning for a record-equalling 14th grand slam title, said he would not oppose a shift to early February.

“Definitely the calendar is always something we do talk about,” the Swiss star said.

“I guess to fix the Australian Open problem and have more tournaments beforehand, the solution is to move it backwards a couple of weeks.”

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