Nadal upset with busy tennis calendar

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Nadal upset with busy tennis calendar

CORDOBA, Spain - Rafael Nadal shouldn’t blame the Davis Cup for tennis’ crowded schedule after playing the competition so little in recent years, the head of the International Tennis Federation said on Saturday.

Nadal was again critical of the busy schedule Friday after winning the first point in Spain’s 2-1 Davis Cup semifinal lead over France, which came four days after he lost the U.S. Open final in New York to Novak Djokovic. Asked if players could strike over the convoluted calendar, Nadal did not rule out “strong action.’’

But ITF president Francesco Ricci Bitti said you only had to point to Nadal’s recent Davis Cup playing activity to see that the second-ranked Spaniard’s argument was “inconsistent.’’

“Nadal has all the right to feel tired after playing 70 matches this year, but that’s not the fault of the Davis Cup, which he has played only three times in the past two years,’’ Ricci Bitti said at Cordoba’s bullring.

Since helping Spain lift the 2009 trophy, Nadal has played all three games in 2011.

“Nadal says we don’t listen to the players but the date of the Davis Cup was changed against the wishes of the ITF and its president,’’ Ricci Bitti said. “We still feel the dates, especially those in September, are not right.’’

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