Nadal says tournament balls need standardized

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Nadal says tournament balls need standardized

SHANGHAI - Tennis players risked injury because of the constant change of ball designs at tournaments, world number two Rafael Nadal said on Wednesday.

Nadal echoed Shanghai Masters defending champion Andy Murray in complaining that commercial pressure from tournament sponsors had resulted in three ball changes over the last three events in Asia.

“You play in Bangkok with one ball, in Tokyo with another ball, here with another ball. That’s too much in my opinion. [It] is dangerous and can cause injuries,” said the 25-year-old Spaniard after his second-round win in Shanghai.

“Something must change because is too dangerous for the shoulders. You cannot change the ball every week.”

Nadal said he would prefer to receive less prize money in return for less pressure from sponsors to use different balls.

“If we compare the Tokyo ball with this one [in Shanghai], it was much bigger, slower. The ball is completely different. This ball is very fast, it goes small and doesn’t stay on the racquet. It flies a lot and is tough,” said Nadal after beating compatriot Guillermo Garcia-Lopez 6-3 6-2 to reach the third round.

“It is not necessary to have a standard ball for the whole season,” said the Spaniard.

“But what cannot happen is to have one ball in Rome, one ball in Madrid, one ball in Barcelona .?.?. That doesn’t work.”

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