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higher seeds an obvious advantage Andy Murray, who is unable to defend his title at the ATP World Tour Finals, which start on Sunday, practised at the London O2 Arena on Saturday with one of the young finalists, Dominic Thiem, a stark image of the game��s brutal physicality. Men's Authentic Majestic Brad Hand Camo Alternate Jersey - #52 MLB San Diego Padres Cool BaseAs his wounded hip heals slowly, Murray still limps a little, Dave Henderson Jersey but his mood is more upbeat than at any time during his four-month absence since losing in the quarter-finals at Wimbledon. He felt sufficiently confident after his public reappearance in a charity match in Glasgow, against Roger Federer this week, to test himself against the dynamic Austrian at the venue where he won the title for the first time a year ago. Men's Adidas Sacramento Kings #14 Oscar Robertson Swingman White Throwback NBA JerseyHe said in front of his Scottish supporters on Tuesday night it is the love of the game that drives him to get fit enough to compete again �C having tumbled from No1 in the world to No3, then No16 in this week��s ATP rankings �C and cautious indications are that he will be ready to return to the Tour in Brisbane in January, before the Australian Open in Melbourne.However, a source close to the player thinks he will have to reduce his workload significantly to get back to the top 10 �C and for the rest of his career, which might last another couple of years, rather than the three or four Murray has mentioned over the past 12 months. ��Andy has always been a great problem-solver and thinker,�� the source said. ��He will know exactly how hard to push himself. The problem is simple wear and tear over a long time. So, he will not be able to play as often.�� This is his how the top 10 managed their season: No1 Rafael Nadal, aged 31, played 17 tournaments; Federer, 36, 16; Alexander Zverev, 20, 24; Thiem, 24, 26; Marin Cilic, 29, 21; Grigor Dimitrov 26, 22; Stan Wawrinka 32, 15; David Goffin, 26, 25; Jack Sock, 25, 21; Pablo Carre?o Busta, 26, 24. Murray and the 12th-ranked Novak Djokovic, both 30 years old, managed 16 tournaments before injury cut them down. Wawrinka, Kei Nishikori and Milos Raonic also quit the Tour early. The six-times champion Federer, who owes his longevity to a philosophy of reduced commitment, said before his opening match in London �C against Jack Sock on Sunday �C that his days of playing the entire season are long behind him. ��I just cannot play 25 tournaments any more,�� he said. ��I can but I don��t know what the outcome will be. I choose to stay healthy and injury-free. This year I ended up playing a lot less than I would.�� Federer, who added two grand slam titles to his cv in 2017, bypassed the clay season and there is a good chance he might never play in the French Open again. Murray will look hard at his schedule when he comes back on the Tour.ennis has been drifting inexorably towards a crossroads for at least five years, and rarely has that been more clearly underlined than in events 700 miles apart this weekend. In Milan, the conclusion of the inaugural Next Gen tournament, packed with innovations such as the shot clock and shortened points, celebrated the arrival of the best of the young prospects in the game, while in London those left standing among the established elite dragged their tired bones to the white line for their final showdown of the season. There is a decent chance there will be a couple of memorable collisions in either of the two four-player groups at the O2 Arena, with the preferred climax a decider next Sunday between the world No1, Rafael Nadal, and his nemesis on this surface, the ageless Roger Federer. Certainly, there will be more actual court time in London than there has been in Milan �C but is this what fans still want?It is a debate that is growing in volume before a meeting of the grand slam committees in London next week. They will quietly mull over the possibility of reducing their fields from 32 seeds to 16, although the likelihood of in-match coaching is remote, and we are unlikely to see a shot clock at Wimbledon for a few years yet. Tennis, like golf, does not shout. ADVERTISEMENTNevertheless, tennis, as popular as it is worldwide, is vigilant in its pursuit of TV and turnstile revenue in an era of unprecedented excellence, and Chris Kermode, the forward-thinking executive chairman of the ATP, asked rhetorically: ��In another 10 years, is anybody coming to watch a six-hour product? I doubt it. I really doubt it.�� The players are wondering too, but with less enthusiasm for change. The shot clock is popular with many younger players, given that it urges the older slow-coaches they suspect of gamesmanship to get on with it. But the more fundamental move would be cutting seeds in the grand slams to 16. As it stands, numbers one to eight can play only numbers 25 to 32 in the third round, which more gently eases them into the fortnight. AdvertisementAs Federer, the game��s elder statesman, observed, this gives the higher seeds an obvious advantage �C and one which he is prepared to sacrifice. Asked if he thought it would be introduced in his remaining time in the game, the 36-year-old said: ��That��s how it used to be when I came up, way back when. There��s definitely something intriguing about having 16 seeds. I do see the problem of the 32 seeds, plus you have eight seeds who get byes at Masters 1000 [events]. ��You have these stairs that can make you feel safe and I feel like there��s too many to get to the top. It��s hard to drop out and it��s hard to get into. Having 16 seeds? That might be interesting. The draw could be more volatile, [with] better matches in the first week. ��The top guys have made a habit of not cruising but getting through the first week quite comfortably for a long period of time. Playing against the Nos17, 19 or 20 in the world is not something I really want to do, but it is what it is.�� Federer kept a close eye on developments in Milan, where the 21-year-old South Korean Chung Hyeon beat Russia��s Andrey Rublev to win the inaugural title in just under two hours. Federer was intrigued, although not totally convinced. ��I enjoyed watching it on TV, I watched a lot of matches,�� he said. ��Sure, there were a lot rule changes but it didn��t feel too different to overall.��However, he is protective of his personal strengths and realises shorter sets would not suit his expansive game, where innovation and the ability to come back from intermittent Dave Henderson Jersey dips help him to prevail over lesser opponents. ��The longer sets allow you to stretch a lead, [to feel] more comfortable at times, try different things,�� he said. ��You can work on stuff �C whereas, when every point counts so much, there��s no room for anything any more. There are positives and negatives to it but, for the most part, I don��t like to see anything change that much, to be honest.�� The ever-grinding Nadal is unsure, either way. ��I don��t know if that��s the way or not,�� he said of the Milan experiments. ��But by trying new things you can find a better way. If we don��t try anything, you cannot say that works better or that works worse. There��s a couple of things that I like, a couple of things that I don��t like. Nothing is perfect.�� And that is a definitive judgment on tennis, and sport generally. There never has been a perfect tennis match, and, despite the sublime skills of Dave Henderson Jersey these players, there never will be. They might come close this week, but inevitably they will fall short. Yet this weekend definitely has the feel of tennis reaching another crossroads. There have not been many. As Nadal said on Friday: ��The net was the same height 50 years ago.�� But we have seen tie-breaks and championship points over the years, as well as a Dave Henderson Jerseygeneral urgency to quicken play. Crossroads, popularised by Eric Clapton, was written in 1936 by Robert Johnson, a blues standard which has been mythologised as the pained selling of his soul to the devil in exchange for his talent. Tennis is not quite selling its soul. But parts of it already wear a price tag.