Men's tennis tour considering extended off-season

By Simon Cambers

The game's top players have long campaigned for more time off between November's ATP World Tour Finals in London and the start of the new season in January, saying it would help to extend their careers.

"Right now we're considering calendars where there might be as much as a two-week change to the off-season for 2012 and two or three weeks extended off-season for 2013," ATP chief executive Adam Helfant told reporters at the U.S. Open.

"My intention is to put the 2012 and 2013 calendars up for formal consideration by our board at our last board meeting of the year (in London) and see where we are."

Helfant said no tournaments would be dropped nor would any grand slam or Davis Cup weeks be shifted to accommodate any extension to the off-season.

"What we're doing is looking at our calendar and trying to find a way to strike the right balance," said Helfant. "Most of us are convinced that we need to find a way to create a more meaningful off-season for our players so that they have more time to rest, work on their fitness and work on their games."

Earlier, the ATP announced it signed a three-year agreement with FedEx to be a new global sponsor of the Tour, sponsoring 17 tournaments in 12 different countries.

(Editing by Frank Pingue)