Introduction Of Stop Clocks Draws Criticism From World No.1 Nadal - UBITENNIS
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Introduction Of Stop Clocks Draws Criticism From World No.1 Nadal

The timers are likly to be used in more tournament in the future despite criticism from the world No.1.

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Rafael Nadal (zimbio.com)

10-time French Open champion Rafael Nadal has expressed his own doubts about the introduction of a shot clock in tennis matches.

Last week the USTA confirmed that this year’s US Open will use the clock in main draw matches for the first time. It will be used for players to monitor how long they take between points. Currently there are allowed a maximum pause of 25 seconds. Violators of the rule are vulnerable to being penalised by the umpire. Officials say that this will help speed up matches. The tournament is also implementing a stricter time limit at the start of matches. Players must now be ready to play their first point no later than seven minutes after walking onto the court.

Regaining US Open champion Nadal has described the motion as a ‘negative.’ Arguing that it will have an impact on the quality of the rallies played in matches.

“For me it’s not the ideal thing but if the sport is moving that way or they want to move that way, the only thing I can do is accept it and play,” The AFP quoted Nadal as saying.
“That’s why I am here, to play tennis and to accept all the rules.
“The positive thing is probably you will control the time between points but in the negative thing… In my experience, on the tennis court, the crowd gets more crazy, the crowd gets more emotional and enjoys the match with more passion when you play good points.”

In the past the world No.1 has been criticised for exceeding the 25-second rule. During last year’s French Open, he hit out at umpire Carlos Ramos for issuing him with two warnings during his fourth round match against Roberto Bautista Agut. Saying that umpires should be focused on analysing the match and not monitoring the time.

“It’s obvious that sometimes when you play a rally with 56 shots as I did with Novak (Djokovic) a couple of years ago in the final (US Open 2013), you cannot expect a good point if you have 25 seconds on the next point,” Nadal insisted.
“Maybe for the business it’s better but in my opinion for the good show and the show that the people get more involved, it’s probably more a negative thing.”

Others welcome the move

Despite the sharp criticism from Nadal, other players on the tour has welcomed the use of a clock. It was trialled last November at the Inaugural ATP Next Gen Finals in Milan. During that tournament, Alexander Zverev was one of the first to welcome the new rule. Although he didn’t play in the event.

“The shot clock is something not bad. There has to be a few adjustments maybe made to that but I think that has potential.” Zverev said last year.

More recently, Marin Cilic has given a cautious welcome to the initiative. Cilic’s only experience of a one-court timer was during the Indian Tennis Premier League (IPTL).

“I played only with the shot clock in IPTL and it was only 20 seconds. In some cases it was working well and some cases not,” he said.
“Some ball boys were ready for that, some were better, some were not. I think it needs to be slightly balanced but I think it can be good for tennis to have something like that.”

It appears as if the use of a clock will become a more prominent feature. Chris Kermode is the CEO of the ATP World Tour. He has publicly backed the new rule and hinted that it could be used at more events starting from 2019 onwards.

“To me, having a shot clock, people have been talking about it for years and it’s like can we just do it or not do it? This is clearly let’s just do it.” Kermode concluded.

There is currently no plans in place to use a shot clock in the main draw of the three other grand slam events.

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Simona Halep Suffers Injury Scare Ahead Of Wuhan Campaign

The Romanian has suffered a blip going into the Asian swing of the tour.

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World No.1 Simona Halep has said that she ‘hopes’ to be ready for her first match at the Wuhan Open in China after suffering a setback during a training session on Sunday.

The French Open champion was conducting a hitting session with Petra Kvitova before halting proceedings due to her back ‘locking up.’ Halep is set to play in her first tournament since suffering a first round loss at the US Open last month. Last year in Wuhan she lost her first match in straight sets to Daria Kasatkina.

“I don’t know why it happened. It’s been a difficult 24 hours, but I hope to be ready tomorrow.” Halep said on Monday.

It is not the first time this year that the Romanian has suffered a injury blow. She has also previously dealt with issues concerning her Achilles and ankle.

Heading into the Asian Swing, Halep has recently said that her world No.1 ranking is justified because of her grand slam triumph at Roland Garros. The Romanian is one of two players to have already qualified for the WTA Finals in Singapore. The other is Angelique Kerber. She currently leads the world rankings by 2555 points.

“My dream was to become number one and I managed that last year and then my goal was to win a Grand Slam because some consider that a sign of being a true number one,” Halep told reporters, according to Reuters news.
“So my motivation was to win a major after I reached the top of the rankings and now I feel relaxed after achieving both. I am still motivated to win every match and now the pressure feels off, I can just feel the pleasure of playing.”

Looking ahead to Singapore, the 26-year-old is hoping to end her run of falling in the group stages. Halep made her WTA Finals debut in 2014 by reaching the final. However, since then she has only managed to win three out of nine matches played in the tournament between 2015-2018.

“The WTA Finals are really tough as they come right at the end of the season and you need to put all of your energy and everything together to play well,” said Halep.
“I haven’t managed to do that in the last three years, so my goal is to just get out of the group stage and into the semi-finals. But I know this will be difficult.”

Halep’s immediate focus will be Wuhan this week. Bidding for her fourth title this season, she will take on Dominika Cibulkova on Tuesday.

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China’s He Yecong Proposes To Girlfriend At Shenzhen Open, But Falls In Qualifying

Love was very much in the air during the qualifying tournament in China.

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He Yecong is a name that few people will be familiar with, but he has dominated headlines at the Shenzhen Open this weekend.

The 24-year-old was bidding to reach for his first ATP World Tour main draw. On Saturday he got off to a strong start by defeating sixth seed Mohamed Safwat in the opening round of qualifying, who retired during the second set tiebreaker. In the aftermath of his victory, He made sure it would be a day to remember. Walking towards his girlfriend in the crowd and asking her to marry him.

“I prepared this proposal before this trip,” the 24-year-old told atpworldtour.com. “But I didn’t tell many people about that because I didn’t want to put pressure on myself. I figured if I couldn’t get a win today I could always wait till next time.”

According to Chinese website ifeng.com, He’s girlfriend is a former swimmer who had previously participated in the Chinese national swimming championships. She said yes to the engagement.

“I am really grateful that she has my back and supports me unconditionally.” He said. “She already retired and is a swimming coach now, so she can’t always travel with me. It’s lucky that this weekend, she got days off because of the mid-autumn festival. Everything was so perfect for this proposal.”

The proposal was done in front of fellow tennis player Di Wu and Zhizhen Zhang, who was there to support He. Both of those players have secured a place in the main draw in Shenzhen after being granted wild cards.

Despite the joyous occasion, He fell in the second round of qualifying on Sunday. Taking on India’s Ramkumar Ramanathan, he lost 6-1, 6-1, in under an hour.

He is currently ranked 813th in the world, but has been as high as 492nd. His sole Futures title was achieved in Hong Kong last year.

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Serena Williams ‘Trying To Recover’ From US Open Controversy, Defends Coach

The 23-time grand slam champion has spoken out for the first time since the final at Flushing Meadows.

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Serena Williams believes sexism continues to be a factor in the world of tennis amid the fallout from her US Open final clash with Naomi Osaka.

Williams was fined a total of $17,000 for committing three code violations during what was an extremely tense match. They were for coaching, which the 36-year-old denied, racket abuse and verbal abuse towards umpire Carlos Ramos. During the confrontation, Williams said that she was have not been given the same punishment if she had been a man. Triggering a widespread debate in the sport.

“There are men out here that do a lot worse, but because I’m a woman you’re gonna take this away from me?” Williams told the US Open referee after being handed a game penalty in the final.

Concerning that specific match, the opinion is split as to if sexism played a factor in the final. Both the USTA and WTA have publicly backed the American over the incident. Although the head of the USTA, Katrina Adams, was later heard apologising to Ramos during the Davis Cup tie between the USA and Croatia. Meanwhile, the ITF has stated that Ramos correctly followed the procedures.

Speaking about the topic on Network Ten’s The Sunday Project, Williams paid tribute to Billie Jean King. One of the founding members of the WTA who has been an instrumental figure in women’s rights for decades. King accused Ramos of ‘aggravating’ the situation.

“I am always supportive of women no matter what and that’s how I’ve always been. I feel like Billie Jean has done the same thing with starting the tour and creating an opportunity for women like me to play.” Williams told interviewer Lisa Wilkinson.
“If you’re a female, you should be able to do even what half a guy could do and I feel right now that we are not, as it is proven, in that position. But that’s neither here nor there.
“I’m trying to recover from that (the US Open final) and move on.” She added.

Wilkinson’s interview was conducted under the watchful eye of Williams’ publicist. At one stage, proceedings were halted when she asked if Williams regretted smashing her racket on the court. A voice away from the camera was heard saying ‘Sorry, that’s four questions about the US Open, so …’ Williams never gave a reply, but she did answer another question related to the US Open afterwards.

The coach got ’confused’

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The trigger for the infamous outburst in New York was due to a coaching violation. Williams, who never receives on-court coaching on the WTA Tour, insisted that this was a mistake. Although her mentor, Patrick Mouratoglou, admitted that he was doing such actions during the match.

“I’m honest, I was coaching. I don’t think she looked at me so that’s why she didn’t even think I was,” he told ESPN.

Despite the admission, Mouratoglou’s comments have since been dismissed by Williams herself. Who says that there are ‘no signals’ used between them during matches. Instead she believes that there was a misunderstanding due to a ‘confusing situation’ for her coach.

“I just don’t understand what he was talking about because I asked him, you weren’t coaching, we don’t have signals, we’ve never had signals and he said he made a motion,” Williams told the program.

As things currently stands, Williams and Mouratoglou will continue working together. Their collaboration started in September 2012.

 

The Network Ten interview with Williams can be watched below

 

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