US Open Series To Implement Warm-Up, Shot Clocks To ‘Increase The Pace Of Play’ - UBITENNIS
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US Open Series To Implement Warm-Up, Shot Clocks To ‘Increase The Pace Of Play’

Here are the new rules players will have to abide by this summer.

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The upcoming US Open series will introduce a series of new initiatives aimed at speeding up matches following an agreement between three governing bodies.

 

A consultation process between the USTA, ATP and WTA have given the green light to a series of new rules to be implemented. Players in violation of these new regulations will be subjected to penalties from the umpire. They will be implemented at tournaments taking place in North America over the summer, including the US Open.

A Warm-up clock will be used to monitor how long players take prior to the match. As soon as players walk onto the court, they have 60 seconds before they must be at the net. Should they take longer than the allotted time, they could fact a post-match fine. Although it will not be classed as a time violation. Following the coin toss, another five-minute timer will be used to countdown the warm up. Players must be ready to play by the time the clock reaches zero or face a fine.

During matches, a shot clock will be used for players to monitor how long they take between points. They are allowed a maximum of 25 seconds under current rules. The countdown will be enforced in two different ways depending on what stage the match is at :-

During a game – Following the point, the score will be entered, the Chair Umpire will announce the score, and then start the 25 second-clock. If the player has not started the service motion at the completion of the 25-second countdown, the Chair Umpire will issue a time violation.

After even-numbered games – The Chair Umpire will start the clock when the balls are all in place on the server’s end of the court. If the player has not started the service motion at the completion of the 25-second countdown, the Chair Umpire will issue a time violation.

The clocks will be visible for players to see, but tournament organisers are yet to determine where they will place them on the courts.

Nadal’s opposition

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The new plans aren’t without its critics with one of the most vocal being 11-time French Open champion Rafael Nadal. The Spaniard has previously received numerous time violations the time he takes between points. Although, he insists that the clocks could damage the quality of rallies played on the tour.

“In terms of the sport, depends. If you want to see a quick game without thinking, well done.” He said following his first round win at Wimbledon.
“If you want to keep playing in a sport that you need to think, you need to play with more tactics, you want to have long and good rallies, then of course you are going the wrong way.
“But seems like sometimes is only about the business, so… I can’t support this, no. Because I don’t feel the matches that stay for the history of our sport went that quick.”

Novak Djokovic is less critical of the idea, but remain cautious. Asked about the possible use of the clocks at Wimbledon, the former world No.1 admitted that he was unsure about it.

“I know that they’ve tried it out last year in [US Open qualifiers],” Djokovic said. “It was not too many negative comments about it, but it’s quite different if you introduce that to the show courts and main draw, playing best-of-five.”

It is possible that the proposals to speed up matches could be applied to the entire ATP World Tour as early as next year.

List of tournaments that will implement the new rules

  • Citi Open (Washington, D.C.)
  • Mubadala Silicon Valley Classic (San Jose, Calif.)
  • Rogers Cup (Montreal and Toronto, Canada)
  • Western & Southern Open (Cincinnati, Ohio)
  • Connecticut Open (New Haven, Conn.)
  • Winston-Salem Open (Winston-Salem, N.C.)
  • The US Open

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Marin Cilic wins his first title since Queen’s 2018

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Marin Cilic claimed the 19th ATP Tour title of his career and his first since Queen’s 2018 with a 7-6 (7-2) 6-3 win over Felix Auger Aliassime  after 1 hour and 50 minutes in the final of the Mercedes Cup in Stuttgart. 

 

Cilic won 100% of his first-serve points in three of his five matches and did not drop a set this week. 

The Croatian star is not 3-3 in grass court finals and 19-14 in his overall title matches. 

Both Cilic and Auger Aliassime saved three break points in their first service games. Cilic converted his ninth break point to take a 6-5 lead in the 11th game. Cilic was not able to serve out the first set, but he cruised through the tie-break 7-2, when Auger Aliassime hit a forehand long. 

The second set went on serve in the first seven games. Auger Aliassime won 64% of his first-service points, while Cilic claimed 90% of his second serve points. Cilic earned the only break of the second set in the eighth game to seal the second set 6-3. 

Cilic will play at Queen’s next week. 

“It was a very important win. I played two semifinals and did not win a title since 2018, also on grass at Queen’s. Winning here brings out joy for me, good confidence and a good feeling. Experience plays a big part, especially on grass. The conditions can be difficult, the court plays quite quick. I felt this was a good chance for me to give it my all, keep my intensity. Even though  some games were up and others down, that was a big part of my victory today”, said Cilic. 

Auger Aliassime has dropped to 0-8 in his eight ATP Tour Finals. “Today I am not facing a final. I am facing Marin Cilic. It is two different things. There has been times when I have not played my best then I felt I was not playing well, but this time around, I felt like it was close, but overall I think he was a better player overall”, said Auger Aliassime. 

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Felix Auger Aliassime sets up Stuttgart final against Marin Cilic

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Felix Auger Aliassime beat Sam Querrey 6-4 7-5 in 80 minutes to advance to the eighth ATP Tour Final of his career at the Mercedes Cup in Stuttgart without dropping a set this week. 

 

Auger Aliassime did not face a break point and hit seven aces. The Canadian Next Gen converted his first break point in the ninth game to claim the first set 6-4. 

The 20-year-old Canadian rising star won 89% of his first service points before earning a break point at 6-5 to seal the win. He lost to Matteo Berrettini in the 2019 final in Stuttgart. 

Auger Aliassime will face 2014 US Open champion Marin Cilic, who won the first set 6-3 before Jurij  Rodionov, before the Austrian wild card was forced to withdraw from the match at 0-1 due to an injury problem at the start of the second set. 

“I am feeling really good and very excited to be in the final after quite a period that I didn’t reach a final. I think this was very positive week. I have played good tennis, served very well. Considering it is a shorter season, with one week less. It was great to play this week. Losing to Roger Federer gave me more time to prepare for the week. I have not enjoyed being at a tournament so much in a long period of time, because it is the first time my son, my wife and I are together at one tournament. The set up in Stuttgart is really nice. There is a lot of grass and open space aroung the hotel for my sonto play and it is so much fun having them around”, said Cilic. Cilic leads 2-0 in his head-to-head matches against Auger Aliassime. They will play their first match on grass. 

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Barbora Krejcikova reaches both singles and doubles final at Roland Garros

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Barbora Krejcikova has qualified for the singles and doubles finals at Roland Garros this weekend, as she and Katerina Siniakova claimed a 6-1 6-2 win over Magda Linette and Bernarda Pera. 

 

Krejcikova has the chance to become the first player to win both the women’s singles and doubles titles at Roland Garros since Mary Pierce claimed both tournaments in 2000. Serena Williams is the most recently player to win both the singles and doubles titles at any Grand Slam tournament, at Wimbledon 2016.

The Czech team will take on Bethanie Mattek Sands froand last year’s Roland Garros singles champion Iga Swiatek, who beat Irina Camelia Begu and Nadia Podoroska 6-3 6-4. Swiatek reached the quarter final this year in the singles tournament. Krejcikova and Siniakova have qualified for both Grand Slam women’s doubles finals this season. They lost to Elise Mertens and Aryna Sabalenka at the 2021 Australian Open last February. 

Krejcikova and Siniakova are bidding to win their second Roland Garros women’s doubles title. 

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