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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Playing Clay Events After Wimbledon Was A Mistake, Says Diego Schwartzman

The former French Open semi-finalist is seeking to win his first title since March 2021 at the Tel Aviv Open this week.

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Diego Schwartzman (Roberto Dell'Olivo)

Diego Schwartzman will likely reevaluate his schedule for next year after admitting that part of his plans for this summer backfired. 

 

The world No.17 enters into the final quarter of the season with 31 wins against 22 losses on the Tour but is yet to win a title. Although he did reach back-to-back finals back in February in Argentina and Brazil. He has won two out of eight matches against top 10 opposition, defeating Stefanos Tsitsipas at the ATP Cup and Felix Auger-Aliassime in Barcelona. 

Reflecting on his performance, Schwartzman admits that his decision to return to European clay after playing at Wimbledon was a mistake. He lost his second match in Gstaad to Pablo Carreno Busta and then his first in Hamburg to Emil Ruusuvori. 

“It’s difficult to play at the same level every tournament, I’ve made a bad decision playing clay tournaments after Wimbledon, I didn’t have time to rest,” he said during his pre-tournament press conference at the Tel Aviv Open. “I paid the price and had some bad losses. But I started to feel much better in USA hard court season, lost to Stefanos Tsitsipas who reached the final in Cincinnati and to Frances Tiafoe at the US Open. Now I am feeling very good, I really love playing indoor tournaments.”

The 30-year-old has headed straight to Tel Aviv from the Laver Cup where Roger Federer played the last match of his career. Despite Schwartzman’s Team World winning the title for the first time, his only contribution to the tie saw him lose 6-1, 6-2, to Tsitsipas. 

Retirement was very much the topic of conversation during the Laver Cup with others such as Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic questioned by reporters about their plans in the sport. As for Schwartzman, he stayed coy about how much longer he would continue playing after saying in the past he might stop at the age of 33. 

“33 — is a good age to retire, isn’t it? South Americans are in different situations compared to European players. We travel too much, and sometimes we are not coming back home for 2-3 months, while Europeans can fly home every week. It’s tough,” he said. 
“As for Roger — he’s a special player, I think he is just the greatest in our sport.”

The Argentine is seeded third this week in Israel and will begin his campaign against Arthur Rinderknech who defeated qualifier Marius Copil in his opening match. 

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Botic Van de Zandschulp beats Joao Sousa to reach the second round in Tel Aviv

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Botic Van de Zandschulp cruised past Joao Sousa 6-2 6-3 to reach the second round at the Tel Aviv Watergen Open. Van de Zandschulp won 83% of his first serve points and hit 28 winners to Sousa’s six. 

 

The Dutchman will face Liam Broady, who Serbian wild-card Hamad Medjedovic 7-5 6-3. 

Tomas Martin Etchevery edged past 2021 Australian Open semifinalist Aslan Karatsev 6-2 6-7 (0-7) 6-4  scoring the biggest win of his career. 

Arthur Rinderknech came back from one set down to beat Romanian qualifier Marius Copil 6-7 (5-7) 6-4 6-3. Rinderknech set up a second round against third seed Diego Schwartzman. 

Emil Ruusuvuori broke serve five times in his 6-3 6-2 win over J.J Wolf. 

Sebastian Korda beat Turkish qualifier Cem Ilkel 6-4 6-4 setting up a second round match against Maxime Cressy. Novak Djokovic is the top seed of the Tel Aviv tournament, which returns for the first time since 2021.

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Holger Rune reaches the second round at the Sofia Open

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Danish Next Gen rising star Holger Rune edged past Tim Van Rijthoven 7-6 (7-2) 7-6 (8-6) to reach the second round at the Sofia Open in his first appearance at this tournament. 

 

Both players went on serve with no break points en route to the tie-break. Rune earned two mini-breaks to win the tie-break 7-2. 

The second set started with a trade of breaks in the first two games. There was little to separate both players in the next games, which went on serve en route to the tie-break. Rune saved a set point at 5-6 in the tie-break of the second set and won the final three points to close out the second set 8-6. 

Rune won his first title in Munich and reached his maiden Grand Slam quarter final at Roland Garros. 

 “I did not want to go to three sets. I had the break and led 5-2 in the second set tie-break. If it had happened, I was going to fight for sure and try to take it in three, but I am very happy to win in two. I am really working hard every day and trying to improve any small things I can. I think today I stayed very focused all the time. I lost my focus one time on serve, when maybe I should not have been broken, but other than that I am very happy with my first match. The first match is always a  bit difficult”, said Rune. 

Australia’s Alexander Vukic beat Fabio Fognini 7-6 (13-11) 7-5 after 1 hour and 11 minutes. Vukic broke serve in the fifth game to take a 4-2 lead. Fognini converted his fourth break-back point to draw level to 4-4 before saving a break point at 5-5. Fognini went up a 6-3 lead, but he wasted six set points in the tie-break. Vukic closed out the tie-break 13-11 on his third set point. 

Fognini earned a break to take a 2-1 lead. Vukic broke back in the fourth game to draw level to 2-2 in the fourth game. Fognini lost four consecutive points from 4-5 30-0. Vukic earned the decisive break on his first match point to seal the second set 7-5. 

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