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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Nikoloz Basilashvili upsets Stefanos Tsitsipas in Indian Wells to reach his first ATP Masters 1000 semifinal

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Nikoloz Basilashvili upset world number 3 Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-4 2-6 6-4 to reach his first ATP Masters 1000 semfinal. 

 

Basilashvili, who was playing in his first Masters 1000 quarter final, went up a 4-1 lead with a double break in the first and fifth games. Tsitsipas pulled one break back in the sixth game for 2-4. Basilashvili held on his next service games to claim the first set 6-4. 

Tsitsipas broke twice in the fourth and eighth games and did not face a break point to seal the second set 6-2. 

After a trade of breaks in the first and fourth games of the third set, Basilashvili earned his second break in the seventh game to take a 4-3 lead and fended off a break point in the eighth game to hold serve after three deuces. He served out the win on his first match point in the 10th game.   

Despite the defeat Tsitsipas still leads 2-1 in his three head-to-head matches against Basilashvili. The Georgian player had never won a main draw match in Indian Wells in his four previous appearances at this tournament. Earlier this year he won two titles at Doha and Munich. 

Tsitsipas was aiming to reach his third consecutive Masters 1000 semifinal in North America after advancing to the last four in two consecutive hard-court tournaments in Toronto and Cincinnati. 

“I have played really great matches this tournament. I was not played with how I played today but I was happy with how I managed my stress levels. First time in the quarter finals and it is a big court and Stefanos is still a tough player. I had to keep my physical levels and energy levels in a really good shape because I knew mentally I would be a little bit tight and stressed”, said Basilashvili.

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Carlos Moya, Flavia Pennetta and Ana Ivanovic are among the candidates for the 2022 International Tennis Hall of Fame

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Carlos Moya, the first Spanish player the number 1, and former Grand Slam champions Flavia Pennetta and Ana Ivanovic are among the candidates for 2022 International Tennis Hall of Fame. 

 

Ivanovic lifted the 2008 French Open Trophy after a final at the 2008 Australian Open and a semifinal at 2007 Wimbledon and claimed 15 WTA titles during her career. Since her French Open triumph, she spent 12 weeks as world number 1 player. She would become the first player representing Serbia to be voted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame. 

“Many of the women who I looked up to as a young girl are Hall of Famers and to be nominated to receive an honour that places my career alongside those who inspired me is just incredible”, said Ana Ivanovic. 

Flavia Pennetta became the oldest first-time Grand Slam champion when she beat her childhood friend Roberta Vinci in the all-Italian US Open Final in 2015. Pennetta teamed up with Vinci in guiding Italy to four Fed Cup titles. 

“I loved competing and to have my tennis career recognized in this way among the sports all-greats is such an incredible honour”, said Pennetta. 

Moya won the 1998 Roland Garros title and reached the 1997 Australian Open final. He became the first Spanish player to reach the top of the ATP Ranking and won 20 ATP titles, including three ATP Masters 1000 trophies. Moya lifted the Davis Cup title in 2004 for Spain after taking his his second singles win of the tie with his straight-set win over Andy Roddick. 

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Paula Badosa reaches her first WTA 1000 semifinal at Indian Wells

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World number 27 Paula Badosa became the first Spanish player since 2003 to reach the semifinals at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells after her 6-4 6-3 win over 2019 finalist Angelique Kerber. 

 

After an early trade of breaks in the first set, both Badosa and Kerber held serve until the 10th game, when Kerber misfired on consecutive points, as was serving at 4-5 30-30. Badosa earned her second break point, as Kerber hit her second double fault of the set. Badosa converted her chance when Kerber sent her backhand long. 

Badosa went up a 5-2 lead with a double break in the fourth and sixth games. Kerber fended off two match points to hold serve for 3-5 before breaking Badosa to get back on serve for 5-5. After two holds of serve Badosa converted her third match point after Kerber sent her forehand long. 

Badosa set up a semifinal against Tunisia’s Ons Jabeur, who beat Anett Kontaveit. The Spaniard has moved into her second WTA 1000 semifinal of the season after advancing to the same stage at the Madrid Mutua Open. 

Badosa has claimed her fourth top 10 win of her 2021 season after beating this year’s Roland Garros champion Barbora Krejcikova in straight sets in the fourth round. Earlier this week she defeated Coco Gauff and Dayana Yastremska, dropping just one set en route to the semifinal against Jabeur. 

Badosa will meet Jabeur for the second time this season. The Spanish player beat her Tunisian rival 7-6 2-6 6-4 at the 2015 US Open. Jabeur took a re-match last spring when she beat Badosa 7-6 5-7 7-5 in the second round in Miami. 

Last April Badosa beat Belinda Bencic and Ashleigh Barty at the Charleston Open en route to the semifinals, where she lost to Veronika Kudemertova. One month later the Spanish player advanced to her first WTA 1000 semifinal at the Madrid Mutua Open becoming the first Spanish player to reach the semifinals in the tournament history, beating Belinda Bencic. Badosa reached her third consecutive semifinal at the Serbia Open defeating Rebecca Petterson. She joined the top 40 for the first time in her career and went on to win her maiden title after Ana Konjuh withdrew from the match injured. 

At the French Open Badosa beat 2019 finalist Marketa Vondrousova to move into the quarter finals of a Grand Slam tournament for the first time in her career. She went up a break in the final set, but she lost to Tamara Zidansek. 

At the Olympic Games in Tokyo Badosa beat Kristina Mladenovic, Iga Swiatek and Nadia Podoroska before withdrawing from the quarter final against eventual Olympic silver medallist Marketa Vondrousova due to a heatstroke.  

“I always said Jabeur is one of the most talented players in the world. She is doing an amazing year. It’s nice seeing all these players that we were like a few years ago outside the top 100 now being top 10, top 20, fighting for the finals. It’s amazing. I am super happy that I can play her”, said Badosa. 

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