Triple Time Violation By Djokovic Puts Shot Clocks Into Limelight At Madrid Open - UBITENNIS
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Triple Time Violation By Djokovic Puts Shot Clocks Into Limelight At Madrid Open

The world No.1 believes some umpires are starting the timer earlier than they should.



Novak Djokovic (photo by Roberto Dell Olivo)

MADRID: World No.1 Novak Djokovic has backed the use of a 25-second policy on the tour despite being penalized for breaking the rule three times. 


During his semi-final clash with Dominic Thiem, he was hit with a total of three time violations. Two of which resulted in him losing a first serve. Under current rules on the tour, players are allowed a maximum of 25 seconds between points. Should they violate that rule, they are eligible to be punished by the umpire. In recent months a clock has been implemented onto the court’s for player’s to monitor their time.

“I think 25 (seconds) is fair, more than enough time.” Said Djokovic. “It is just that sometimes the rules are basically that the chair umpire starts the clock only when he calls the score.”
“I noticed a couple of times today the chair umpire started the clock during, while he was calling the score. So that’s obviously something I don’t agree with. But at the same time, 25 seconds is plenty, in my opinion, of course.” He added.

Those violations appeared to had little impact on Djokovic during the match. In the game where he received two violations within three points, he fended off two break points. One of which was with an ace. However, the Serbian admits that it can be a challenge for him and his rituals. The world No.1 usually starts points by bouncing the ball a certain number of times beforehand.

“It does play with your mind at times. You feel like you need more (time) because different factors are affecting that particular circumstance, whether the towel is late, or you drop a ball, or whatever it is, you want to get maybe time in the shade before coming back in.” He explained.
“All of these things spend a lot of seconds for you. And when you get to your line and then when you start with your own routine — and my routine is ball bouncing, which is not very complimentary to this rule (smiling) and it gets you in a position to get time violation.”

Djokovic isn’t the first player to violate the 25-second policy and he won’t be the last. Rival Rafael Nadal is a well-known critic of the use of a shot clock. Which is aimed at speeding up matches. Speaking to reporters last year, he argued that the rules could have a negative impact on the quality of tennis played on the tour.

In contrast, Thiem has a different perspective. At one stage, he briefly averaged longer than the 25-second limit, according to data from TennisTV. Although he managed to escape punishment. Speaking about the rule, the Austrian affirmed his support. Saying the penalties given to those who violate it are right.

“I really liked the shot clock. It was a good addition to the game, I think.” Said Thiem.
“It’s also okay to take away the first serve from the player if he exceeds the time. I think that’s completely fine. It was twice today. One time, he hit me with an ace with the second serve, unbelievable, so that was also not going all my own way.”

Earlier this year Wimbledon announced that they will not be implementing a shot clock this year, but are likely to in 2020.


Alexander Zverev edged past Hugo Dellien to reach the semifinal in Geneva



World number 5 and 2018 Nitto ATP Finals champion Alexander Zverev battled past Bolivian player Hugo Dellien 7-5 3-6 6-3 to reach the semifinal at the Banque Eric Sturdza Geneva Open. Zverev is still seeking his first title of the year.


Dellien earned the first break in the second game to take a 3-0 lead. Zverev converted his fourth break-back chance in the fifth game and held his serve to draw level to 3-3. Zverev saved a set point at 3-5 at 3-5, while Dellien was serving at 40-30.

Dellien needed one break in the fourth game to win the second set 6-3. Zverev held serve in the third game at the seventh deuce after seven deuces to take a 2-1 lead. The German player got the decisive break in the fourth game and held his serve at love to build up a 4-1 lead. Zverev never looked back to win the third set 6-3.

“I played very aggressive in the important moments. I was very aggressive also in break points down, This is finally something I was looking for in the last few weeks. I think today I showed it”, said Zverev.

Radu Albot came back from 2-4 down to beat Damir Dzumhur 6-3 7-5. Albot went up a double break in the third and fifth games to open up a 4-1 lead. Dzumhur pulled one break back in the sixth game for 2-4, but Albot broke for the third time on her third break point chance to win the first set 6-3.

Dzumhur went up an early break in the first game of the second set. Albot broke back in the eight game to draw level to 4-4 and sealed the win with his second break in the 10th game.

Albot will take on Nicolas Jarry, who dropped just four of his first service points to defeat Taro Daniel 6-1 7-5.



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Nikoloz Basilashvili sets up Lyon semifinal against Felix Auger Aliassime



Four-time ATP Tour finalist Nikoloz Basilashvili secured his spot in the semifinal where he will face Felix Auger Aliassime in Lyon


Basilashvili came back from an early break down to beat Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 6-4 6-4 in the quarter final of the Parc Auvergne Rhone Alpes Lyon.

Tsonga got an early break in the second game to take a 2-0 lead, but Basilashvili recovered from the early start by breaking serve twice in the third and seventh games to take a 4-3 lead. The Georgian player held his final two service games at 30 to close out the opening set 6-4.

Basilashvili needed only a break in the third game of the second set to clinch the second set 6-4 to reach his first semifinal since winning the China Open in 2018.

Basilashvili set up a semifinal clash against this year’s Rio de Janeiro finalist and Miami Open champion Felix Auger Aliassime, who edged Steve Johnson 6-4 2-6 6-4. Auger Aliassime got a break of serve in the third game to clinch the opening set 6-4. Johnson bounced back by breaking twice in the second and eighth game to claim the second set 6-2. Auger Aliassime went up a double break in the third and fifth games to build up a 5-2 lead, but Johnson pulled one break back in the eighth game, when the 18-year-old player was serving for the match. Auger Aliassime served out for the match 6-4 in the 10th game.

Benoit Paire battled past Denis Shapovalov 6-3 4-6 7-6 (7-4) in 1 hour and 55 minutes. Paire broke serve twice in the fifth and ninth games to seal the opening set 6-3. Shapovalov claimed his only break in the fifth game to win the second set 6-4. Paire saved a total of three break points in the first and third games. Both players held on their service games en route to the tie-break. Paire reeled off the final three points from 4-4 to claim the tie-break 7-4.

Taylor Fritz fought back from one set down to beat Roberto Bautista Agut 6-7 (6-8) 6-3 6-4 after two hours and five minutes. Bautista Agut fended off one set point at 5-6 to take the tie-break of the opening set. Fritz fought back to open up a 3-0 lead with a break in the second game to claim the second set 6-4. The US player earned the decisive break in he ninth game to secure his spot in his first semifinal since the 2018 Chengdu Open.



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Tomas Berdych to Miss French Open For The First Time Since 2003

It will be the third grand slam the former top 10 player has missed within the past 12 months.



Tomas Berdych (photo by chryslène caillaud)

Former Wimbledon runner-up Tomas Berdych will not play any clay court tournaments in 2019 after withdrawing from the upcoming French Open.


The 33-year-old has been absent from the tour since his first round loss to Feliciano Lopez in Indian Wells. Berdych has been hampered by issues within his back in recent weeks. He has been hoping to be fit in time for Roland Garros, but made a decision to withdraw from the event on Wednesday.

“I am not 100% ready to play the way I want and need to be competitive on the courts I love so much,” Berdych wrote on social media.
“I came to Paris and I had to take a tough decision and want another few days to fully recover and be ready for the grass season.”
“I love this tournament so much but I have to make sure not to further injure myself,” he added.

The Czech had played at the tournament every year since making his debut back in 2004. However, the French Open is his worst performing grand slam in terms of wins. So far in his career, Berdych has won 25 out of 40 matches played at the French Open. His stand out performance occurred in 2010 when he reached the semi-finals before losing to Sweden’s Robin Soderling.

It is not the first time back issues have forced Berdych out of action. In 2017 he was advised by doctors to end his season early due to persistent ‘back pain.’ He was also forced to skip both Wimbledon and the US Open due to the same problem.

Berdych, who last won a title at the 2016 Shenzhen Open, has played six tournaments so far this year. His best result occurred in January with a run to the final of the Qatar Open. He also reached the fourth round of the Australian Open and was a semi-finalist in Montpellier.

As a result of his absence, Berdych is currently ranked 100th in the world rankings. He will be replaced in the French Open draw by a lucky loser.

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