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.


Svetlana Kuznetsova upsets Ashleigh Barty in Cincinnati to reach the 42nd final of her career



Russian wild card Svetlana Kuznetsova edged top seed this year’s Roland Garros champion Ashleigh Barty 6-2 6-4 in the semifinal of the Western and Southern Open in Cincinnati to reach the 42nd final of her career.


Two-time Grand Slam champion Kuznetsova, who is now ranked world number 153, scored her third win against top 10 players this week  after beating former US Open champion Sloane Stephens and Karolina Pliskova.

Barty missed her chance to regain world number 1 spot from Naomi Osaka, who was forced to retire from her quarter final.

Barty earned the first break of the match in the second game of the opening set, when Kuznetsova netted a backhand. Kuznetsova broke back in the third game with a smash winner and earned another break at 2-2 when Barty netted a backhand. Kuznetsova hit a return winner to build up a 5-2 lead. Barty asked a medical time-out to treat he right leg. Kuznetsova held serve at 15 to close out the opening set after 30 minutes.

Kuznetsova went up a break in the first game of the second set. Barty won just three points on return in the second set. Kuznetsova closed out the second set with three winners in the 10th game.

“I am really happy. I am not really an analyzing person, but on my intuition, I am doing so much better, not repeating so many of my mistakes, just playing smarter and wiser now. It’s been so many different things when I was off, so I just enjoyed time off. Honestly, I was not missing at all the travelling and all the stress when you play tournaments, but now I have missed it and I feel good. I feel joy staying here and being here. It definitely helped me to have some time off to see other things outside tennis”, said Kuznetsova.


Kuznetsova set up a final against Madison Keys, who beat Sofia Kenin in straight sets. The Russian 34-year-old veteran player has qualified for her first final since last year, when she beat Donna Vekic in Washington.


“Madison is extremely tough. When she is on fire, it is really hard to play against her. It’s going to be a difficult match-up”, said Kuznetsova.  

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David Goffin reaches his first Masters 1000 in Cincinnati



David Goffin beat Richard Gasquet 6-3 6-4 on an overcast afternoon to reach the first Masters 1000 final of his career and his 13th title match at ATP Tour level at the Western and Southern Open in Cincinnati. Goffin has dropped just one set en route to the final.


Goffin is returning to his best form this summer under the guidance of former Swedish player Thomas Johansson. He reached the final in Halle and his first quarter final at Wimbledon. He received a walkover after Yoshihito Nishioka was forced to withdraw from the match due to food poisoning.

The Belgian player started the match with two consecutive holds before breaking at love to open up a 4-1 lead with a backhand winner down the line.

Goffin held his next service games to seal the opening set 6-3. Gasquet earned an early break to open  2-0 lead, but Goffin won five of the next six games with two breaks. The 2017 Nitto ATP Finals runner-up served out the win at love in the 10th game after 1 hour and 16 minutes, as Gasquet sent his backhand long.

Goffin reached the semifinal in Cincinnati last year, but he was forced to retire due to an arm injury.

“I am very happy. It’s a tournament I like and I have played the best tennis in the past few years. I am really happy to reach my first Masters 1000 final here. It’s a great moment for me.”



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Richard Gasquet reaches his first Masters 1000 semifinal since Miami 2013



Frenchman Richard Gasquet edged past this year’s Wimbledon semifinalist Roberto Bautista Agut 7-6 (7-2) 3-6 6-2 after 2 hours and 12 minutes to reach his first Masters 1000 semifinal since the 2013 Miami Open.


 Gasquet missed six months of action after undergoing groin surgery last January.

The French player set up a semfinal against David Goffin, who reached the semifinal after his Japanese opponent Yoshihito Nishioka withdrew from the match due to illness.

The first set went on serve with no break points en route to the tie-break. Bautista Agut hit a backhand wide at 1-2. Gasquet sealed the tie-break when Bautista Agut hit a forehand long.

Bautista Agut earned two breaks of serve in the second set and sealed it, when Gasquet made his third double fault on set point.

Gasquet broke serve with a volley in the third game of the decisive set. The French player went up a double break to race out to 4-1 lead. He saved two break points to hold his serve at deuce before serving out the third set on his first match point.

“I know how tough it was to come back. I know the moments I had at the start of the year, so I just wanted to enjoy, to fight. It is not easy to come back after six months out, but I am here. I am in semis tomorrow”,said Gasquet.



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