ATP tests new rule change at Queen’s Club Championships and Halle Open

ATP
Wednesday, 19 June 2024 at 19:30
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The ATP is testing a new rule this week at the Queen’s Club Championships and Halle Open. The serve clock, which ensures players have 25 seconds before their serve, typically starts when the umpire updates the scoreline.
However, this week the clock starts the 25 seconds as soon as the previous point ends, as detailed by tennis journalist Jose Morgado: “ATP is testing a new rule this week in Halle and Queen's with the shot clock starting right when the previous point finishes and not after the umpire calls the score,” he wrote on X. “Quicker between points and reduces 'subjectivity' as there are umpires much more strict than others...”

ATP trials serve clock change

The shot clock rule was introduced at the 2018 US Open. One player who disagreed with the rule was Rafael Nadal, who said that the clocks would hinder players' ability to play long points and could be negative for fans: "For me it’s not the ideal thing but if the sport is moving that way or they want to move that way, the only thing I can do is accept it and play. That’s why I am here, to play tennis and to accept all the rules,” the former world No. 1 said.
“The positive thing is probably you will control the time between points but in the negative thing… In my experience, on the tennis court, the crowd gets more crazy, the crowd gets more emotional and enjoys the match with more passion when you play good points," Nadal added.
The 25 seconds that players have between points have often been controversial. Players like Nick Kyrgios take only a few seconds to quickly resume play, while others like Nadal or even Novak Djokovic take advantage of every second, sometimes exceeding the time limit, with umpires not always being strict enough.
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Djokovic received two warnings for time violations in the final against Alcaraz at 2023 Wimbledon
A year ago at Wimbledon, ‘Nole’ was constantly on the edge of the time limit in the final against Carlos Alcaraz. There came a point when chair umpire Fergus Murphy decided to give him a warning during the second set, which the crowd applauded as it became evident Djokovic was taking too much time.
The Serbian was unhappy with the decision and complained to the umpire. Later in the fifth set, he was again warned for exceeding the 25 seconds, though Djokovic defended himself, saying there wasn’t enough time: "If I'm not able to go & get the towel from the ballkid, I have to go and get the towel, but you start the time!"
The rule aims to ensure that the 25 seconds are objectively respected and do not depend on when the chair umpire updates the score. For many players, taking more time can be a tactic to disrupt their opponent’s rhythm.

ATP is testing a new rule this week in Halle and Queen's with the shot clock starting right when the previous point finishes and not after the umpire calls the score. Quicker between points and reduces 'subjectivity' as there are umpires much more strick than others...

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