1/8/13 9:15 PM | Johan Lindahl
Time is suddenly of the essence on the ATP after the start-of-season crackdown on slow play between points, with time violations flying and tempers perhaps getting a bit heated.
The unannounced crackdown had been in the rumor mill for months but was finally apparently pushed to reality by the nearly six-hour Australian Open final won by Novak Djokovic over Rafael Nadal which highlighted the growing problem.
While there is no suggestion - as yet - of installing courtside shot clocks which tick down the 30 seconds allowed between points, chair umpires are under orders to take a firm hand regarding time violations.
Andy Murray won the Brisbane title without being caught out but was sympathetic to colleagues who habitually take more time in their games - including rivals Nadal and Djokovic.
"I'm for them being more strict with the time, but I think they maybe should have increased the time allowed first, because 25 seconds goes by pretty quick," said the Scot. "We were told the reason for them changing the rule is because of the Aussie Open final last year, between Novak and Rafa, which I think everyone agrees was a classic match.
The ATP decision was apparently put into action during a meeting at the season-ending event last November in London.
But Murray says players really had no input on the key issue. "Tennis has changed, the rallies are much, much longer, so therefore it takes longer to recover.
"I like that there is a time violation in there. I think it'll be good. But I think starting off with 25 seconds at the beginning was a bit too much, because players just aren't used to playing at that pace."
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