• Murray wary of ATP slow play crackdown

    1/8/13 9:15 PM | Johan Lindahl
    Murray wary of ATP slow play crackdown 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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alex , 1/8/13 9:59 PM

All they need to do is speed up the courts so there are less 10000000000000000000000000000000000000000 shot boring rallies then the time of 25 seconds can be enforced. Simple.

chr18 , 1/8/13 11:08 PM

Time limit was brought in by the real ATP president.


Conspirator , 1/9/13 1:50 AM

About time.

There are timers in nearly all the top global sports. It puts pressure on the players to react quickly, making for much more exciting matches. As great as it is that the matches can go 4, 5, 6+ hours, it's a bit inconvenient to the other players waiting to get on the courts to play.

aegis , 1/9/13 4:30 AM

As has been pointed out many times, longest Wimbledon match ever was between two massive servers who had virtually no baseline rallies and boy, was that boring!

deuce , 1/9/13 7:24 AM

^^^^ 10000000000000000000000000000000 good points deuce. You hit the nail again on the right spot.

Raindrops , 1/9/13 10:40 AM

sitting through that entire match between isner and mahut is as bad a punishment as one could get ! on the other hand, i can watch fed vs rafa 2009 oz or fed vs rafa 2008 wimby or rafa vs djo RG 2012 or even Oz 2012 for hours and hours and shours! they use every inch of the court, they SHOW you every shot in the book ! even though a rafa djo match does not feature much net play but they are able to comep up with exquisite volleys too at times

vamosrafa , 1/9/13 1:15 PM

As has been discussed in the past the Isner/Mahut match was due to a lack of a fifth set tiebreak obviously. It is a separate issue from the time violations.

chr18 , 1/9/13 1:50 PM

But chr18, the question is, was the match interesting? You are advocating enforcement of the 25 sec rule claiming it will make matches short and interesting. Isner-Mahut match was neither short nor interesting. Further what is the rationale for 25 secs? Why not 30 or 40 or why not 10?
Is Federer to be taken as the standard disregarding all other players?
The arbitrary rule is being implemented only to favor Federer and is specifically meant to handicap Rafa and Nole. Depending on what happens at ATP events, the grand slams will act. We already know that Federer who controls ATP/ ITF/ grand slams intends to win two slams at least this year and equal Pete Sampras' record of 6 year end no. 1.
Last year he had announced he would win Wimbledon and get to no. 1 again and his fiefdom had dutifully obliged, manipulating whatever they could to favor him. Now they are going all out to further skew the conditions in his favor.
The question is, are the players going to protest or meekly accept the unrealistic rule thus handicapping themselves? Nole and other players should call for a rule change to realistically reflect reasonable time for today's athlete.

holdserve , 1/9/13 2:19 PM

Besides, it is a myth that the courts have been progressively slowed down. The fitter players with modern racket and string technology have become faster.
chr18 should advocate return to wood and gut. Maybe also long pants and long skirts.

holdserve , 1/9/13 2:27 PM

Someone has forgotten that the 4 legs of slams are equally the same rulings, no 5th set tiebreaker. So what's the point of justifying the long match of mahut/isner at W to that match of rafa/noli at AO if it is the same rule, NO 5TH tiebreaker? You were the one who injected issue of endless boring rallies LOL and now you are singing different tune.

Raindrops , 1/9/13 2:44 PM

There's a 5th set tiebreaker at USO. But it can hardly be deemed to be the standard. Does chr18 want all rules to be changed to suit Federer?
In fact the only rule which urgently needs to be implemented to make tennis interesting is the rule of fairness. Let draws be fair. Let schedules and court allocation be as per seeding. Let tests for blood doping be made as rigorous as is done by cycling union.
And as long as tests for HGH doping are not available, there should be an age limit for players. Mandatory retirement at age 30 i.e. before age 31 at which age there is a significant drop in naturally produced HGH. The minimum age for senior circuit to be reduced to 30.

holdserve , 1/9/13 3:03 PM

I don't mind if they increase the time limit between points to 30 or 35 seconds. It just makes no sense to have a rule and enforce it unevenly or not at all. Then the sport becomes a bit of a joke. A shot clock would be perfect but the ATP and ITF may need to increase the time allowed between points or give the players a few timeouts when they get too gassed.

chr18 , 1/9/13 7:15 PM

There are plenty of very entertaining five set matches that had been more entertaing than AO12 or SW19-08. These two matches are commentator's billig to be matches of all time but they were not in terms of entertainment and class.

newfangkc , 1/9/13 8:30 PM

No, it's this nonsense that's making tennis a joke...


Conspirator , 1/9/13 9:22 PM

30 seconds is good.On another topic,what if a player on his first serve plays a rally and loses the point?Should that player then be allowed to challenge his own serve?Any ideas from Nadal fans?Lol.

stratocast51 , 1/9/13 11:18 PM

On yet another topic, when fans eagerly cheer for their favourite player when they thought their player won a point even though the point didn't end, should that player be allowed to scream at his own fans to "SHUT UP"? LOL


Conspirator , 1/10/13 12:07 AM

To call the Isner/Mahut match boring is nothing more than personal preference. Ask the crowd who was chanting "WE WANT MORE" at the end of the second day if they thought it was boring.

ts38 , 1/10/13 2:48 AM

Obviously one is allowed to challenge one's own serve if he thinks its out. The umpire allows it that means its within the rules, I don't see why anyone here should question that. Why don't you question the umpire?

luckystar , 1/10/13 6:44 AM

I don't think Rafa played a rally, lost the point then he challenged his first serve. It's more of a reflexes from him when his serve, even when it's out, was returned by his opponent and he acted by hitting his shot before he challenged his serve. It's not like he engaged in a long rally then decided to challenge his own serve. The umpire should know better so I don't see what's the problem here. Even if its anyone else doing that and the umpire allowed it, that should be fine. I don't see the problem here with Rafa, more the problem of those who dislike him.

luckystar , 1/10/13 7:01 AM

I don't think that AO2012 final is a match of all times. To me that Rafa/Verdasco match is of a better quality, with more winners than unforced errors; and with more attacking tennis from both players. I don't recall Rafa/Verdasco taking more than 30 sec between points back then.

I have to add that Rafa at 2009 AO was better than the Rafa of 2012. Just look at his court positions, oh and his backhand of 2009 and we can see the difference.

luckystar , 1/10/13 7:13 AM

luckystar, I totally agree with you. The 2009 AO semi between Rafa and Nando is one of the best matches ever played. The problem is, Verdasco isn't Federer or Nole so the match wasn't between 2 giants of the game but between a giant and a low ranked player so it's marked down on that score. I think it should be marked up for David taking it to Goliath even though Goliath prevailed in the end. The shots in that match were out of this world.

The emotions and tensions in that match was from the first ball. Whilst the 2008 Wimbledon final was an epic, the first 2 sets were not really competitive, Rafa was ahead of Fed, it was only the final set that put the match on the map.

nadline , 1/10/13 8:07 AM

To call Nole v Rafa/Andy "boring" is also just a matter of personal preference, is it not?
Though how anyone can enjoy that kind of interminable, mind numbing, serving fest is completely beyond me.

deuce , 1/10/13 8:12 AM

Watching a replay of that Rafa/Verdasco match now. It's nearing the end at fifth set 5-4 , 30-0 for Rafa. Rafa's backhand back then was simply so good, and his slices were so well executed, stayed so low but just above the net! Every point was a potential winner more than an error. Verdasco looked so fearsome that Rafa looked like a little lamb in comparison! What a match!! It's a shame that the match ended on a DF from Verdasco.

luckystar , 1/10/13 9:54 AM

luckystar, what a gourmet you are :)

croc , 1/10/13 10:35 AM

Current ATP-rankings

1. Djokovic 12 500 pts
2. Murray 8 750 pts
3. Federer 8 670 pts
4. Ferrer 6 970 pts
5. Nadal 6 385 pts

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