‘I’ve never seen anything like this in tennis’ | Relief

Several years have passed since then tennis realized that it was losing a young audience. It is difficult to see children under 25 years old in the stands of the main stadiums in the world. AND Industry leaders believe they’ve found the solution: Tennis needs faster and more in the stands you have to go sober this has always characterized racquet sports.

The debate over whether spectators can speak and move freely has been going on for some time. maybe it won’t last long see a DJ on the dance floor encourages the players in an official match. But beyond the spectacle that can unfold around a match, with many actors outside the tennis industry getting involved, There is something that is 100% up to the ATP and WTA bosses: the length of matches..

The trend in recent decades has been to shorten matches as much as possible. In the mid-2000s, Masters 1000 finals were shortened to five sets, and in recent years, all Grand Slam tournaments have added a fifth-set tiebreaker.. It is now impossible to see anything close to the mythical score of 70-68 between John Isner and Nicolas Mahut at Wimbledon 2010, the longest match in history (11 hours and six minutes).

Nadal’s complaints about the watch

The 2018 Australian Open introduced a score counter between scores for the first time. Since then, tennis players have 25 seconds between rallies. At the time, this rule was dubbed “anti-Nadal”. and the Spanish tennis player actually demonstrated his rejection.

“If you have a watch with 25 seconds to act out extreme situations, you can’t ask for a better show.”

Rafael Nadal

I don’t think this is good for the future of the track. Personally, I’m not worried. I’m not going to play for another 10 years. I can easily adapt to this,” Nadal explained at the end of 2017. “But in my opinion, playing at 15 or 18 degrees is not the same as playing at 35, and that is why we have tower umpires who are able to assess the conditions to create the best show for the fans. If you have a watch with 25 seconds to play in extreme situations, you can’t ask for a better show.“.

From Australia 2018, this clock is activated when the chair umpire awards the previous point on his tablet. And often this is something subjective.: When the referee sees that an exchange is getting boring, he presses the button longer than necessary to give the players more air.

The Trials and Wrath of Alcaraz

However, the ATP now wants to go even further, with two ATP500 tournaments taking place in Queens and Halle this week. tests a new rule: the clock is activated as soon as the previous point ends. That is, it does not matter whether the point was an ace or a 50-shot exchange.

“I’m not talking about taking a towel or taking the time. I don’t even have time to go to the balls. This is madness. I only have time to ask for two balls and I can’t even hit them.” I’ve never seen this in tennis.”

Carlos Alcaraz

Alcaraz, world number two and recent Roland Garros champion, was a brand new player at Queen’s this week. “This is a new rule. The clock never stops. As soon as the point ends, the clock starts counting. I think it’s bad for the players. I realized a point in the net and didn’t even have time to take care of the balls.“The Murcian said on Thursday after losing to Jack Draper in the round of 16 at Queen’s.

“I’m not talking about getting a towel or spending some time. I don’t even have time to go to balls. This is madness. I only have time to order two balls and can’t even throw them away. I’ve never seen this in tennis“added the three-time Grand Slam champion. “If you play a long point or end up at the net, you won’t have time to grab your towel or you won’t be able to do the drill. You can’t concentrate on the next point. “Today I felt like I had to rush all the time and I couldn’t perform my duties.”

For now, It is unknown whether the ATP will apply this new rule to all tournaments and surfaces. after this week of testing in Halle and Queens.

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