Blog reader Jim Lavoie writes, “Watching a lot of US Open tennis. Does it annoy anyone else how the modern players have to call over their ‘towel person’ after every point? No other sport allows this. Isn’t sweat part of playing a sport?”
Major league baseball saw how their game was slowing down and taking longer and longer to play; so they had to legislate against batters stepping out after each pitch to readjust their batting gloves, tug at their baps and generally stall the pitcher and the game.
And there are a few senior tournament players who will try to “take you out of your rhythm” – especially on your service games – by walking very slowly and picking up every stray ball (even if you have two in hand and are ready to serve). And the same players will sit for a couple of extra minutes on changeovers.
Time for a Clock?
The rule is players are allowed 25 seconds in between points; and while Rafa Nadal constantly pushes the upper limits, players like the young Australian Nick Krygios (whose on-court demeanor I do not care for) will speed along with just 9 or 10 seconds between service points.
Is it time to have a clock on the court to visibly show the seconds going by? Basketball has the shot clock and football has the play clock; so should tennis have one too? Waddyathink?
By the way, the USTA says: Players have 90 seconds on the changeover that is timed from the end of the last point before the changeover to the beginning of the first point after the changeover. At set breaks players have 120 seconds. Between points the standard rule is that play must be continuous.
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