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Volume 6 No. 266
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Australian Open To Introduce 25-Second Shot Clock In First Round

The Australian Open will use a 25-second shot clock and players may be fined for retiring or performing "below professional standards" in the first round of Grand Slams from next season, according to the BBC. The shot clock is "one of a number of changes" decided by the Grand Slam Board. The GSB is "also intending to reduce Grand Slam seeds" from 32 to 16 in '19. Other rule changes include: 

  • Timing of pre-match warm-ups to be "strictly enforced," with players subject to a fine up to $20,000.
  • Any main draw singles player who is "unfit to play" and withdraws on site after 12p on Thursday before the start of the main draw "will now receive 50% of the first round prize money."
  • The replacement "lucky loser" will receive the remaining 50% plus any additional prize money earned thereafter.
Rafael Nadal criticized the introduction of a shot clock. He said, "If you don't want a great show, of course it's a great improvement" (BBC, 11/21).