Tennis Tourneys Leading Up To U.S. Open Add Serve, Warmup Clocks
Seven hard-court tennis tournaments leading up to the U.S. Open "mirrored the Grand Slam event by adding serve and warmup clocks in an effort to speed up matches," according to ESPN.com. Changes are coming to events in Washington, DC; San Jose, Calif.; Montreal; Toronto; Cincinnati, Ohio; New Haven, Conn.; and Winston-Salem, N.C. Those tournaments will have 25-second "serve clocks as well as a strict, seven-minute period from when players enter a court until action starts." The clocks will be "visible on court" (ESPN.com, 7/11). In N.Y., Karen Crouse reported the next tournament for many players following Wimbledon "will feature the serve clock," and Rafael Nadal is not "happy about the change." Pacing the baseline and "constantly using a towel to dry off are common stalling tactics in the men’s and women’s game." WTA Tour member Johanna Konta hopes the chair umpires will show "some humane judgment." She said, “There’s got to be a bit of give and take there.” Novak Djokovic added, "Everybody is trying to get this new generation of people, young people, that are very, so to say, connected to the digital world, and the attention span is not maybe as it used to be.” Djokovic said that his objection is with "how the change was carried out -- without seeking input from the players" (N.Y. TIMES, 7/12).