Tennis time violators beware of your 2013 tennis season. That’s right, the players on the ATP will be held accountable to the 20 between points. There is no actual change to the current rule;
(Rule 29, section a) CONTINUOUS PLAY – Between points, a maximum of twenty (20) seconds is allowed. When the players change ends at the end of a game, a maximum of ninety (90) seconds are allowed. However, after the first game of each set and during a tie-break game, play shall be continuous and the players shall change ends without a rest. At the end of each set there shall be a set break of a maximum of one hundred and twenty (120) seconds. The maximum time starts from the moment that one point finishes until the first service is struck for the next point.
Event organizers may apply for ITF approval to extend the ninety (90) seconds allowed when the players change ends at the end of a game and the one hundred and twenty (120) seconds allowed at a set break.
*Same time violation rule applies for all four grand slam events in 2013
though the tennis officials are already sending a strong message early in the 2013 tennis season to the time violators.
I personally think it’s hilarious that these pros on the ATP are griping for being called out on a rule they have broken. Every professional (and hackers like myself) tennis player are all aware of the 20 second time rule between points. It’s not like it’s all the sudden a new rule that they have to become accustom to, it has always been there. It’s just never really been enforced, it has been a loose rule that most chair umpires, I feel, were too intimidated by the players to enforce the rule with consistency.
Andy Murray says penalties for time violators come from the 2012 Australian Open final
Andy Murray thinks the sudden enforcement of the 20 second time between points rule stems from the near 6 hour 2012 Australian Open final between Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic. It is estimated that an additional 70 minutes were added to the match last year due to time violations. He does agree that there has to be a certain flow to the sport but to make the time between points a bit longer (at least 30 seconds), “Twenty-five seconds goes by really, really quick when you’re on the court,” Murray said after his semifinal victory at the Brisbane International on Saturday. “All it takes is a shoelace to come undone and you’re out of time. Guys have been getting warnings when they change their racket for breaking a string or whatever. That’s also not right.”
I agree to a certain extent, the rule should be enforced on the time violators but there has to be a certain level of discretion; time violators should only be called out on their own serve and not when the receiver is taking his time (remember, play at the servers pace).
If the enforcement of the rule does stick, I can see this being bothersome for Rafa Nadal, as he is a notorious time violator; often taking 30 to 40 seconds between points regularly, especially during big hot matches. How will Nadal react to being called for a time violation in 2013? Who knows, though it should be an interesting show when he comes back.
This will be an interesting development if the time violators are called out during the 2013 Australian Open. It will offer a new dynamic and add some drama to the tournament. I hope the umpires will enforce the rule.