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By Chris Oddo | Thursday April 12, 2018

US Open

The U.S. Open announced the introduction of a 25-second shot clock, effective at this year's tournament.

Photo Source: AP

Serve—or be punished.

The U.S. Open has announced that it will introduce a 25-second clock to enforce pace of play at this year’s tournament. After running a trial last year in juniors and qualifying, the tournament has decided to make it official.

The clock will be visible for players and spectators to see and the match umpire will trigger the reset of the clock after each point. Reportedly, umpires will be given flexibility to start the clock later after longer, more grueling points.

“We are concerned about the pace of play, as all sports are,” said Chris Widmaier, managing director of corporate communications for the U.S. Tennis Association, which owns and operates the U.S. Open. “We want to get ahead of this.”

According to Widmaier there were no major issues with the shot clock when it was introduced at non main draw events in New York.

Currently the U.S. Open is the only tournament set to run the clock, but if it goes well it could be adopted by the other three Grand Slams.

The new rules are welcome by many but certainly not all. For years, Rafael Nadal has warned that a shot clock would be bad for the integrity of the game. He insists that some of the more grueling points demand a longer recovery and more time to let enraptured audiences simmer down.

The U.S. Open also announced that it would implement a strict 7-minute time limit on players from the moment the walk out on court to the moment they begin the match. Players will have one minute to make it to net for the coin flip from the moment they walk out, then five minutes to warm up. Potential fines will be awarded to those who violate the rule.


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