Andy Murray says that while he’s fine with umpires being stricter when it comes to time violations, he’s disappointed that the ATP did not lengthen the amount of time players are allowed in between points.
“I’m for them being more strict with the time, but I think they maybe should have increased the time allowed first, because 25 seconds goes by pretty quick,” Murray said. “We were told the reason for them changing the rule is because of the Aussie Open final last year [between Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal], which I think everyone agrees was a classic match. Right now, that match is getting shown whenever there is a delay or someone has pulled out or something, so it’s not like the TV hated the match and they’re never going to show it again.
I also think tennis also has changed as well. The rallies are much, much longer, so therefore it takes longer to recover. I like that there is a time violation in there. I think it’ll be good. But I think starting off with 25 seconds at the beginning was a bit too much, because players just aren’t used to playing at that pace.”
According to fellow player Grigor Dimitrov, it was the players who initiated the changes. The ATP Board of Directors eventually approved the change, whereby umpires are not allowed to be as flexible as they were in the past. Now, if a server takes more than 25 seconds to be ready, umpires give a warning first, and then take away a player’s serve (a fault) on the next and ensuing infractions.
Marcos Baghdatis was issued a time violation during the third-set tiebreaker of his loss to Dimitrov in Brisbane. After losing the point on an unforced error, he screamed at the top of his lungs in frustration.
Murray also added that the new rule is big advantage for the returners, because they can “just get to the line and just stand there and say that he’s ready; whereas the server, 99 percent of the players bounce the ball three or four times before their serve. That’s when guys are getting the penalties, when they’re actually bouncing. I got one the other day whilst I was bouncing a ball. I like the idea behind it. I just think they could have adjusted the time in between the points a little bit.”