Big changes for tennis

WASHINGTON. – Serve and warm-up tennis clocks making their ATP and WTA main draw debuts on Monday will be a positive for players, even routine-filled server Rafael Nadal, predicted the ATP Tour’s officiating head.

“There may be some bumps along the way but I think in the long run it’s going to be a positive for everybody,” ATP executive rules and competition vice president Gayle Bradshaw said on Monday. “I’m optimistic this is really going to be a big plus. I think there’s some anxiety because it’s new, but once they get out and try it they will be fine with it.” The US Open tested the clocks in 2017 qualifying and announced plans to use them in main draw matches when this year’s Grand Slam event begins August 27 on the New York hard-courts.

The ATP, WTA and US Tennis Association agreed on a protocol that would allow the clocks to be used in pre-US Open events so players could better adjust to the change.  “For myself, it’s not going to be easy,” said Japan’s 20th-ranked Kei Nishikori, the 2014 US Open runner-up. “I’m not going to have time to think much about where to put my serve between the points and with the heat it’s going to be a little bit tougher I think. – AFP.

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