US Open becomes the first Major that would use a serve clock in main draw


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US Open becomes the first Major that would use a serve clock in main draw

Alongside the usual decor that accompanies every big tournament, the US Open will add another one this summer, becoming the first Grand Slam event that would use a 25-second serve clock in the main draws. In 2017, we had a chance to see this innovation in qualifying and junior events and it all went well and that encouraged the organizers to apply the rule on every level and introduce it in the senior main draws as well.

In addition, there are strict rules about pre-match warm-up, with only seven minutes that could pass from stepping on the court until the first point. Rafael Nadal and some others like to take a longer break after arriving on the bench, preparing their bottles, racquets and fixing their gear but is long gone now, with exactly one minute between showing on the court and appearing at the net to receive the final guidance before a five-minute warm-up.

After that, there's another minute for preparing for the opening point of the match and the violators could be fined up to $20,000! If players fail to obey the 25-second serve rule there are three levels of penalty waiting to fall over on them, the warning for the first time overstep, followed by the loss of a point and eventually the loss of a game.

In some way, players will have more time to prepare themselves for the next point since they had only 20 seconds to spend so far, but they will have to be careful to get used to this new rule and restrict their preparation on 25 seconds.

Of course, not every point is the same and the chair umpire will have the possibility to delay the start of the next point after a long previous point in the late stages of what already has been a long match, in tough weather conditions and if fans interrupt the players between two points.

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