Tennis

Wimbledon Champions Roger Federer has spoken out against grand changes to the sport..

Wimbledon officials looking to block new rule from Grand Slam

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The All England Club will strongly oppose any ideas to introduce in-match coaching to tennis as the four major associations meet during the ATP Finals.

Officials from the All England Club, Roland Garros, Australian Open, and US Open will meet in London to discuss potential changes to the sport, with some proposals being revolutionary - and proving highly contentious.

The most divisive issue is undoubtedly over the possible introduction of in-match coaching, with the All England Club vehemently against it.

"Allowing coaching is a fundamental change to the sport and would be a really big decision for tennis," said Richard Lewis, Chief Executive of Wimbledon, to ESPN.

Lewis proceeds to talk about the issue in more idealist terms, making a point for the entire purpose of the sport.

"We are philosophically very against," he explained.

"We believe it is a gladiatorial sport, an individual sport; you go on court and the whole premise of tennis is that you are on your own. That is one of the beauties of tennis compared to most, if not every other sport.

"For those that say it's difficult to police coaching at the moment and this would solve it -- we say it doesn't solve anything at all; it creates different issues. We will be pretty challenging and dogmatic on our views on coaching."

The concept has been trialled already, most notably at this year's Junior US Open.

BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore presented by SC Global - Day 2

It saw coaching being allowed at the end of each set - something that sounds far more understandable at Junior level, while certainly promising big changes to the way the elite level is handled.

Christophe Fagniez, director of the French Tennis Federation, also spoke out to ESPN, admitting that things are difficult for the extra-traditional All England Club while also asking for advancements.

"We have been very slow and protective," he said.

"It's time for making changes. Maybe we are not completely aligned around the table. We know that, for Wimbledon, it's always much more difficult."

Day Thirteen: The Championships - Wimbledon 2017

Roger Federer, naturally a strong voice in such discussion, has spoken out against the concept. The tennis legend feels the tour is good as it is, not seeing any reason for a change.

"We need to think and take it seriously," Federer said.

"Once you've done it, you don't want to bounce back and forward changing something if you don't like it later on. I don't see that much wrong with our Tour right now that needs that much fixing."

Other proposals at the meeting include a 25-second shot-clock, firmer rules on first-round retirees, and a reduction in warm-up time. None of which prove as divisive as the concept of on-court coaching, however, something looks to remain a talking point for the foreseeable future.

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Topics:
Wimbledon
US Open Tennis
Roger Federer
French Open
Australian Open
Tennis

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