Tennis

Nadal at Monte Carlo Rolex Masters.

Rafael Nadal believes new tennis rule is a negative for the fans

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Global tennis icon Rafael Nadal has spoken out about the prospective use of a 25-second shot clock at the upcoming US Open later this year.

The shot clock works to enforce stronger rules on how much time the players on the court are allowed to take between serves after points, limiting it to just 25 seconds.

The Spaniard has claimed that the shot clock will turn out to be a negative feature added to the game, claiming that it could be a bad for the players after very long and grueling points, allowing little rest in between the next serve.

Nadal, notoriously known for his dominant presence on the court, is renowned for taking his time between points, as evident in being docked a first serve during his successful French Cup triumph last year.

Speaking about the consequences of the controversial addition to the game, Nadal said ahead of his Monte Carlo title defence: "For me it's not the ideal thing but if the sport is moving that way or they want to move that way, the only thing I can do is accept it and play.

 

"That's why I am here, to play tennis and to accept all the rules.

"The positive thing is probably you will control the time between points, but in the negative thing... In my experience, on the tennis court, the crowd gets more crazy, the crowd gets more emotional and enjoys the match with more passion when you play good points." 

The most strenuous part about it all, Nadal argues, is the physical aspect of the shot clock, claiming that players will be much more fatigued during the points, taking away from their peak physical performance in front of a loud and eager crowd.

"It's obvious that sometimes when you play a rally with 56 shots as I did with Novak (Djokovic) a couple of years ago in the final (US Open 2013), you cannot expect a good point if you have 25 seconds on the next point," said the 16-time Grand Slam champion.

ATP Masters Series: Monte Carlo Rolex Masters - Day Two

"Maybe for the business it's better but in my opinion for the good show and the show that the people get more involved, it's probably more a negative thing."

This will not be the first implementation of a shot clock in tennis, as it was trialled during US Open qualifying last year as well as the 2017 NextGen Finals in Milan and the Exhibition International Premier Tennis League. 

A player who has somewhat of experience with the shot clock, Croatian star Marin Cilic has given his say on what he has noticed about the new system.

"I played only with the shot clock in IPTL and it was only 20 seconds. In some cases it was working well and some cases not," said the world number three

Miami Open 2018 - Day 9

"Some ball boys were ready for that, some were better, some were not. I think it needs to be slightly balanced but I think it can be good for tennis to have something like that." 

Along the same lines, German star Alexander Zverev was also not too worried about the new potential system, claiming that he already is one of the quickest people on tour.

It remains to be seen how the shot clock will affect the game, however, one thing is certainly evident, some of the biggest names in the sport are divided on the opinion and it should be very interesting to see how it all pans out at the US Open later this year.

Topics:
Rafael Nadal
Tennis

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