March 09, 2012

Does Tennis Need a Shot Clock?: Novak Djovokic and Rafael Nadal played a 5-hour, 53-minute final at the Australian Open in January. Both players averaged more than 30 seconds between points, above the 20 seconds allowed in Grand Slam play, and still took too long after an umpire's warning. According to USA Today, the match "would have run roughly an hour shorter had they stayed within the rule." Andy Roddick and some other pros would like to see a shot clock. "I think that would be a good idea," said Robby Ginepri. "You have the radar gun there. Why not have it right above that?"

posted by rcade to tennis at 02:29 PM - 9 comments

I'm tired of this electronization of sports. If you removed the seconds for applause, I'd gather the average was closer to 20 seconds. Replays were horrible enough; humans need to apply the rules on their own, not with the backup of a machine.

posted by jjzucal at 02:57 PM on March 09

Why should we remove the seconds for applause? The players aren't pausing to bask in it. They're preparing for the next shot.

posted by rcade at 03:52 PM on March 09

Absolutely. And add one for batters flouncing around adjusting gloves and helmets in baseball. Get up there and make your play.

posted by deflated at 06:02 PM on March 09

Some type of time limit enforcement method is needed whether it is an NBA-style shot clock or some hybrid of it. Such enforcement left to a sole chair umpire could easily lead to cries of bias via inconsistent enforcement of time restrictions on one player over another.

When the tennis "play clock" starts on each play might be handled by a separate referee and not by the chair umpire who has other things in the match to take up his attention.

A shot clock like the NBA, play clock like the NFL or some other time-limit method would be something the players could each see and possibly use for any tactical maneuvering of their opponent.

posted by roberts at 06:11 PM on March 09

To atone for the NCAA's neglect, any shot clock put in anywhere should be named for Dean Smith.

posted by beaverboard at 07:01 PM on March 09

It's ridiculous all the stuff batters do in between pitches and is one of the main reasons I don't watch much baseball.

posted by insomnyuk at 10:23 PM on March 09

They used to have a service clock in tennis (at least I remember seeing one at White City in the late 70s - early 80s).

I didn't think the Aussie Open mens' final was too bad. However, I think some players used the time limit (and exceeded it) as part of gamesmanship to put off their opponent. I'm looking at you, Mary Pierce.

posted by owlhouse at 11:03 PM on March 09

You and her dad.

posted by yerfatma at 11:52 AM on March 10

I would love to see a shot clock in tennis. I enjoy watching Djovokic & Nadal play, but it's payful at times with the 25 ball bounces. I prefer watching Federer & Roddick play mainly because they play at a fairly rapid service pace.

posted by jmd82 at 01:53 PM on March 10

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