Tennis-Alcaraz plans ATP talks over 'new' shot clock rule after defeat at Queen's

  • Tennis
  • Friday, 21 Jun 2024

FILE PHOTO: Tennis - Queen's Club Championships - The Queen's Club, London, Britain - June 20, 2024 Spain's Carlos Alcaraz in action during his round of 16 match against Britain's Jack Draper Action Images via Reuters/Paul Childs/File Photo

(Reuters) -World number two Carlos Alcaraz said he would speak to the ATP about a "new" shot clock rule being trialled by the governing body after feeling rushed during his defeat by Briton Jack Draper at the Queen's Club Championships.

Alcaraz's preparations for his Wimbledon title defence suffered a setback on Thursday with his 7-6(3) 6-3 loss to Draper in the last 16.

The 25-seconds shot clock was previously started only when the chair umpire called the score but the tweak to the rule in the trial means that the countdown to a serve begins almost immediately after a point is concluded.

The new regulation, aimed at streamlining game flow and ensuring consistent time management, has been on trial since the French Open concluded and an ATP source told Reuters it will continue in ATP tournaments until the end of the season.

Alcaraz said that he had no time to go through his regular routine during the match and that he had expressed his concerns to chair umpire Mohamed Lahyani.

"He told me that there is a new rule, this new thing, that the clock never stops. After the point is finished, the clock is putting on," Alcaraz added.

"I think for the players it's something bad. I finish the point at the net and I had no time to ask for balls. I'm not saying to go to a towel and take my time. I feel like I can't ask for the balls.

"It's crazy. I have time just to ask for two balls and no bounces. I've never seen something like that in tennis.

"If you play a long point or finish at the net, you have time just to go for a towel or ask for your routine, ask for, in my case, four balls, I'm concentrating on the next point, just bouncing my bounces and serve as best as I can.

"Today I felt like I was in a rush all the time. I had no time to bounce and do my routine."

The ATP source said umpires would still have the ability to pause the shot clocks in the event of disruptions beyond player or tournament control.

French Open champion Alcaraz was asked if he had spoken to the governing body.

"Not yet, but I will, for sure," said the Spaniard, who will now head to Wimbledon, which begins on July 1.

(Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Rutherford and Christian Radnedge)

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