WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (July 11, 2018) - The Winston-Salem Open will be one of seven tournaments throughout the summer to use game innovations announced today by the USTA, the ATP, and the WTA. The rule changes were the result of collaboration and consultation between all three organizations and are aimed at increasing the speed of play and creating consistency in time-related enforcement standards.
Tournament Director Bill Oakes says he’s excited about the rule changes, “We couldn’t be happier to be one of the tournaments featuring these changes, which look to be the future of the sport. These innovations are great to continue to provide a better product for our fans.”
As per information from these governing bodies of national and international tennis, the Winston-Salem Open will implement the following innovations:
Warm Up Clock
A one-minute clock will begin when the second player/team entering the court arrives at their chair(s). If at the end of that one minute, a player is not at the net, they will be notified by the Chair Umpire and subject to a post-match fine. This will not be a time violation.
A five-minute time clock will begin following the coin-toss and begin the warm-up period. During this time, the Chair Umpire will make announcements informing the players of the 3-minute, 2-minute, 1-minute, 30-seconds, and end-of-warm-up marks. Following the conclusion on the five-minute warm-up period, a one-minute countdown will commence. At the end of this one-minute countdown, a player must be ready to play. If a player is not ready at this juncture, the Chair Umpire will announce a “Start of Match Violation” and the player will be subject to a post-match fine. This will not be a time violation.
The server will be given up to 25 seconds to serve. This will be enforced in the following ways:
The Chair Umpire will have the ability and discretion to pause the clock. The Chair Umpire will have the ability to resume the clock from the same time or reset the clock to 25-seconds. Although the exact location has yet to be determined, a “clock” will be placed in a position visible to players, fans and the Chair Umpire.
Along with the Winston-Salem Open, events in Washington D.C.; San Jose, CA; Montreal; Toronto; Cincinnati, OH; and New Haven, CT will also use these new rules, as will the US Open in New York, NY at the end of the summer. In 2017, the US Open utilized a Serve Clock and a Warm-Up Clock in the qualifying rounds, as well as the Junior Tournament, Wheelchair Competition, American College Invitational, and Champions Invitational. The ATP also featured a Shot Clock at the inaugural Next Gen Finals in Milan in 2017.