US Open: Stosur, Sharapova unite in clampdown on time wasters

Aug 28, 2014, 08:21 IST | AFP

Samantha Stosur joined fellow former US Open champion Maria Sharapova in calling for a clamp down on tennis time-wasters on Tuesday

New York: Samantha Stosur joined fellow former US Open champion Maria Sharapova in calling for a clamp down on tennis time-wasters on Tuesday. Australian 30-year-old Stosur demanded that the '20-seconds between points' rule be strictly observed regardless of the status of players within the sport who may be tempted to abuse it to gain an edge.

Stosur's demands came just a day after Sharapova only half-jokingly said that all players insisting on medical timeouts should be charged $2,500 as a test of the severity of their ailments. "Maybe this 20 second rule needs to be implemented fairly for all players on all courts.

I guess the umpires have really got to look at what's going on on every single situation," said Stosur, who believes she has been a victim of an over-zealous approach in recent times. "Let's just say the last few slams I keep getting called for these soft warnings, and I've never been called for a time violation in my life, and I get told to hurry up while my opponent is in the back fence."

The women's tour has a 20-second limit while the men's game insists on a slightly more generous 25 seconds. The four Grand Slam events, however, are in the 20-second camp. Stosur added that the installation of a "shot-clock" on court to remind players of their obligations both to the fans and to the sport could be a step in the right direction.

It was an approach aired by Roger Federer at Wimbledon this year after Rafael Nadal had been accused -- not for the first time -- of taking more than 20 seconds. His accuser this time was Lukas Rosol who claimed the notoriously slow-going Nadal was taking around 30 seconds.

"I think it's important that we, as players, play up to speed and don't exceed the time limit, because what I don't want is that we lose viewers because we play too slow," said 17-time major winner Federer. Stosur revealed that players had met recently and the issue of having clocks on all courts had been raised in a drive to keep the action ticking over.

"I don't think that would be a bad idea. You know where you stand. I think everyone was kind of for it. As long as it's fair -- no matter where you are and who you're playing, I think all players would be fine with it."

On Monday, Sharapova had suggested a financial levy be introduced when medical timeouts are called. "I think we'd all see who really uses them and who doesn't. Yeah, I don't know what we put on it, maybe like 2,500 (dollars) or something. That would be fun," said Sharapova after her first round opponent Maria Kirilenko had taken a timeout to treat a left ankle injury.

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