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Tomas Berdych warns 25-second serve rule will wreck men's game

Posted on January 10, 2013 at 9:20 PM



Tomas Berdych warns 25-second serve rule will wreck men's game

•    Bruce Matthews

•    From: Herald Sun

•    January 10, 2013 12:00 AM

Czech Tomas Berdych has slammed the new rule of shortened time allowed between points.

Berdych said the cutback from 30 seconds to 25 won't help the men's game and he predicted it will cause trouble at the Australian Open.

The world No.6 said the rule was conveyed to players by email and didn't allow them time to change their routines in the off-season.

Under the new time limit, a player gets a warning from the chair umpire and then has to forgo a first serve for each subsequent offence.

Berdych said he was caught out several times in Chennai last week where he lost in the second round.

And he flagged problems at Melbourne Park, particularly on hot days over the next fortnight.

Berdych said the cutback will make it impossible for the Open to experience a match like the epic Novak Djokovic-Rafael Nadal final last year.

"It's not going to help improving the game, there's going to be no chance to see the matches, like Rafa and Djoko in the final," he said after his first-up win over Ivan Dodig at the AAMI Classic at Kooyong yesterday.

"I don't think tennis is going to move higher, like every other sport.

"I experienced that last week and I was not happy at all. I think there are many question marks around it and I don't see any good reason to have this rule.

"The hot conditions, it's almost impossible to make it (time between points). I had the experience in Chennai where it was really humid and you need the towel every time you finish a rally.

"The whole game (pattern) goes away, everything you've been doing for so many years is just gone in one decision.

"I haven't seen one single guy delaying a game for a purpose. Not my opponent, not ones I see on TV. No-one. And they come up with this idea.

"The first time I heard about it was in Chennai when I saw it written on the wall. I said, 'What is this?' and they said they sent an email with the change of the rules.

"I said, 'You're changing such a big thing and you tell people only like that?'. And they said 'Yeah, we sent an email'.

"If you know in advance, you have a chance to kind of prepare in the off-season because you need to start doing things differently if you want to make it in 25 (seconds).

"You really have to practice it."



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