One of the “innovations” at this year’s ATP Milan event, ballboys will no longer be in possession of sweaty, gross player towels. Instead, players will have to pick them up themselves off a towel rack, it was announced back in May.
Obviously this only impacts the younger players, but what do the top veterans think about this? Both Kei Nishikori and Roger Federer don’t sound convinced it’s a good idea because it will slow the game down at a time when the tour is trying to speed it up. And Rafael Nadal stated back in May he thought it was “stupid”.
Well, I think the idea of having the ball kids bring it to you is to speed up the points, you know, in between. If now you’ve got a hook or a rail in the back, I don’t know. It’s like are you wasting extra three seconds of time each and every point? Which doesn’t sound like a lot, but you add that over a five-hour match, next thing you know, you saw much less tennis and this match could have ended four-and-a-half hours earlier maybe or like a half an hour earlier.
So I mean, sure, try it out. See what happens. But it is true that all the players nowadays almost have towels just because it’s gotten more intense. Maybe we sweat more. I’m not sure what the deal is. Also for guys to relax quicker their mind. Maybe they feel like having the towel is something that brings them down.
But I think the idea of having the ball kid bring it and take it away from you again is to really save time so you don’t have to walk so far back and come back again. I think that’s the idea. So we’ll see.
I really think that we are doing sometimes stupid things. Because that’s not the big improvement on the sport at all, you know.
Ball boys are there for something. So, at the end of the day, it’s important to innovate, to create new things. But I really don’t believe that that creates any impact on the game. For me personally, I really don’t care at all.
But being honest, I don’t know. If they want us to go faster between points and now we have to go behind the court for the towel, we have to go running for the towel, too. So, don’t make much sense.
Maybe I don’t prefer that one. Maybe that may take some time, maybe. Well, they put the clock thing, you know, this year.
Oh, I think it was good, but at the same time it’s not easy. Sometimes, you know, you have to rush for the point. You have to think about the point, next points. So, I mean, it may be good for tennis, but, you know, I think some of the players struggling too.
Yeah, I see many positive things. They changing many things now, and, you know, not easy to change when you have, you know, many histories. Tennis has long history and not easy to change, I know, but it’s good to see something ATP is making some new things.
Among the other changes in Milan, players will have just four minutes instead of five for their warm-up.
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