Federer, Nadal Argue Over Time Violations, Who’s Right And What’s The Answer?
by Sean Randall | March 9th, 2012, 1:41 am

It was only inevitable. The friendly rivalry between Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal turned into a war of words at Indian Wells this week. The two legends were asked about the increasing time taken between points by the likes of Nadal and Novak Djokovic, who were both often exceeding the allowable 20 seconds during their epic Australian Open final in January, and they each offered differing views.

Federer, in his old school-ish ways, rarely gets drawn for a violation, and no surprisingly he thinks that the rule just isn’t enforced enough.

“I do believe the officials could be a bit more tough on timing,” Federer said. “I’m not complaining a lot, but I don’t know how you can go through a four-hour match with Rafa and he never gets a time violation. It’s natural that even I would go over time, but they never call it. There are times when they could be a bit more firm because at the end of the day I don’t know if fans are getting frustrated to watch five points that are going to take us five minutes.”

Zing! Shot across Rafa’s bow! Roger wants enforcement!

Nadal, the true scofflaw in this discussion, had his opportunity for a rebuttal and offered this:

“The rules are there, but we cannot expect to play six hours and play rallies of crazy points and rest for 20 seconds for nobody. If the umpire considers that he has to put a warning because the player is not doing the right thing between points, I think the players have to accept. The rule is there but I think it is more the [interpretation] of the umpire, that’s my way to understand the rule. Everyone understands different ways and you can understand to some its 15 seconds under normal conditions. But you have to understand how the match goes and that’s the role of the umpire. They have given me a lot of warnings in my career and I have accepted almost every one, because sometimes they are right, and the same for Novak having to do it a few times, too. It’s part of the game and we have to follow the rules, but we don’t have to [put blinders on].”

Rafa is saying that yes, the rule is there, he knows that. But, he argues, the umpire understands that there are occasions when more recovery time is necessary – read: every single point of Nadal-Djokovic Australian Open final!

So who’s right and who’s wrong? Well, they both are right and they both are wrong, to an extent.

First, Federer is right. If it’s a rule in the rulebook then it should be followed, otherwise why have it in the rulebook at all. That simple.

But Nadal is also right, to a degree, because the rule needs to be modified or done away with.

The 20 or 25 seconds allotted between points has been around for quite some time. Though I cannot say with certainty when it was established, I have a hunch it’s been around since the 70s/80s, perhaps earlier. And back then players were not playing points like Nadal and Djokovic were in Australia. They just weren’t. We’ve all seen the video of those matches in the 70s and even in the early 80s and silently thought to ourselves, what sport is that?

So given the physical, bruising nature of play these days the competitors should be allowed extra time when the point warrants. The points being played today are nothing like those played 30-40 years ago.

That said, the serve is still a serve. So after hitting an ace there’s no excuse for Nadal to need 30 seconds to serve. Or Novak having to bounce the ball another 15 times. That’s plain wrong.

Which brings us to the shot clock discussion. I mentioned the possibility of one back in 2008 and few people thought much of it at the time. But here we are and talk seems to be gaining some mild momentum.

However, while I’d like to see one in place- and I even wrote we’d get one in four years (2012) – I don’t it’s going to happen anytime soon. And that’s because I have to believe the high ranking tennis officials will recognize the issue, convene and rewrite the rule allowing an extra 5-10 seconds for players to address the serve. With it they’ll toughen the enforcement policy issuing warnings and penalties to those offenders. Hopefully.

And we can all get back to watching tennis instead of guys toweling off, bouncing balls and picking their backside. We don’t have time for that!

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175 Comments for Federer, Nadal Argue Over Time Violations, Who’s Right And What’s The Answer?

Muralisk Says:

Federer is bang on. If it’s a rule, then it has to be enforced without any exceptions. Rafa’s argument doesn’t hold water as playing long rallies is no excuse. Who asked him to play defensive tennis. Why can’t be more attacking and hitting winners rather than winning of opponents unforced errors.

Nirmal Kumar Says:

Roger has a perfect point there. But why would he call Nadal’s name alone, because even Novak, Murray and DelPo everyone seems to be doing the same. Ofcourse Nadal has done many more things in terms of breaking the rules, so Roger thinks his name should be discussed first.

But if Roger is changing his attitude by taking on NAdal verbally, it’s nice to hear. I want this to be shown in his matches against NAdal. It’s probably a good starting point rather than just patting Nadal on his back everytime.

I’m not sure if Roger has been questioned before on the timely (un) timeouts Nadal used to take against in. Since Roger is much more outspoken against Nadal now, I would like to here his thoughts on the same.

Nirmal Kumar Says:

If Rafa’s point is that playing longer matches takes it’s toll, then is it Ok to enforce the timeline in the 1st 2 hours of the match and then relax it later.

Then probably they should change the timeouts based on the duration of the match. Keep a value for forst 2 hrs and increase the value gradually as the match time increases, as per Nadal’s argument.

margot Says:

Can’t a player of Roger’s status speak to the umpire during a match if he feels there’s a time violation? Or is this thought to be “unsporting” or something?
I believe, and rather more applicable to the women’s side regrettably, if an opponent’s shrieking disturbs a player, she can complain.

Mark Says:

Sean Randall. You and your colleagues seem to be obsessed with Nadal’s backside. If you and anybody else choose to watch his matches then u will have to put up with this tic. He has said it is a habit which he has had since his teens. So put up or shut up. I think it is very obvious that Fed is already peeing in his pants at the prospect of meeting Rafa in the semis and hence his attack on Rafa. Go Rafa. Kick the ole guy’s butt if u meet in the semis!!!!

Epsilon Says:

A shot clock…

If a player crosses the allotted time, it would shoot him?

Now hat is deterrence!

Epsilon Says:


Steve 27 Says:

The journalists and there obvious purpose of create polemics, or am I wrong, Mr. Randall?

Cecilia Says:

Rafa still the best I like the way he play go go go Nadal

L Says:

It seems like every journalist writing about this diatribe is conveniently leaving this bit out of Federer’s quote:

“No. They (officials) are being too loose about it. I understand that after a longer rally you gotta give the guy some time to recover.”

Brando Says:

I think rogers right on this one. As much as a rafa fan I am, I was exhausted by the end of the aus open- it just was too long of a match to watch. Now if the Match time can be reduced, I think it makes good sense to go for it. The rule is there for everyone- I imagine it was there before any of these players came on the scene- so it should be enforced. There is no point of having it otherwise. However, rafa has a point. Sometimes a rally is exhausting and the players would need longer, thererfore I think sean’s shot clock idea is a good one. Use it and where players need greater time, the umpire should give them the discretion to do so. It would cut out the unnecessary extension of time between points, meet the rules and meet the common sense arguement that, after long, exhausting rallies 20 seconds may not be enough.

Brando Says:

@ L: thanks for that quote. Not the 1st time the media selects what best makes a story for them, choosing to leave out the entire truth.

van orten Says:

i predict more tournaments will use faster balls at their tournaments…maybe they will not change the court but the australian open final was way too long and exhausting to watch…

alison hodge Says:

brando yeah i could not have put it better myself,i am also a diehard rafa fan like yourself,but rules are rules and are there to be enforced,rafa fans will probably say hes been singled out yet again,but thats not the case here as djokovic also needs to be held accoutable too,so its not as if its personal,but i also agree with rafa that a little common sense should be applied,and maybe a little more time should be given,to allow players to at least get there breath back between long rallies,but till the rules are changed,rafa and novak have no choice but to accept them,like it or not.

Brando Says:

@Alison: hi there. Yep, in agreement. I don’t think rafa or nole fans should be aggrieved though, since they are the rules, their the same for everyone and it’s not some agenda that’s being pushed against them. It’s a great achievement to play a 5hr 50m plus match, but like can van orten mentioned, it’s just far too long to watch. It was exhausting to such an extent that or felt they had played the match it itself! Draining to watch! Rafa/ nole fans I think would have sat through it- so would have genuine/ die hard tennis fans, due to it being a GS final- but it would have not appealed to any passive follower of the sport, since it was too damn long! An thruth be told, you cannot blame them for doing so!

Brando Says:

^^apologies for the frequent errors, on the bloody iPhone atm!

roy Says:

federer hits a lot of aces and unreturned serves, that’s why he loves this 20second rule.
if he had to fight for as many service points as nadal perhaps he would think differently.

‘So after hitting an ace there’s no excuse for Nadal to need 30 seconds to serve. ‘

true, but how often does he hit an ace.

and the same goes for plenty of small players.

Sienna Says:

Roy who is a small player? Rafa in height , composure or matches won outside clay?

alison hodge Says:

brando yeah i was at work that day,i work in a care home for the elderly and they had the match on the lounge,and the others watched it in there bedrooms,they had there lunch at 1 o clock,and afterwards one old girl said im so dissapointed as i expect ive missed the rest of the tennis,when she turned the tv on it was still going on,and then she said isnt it marvelous that these men,can run around for that long lol,when the match finnished so had my shift lol,although i think i would rather watch that match,than the sharapova/azarenka snorefest the day before,even if it was a bit toooo long.

alison hodge Says:

sorry had there lunch at 12 o clock and finished it at 1 o clock duh.

alison hodge Says:

i agree with margot much more annoying than the time violation is the endless grunting that the females do,maybe they should start giving out warnings for that aswell.

Roger de Vries Says:

I think Rafa’s slow manner is at times really annoying to watch. Let’s be honest, he often takes so much time getting in position to serve (and sometimes return) while he’s seemingly not having to catch breath.

I would want the umpires to be especially more strict after quick points. If Nadal needs 35-50 seconds after a long rally that’s the way it is, hard to penalize that without stirring up controversy in the crowd. But if he needs 30-35 seconds after a 3-stroke rally, I think it’s unnecessary and breaks the rhythm of the opponents (I’m pretty sure Federer hates waiting but doesn’t say so).

Everyone is entitled to my opinion Says:

A lot of people have no idea how the time limit came into force, this why:

“ I brought in the 30-second rule between points because [Rod] Laver couldn’t stand [Ilie] Nastase and all his antics with umpires, time-wasting, and said he wouldn’t play [in the WCT]. So I sat down, came up with the rule, put a clock on the court so everyone could see it, and that was that. Now I see they are talking about clocks again to get Djokovic and Nadal to move faster.

“Perhaps we can instigate a change in the grand-slams. The best-of-five-set matches are killing the guys these days, hour after hour. TV doesn’t want it, neither does the public, not in this day and age.”


This sort of disruption doesn’t happen anymore, so the rule should be removed.

Everyone is entitled to my opinion Says:

I meant to say it was introduced by Mike Davies.

Brando Says:

@Alison: Yes, in that particular scenario it would have worked out fine if i was in your place!

Re women’s tennis: i have never mentioned anything about women’s tennis here since i started blogging, but now i shall.

All i have to say about the point that you and margot have made- re women’s grunting- is that i have stopped watching women’s tennis because of that. I would find it off putting, annoying and there just wasn’t/isn’t a player on the women’s side that i particularly enjoyed watching (once henin retired of course), so i stopped watching the women’s game altogether.

trufan Says:

Nadal’s matches are a snoozefest. And he is unsporting. Shoking on a banana, remember? Or faking injuries, then running like a rabbit the next two hours?

Look at his statement:

“The rules are there, but we cannot expect to play six hours and play rallies of crazy points and rest for 20 seconds for nobody”

To my memory, Nadal has only played ONE six hour match (that was also 7 minutes under). Matches going longer than 4 hours are rare, even with Nadal’s delaying tactics. So why is he being dishonest by alluding to that one single match this year, where I agree, during the last couple of hours, the referee was right in not enforcing the time limit?

I agree with the earlier suggestion – enforce it really tightly the first two hours of a match. That’s 80 percent of matches on the ATP tour.

These tennis players are becoming pussies. They should try playing squash – they probably won’t last even 30 minutes. There’s no rest between points. Are you kidding me?

Enough with the butt picking.

jane Says:

Interesting: I wonder how this issue came up, i.e., if a journalist asked about it due to the long AO final or what? Anyhow I think what a lot of you have already said makes sense – have the rule but when the rallies are extra long etcetera, enforce the rule only judiciously. He hasn’t been mentioned much, but I find Delpo to be very slow between points; I noticed it in his recent match with Fed. But he hits a few more aces and has perhaps more short points, so it might be less noticeable overall.

Ajet Says:

I agree with whoever thinks that the nadal-djoker australian final was not super-exciting. And I am also with those whoever felt exhausted watching the shrtened highlights, let alone watch the full highlight/live telecast! And can’t even imagine about being a spectator in such a match, even though much may be the history involved in such matches!

And Nadal’s matches, though hardly turn me on, but i can kinda manage watching them. I like djoker’s matches more as they’re more aggressive in general. But nadal-djoker matches, especially on slow hardcourts, definitely send me to sleep! TALK OF SNOOZEFEST! :/

Fot Says:

The whole issue here, to me, is that since it is in the rule books…why not enforce it? If they don’t think this rule is ‘up-to-date’ – then change it. But until then – a rule with no enforcement is no rule at all.

Personally, I love it when the players get up there and serve, play a point…then keep the match moving. Look at the average time for just a 2 set match with someone like Roger, verse a 2 set match with Nadal? It’s like day and night – even if both matches were 6-2 6-1. It might take Roger 50 minutes to win a match like that, whereas it’ll take Nadal 1 hour and 30 minutes to win a match like that.

I remember when they both were playing at the same time on different courts, and Roger had finished his match while Nadal was still in the 1st set of his match – yet the scores were basically the same at the end. And it’s not just Nadal. It’s a lot of players who like to take their time between points. The announcers mentioned how much time Del Po was taking in that SF against Roger at Dubai, vs how much time Roger was taking. So you can’t just blame it on “Roger getting free points on his serve”….Del Po was too…it was just all the ‘extra’, stuff taking a lot of time.

I have always though it would be interesting to have a shot clock on each end of the court so both players and fans could see. It works in basketball…I think it would work in tennis. Why not, at least, experiment with one to see? Otherwise, just take the rule out of the books and let the players have as much time as they want between points. Who cares if we (the fans) would have to be tortured to a 3 hour 6-2 6-3 match sometimes!…and don’t even think about how long the best of 5 matches would then take! Gee!

Ajet Says:

i was enjoying nadal moonballing djoker in that rome final though (as djoker was promptly hitting many winners on them or forcing errors upon nadal)… B-)

Ajet Says:

And so far as the matter of enforcing rule goes, I want time-violation rule to be strictly enforced and whoever violates, must be penalised. I think djoker and nadal and delpo etc. do it coz thay’re not being penalised. In any society, it’s a granted thing that only if you allow rules to be violated, then only people dare to violate and violate them. But whichever society/community enforces discipline and sanctions penalties for non-conformity to rules, there whoever violates it, does it at his own peril(but generally people are far more law-abiding). And even now in tennis, most players conform to rules barring a few like djoker, delpo and nadal etc. sO imhp, if tme-violation rules are enforced and penalty given for violation, then not even nadal/djoker or anybody else would dare do it! Moreover, the 20 second rule seems players-friendly and beneficial overall, so a public-spirited knid of rule. So why not enforce it?? Frankly, I was damn angry and irritated when all nadal was doing in between serving between points in WIM 08 final was fixing his hair. Evn i was agitated! If I were in Roger’s place, I would have complained to the referee without any hesitation, as it quite seemed to me to be hampering federer’s momentum and wrythm. Why should fed and other quick and aggressive playewrs wait for 10-15 seconds more than usual for receiving. It definitely can play havoc with concentration at crucial points!

Ajet Says:

And if at all any relaxation is to be given, then it must not exceed 5 seconds. 25 seconds between points is quite reasonable. must not exceed that in any case.

and if courts could be decided to make faster, then i could be very pleased, as i don’t honestly like endlessly physical tennis and points between two guys, it kills excitement.

Humble Rafa Says:

Long time between points is like medical time outs. Some people need it, you have to understand.

jane Says:

It’s true Ajet, like the old saying “give an inch, take a mile.” I guess the powers-that-be could maybe make it 25 seconds – period – and then penalties. Or they could try the strict 20 seconds for 2 hours and then maybe relax it for longer matches (to 25 seconds or something)? When it’s up to the umpire, then it can vary too much based on each umpires discretion, which isn’t necessarily good for players either, because then there is no consistency for them. I do find matches more physical now, given that surfaces are slower, and because there are more long points (i.e., less won off serves and more won off returns and rallies) maybe some kind of adjustment needs to be made? However if or once it is made, it should be adhered to; otherwise there is no point for the rule in the first place.

alison hodge Says:

ajet i have that 2008 final on dvd,and fed did complain,eventually rafa was given a warning and rightly so,it is annoying though and its gone on too long,maybe jane has the right idea,something should be done though one way or the other,

Mark Says:

The CHOCOLATE BOY has certainly dug up a hornet’s nest. He doesn’t give a damn about the rest of the players just No. 1. He has an easy style of play, he doesn’t sweat so even a 5 second gap between points suits him. And why should they introduce a shot clock? These r not kids playing in a school playground – these r highly competitive tennis matches which r extremely draining for all players except Chocolate Boy. It should be left to the discretion of the umpires. Go suck a lemon Chocolate Boy.

RZ Says:

They’re both right. Roger is correct that some players (Rafa, Nole) take advantage of the leniency and take way too much time. The officials really need to start calling it. But Rafa is right that in a long match, more leniency is needed.

But the fact is that while the two chief offenders (Rafa and Nole) are at the top of the game, the ATP will not be doing much to stop this, just like the WTA won’t crack down on screeching by the women while the two chief offenders (Shriekapova and Azaryellka) are on top.

RZ Says:

I’ve also felt that one of the tactics that Roger should employ while playing Rafa and Nole is to rush them on his serve. They can pick the pace when it’s their service, but Roger sometimes lets them slow his service down. The server sets the pace and he should make them play to his pace.

alison hodge Says:

rz the grunting and shrieking annoys me way more than the time violation,probably like brando the reason i dont have much time for womans tennis,with the odd exceptions.

Dave Says:

How time violation can affect a physical, bruising tennis match:

RZ Says:

Alison, same here. I refuse to watch Shriekapova. I’m thinking of taking a sign to Indian Wells that says “Stop screaming!” but then I’d have to sit through one of her matches and listen to her to do that.

Sean Randall Says:

Epsilon, that would be an interesting twist. I’m for it!

L, thanks for adding.

Roy, Rafa also hits service winners, same thing as an ace.

Everyone is entitled to my opinion, thanks for the background.

Ajet, correct. They do it b/c they can get away with it.

Dave Says:

The rule should be enforced with a shot clock and penalties, with limited discretion given to umpires to allow a few extra seconds if the situation truly warrants it. If players like Gael Monfils, Federer, etc can respect and play within the rules, so should all other players. The serial time violations have helped play to become more physical and bruising nowadays (obviously there are other factors). This has given advantage to certain players like Nadal and Djokovic who seek to impose their physical play on opponents. If all players were forced to respect the time rule, would Nadal and Djokovic be able to play their bruising style of tennis to such an extent? Nope. Breaking the time rule allows them to do just that. The lax enforcement of sound rules is changing the nature of play, benefitting certain players who can wear down their opponents as well as themselves, leading to more whining that the season is too long, blah, blah. Perhaps if Nadal served within the rules he would have to learn to play within the rules and save him the trouble of lobbying for changes to traditional tennis conditions.

A parallel is the serving rule: imagine what would happen if Raonic, Karlovic, Isner, Roddick, Berdych, Tsonga and perhaps Delpo were able — because of lax enforcement — to violate the service rule by stepping on or inside the baseline during their service motion. Federer, Nadal, Djokovic, Murray, Ferrer might not be the top five players in the world. Should tennis officials recognize the issue, convene and rewrite the rule allowing an extra 2 to 3 inches for players to move inside the baseline while serving so that we can legitimize their cheating? Nope.

Carl Bialik: “Nadal’s and Djokovic’s final on Sunday was a classic, but it also was about an hour longer than it needed to be, as each player is among the slowest in men’s tennis when it comes to pace of play between points. There were 369 points played in 353 minutes of tennis, or 1.04 points per minute, in line with their slow pace in their six meetings in 2011. You’ll hear, in their defense, how grueling the match was. That’s certainly a factor — the sight of the two players struggling to remain standing during interminable postmatch speeches before being brought chairs was a memorable one, and in one fifth-set rally they ran a combined 540 feet, or two city blocks, according to ESPN. So it’s forgivable that their last 16 points, over the final two games, took 16 minutes. But even in their very first service games, each player exceeded the allotted 20 seconds between points – on every point. Neither took fewer than 24 seconds even once, and Djokovic averaged 28 seconds while Nadal averaged 26. This was before they’d even played two games. Yet the average rally lasted just 5.4 shots according to Eurosport, far less than the 6.9 shots they averaged during their U.S. Open final last fall. On the same court, in similar conditions and in matches with as many scintillating, long rallies, Federer and Nadal managed to fit in 1.24 points per minute in their semifinal on Thursday. Then Djokovic and Murray squeezed in 1.19 points per minute in their semi on Friday. Had Nadal or Djokovic channeled their inner Federer between points, if not during points, they could have finished the match without setting a new record for longest open-era Grand Slam final. It truly is a golden age for men’s tennis, with four players at the peak, and one at the very top, defeating the other three in matches he had no business winning. The sport just might want to take some steps — Sports Illustrated’s Jon Wertheim suggests a shot clock — to ensure it doesn’t lose fans, and viewers, during the long periods of down time between these great players’ epic points.”

Dave Says:

Kamakshi Tandon: “Length of Aussie final didn’t add up… For five sets, 369 points and 5 hours, 53 minutes…It was also the longest Grand Slam final in history… It was also the longest-ever Australian Open match…But just as the numbers don’t do justice to the drama of the contest and the quality of certain stages of Sunday’s match, they don’t quite tell the full story about its length, either…It’s well known that Nadal and Djokovic are two of the slowest players on tour in terms of the amount of time they take between points. Early in the match, ESPN’s broadcast flashed a statistic showing Nadal’s average time between points to be 31 seconds and Djokovic’s to be 35 secords — both well over the 20 seconds players are allotted at Grand Slam events. Around the end of the second set, when the umpire cautioned both players against taking too much time, the numbers were down slightly, showing Nadal at 30 seconds between points and Djokovic at 33 seconds. They likely increased once again during the later stages of the match, given that both players were understandably exhausted. Few players move faster to the ball than Rafael Nadal, but few players move slower between points. Even using the conservative estimate of 30 seconds and 33 seconds, respectively, that still adds considerably to the length of the match. With Djokovic playing 166 points on his serve, the Serb took 36 more minutes than he would have if sticking to the rules. Nadal, who played 203 points on his serve, took an extra 34 minutes. That adds up to 70 minutes, which would have put the match time at 4 hours, 43 minutes — potentially shorter than the Wilander-Lendl U.S. Open final, the Nadal-Federer 2008 Wimbledon final (4 hours, 48 minutes) and even Djokovic’s win over Andy Murray in the semifinals (4 hours, 50 minutes). And all without counting the long gaps the two also tend to take between first and second serves, which stretched the contest even further. That’s strictly a back-of-the-envelope calculation, using a mid-match average and not taking into account external factors like crowd noise or waiting for balls, which would affect any player. And while walking around, toweling off, adjusting and ball-bouncing felt excessive after a service winner or a short point, there were also a lot of long rallies where the extra time seemed jusitfied. But all in all, it seems safe to say the match would likely have come in closer to the five-hour mark than the six-hour mark if Nadal and Djokovic were a little more inclined to move things along. Still long, and still a potential record-breaker, but not completely out of line with other five-set finals. Just one player playing quicker would have had an impact. It’s been estimated that Federer takes about 15 seconds between points. So taking that as a difference of about 18 seconds from Djokovic, if Federer had been on the other side of the net from Nadal, not only would the match have been quite different, but the same scoreline might have taken about 50 minutes fewer. It is no surprise that Nadal and Djokovic also hold the record for the longest three-set match played on the ATP Tour (4 hours, 3 minutes) in the 2009 Madrid semifinals.”

alison hodge Says:

rz i do miss henin,but having said that i do enjoy watching clijsters,kvitova and sciavone,but thats about it onthe womens side,i dont think my ears could stand a sharapova or azarenka match,at least if your watching at home,you have the luxury of a mute button.

Fot Says:

I actually have less a problem with Azarenka as I do with Maria. Maria seems to ‘scream’, whereas Victoria’s wailing isn’t as bad on my ears as Maria’s is. (Heck, sometimes even my girl Serena can get loud).

And some of the men can be really loud too. (but this is off topic).

I still think a shot clock will help. Everyone in the stands will see the count down to 00 if a player has taken too much time. No arguing with the clock! Let a buzzer go off if the time goes out. They use a clock in just about every major sport any way. Even golfers get a warning when they are playing too slow! (Don’t know what happens if they continue the slow play, but golf has so many rules it’s stupid) lol!

I say let’s start with a shot clock as a ‘test’ and see if it works.

skeezerweezer Says:

“They have given me a lot of warnings in my career and I have accepted almost every one, because sometimes they are right”

Then why keep doing it? After so many warnings, default. Otherwise dump the rule, as it stands it’s s farce.

Rafa fans blaming the media, the fans, the rock , the tree,it’s never Rafa’s fault.

alison hodge Says:

skeezer it is rafas fault,brando and myself both agree with you,and we are both rafa fans,BTW are you still trying to post while riding your bike lol.

RZ Says:

While we’re talking about time violations between points, what about showing up for matches on time? Each time I’ve been to a Nadal match at Indian Wells (whether singles or doubles), the other players show up at least 5 minutes before Rafa, sometimes 10 minutes earlier. I’m sure he’s getting the same amount of advance notice and he’s probably in the same location as his opponents (the locker room or players lounge) so why isn’t he on time more often and how come he never gets called out for it?

Ajet Says:

sh@tman mark:

why so envious of chocolate boy? just because he’s advocating proper enforcement of rules??? I guess with a world where people like you live, and where rules are violated with gay abandon by people like your SWEATY BOY, it’s the chocolate boy which has to become iron man in handling this illegality! and unfortumately for you, the chocolate boy against whom you’re venting out has steel in his nerves, not to be mowed down by any of other’s clever tactics!

Ajet Says:

the grunting and shrieking is UNBEARABLE to me!

skeezerweezer Says:


You know you’re not in that group I am talking about. There are great level headed Rafa fans too like yourselves ;).maybe I should always clarify by saying Rafa fanatics( there are Fed and Novak ones too). Passionate is good, but when it clouds common sense, there always is a problem.

nadalista Says:

yeah, let’s crucify Rafa for time-wasting……better than beating on him for beatin’ Rog, too predictable!

Rafa……..you beauty……

skeezerweezer Says:

^and there ya go, forgot to mention its Fed and his fans fault to. Knew I miss something

Everyone is entitled to my opinion Says:

trufan Says:

Nadal’s matches are a snoozefest.

For you. I fall asleep watching Federer except when he is playing Nadal, because Nadal mkakes him work hard.

alison hodge Says:

ajet ahem have to ask,as i cant help myself,if your favourite glamour puss maria k,shreiked the way maria s does,would that put you off watching her,or would you not care either way,sorry i had to ask lol.

Fot Says:

Nadalista, I don’t think people are just crucifying Nadal. I think it is whomever is breaking the rule. There are a lot of players out there that fit. Otherwise, they need to change the rule. But Nadal is the one who said he has gotten many warnings….so he KNOWS he’s over time. However, I’m like someone else said – what’s the use of getting ‘warnings’ if nothing else comes out of it? Heck, if I’m stopped by the police for speeding 20 times, but all I’ve ever gotten was a “warning”, what makes me want to “stop” from speeding? I know all I’ll get is a “warning” so that’s nothing to make me want to comply. It’s not the players that have to change. It’s the folks in charge of compliance. If I’m a player, I would probably keep doing it too since I know NOTHING would happen to me.

alison hodge Says:

skeezer thanks yeah sorry i should no that by now,8 months on this forum,ive learned nothing lol.

Polo Says:

Is there a tennis umpire academy where they are taught the rules of the game? I am sure there is. Umpires should also be evaluated regularly in terms of their performance and that should include their ability to enforce all the rules. Tennis officiating is so lax and inconsistent. The umpires always give the top stars a lot of room breaking the rules. If the officiate correctly and consistently, the players should not even be allowed to berate the umpires. They should learn from golf. The rules there are very rigidly followed and the players are very gentlemanly. They would voluntarily penalize themselves when they incur infractions because if found out, they will be disqualified. Why can’t tennis do the same?

Humble Rafa Says:

Nadal’s matches are a snoozefest.

I play tennis the way it is supposed to be played.

jamie Says:

Nadal is weird.

Mr. Larvey Says:

The bottom line is that it is boaring to watch a tennis match where most of the time is spent between the points. It starts to resembel baseball (I’m from Europe so I don’t understand it)! If one is too exhausted to start the point on time, then one should execute a different game plan or be physically more fit. Stop making excuses and respect the rules! Otherwise you will ruin the greatest sport in the World!

alison hodge Says:

^jamie as the saying goes,takes one to know one^.

Dave Says:

Extracts from USA Today; “Is it time for tennis to bring in shot clock?

Djokovic’s obsessive ball bouncing and Nadal’s protracted preening aside, ATP Tour and International Tennis Federation officials don’t see between-point stalling as a widespread problem.

“The reason why this has become an issue is because two or three top players are slower than other players,” said Enric Molina Mur, head of officiating for the ITF, which oversees the four Grand Slam tournaments and Davis Cup. Mur, who spoke Wednesday by phone, concedes that there is room for improvement. “I’d be lying if I said in every match it is being enforced properly,” Mur added.

Mur of the ITF believes that 15 seconds is “reasonable” for a receiver to prepare to return serve… Mur is glad the issue is receiving more attention, especially because he considers 20 seconds for ITF events and 25 seconds for ATP events an unnecessary inconsistency. “It won’t be a good implementation without consensus,” he says.

If officials are increasingly aware of the chorus of concerns, they say there are few concrete changes in the works. Plus, Mur said, officials cannot suddenly ramrod stricter enforcement without educating players. It would be like cracking down on foot faulting, another lightly and patchily enforced rule. “Like balls and strikes, we are striving for consistency in the enforcement of the rule and within the spirit of the rule,” wrote Bradshaw, noting that the topic is sure to be discussed by the recently formed competition advisory group.

Like grunting, which some in the women’s game feel pushes the limits of the hindrance rule, time violations border on cheating and certainly could be seen as gamesmanship. Taking more than the allotted time negates a tactical advantage by allowing a physically drained opponent time to recover.

Some also say higher-ranked players receive preferential treatment. “If I try to do the same thing I’m going to get warning when the same person is spending 10 seconds longer,” veteran American Michael Russell said.

Roddick, and Russell and Robby Ginepri are among those that would welcome an NBA-style electronic shot clock. “I think that would be a good idea,” Ginepri said said las tmonth. “You have the radar gun there. Why not have it right above that?””


What if the rules were enforced soon this season against time violations by the few top players who are serial time violators? It could take away their unfair advantage, with the potential to impact a few of their key matches [Remember what happened when favourite Monica Seles tried to stop grunting in a big match against Steffi Graf (due to criticism)? Seles was flat, distracted and lost the match easily.]. So the rule enforcement could affect the results and rankings of these players. Not a lot, but perhaps just enough for a few weeks and months until they adapt to playing without those routines and advantages. Or maybe they won’t adapt. Whatever it is, the rest of the field that follows the rules should not be penalized by the cheating or gamesmanship of two or three top players.

Rules should also be drawn up and enforced to reduce the intensity of grunting and shrieking. Eg, Google articles such as:
– “Tennis Grunting: Study Reveals Surprising Effects”
– “The Secret Of Winning A Tennis Match: Grunting”
– “Tennis players who grunt do have advantage, study says”
– “Tennis ‘grunts’ can mislead opponents: study”

tennisfan Says:

How does this justify that top ranked players get away with the time violation but if lower ranked players does it, he is warned immediately! I think everyone knows that there is a need for more stringent timekeeping by umpires when it comes to top players! Is it just that Djokovic/Nadal plays long rallies and noone else in thier matches?

It’s convenient for Nadal to say the above but then everyone should be made to follow the same rules!

Roger Federer and the Critics! http://bit.ly/AhnkaX

skeezerweezer Says:


I was at IW last year also and can back that up also, good point.

The bigger problem is why don’t they enforce these things?

Rafa is a huge draw, if they defaulted him there goes the tickets people purhased, etc, and no tourney wants to do that. Face it, the governing body and tournament directors are weak tits. No balls, no brains, and are scared and intimidated. Grow some hair and make things right or else you’ll lose the fans interest and the game itself.. Who has time to watch a 6 hour match?

Where could they do it? Start with the Slams. Here,in the end, the event is more important than the player.

Ajet Says:


sharapova’s shrieking is so freaking ridiculously intolerable and uncomfortable to me that I cannot even properly concentrate on watching her ”sexy highness” during her match! I’m pissed as hell for that! ;)

Ajet Says:

”nadalista Says:
yeah, let’s crucify Rafa for time-wasting……better than beating on him for beatin’ Rog, too predictable!”

i know truth hurts, especially when it concerns your fave guy! and you’ve to come up with something lame like this!

alison hodge Says:

ajet LMAO but what about the other maria,i thought she was your favourite?

alison hodge Says:

ajet on a more serious note though,im in agreement with everything your all saying about rafa,and yeah your right the truth does hurt,like it or not it is what it is.

Ajet Says:


you know what, to me maria k doesn’t shriek! ;)
Her beauty can’t be distracted by anything she does. I love her all the time!

that’s why i answered only about sharapova’s shrieking, lol, and used the word ‘sexy’ coz she’s just eyecandy, nothing more, hehe.

But Maria K: once a sweetheart, always a sweetheart! :p

rave Says:

I thought Rafa is the fittest guy on tour, but, he needs a lot more time to recover between points? That makes a lot of sense or is it an oxymoron statement.

Ajet Says:


i’m not blaimimg rafa alone btw for the time violation that’s going on, as rafa alone can hardly be blamed. other guys are also guilty of misuse and abuse of time-violation rule too! and in fact, it’s all due to the negligent attitude of referees towards this problem that this stuff is all happening1 If rafa, djoker, delpo etc. were kept under check from the very first within the realms of rule, then I don’t think we would have needed to see all this stuff coming out in press today. it’s like: what will students learn if the guide itself doesn’t guide and control properly! And it’s commendable and laudable on your part that you accept unhesitatingly that nadal’s human and can err, unlike the others who can see no wrong in their guys. that’s gracious of you, as always! :)

MMT Says:

Sean, I think a shot clock is a great idea and should be implemented today – I actually now prefer to watch matches on DVR and fast forward to the next point – I just can’t take all the nonsense in between points.

As to this question:

“The 20 or 25 seconds allotted between points has been around for quite some time. Though I cannot say with certainty when it was established, I have a hunch it’s been around since the 70s/80s, perhaps earlier.”

Actually the rule on time between points before the 20/25 second rule was that the server was required to maintain “continuous play”, at the discretion of the umpire – in other words if you’ve had a long point and it’s damn hot out, the umpire might cut you some slack, but otherwise, get the next 2 balls in your hands and get your arse to the line to serve. The returner has always and continues to be required to play to the SERVER’S pace.

According to Steve Flink of the TennisChannel.com the rule was initially instituded in 1979 by the ITF who sanctioned Davis Cup and the grand slams. Now, I’ve seen old matches from the 70’s with Jimmy Connors, and while I have no record of the decison making, I think some of the impetus for such a changes was created by him.

In 1975 Connors played the Australian Open final against John Newcombe at the old Kooyong stadium. There’s clips of it on youtube, and you can clearly see that blistering heat combined, with humidity from the grass courts, and the insects made for a brutal environment to play tennis.
But Newcombe, an Australian, was acclimized to the conditions.

Connors, on the other hand, was struggling big time. He took every opportunity he could to make jokes, talk with the crowd and play the joker, meanwhile taking 30+ seconds in between points to the annoyance of Newcombe and the Australian commentators.

6 months later, Connors was again in a GS final against Arthur Ashe, this time at Wimbledon, and Ashe, raised in the old school that required “continuous” play regularly stood with a hand on his hip as Connors went through his very long and annoying routine before serving. Clearly he felt it was too long in between poins, but wasn’t the type to complain about it – anyway he was beating the hell out of Connors that day, so why bother. But commentators complained about Connors’ slow pace.

2 years later at the Pepsi Grand Slam of tennis, Connors was playing Borg in the final for the first time, and Borg twice (unwittingly…perhaps) served while Connors had his back to him, as he adjusted his strings and caught his breath, again to the annoyance of Borg and in clear violation of the “at the server’s pace” rule.

I don’t say that Connors was the only one to take his time, just the most PROMINENT, as the #1 player in the world. Sound familiar? Since he was the biggest draw in the game, if fans grew tired of watching him pensively arranging his strings, or tie his shoes, or joke with a linesperson, or read the paper, etc., many may have grown tired of watching tennis altogether. And of course, as television came into the equation, it became exceedingly important for matches to move along at a more compelling rate.

So, in 1979, the ITF had had enough, and instituted a 30-second rule. So what happened? Ivan Lendl came a long and timed his service routine to perfection such that he would ALWAYS take 30 seconds in between points and never go over – whether he’d had a long point or not. So what was intended to shorten time between points eventually wound up making the matches last LONGER because the rule actually GAVE players more time than the “continuous play” rule did. Of course Lendl wasn’t the only one to do this, just the most PROMINENT…heard that before.

The time was reduced to 25 seconds sometime thereafter and reduced a further 5 seconds in 1995 to 20 seconds for ITF sanctioned matches (which includes grand slams and Davis Cup, and remains in place today – basically because adding an extra 10 seconds to each point in a close 5-set match gets you the Australian Open final of 2012). Ironically, ATP matches adopted the 25-second rule in 1979 and have kept it ever since, since most of those matches are 3-setters.

So if you want to blame anyone in particular about the time-wasting, blame Connors…because he started it. You can thank Lendl for getting the rule reduced from 30 seconds to 20 in a span of 16 years from 1979 to 1995.

Ajet Says:

i hink if the 20 second rule is strictly enforced, then guys like nadal and djoker would actually adjust their tennis and play points faster by being more aggressive, going to the net a bit more, and tennis would become lot more exciting and safe from players’ fitness point of view; and at the same time, the unending claim by some regarding every surface getting 1000000 times slower in comparison to previous years will stop coming out, when they’d see players not wasting years between points and consequently the match being played at a faster pace…

Wog boy Says:

Of the topic,

Sergei Bubka is playing Davydenko, did he get WC or he earned his spot at IW ? Maybe it is again his father and girlfriend, just maybe, I don’t know :-)

It is Serbia against Spain in doubles, I didn’t know Novak is going to play doubles.
On the topic.
Does Novak bounce the ball same way when he plays doubles?

alison hodge Says:

ajet 1st post yeah i agree about the two marias,i think s is attractive,but k has much more class imo.
2nd post ajet thanks for that the only thing i try to do is be honest and not sound biased,and i try not to be swayed by favouritism,im a tennis fanatic not a rafa fan fanatic,like skeezer said to me in an ealier post,passion can cloud over common sense sometimes,as a fan it reflets badly on you,and you can end up looking like a prize muppet,in the end.

Ajet Says:


do you like taylor swift?

i think her talent is special. she may be young but her songs are so simple and so great that she clearly makes one of the greatest singers ever(male or female)

In fact, to me, MJ above all. Then among women, Taylor Swift. Her songs are no nonsense stuff, full of soulful and touching music rather than boom boom sound that’s so typical of pop music these days.

Ajet Says:

and i love MJ because he just revolutionized music and dance and was as much a world figure in developed countries as he was a household figure even in underdeveloped country!!!

Ajet Says:

To put it simply: WHO DOESN’T KNOW MJ!!!
Even in india, everybody knows him!

jamie Says:

@alison hodge

I don’t pick my arse in public. Only weirdos do this or think doing this is ok. Like the Nadal fans who think it’s ok for him to do this “thing” in public.

Everyone is entitled to my opinion Says:

MMT, what you’ve outlined just shows how arbitrary the time limit is. How can they just pluck a figure from the air based on the antics of this or that player without any regard to the players welfare of recovering after a long rally.

The rule should be enforced at the umpire’s discretion.

Master Ace Says:

ajit u were da guy making unending false claim wimbledon courts “hugely slower” in 2001 in comparison to previous years. You ignore proof no complaints of slow courts in 2001, just kept repeating courts slow in 2001. Now u dont want others to claim court are slower

alison hodge Says:

ajet yeah very much so,a rare talent with a one of a kind voice,very distinctive sounding,and a refreshing change from the maria carey type warbling that we here a lot of these days,or singers that flash there bits to compensate for lack of a singing voice, loved MJ too loved all his records,cant single out a favourite as they were all such good songs.

alison hodge Says:

yeah jamie but we only have your word for that,after all how do we know lol,you know for someone who hates the guy so much you sure as hell,spend alot of time obsessing over him and his personal ticks,why dont you go out there and get yourself a life,im sure you will be much happier then.

Fruitcake Says:

Have lost count of the number of times that during a Nadal match, I’ve said out loud “For god’s sake get on with it” and during a Djokovic, “for god’s sake stop bouncing that bl**dy ball”. I now never watch the matches between the two of them because all the antics and time wasting detract from any enjoyment – not that I find much in endless baseline ball crunching.

Leon Says:

Wog boy,
this time Bubka got it fair and square, i.e. through qualification.
Actually, he is not so low, #191, and last year he has gone through Q in Dubai, too, defeating (injured?) Ljubicic in the main draw. The match vs Davydenko initially looked similar, Bubka was 5-0 ahead, then Kolya has taken seven games in a row, and that was all finished, I think. Weird.

Sean Randall Says:

Thanks for the history lesson, MMT.

As for the implementation of a shot clock, if we ever do see it I’d say we are still a few years away – maybe start of 2014?

Since it would be an enforced, by-the-law rule – not an option like shotspot – every court of every ATP event would have to have the clock. Not a big production but there would have to be considerable testing and of course player/tournament approval.

Plus, I think the players like Nadal/Djokovic would need a head start to adjust their games, their ticks/habits to the time limit.

Imagine springing that on Nadal this week at Indian Wells. With his OCD tendencies that’d be a treat to watch.

Mark Says:

Roger Federer ( otherwise known as Chocolate Boy) is a whiner and wuss. He is shaking in his boots at the prospect of another loss to the Great One!! ( of course should the both make it to the semis). Most of the top guys are playing doubles and foot, I might add, but not him. Scared he will mess up his hair!!!

Mark Says:

Footie not foot

Wog boy Says:

Leon, thanks.
To be honest i have never seen him play, I was checking results on my iPhone. I saw Gulbis is out, was Lodra good or the other way around, yes and Spain beat Serbia in doubles ;( I guess it was good practice for Novak.

El Flaco Says:

Martina Navratilova said there should be a limit on the number of ball bounces in addition to the current rule.

jane Says:

No way, I love the bounces! :p Just kiddin. Actually Nole’s ball bouncing has lessened from back in 2007-8. He still bounces a lot in tense moments, though; he seems to be considering where/how to serve when he does that. Martina is such a toughie. ^_^ The iron lady of tennis.

Dory Says:

Fact is ATP sucks at enforcing two rules properly: 1. Time between points 2. Allowing a player to challenge or not. ATP needs to acknowledge and change that. Aus Open final was the best example. Great match but JUST TAKING TOO MUCH OF MY TIME. And there’s one difference between Djokovic and Nadal. Nadal plays slow against ANYone. Djokovic can play extremely fast and does so against opponents who don’t play like Nadal to exhaust the crap out of you.

Wog boy Says:

Ok, I think they should make a rule that server has to tell where is he going to place his serve.
Limit the time, bouncing, what about speed, lets put big servers 5m behind the line etc.
Navratilova is talking to much lately, she is becaming busy body.
She had a go at Margaret Court ( GOAT and woman that should be example to every young girl, my humble opinion) Wozniacki, bouncing the ball, what is next Martina?

Angel Says:

Mark I don’t think some player with 25 years old that has more than 10 months without winning a title can be consider “A GREAT ONE”.

mem Says:


what world are you from? you haven’t a clue how sports works. tiger woods hasn’t won a major in more than a year, but his greatness has already been established. he has 14 majors to his credit. just because he hasn’t won in a year or two doesn’t remove the fact that he is head and shoulders above the rest in his achievements. what are you talking about? what other active player besides roger has more slams and other titles than nadal. honestly, are you this dense?

you need to follow a game that you might be able to understand what’s going on, something like hopscotch or hide and go seek. i know you are searching for attention, but you are embarrassing yourself!

Wog boy Says:

Tomic got bageled and is out.
Have anybody seen the match?
Kimmi where are you, you are usualy very reliable and very objective ?

Krishna Says:

Federer is right. I mean it is pretty simple.. rules are rules. Regardless of playing styles, and whatever, they should enforce the timing rule, and start handing down warnings. If ATP wants to, then it should go back and revise the rules and allot more time for players in between points considering the more physical style being played today by most players.

jane Says:

Wog Boy, I followed the scores but I don’t think there are any streams of the matches just yet. How strange, but then again I think Tomic can get passive at times.

Michael Says:

What is the correct time to be taken between points ?? 15 or 20 or 25 or 30 ?? Tennis rules today say it is 20 and therefore one must follow it. It is the job of Umpires to see that the rules are implemented in letter and spirit. But hardly does that happen. I have seen players take 28 or even 32 between points with no warning from the Umpires. This is just not fair and Roger has a point there. Such long delay between points disturbs the opponent player’s concentration. I think it is time that players like Novak and Nadal who are habitual offenders in this regard fall in line and play by rules.

Dave Says:

Mark: The SALTY COOKIE MONSTER (otherwise known as Rafael Nadal Parera) doesn’t give a damn about the fans or other players, just himself. The truth is Salty Cookie Monster needs to play those long boring points in order to sweat to the max, while his time wasting allows his clothes to absorb the sweat. Where do you think all the salt in his little biscuits come from? Salty Cookie Monster became brand ambassador for a salty biscuit company to copy his idol Federer becoming brand ambassador for sweet yummy Lindt Chocolate.



Wog boy Says:

Jane, thanks.
It is no secret that I am not Tomic fan and this is one of the reasons. In Shanghai he did the same against Dolgopolov, last week in Florida. It is his had and few more things in his game ……he remainds me on the local boy who is strong on his turf…well and Wimby.
I want be saying any more, Margot can get abset and I don’t want that:)

Wog boy Says:

his head and not had

Dave Says:

Mark: The SALTY COOKIE MONSTER (otherwise known as Rafael Nadal Parera) doesn’t give a damn about the fans or other players, just himself. The truth is Salty Cookie Monster needs to play those long boring points in order to sweat to the max, while his time wasting allows his clothes to absorb the sweat. Where do you think all the salt in his little biscuits come from? Salty Cookie Monster became brand ambassador for a salty biscuit company to copy his idol Federer becoming brand ambassador for sweet yummy Lindt Chocolate.


mem Says:


thanks for the link! what a beautiful cookie monster is rafa. wouldn’t it be great if all monsters looked like him and behaved like him. i love this guy; a gentle giant; a person of great character and integrity, add to that his extraordinary tennis ability. i am so proud to be a rafafan!

this link reminded me of just how lucky we are that rafa chose tennis. you did good dave!

sar Says:

Wog boy, Duro and Jane:
I am in So.Cal and will be at IW Mon-Thurs to see Nole play. I want to see his form compared to when I last saw him at AO 2011. It’s pleasant during the day and very cool here at night so far.

jane Says:

Lucky you sar: be sure to give us some reports after you see Nole play. Glad to hear the weather is not too hot.

jane Says:

Michael I think the rules say 25 seconds for ATP events and 20 seconds for the slams.

margot Says:

sar: You lucky person! Have a gr8 time and I hope you get to see your Nole. Have always wanted to go to IW, seems a brilliant tournament.
Wog boy: nothing you could say would upset me :) And Tomic reminds me a lot of Andy…and not just in the head department either.
jane: noticeable that Nole’s ball bouncing increases the more tense/unsure he gets. Whereas Rafa is slow to serve, whatever.

Harsh Says:

All the people in favor of strict enforcement of time gap between points need to consider this:
Also clock the length of the rally and based upon that allow a time gap. After a 20+ stroke rally with lots of running a 25 second gap to gather yourself before you serve is perfectly legitimate. Any tennis player knows this from experience. We are not playing speed chess here. Tennis players develop habit patterns that aid the mind to stay on course. I seriously doubt Nadal or Djokovic take longer gaps to waste time or distract opponents – agaiinst Federer Nadal truly does not need to try and waste rime…most of the time he dominates with his topspin forehand breaking down Federer’s weak single handed backhand.
Nadal has a point that rule enforcement is the umpire’s call. Taking too much time after a quick short point is wrong too and with stricter enforcement players will adjust and form an alternative set of habits. I would say longer gap allowed after a longer rally and shorter gap after a short point. And the umpire’s decision final and binding. No whinging and whining and wrongly accusing opponents of deliberate time wasting when the whole world knows the real reason for the Federer Nadal head to head record being so overwhelmingly in Nadal’s favor…

Nirmal Kumar Says:

Harsh says “No whinging and whining and wrongly accusing opponents of deliberate time wasting when the whole world knows the real reason for the Federer Nadal head to head record being so overwhelmingly in Nadal’s favor…”

Does it mean Nadal should be allowed to waste time, because he has a better H2H against Roger. How come their H2H is relevant to the general topic of time wasting between the points.

Mark Says:

Mem. 2 pieces of good news for our cookie monster. Rafa reached 10m fans on facebook and rafa and Marc Lopez beat Llodra and Zimonjic in the doubles. How good is that!!!!

Sienna Says:

To maintain their focus and concentration every player gets through a routine they have created for themselves. Just to reset the mind and body to get ready for the next point.

So if the routine to get their focus back already takes 20 seconds then they should try to speed things up.

I think Rafa’s routine is too long, and Djoker takes his time when it gets tight.

Wog boy Says:

sar, good on you.

Enjoy it, have fun and thanks for remembering us.

Margot, glad I didn’t upset you :)

alison hodge Says:

dave i dont think it was meant as a compliment,or was it,i dont know? however just to say i did enjoy the rafa cookie monster link never the less,so thanks,rafas my favourite,but i also love roger and think what hes achieved is amazing,ive never seen the need to belittle one in favour of the other,when theres room for both.

alison hodge Says:

angel yeah i have to agree with mem on this one,rafas been either the best or second best player,on and off for years,rogers the only active player to have more slams,and theres only five players ever in history, to have won more slams than he has,hes joint 5th on the all time leaders list with bill tilden with 10 slams,and he joins the list of only 6 other players to have completed a career grand slam,what more does he have to do to prove he is up there,with the greats of all time?

Nina Says:

I agree with Nadal, tennis is nothing like it used to be in the 70s/80s or even 90s. Now it’s become such a physical, brutal, intense sport, specially between men at the top, that the rule should be interpreted according to the intensity of the match. Also tennis is much more tacthical now, players need to think more before serving. In every aspect the game has evolved and it now played with an intensity that was never the case before. New rules should apply.

alison hodge Says:

hi nina nice to here you fighting rafas corner,although i have to say i agree with roger on this one though,maybe the officials should use a bit of common sense though,and just give them slightly longer after a long ralley?

Mark Says:

@Nirmal Kumar. “Does it mean Nadal should be allowed to waste time because he has a better H2H against Roger.” That is precisely the reason Fed has brought up this topic – the all relevant H2H!!!!

Ajet Says:

What’s wrong in federer trying to enforce the rule in his own favour when it’s clear that nadal also extracts undue advantage over every player by flouting rules to his own adavantage!!! There is no difference between nadal advocating change of rule in his favour and fed advocating enforcement of rule in his own favour, the underlying purpose is pure self-interest in both cases IMO! In this case, only a MORON can lay all the blame on roger and bring up the same old H2H thing to complain that all the reason why fed wants rules to be enforced is that he’s a bad record against nadal!

Moreover, at least, fed hasn’t lost 7 consecutive matches(including 3 slama) to anyone in his prime or even in deline, for any moronic nadal fan to allege that it’s fed’s fear only speaking in this issue, while a case can be made that nadal in his prime has displayed more fear of djoker in the past year than federer has shown against nadal even in his decline! SUCK IT UP NADTARDS!

post not directed at sensible nadal fans…

Ajet Says:

”Mark Says:
@Nirmal Kumar. “Does it mean Nadal should be allowed to waste time because he has a better H2H against Roger.” That is precisely the reason Fed has brought up this topic – the all relevant H2H!!!”

Look at who’s saying what, lol! Even if for a moment mark is assumed to be absolutely spot on, how about nadal non-stop advocating the bringing a two-year ranking system last year, as it was clear last year that he was in no position to beat djoker, HAHAHA!

alison hodge Says:

ajet actually i think your a very fare poster,who has been fighting rafas corner all week on this forum,but i agree been a fare fan works both ways,those who cant take it should not dish it out.

Ajet Says:

thanks alison

for your kind remarks. And you know what, you’re inspiring to me for your grace, poise and fair-mindedness. i have learnt being more fair and peaceful from posters like you who’ve nothing but pure respect for fed, even though nadal is your guy! otherwise some stupid fanatic used to anger me up with their non-stop bashing of fed, just the way the fed fanatics used to force the fair rafa fans even hit back and point out federer’s flaws! i think everybody can do justice to his own self only by lookin at both sides of every matter and not take a narrow minded view, based on misconception and fuelled by tardis or fanaticism…

cheers dear alison and have a nice day! :)

jamie Says:



LOL. And English is your first language!


alison hodge Says:

thanks ajet you too,unfortunatly i have to go to work,but ill be back to chat later,take care for now over out.

alison hodge Says:

^sorry over and out^.

Ajet Says:

take care too alison

alison hodge Says:

jamie english is my 1st language,fare or fair so what,thought it was a tennis forum,did not know i would be under bloody scrutiny for my spelling duh.

Nirmal Kumar Says:

Mark says : That is precisely the reason Fed has brought up this topic – the all relevant H2H

Fine, but the question was, should Nadal be allowed to waste time?

There is no point in looking at why a question has been raised..important thing should be Is the question relevant and leditimate? In this case both are true.

It’s a simple fact that Nadal has been taking more time, along with few others and Umpires have been way too lenient. Note ..Roger is not blaming Nadal or asking him to speed up. His question is directed at umpires who allow too much of time wasting at irrlevant periods in a match.

Do you have any idea why Rafa brought in Roger’s name before AO inspite of having positive H2H? Is it because Roger got the man at the top of ATP inspite of Rafa suggesting Richard’s name.

That sounded more lame to me, when he wanted Roger to support him for his selfish reasons.

One good thing came out of both these spats are how relevant Roger is to understanding tennis audience. He got support both the times, where Rafa ended up being criticized on both oocasions for his selfishness, and thinking players are bigger than sport.

skeezerweezer Says:

Soooo funny reading all these posts defending Rafa’s time violations( among other “violations” ) and how do they defend it? Its Feds fault! Its Feds fault!

If Rafa had his way we would have 60 second time limit, extra slow playing surfaces worldwide, balls that have 1″ of felt wrapped around it, and oh yeah the really good one” 2 year rating system”. Welcome to the wishful planet called “Rafa”

nadalista Says:

“Sometimes 20 seconds is more than adequate, and sometimes 25 seconds is clearly not long enough,” Gayle Bradshaw, ATP executive vice president of rules and competition, wrote in an email. “This is why it is very difficult to critique a match solely by looking at a stopwatch.”

End of………….

Get over it, Fedfans, you can whine all you want, oh he takes too much time between [points, oh he picks his nose oh blah, blah, blah…….. Rafa ain’t going nowhere and he ain’t done beating Fed, so lump it.

Mark Says:

@ skeez. And may all his wishes come true!!! Ha ha ha

skeezerweezer Says:


Good one lol ;)

mem Says:


thanks, rafa is awesome! i checked his website for messages the other day and he was right at 10m mark.

the more he’s attacked, the more we love him. he is tennis and in my opinion, the greatest player of this era when considering the total package. God bless him!

We got his back!

Ajet Says:

”the greatest player of this era when considering the total package.”

nice joke! ;)

Ajet Says:

skeezer, it was super funny, hahaha! You my day with your rafa planet comment! :D

Ajet Says:


and murray, djoker are also not done beating nadal. ;)

Nate Smith Says:

OK,solution , make it 30 sec. and let the umpire start the time ,done.

mem Says:


just so that we will understand where each other is coming from, here’s the thing:

you are constantly (24/7) blathering on this blog talking loud and saying nothing of substance, and that’s your business. i don’t have a problem with it! so, if i post my opinion that nadal is the greatest player of this era, that is my business! let me know if you still don’t understand.

skeezerweezer Says:

Fed is the greatest player of this era.

Steve 27 Says:

I do not think anyone who beats you so many times you consider your friend and Nadal has taken the measure to the Swiss. This comment is a way of putting pressure on Rafa because he knows that if they face has everything to lose. I think Federer just fall out the mask altogether. I do not think they have ever felt friend of Nadal, but if Rafa may have considered his friend. The truth is that these statements were an attack Federer to Nadal waterline should terminate their “friendship” with Federer if they ever existed.

Steve 27 Says:

Federer you are not perfect, bu i know your pain for multiple defeats cause you said something like that. Poor Roger, it must be killing him!

skeezerweezer Says:


Uh, really? Who has the real Mask? Who shot the first one over the bow? Member before AO? Rafa started the critisizm between friends, not Fed. Rafa has a historical way of hiding behind his words….

Polo Says:

— you are not perfect, bu i know your pain for multiple defeats cause you said something like that. Poor —–, it must be killing him.

these words could apply to just about anybody.

Dave Says:

alison and mem: glad you liked it. You may also like this related Nadal adv: http://quely.com/promo-nadal-velocidad

My Salty Cookie Monster post was simply a jab at Mark for his Chocolate Boy post (March 9th 11:54 am). My intention wasn’t to belittle Rafa, just to show Mark that it works both ways. Personally I salute him for helping local industry and jobs (Quely is a very popular Majorcan biscuit), just like Roger does for Lindt Chocolate. Now if Quely (pronounced kelly) is able to sponsor Indian Wells the way Miami is sponsored by Lindt, we could rename these American tourneys the Spanish Cookie Masters and Swiss Chocolate Masters.

Over the years many Federer critics take digs at Federer for this or that, then are silent when their own favorite player does the same thing or worse. I remember the bruhaha by some posters (man y pro-Nadal) here 5 years ago when Federer showed up at Wimbledon sporting little Swiss flags on his shoe to denote the number of titles won there. Later Nadal did something similar for the French Open, with little bulls or whatever on his shoes as well.

Steve 27 Says:


Statements penalty Federer. Retaliation against Nadal and his stats against. 18 to 9 in favor of Nadal. If you are the best ever I do not think those statistics can be displayed. Federer has also had unfortunate statements as “I am a genius”, or when he lost to Murray and belittling …. I do not know that his reputation as a gentleman comes … it seems like the way … but not in the facts.

Steve 27 Says:

Speed ​​up the time between points is part of the psychological game, and Nadal does and there is nothing wrong with it while not pass the regulatory … there are players who do this and others who prefer to get nothing but finish the point …

Fot Says:

People are getting on Roger for “bringing this up”. From what I’ve read, he was ASKED A QUESTION ON THIS TOPIC…and he answered it. Nadal was also asked this same question and he answered it too.

So people need to lay off Roger. What is he suppose to do when asked questions? Tell the reporters “oh, I can’t talk on that subject?” Get real folks! He was asked his opinion and he answered, whether you agree with him or not.

Steve 27 Says:

Federer = The Pep Guardiola of tennis.
Another who does not speak of the referees, only speaks when he loses).

skeezerweezer Says:


Dude, give it up. You got some major jealousy action going on.

“It’s natural that even I would go over time, but they never call it. There are times when they could be a bit more firm because at the end of the day I don’t know if fans are getting frustrated to watch five points that are going to take us five minutes.”

Who is quoting saying this? Roger Federer. yeah…thats right,, he admits going over the limit also at times….

Your talking like he is the anti – boogeyman…..

Look, quit deflecting. This is about enforcing the rules that are already there. Your just admitting that Rafa likes to break the rules to win by your posts. Know what? I think Rafa can beat anybody by playing by the rules. They ( Tour players, including Rafa ) openly admit they can change there game, so why not this for the fans so we don’t have to labor through a 6 hour match that most of us have to see on DVR.

You don’t see Nole fans up here complaining and he takes is time too…

In regards to this being a specific complaint by Fed to find a way in the future to beat him by this is idiotic. Fed has nothing to prove to anyone, he has accomplished what no current era player is going to beat. He is making a justifiable comment, one that we have discussed up here time and time again.

Steve 27 Says:

he has accomplished what no current era player is going to beat.

Perhaps, perhaps not. unless you are jamie’s physic,lol.

if you do not understand the humor in the claims, it is your problem.

Ajet Says:


delusion is your body-order and goofing around is your hobby!
and the last time i heard you saying anything of substance was ”never”!
keep dreaming of licking nadal’s @$$crack, as that’s where you come from! :D

and may be i could ask you more and listen to you more if your brain wasn’t filled with cowdung! ;)

nadalista Says:

Ajet Says:

and murray, djoker are also not done beating nadal. ;)

March 10th, 2012 at 12:31 pm

………….I get the Djoker part, but Murray??? WTF??

mem Says:


what you think means so much to me! thanks!

andrea Says:

i recall after the madrid final where novak and nadal played, for i think four hours (?), federer made a comment about how in a match between those 2 guys, four hours sounds like a lot, but with the time taken in between points by each of them, there is a lot less tennis being played. i can always fast forward my pvr (tivo) in between nadal points when i watch a pre recorded match where nadal is playing. he does take forever…and when you add in the incessant toweling off in between each point, the butt picking, the hair behind the ears etc, i’ve gone out for lunch and back. novak has dialed back on the ball bouncing as of late but it still rears its ugly head on certain occassions.

Ajet Says:

yup, I also agree that nadal isn’t entitled to the excuse of playing 4 hours before the final as a reason for his madrid loss to fed! and yeah, there has to be about 1 hour of that djokal semi consisting of ball-bouncing, pant-adjusting, towelling etc. etc., as fed rightly pointed out!

fed beat nadal fair and square, the match wasn’t even close!

Paul Says:

There is probably more than one reason why some players take a longer time between points.

It could be part of the player’s overall strategy. I don’t have an issue with this. Sports to me is all about athleticism, stamina and strategy. I think Roger playing in his thirties will be depending more and more on strategy rather than on stamina. And I think it (strategy) will be enough to keep him in serious contention for major titles for a few more years. He is (still) that good.

It could be out of habit. I am good with it too. To each his own. As long as players give all they’ve got for every single point of the match, I am cool.

It could also be for recovery. The last several years have seen the rise of the baseline game, as opposed to the serve-and-volley variety. I am fine with this also. I understand players need to recover from long rallies. Putting a time limit on recovery with the baseline game is silly in my opinion. I’d rather that both players recover enough for the next point or points, because those will more likely be won after long rallies, too. I love tennis with long rallies. It is pure display of athleticism and stamina. Add a little surprise serve-and-volley mixed in once in a while, and it is pure tennis bliss.

Is it any wonder why some people consider the last few years as the golden age of tennis? And it is not over yet. As long as Roger, Rafa and Nole and the rest are allowed to play their own brand of tennis, I don’t see this golden age ending soon.

We are lucky indeed. I am guessing (wildly of course, at the risk of being speculative) that more people are watching tennis now than before 2011. Did you see the crowds at the 2011 US Open and at the 2012 Aussie Open. Wow!

John22 Says:

The tennis abilities of Djokovic & Nadal are great to watch. But, they both take way too much time and it detracts from watching their matches. I really don’t enjoy watching Novak bounce the ball & Rafa to go thru all his rituals before putting the ball in play. As Rafa says, they need more rest after a very taxing point, but these two take too much time on just about every point whether it is a long point or not. It often is painful waiting for them to start the point.

Wog boy Says:

Paul, you right about AO (don’t know for USO), more than 700.000 people went through the gates during AO !
If we go back we will see steady increase in numbers, good for tennis !

Dog Says:

Third option: players like Nadal and Djokovic modify their style of play (which is often boring), so they don’t need more than 20-25 seconds to recover.

Orkneyfudge Says:

I’d like to know how many players consistently go over the 20s/25s rule – is it the majority in any given tournament, or do the majority actually manage to play within the current rule? If it’s the former, then yes, up the time limit slightly, but if it’s the latter, then the current times would seem to be perfectly adequate (for the majority!). The time rule, whatever it is, should be more strictly enforced to make it fair for all players.

LLA Says:

I believe Federer is right on this one. These athletes should be able to go the distance no matter the conditions and circumstances without extra time. I think it should be looked at as the challenge of the fitness thing…if you can’t play with the big boys, go sit on the porch. The guy on the other side of the net is tired too. I am a huge fan of Rafa; he’s my favorite, no question, but we all have to abide by the rules. Ever think Federer might change his mind if he doesn’t have the luxury of Rafa or Djokovic taking that extra time with him getting some rest too?

Nancy Says:

I think the majority of what people are saying in this blog is biased by whether they like a player or not. Some have mentioned the simple fact that it is the umpire’s job to inforce a rule, yet none of their names are mentioned here. The description of Connors and Lendls play was insightful in that it shows that rules evolve for a reason and as the need arises. Wouldn’t it make sense for players to take more time between certain points and less between others? Having a set time doesn’t seem to work, as in Lendels case where he used the time whether he needed it or not. It goes back to the umpire’s discretion. Correct me if I’m wrong, are they not getting paid to do the job?

Nancy Says:

By “none of their names” I am referring to the umpires.

rogerafa Says:

Sorry for the totally inadvertent “T” post above. Purely accidental.

Orlando Says:

Dear Mr. Randall:

Talking about time violation in tennis, herein I inserting my comment about another interesting subject, the darn towel!!
Best regards, Orlando.

(NOTE: Sent to ATP, USTA, ITF and TENNIS in NOV12/09)

Dear gentlemen:

I wonder what was in the mind of those executives in your organization who approved the adoption of such a disgusting, unsanitary and unhealthy practice as that of having the ball-children continuously handing the personal towels to the players. After the athlete dries his whole body, cleans his nose, hair and even break opened blisters, the towel goes back, over and over, to the bare hands of the children; soaked in body fluids, substances, mucus, dust and even blood. This includes infecting microbes and viruses for several potential diseases plus HIV and H1N1. On the contrary, back home those same children are not allowed to fool around with the dirty towels used by the members of their own families. The cleaning crew in the locker room in most private clubs, handle the used towels with gloves or some type of implements. Noticeable, on occasions some of the players, probably already spoiled with such a treatment, acting as ancient days kings or queens, or current days dictators, rush with straight face the poor children to hand the piece of cloth faster. Of course, the children love to be helping their heroes, the professional players. But I bet you that if any parent refuses to have his child touching somebody else dirty towel, the organizers of the tournament would count the child out.

On the other hand, this practice conspires against the basic Tennis Rules, made for players of any rating, which clearly demand for 20 seconds for action between points and only 90 seconds of rest in uneven games score. Back to the 70s, 80s and early 90s, very good professional players did not go trough this type of ancient Roman Empire ritual. The wristbands were more than enough to dry the sweat and the athlete was right back to business. Ridiculously, it can be seen as perennial first or second round loser players, more than anybody else, seem to ask for the towel after winning or losing every single point. Inclusive, the whole spectacle is affected. Be eliminating this unsightly newborn practice, which conservatively represents 10-15% of any match total time, at least two more matches could be scheduled in that same court, and the TV people would have more time for matches transmission and their business. You should be proactive and proceed to eliminate this practice before an upset parent comes out with a suit because his son got infected handling dirty towels in the courts of a professional tournament.

WTF Says:

I agree with Sean. Some rule should be there but it should only be a guideline left to the discretion of the umpire. If a 40 stroke rally just occurred, then obviously the umpire shouldn’t give a warning or violation for taking long. But like you said, if it’s a double fault or ace, they don’t need 30 seconds and a warning is warranted.

It shouldn’t be a hard and fast rule.

John22 Says:

I agree with Orlando. I always have thought that the ballpersons should not have to handle the players sweaty towels. The players should handle their own towels, and it is not necessary to towel off as often as they do.

skeezerweezer Says:

^Well it gets bigger than that. Think about it. Players wipe there nose, pick there ass through there sweaty shorts, and then touch the tennis balls. The ball kids touch those in between every point they play. It goes beyond just towels……

Re: the towels…in the “old days” a player had a mini towel tucked into there shorts for the occasional wipe off and then in between points when they sat down they had there own towel no one touched but themselves. Now, for some un explainable unnecessary reason, they need one every friggin point. And…handed to them like they are God like. WTF?

Skeezerweezer Says:



Thread on salaries of umps….not much

Steve 27 Says:

There has been a lot of talk about the needs of the players in the last few days, but there was an article in the Times I think two days ago that the gold badge umpires make 250 a day; I know Rafa was quite upset yesterday with the decision of the umpires to bring them out on court. What do you think of that number?

ROGER FEDERER: Well, I mean, I don’t know if those are real numbers. You’re just telling me this right now. I mean, isn’t this the same in soccer? They’re not all of them 100% professionals out there. I think they’re doing a good job. I think Hawk Eye has protected them to a degree, as well. I don’t think we have a huge umpire issue. I really think they’re very good. I know we have a lot of courts, and usually the smaller the court, the less experience the umpire has, and also the same thing with the linespeople. But, I mean, look, you’ve got to cover tons of courts here, and you’re always gonna get the occasionally bad call. You just hope the umpires and the referees have it under control the best possible way. What I like about tennis is that actually the umpire doesn’t have all the power like maybe in soccer where you feel, okay, here is a penalty; here is a red card. It doesn’t have such an impact in tennis. I don’t think it’s an issue in tennis right now.

Yes Roger, the number is evidently real. And I think you ignored the question. Which wasn’t what do you think of the job they’re doing but “What do you think of that number?” Maybe if only the winner didn’t get another increase in prize money next year you could pay them say, $300 a day ? Oh, I forgot. The main beef wasn’t that they sent the players out on to the [allegedly] wet courts it’s the fact that Roddick knew off the top of his head they are only giving players 13% of revenue. Yes, you top guys have a good argument that you may actually be underpaid but so are the umps.

Steve 27 Says:

Federer is Mr. Corporate. Don’t expect him to say anything.

madmax Says:

It is about time that something is done about this ball bouncing fiasco, because that is what it is. Time and time again, players like nadal and djokovic get away with time violations and I just don’t understand why. Breaking the rules is breaking the rules, so if you break the rules then pay the consequences! If umpires are not going to adhere to this, there is absolutely no point whatsoever in having it in the rule book in black and white. Delete it. Take it out but don’t pretend it doesn’t exist.

I actually do not get why this comes up over and over and still, nothing is done about it.

There was a discussion here some time ago…a couple of years ago even and I read it carefully, everyone was getting mad at the fact that these ‘legendary’ matches that run into hours upon hours of tennis play, when dumbed down, a lot of the time was ‘wasted’ by ball bouncing,20 +, 25+ 30+ 35+ seconds and you know who the players were doing this.

Please rafa fans and novak fans (of which I am one), do not say I am being mean or offensive to your favourite player.

They are both to blame here and really, something does need to be done about this. But nothing will be and I just don’t get why.

It is a pleasure to watch players who don’t flout the rules over and over and play the ball quick, within seconds and of course that is Federer and also Alex dolpogolov. Blink and you would miss him play at all.

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