Wimbledon

Slow play upsets Wozniacki

2014-06-30 17:18
Caroline Wozniacki (AFP)

London - Former world number one Caroline Wozniacki and Australian Open champion Stanislas Wawrinka have joined calls Monday for on-court clocks to be installed to clamp down on Wimbledon time-wasters.

Wozniacki claimed she was the latest victim of the growing problem as she crashed out against Barbora Zahlavova Strycova, the unseeded Czech who claimed another famous scalp to move into the quarter-finals with a 6-2, 7-5 victory.

Danish 16th seed Wozniacki was unhappy with the length of time Zahlavova Strycova took between points, claiming the Czech's routine stopped her establishing any rhythm.

"I thought she was very slow. But I guess the referee, she has the time on it. If she's within the time, I guess it's okay. It's up to the referee or up to the umpire to say if she is or not," said the Dane.

She also agreed with Roger Federer's opinion that clocks may have to be installed on court to hurry up the slower players, with the seven-time Wimbledon champion fearing that the pedestrian pace of some matches could lead to fans turning their backs on the sport.

"I wouldn't mind. I think that's fine. You have a clock. It shows exactly how much time you take in between points," said Wozniacki.

Wozniacki's calls were echoed by reigning Australian Open champion Stan Wawrinka, who cruised to a 6-3, 6-3, 6-4 win over Denis Istomin in his delayed third round match.

"I think it would be interesting and good to see," Wawrinka said.

"You can see so many players taking too much time and they don't get anything from the umpire. The only time they get something, then they come back to the press conference complaining about the umpire.

"One year ago, the ATP started to have a strict 25-second rule, but it was for what? For nothing.

"You can see some players taking more time than the 25 seconds, getting one time violation, that's it. Sometimes the average time is 28 or 30 seconds.

"I think if you want to put a rule, then put it strict for all the players. That's the only way because the umpire, if they are on small court, they're going to give a time violation. But if they're on Centre Court, they're not going to give it."

However, Zahlavova Strycova believes clocks are not necessary as the final call should remain with the chair umpire.

"I like to take time between points, but the referee didn't tell me anything about it, so I was continuing in my rhythm," said the Czech player who has made the last-eight at a major for the first time at her 32nd attempt.

"So if the referee would tell me speed up or hurry up on your serve, I would maybe change it. But I didn't get any warning or something like that, so I was just following the rhythm I had."

Federer's comments over slow play came just hours after world number one Rafael Nadal, notorious for his lengthy breaks between each point, had been criticised for time-wasting by Lukas Rosol following the Spaniard's second round victory.

Nadal took an average of 25 seconds to resume play when the maximum allowed in the sport's rulebook is 20 seconds.

Read more on:    wta tour  |  wimbledon  |  caroline wozniacki  |  tennis
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