French Open

Nadal keeps eye on clock

2014-05-31 21:19
Rafael Nadal (AFP)

Paris - Rafael Nadal is pleased by his performances so far at Roland Garros but is definitely not happy about being told he takes too long to serve.

The eight-time French Open champion's pre-serve routine seems to get more extended every time he appears at the tournament and Pascal Maria, the chair umpire for his three-set defeat of Argentina's Leonardo Mayer on Saturday, takes a hard line on how long it all takes.

A rule introduced in 2013 sets a time limit of 25 seconds for a player to serve. Nadal was called twice by Maria during a match in Monte Carlo in April and again on Saturday during his third-round match.

"After the warning I frowned a little and then I continued, I accepted," Nadal said.

"Sometimes I think that this is fair, because it's true to say that I'm slow. So these warnings are fair. But today, no.

"With this judge, there are always one or two warnings with him, and this is the way it is. I have to accept it."

Nadal said he decided he could not afford to take his towel from a ball boy to wipe away the sweat on a sunny Philippe Chatrier court in case he got into trouble with Maria.

"When Pascal is here I don't even take my towel, otherwise it's too long," the Spaniard added.

"I don't see sport this way, but there are rules. There are rules that we have to comply with.

"It is strange, because we have a framework of rules, but with him I always have problems, always there is more pressure than usual."

Nadal believes umpires should be flexible when the server faces a break point. Players serving receive a warning on the first call, and for subsequent calls lose a serve.

"There are umpires who know how to interpret rules better than others, whereas others follow very strictly all the rules and they'll use the timer. They really are a timekeeper.

"I think the best thing would be to have a big clock with a countdown on the court, and then when there are no more seconds to go, we would have to serve.

"But, again, I think that tennis is a sport where we should be able to think. This is really truly what I think. It's physical; it's mental; there are strategies.

"Otherwise, you know, it's just about keeping an eye on the clock."

Results on Saturday at the French Open, the seventh day of the season's second Grand Slam tournament at Roland Garros (x denotes seeded player):


Third round

Rafael Nadal (ESP x1) bt Leonardo Mayer (ARG) 6-2, 7-5, 6-2

Dusan Lajovic (SRB) bt Jack Sock (USA) 6-4, 7-5, 6-3

Kevin Anderson (RSA x19) bt Ivo Karlovic (CRO) 6-3 - retired

David Ferrer (ESP x5) bt Andreas Seppi (ITA x32) 6-2, 7-6 (7/2), 6-3

Guillermo Garca-Lopez (ESP) bt Donald Young (USA) 6-2, 6-4, 2-6, 6-7 (4/7), 6-4

Gael Monfils (FRA x23) bt Fabio Fognini (ITA x14) 5-7, 6-2, 6-4, 0-6, 6-2

Marcel Granollers (ESP) bt Martin Klizan (SVK) 6-7 (5/7), 6-2, 7-6 (7/4), 7-5

Suspended due to darkness

Fernando Verdasco (ESP x24) leads Richard Gasquet (FRA x12) 6-3, 6-2, 2-2

Philipp Kohlschreiber (GER x28) level with Andy Murray (GBR x7) 6-3, 3-6, 3-6, 6-4, 7-7


Third round

Svetlana Kuznetsova (RUS x27) bt Petra Kvitova (CZE x5) 6-7 (3/7), 6-1, 9-7

Lucie Safarova (CZE x23) bt Ana Ivanovic (SRB x11) 6-3, 6-3

Sloane Stephens (USA x15) bt Ekaterina Makarova (RUS x22) 6-3, 6-4

Simona Halep (ROM x4) bt Mara Teresa Torr Flor (ESP) 6-3, 6-0

Jelena Jankovic (SRB x6) bt Sorana Cirstea (ROM x26) 6-1, 6-2

Sara Errani (ITA x10) bt Julia Glushko (ISR) 6-0, 6-1

Kiki Bertens (NED) bt Silvia Soler-Espinosa (ESP) 6-2, 6-1

Andrea Petkovic (GER x28) bt Kristina Mladenovic (FRA) 6-4, 4-6, 6-4

Read more on:    french open  |  rafael nadal  |  tennis

What To Read Next


Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
Sport Talk


Which is your favourite Grand Slam of the year?

Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter

English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...


The 2017/18 Absa Premiership season is under way. Can Bidvest Wits defend their title? Will Soweto giants Kaizer Chiefs or Orlando Pirates emerge victorious? Or will the bookies' favourites, Mamelodi Sundowns, taste success for a record eighth time? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.