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topseed
11-11-2009, 06:29 AM
Im playing a tournament in a club this week. After each point, I make it my routine to get my towel to wipe off sweat and grip. Then my opponent scolds me from the other court to hurry it up. Isnt it that you are allowed to have 30 secs to hit your serve? Im just taking my time in order to maximize the allowable and get the necessary wind during a match. His reason is that its not friendly anymore to take time...

What do you think? Is it wrong?

mikeler
11-11-2009, 06:36 AM
Im playing a tournament in a club this week. After each point, I make it my routine to get my towel to wipe off sweat and grip. Then my opponent scolds me from the other court to hurry it up. Isnt it that you are allowed to have 30 secs to hit your serve? Im just taking my time in order to maximize the allowable and get the necessary wind during a match. His reason is that its not friendly anymore to take time...

What do you think? Is it wrong?


If you need to towel off because your grip is getting wet or it is getting in your eyes, then your opponent just has to deal with it. From the info you provided, you are using it to purposely delay your opponent so you can catch your breath. This is understandable after a particularly long rally, but if you are doing it every point (especially on his/her serve) then I would consider it gamesmanship.

samster
11-11-2009, 06:49 AM
20 secs in between points, if I remember right.

rasajadad
11-11-2009, 06:54 AM
You also need to be concerned with towel placement in a tournament. I think the rule states that it needs to be outside the court area. Because of that, I'd reckon it would be hard to go to your towel and get back to the baseline to be ready to play within the time allowed.

BMC9670
11-11-2009, 06:57 AM
If you need time occasionally during a match, you should take it, but I can't imagine it between every point!

I play a guy who plays REALLY slow and it drives me nuts! He doesn't do it on purpose, but it does effect me in the match. Funny thing is, he once told me after he lost that he cools down during the match. Ha! I took the opening and told him he should speed things up a little.

CrocodileRock
11-11-2009, 07:17 AM
The server has 30 seconds to put the ball in play after the last point, so if you are serving, and your towel is close, it's probably OK. But if you are receiving, you are supposed to play to the server's pace, and he may not want to wait 30 seconds.

A wrist band is pretty effective at keeping your grip dry, and a lot of people use their shirts to wipe off a little if they don't have time to get the towel.

JavierLW
11-11-2009, 07:17 AM
20 secs in between points, if I remember right.

I think it's 20 seconds with ball persons and 25 seconds for the rest of us.

(not like anyone is sitting there with a stopwatch or anything, it shouldnt take 20 or 25 seconds to quickly go back and dry off your hands)

Geezer Guy
11-11-2009, 07:18 AM
When you're receiving you should play to the other guys pace - as long as it's reasonable.

When you're serving you can set the pace, but again it has to be somewhat reasonable. Toweling off after every single point is excessive in my opinion. Maybe once in awhile, after a long point - but not every time.

I know that a lot of pro's do it, but they don't have to worry about also running down balls, returning them, actually going to get the towel and returning it, etc.

LuckyR
11-11-2009, 07:27 AM
^^^^^^ Best post on the thread (no suprise). As the OP described it, it is gamesmanship.

B A Y
11-11-2009, 07:29 AM
When you're receiving you should play to the other guys pace - as long as it's reasonable.

When you're serving you can set the pace, but again it has to be somewhat reasonable. Toweling off after every single point is excessive in my opinion. Maybe once in awhile, after a long point - but not every time.

I know that a lot of pro's do it, but they don't have to worry about also running down balls, returning them, actually going to get the towel and returning it, etc.

This is an extract form the ITF official rules of tennis.

Between points, a maximum of twenty (20) seconds is allowed. When the
players change ends at the end of a game, a maximum of ninety (90) seconds
are allowed. However, after the first game of each set and during a tie-break
game, play shall be continuous and the players shall change ends without a
rest.
At the end of each set there shall be a set break of a maximum of one hundred
and twenty (120) seconds.
The maximum time starts from the moment that one point finishes until the
first service is struck for the next point.
Event organisers may apply for ITF approval to extend the ninety (90)
seconds allowed when the players change ends at the end of a game and the
one hundred and twenty (120) seconds allowed at a set break.

I agree with Geezer..... I need to wipe my hands every now and then because they sweat quite bad sometimes but I agree that it sounds like you are taking a bit of advantage..

BMC9670
11-11-2009, 07:45 AM
Sounds like the the original poster takes the time to rest, not to wipe sweat.

If if is for sweat - I keep an extra wrist band in my pocket and give it a quick squeeze when I need it between points (bring 3 or 4 extra to a match as they get wet quickly). I've also tried doing this with Tacky Towels, but they are too sticky IMO and hinder me from changing grips quickly.

topseed
11-11-2009, 07:56 AM
Thanks guys for all the replies...

Yes I admit im taking advantage of the rule. I will adjust my toweling in order to be considerate with my opponent. Thanks

sureshs
11-11-2009, 08:59 AM
Hi Rafa, welcome to this board.

PatrickB
11-11-2009, 09:38 AM
You have 20 seconds as a server between points to start your service motion. Extra time is allowed to retrieve balls if no ball kids are being used. When I'm officiating a slow player, I start my stopwatch for the 20 seconds after they've retreived the balls, assuming they're moving at a reasonable pace to get the balls.

In general, as long as your service preparation isn't particularly slow (e.g. Rafa/Djoko-like short-adjusting/ball-bouncing), you should have sufficient time for a quick towel-off between your own serves.

BajeDuane
11-11-2009, 09:43 AM
As long as it is within the 20 seconds you are fine and he has to wait.

blakesq
11-11-2009, 10:25 AM
You are also supposed to play according to the pace of the server. If the server is ready to serve, and you are toweling off, you are violating the spirit of the game (and the Code, I believe).

Im playing a tournament in a club this week. After each point, I make it my routine to get my towel to wipe off sweat and grip. Then my opponent scolds me from the other court to hurry it up. Isnt it that you are allowed to have 30 secs to hit your serve? Im just taking my time in order to maximize the allowable and get the necessary wind during a match. His reason is that its not friendly anymore to take time...

What do you think? Is it wrong?

sphinx780
11-11-2009, 10:46 AM
Thanks guys for all the replies...

Yes I admit im taking advantage of the rule. I will adjust my toweling in order to be considerate with my opponent. Thanks

Glad to hear it...take all the time you need within reason on your serve but be considerate to your opponents pace on their serve. As long as you do that, you should find a good balance without making players angry.

Ripper014
11-11-2009, 11:34 AM
I think there is a general acceptance that play should be contiuous. And to break it up on every point I would also consider it to be gamesmanship. I personally would just deal with it and not say anything... but I would never play with you socially.

Ripper014
11-11-2009, 11:36 AM
You are also supposed to play according to the pace of the server. If the server is ready to serve, and you are toweling off, you are violating the spirit of the game (and the Code, I believe).

If it thought it was all about gamesmanship I might be tempted to towel off between his serves, even though I never towel off, I would go get a towel just for this purpose, I'm allowed 20 seconds am I not?

blakesq
11-11-2009, 12:11 PM
You are not. you are required to play according to the pace of the server.

If it thought it was all about gamesmanship I might be tempted to towel off between his serves, even though I never towel off, I would go get a towel just for this purpose, I'm allowed 20 seconds am I not?

Geezer Guy
11-11-2009, 02:00 PM
Whew! Nice point! Sure a hot day, eh? If you don't mind, I'm just going to to change my socks real quick. ... OK, thanks for waiting. 15-Love, serve 1. ...

Geezer Guy
11-11-2009, 02:03 PM
Thanks guys for all the replies...

Yes I admit im taking advantage of the rule. I will adjust my toweling in order to be considerate with my opponent. Thanks

The gentlemen (and genteel women) of the board thank you!

(Unfortunately, the punks think ur a dork.)

topseed
11-11-2009, 02:19 PM
Now the new concern is... I played another match today. My opponent now serves on a fast pace. As soon as you reached your position, he serves immediately. That now bothers me... coz your not even focus yet for the return...here comes his serve. Is that proper also? What I do is hold my racket on my left hand and raised my arms until I get to position.

Geezer Guy
11-11-2009, 03:39 PM
Yeah - I've played guys like that too. There's a couple things you can do - keeping in mind that you're supposed to play at his pace "as long as it's reasonable".

1) as you said, hold up a hand asking him to wait.
2) if you need to return a ball to him, do so after you're at or near your service return position.
3) (and this works best for me) just realize he's one of those quick draw guys and you need to step up your pace a bit. As SOON as the point is over, go to the return of serve position. If you get there first, then you're waiting on him - and you have time to catch your breath and collect your thoughts.

Falloutjr
11-11-2009, 03:46 PM
I would only do it in LONG matches, use the maximum time on my serve. I'll do it just to catch my breath and get ready for the next rally, and, honestly, your opponent shouldn't be too upset about it unless they absolutely never tire, they probably want that break too. I've also noticed that using more time than usual is advantage if you hit big serves because they're physically lulled to sleep and then usually aren't so quick to react to the speed of the ball and it breaks their rhythm, and it's not an unfair advantage because your opponent can do it too. IMO, as long as both people can do something, it's fair game (doesn't mean it's fun game xP, but fair nonetheless).

topseed
11-11-2009, 04:07 PM
I would only do it in LONG matches, use the maximum time on my serve. I'll do it just to catch my breath and get ready for the next rally, and, honestly, your opponent shouldn't be too upset about it unless they absolutely never tire, they probably want that break too. I've also noticed that using more time than usual is advantage if you hit big serves because they're physically lulled to sleep and then usually aren't so quick to react to the speed of the ball and it breaks their rhythm, and it's not an unfair advantage because your opponent can do it too. IMO, as long as both people can do something, it's fair game (doesn't mean it's fun game xP, but fair nonetheless).

Yeah... i forgot to tell... it was a long match. Third set tie break... ended 21-19. Imagine the 3rd set alone was almost 1 hr and 30 mins!

PatrickB
11-11-2009, 05:40 PM
Now the new concern is... I played another match today. My opponent now serves on a fast pace. As soon as you reached your position, he serves immediately. That now bothers me... coz your not even focus yet for the return...here comes his serve. Is that proper also? What I do is hold my racket on my left hand and raised my arms until I get to position.

You're supposed to play to the "reasonable pace of the server", but the server shouldn't start his service motion until you indicate (e.g. via eye contact once in position) that you're ready to receive.

More or less, this means you have the time to walk back into position, get yourself set, and then look to the server for him to start his motion. You're not supposed to wander around the back of the court muttering to yourself instead of getting into position to receive, but adjusting a few strings on your racquet prior to looking to the server for him to begin his motion is a common way to make a quick server play to marginally slower pace.

Finally, in matches without ball kids, people *have* been known to shag and return balls to the server that were only barely in the way when they needed a few extra moments prior to receiving...

Spokewench
11-12-2009, 08:54 AM
You are supposed to play to the pace of the server; however, I have had problems with one person who would try to push you. This is the scenario. I am the returner, I have gone to collect a ball for the server against the fence because they need another ball. I hit the ball to them and this particular server has no serve routine, i.e. does not bounce the ball or anything, just throws up a very short toss and hits a flat serve. This person would not all you the time to get back to the return area and get set, they would what i call "fast serve" before you even had a chance to set.

When I first encountered this, I did not know what to do except try to return the ball. Later, I learned, that I just put up my hand that I was not ready. If they hit it to me, I would not return it; and tell that person that I was not ready. After that game, I just very quietly told that serve that it was not appropriate to "fast serve" when people were retrieving balls for you when you needed the second ball.

In this same game, that same person when she was returning serve; would interrupt your serve when you already had two balls and were in your service preparation, i.e. bouncing the ball a couple times, and then would hit the third right at you. I try not to play with her anymore. Very irritating.

Cindysphinx
11-12-2009, 09:15 AM
When I play with quick servers, I spend a lot of time with my racket in the air. Just keep it up there until you are ready.

What I have more trouble with is quick-serving partners. I mean, surely she can see I am still walking up to the net or still shoving a ball up my skirt, and here comes the serve. For them, I try to turn and face them until I have gotten myself squared away, but sometimes that doesn't work either.

beernutz
11-12-2009, 02:43 PM
Fuel for the fire from Richard Kaufman in his 'The Final Word' column on the USTA website (the "Unless clarified..." section of the answer which I italicized is from someone other than Kaufman whose name is Dennis):

Which takes precedent – the server's right to serve at his/her own pace or the receiver's right to take his full 25 seconds between points?

KAUFMAN: In most events (with the exception of collegiate events), the receiver must play to the reasonable pace of the server and may not take 25 seconds between points.

Unless clarified, the above reference to 25 seconds can be misleading. Since a good portion of our readers are USTA League players and fall under the 20 seconds, we need to emphasize that the pros get 25 seconds, while the ITA and USTA player is allowed only 20 seconds between points. It was good to note the difference that receivers in ITA matches enjoy, contrasted to the reasonable-pace rule that USTA players must adhere to.

Thanks!! Keep up the good work.

KAUFMAN: Yes, and thanks, Dennis, you are correct. At some events, the time is 20 seconds between points.

woodrow1029
11-13-2009, 10:52 PM
ATP and Challengers are 25 seconds. ITF circuits, Grand Slam, Davis Cup, Fed Cup, USTA and ITA are all 20 seconds. I don't know about other national associations.

woodrow1029
11-13-2009, 10:55 PM
You have 20 seconds as a server between points to start your service motion. Extra time is allowed to retrieve balls if no ball kids are being used. When I'm officiating a slow player, I start my stopwatch for the 20 seconds after they've retreived the balls, assuming they're moving at a reasonable pace to get the balls.

In general, as long as your service preparation isn't particularly slow (e.g. Rafa/Djoko-like short-adjusting/ball-bouncing), you should have sufficient time for a quick towel-off between your own serves.

It's 20 seconds to put the ball in play, not to start the service motion. The timing should start as soon as the ball goes out of play. When there are no ballkids, you should not be strict on the time unless they are stalling.

PatrickB
11-14-2009, 07:31 AM
Thanks for the clarrification.

On a related note, I recall you saying in another post that if a player caught their toss a few times and as a result didn't put the ball in play within 20 seconds that that wasn't something that a time violation should be called on. It's from that that I inferred that it was to start their service motion not put the ball in play, though apparently I was incorrect. Perhaps that only applies when something like wind is disrupting the toss?

Could you clarify how caught ball tosses work into the 20 seconds to put the ball in play, assuming there's not wind or something else external that's making ball tosses erratic? For example, if an ITA player in an *indoor* match tosses and catches the ball multiple times and so goes over the 20 seconds, should a time violation be issued?

EDIT: Found and reread your original post, woodrow - you're clear that it's 20 seconds to strike the ball in there but that officials shouldn't generally penalize for errant tosses made in good faith. My mistake.

Xisbum
11-14-2009, 07:44 AM
I attach a small towel to the right side of my tennis shorts for every match. That way, I can dry the grip and my hand simultaneously without causing any delays in play.

I keep several extra towels in my bag - BAG CHECK!! - to make sure there's always a dry one available.

Cruzer
11-14-2009, 05:38 PM
Im playing a tournament in a club this week. After each point, I make it my routine to get my towel to wipe off sweat and grip. Then my opponent scolds me from the other court to hurry it up. Isnt it that you are allowed to have 30 secs to hit your serve? Im just taking my time in order to maximize the allowable and get the necessary wind during a match. His reason is that its not friendly anymore to take time...

What do you think? Is it wrong?

You get your towel after every point? Are you kidding? Unless you have some kind of medical condition that causes excessive sweating or you are playing underwater I would consider your routine pure gamesmanship.

nickarnold2000
11-15-2009, 01:43 AM
You get your towel after every point? Are you kidding? Unless you have some kind of medical condition that causes excessive sweating or you are playing underwater I would consider your routine pure gamesmanship.
The pros tend to use their towels after every point. It's not because of excess sweat(or gamemanship) but a way to reset yourself after a point(more often after a bad one).