A towel too far

Discussion in 'Pros' Racquets and Gear' started by Bartelby, Dec 31, 2012.

  1. Bartelby

    Bartelby G.O.A.T.

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    Apparently going for the towel causes problems with meeting the more stringent 25 second rule, or at least it did for Baghdatis in the Brisbane ATP event.
     
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  2. db10s

    db10s Hall of Fame

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    Then they need to towel (I just made a verb) faster.
     
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  3. Relinquis

    Relinquis Hall of Fame

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    i don't understand why they have to wipe themselves dry after every rally.

    They don't play in trousers anymore, so appearances don't really matter as much as in the 19th century.
     
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  4. woodrow1029

    woodrow1029 Hall of Fame

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    There are going to be players that are going to get very frustrated with the ballkids in the next few months. Toweling off is definitely not a valid excuse for taking more than 25 seconds. That will be one of the negatives of the new rule, I'm afraid. I just hope that none of the players receive a time violation on a big point, and have to hit a second serve, and then turn around and rip into a ball kid verbally for taking too long to get them their precious towel.

    Another negative, is that if there is a rule question, or a dispute about something, the chair umpire will have a little bit of discretion with time to answer a question or 2 before going back to the clock. Once the players catch onto that, there may be some more ridiculous arguments or discussions over stupid things, which is something that has drastically improved with the addition of Hawkeye.

    While there are some people that use ridiculous Hawkeye challenges with the intent of buying more time, there are a lot of players that go through several matches without using a challenge that aren't when they legitimately thought the call was wrong. Once the players realize that the 25 seconds doesn't start until the OUT/IN image is revealed, there may be several more wasted challenges.

    While I have never been a fan of the "shot clock" idea, I do think that if the chair umpire's discretion is taken out of the equation, and time violations will be given each and every time 25 seconds is exceeded, I do think it may be a good idea to have one, because it's tough to judge when you are actually playing the difference between 22 and 27 seconds. It may save several time violations if a player looks up and says, "I'm at 20, get to the line and serve."

    Another thing to remember is that the umpire controls the clock. The time clock on the PDA starts as soon as the umpire enters the point into the PDA. That does not happen EXACTLY when the point ends. The chair umpire's technique is to check the point loser at the end of the point to make sure he's not going to chuck a racket, or launch a ball, or do some other code violation. THerefore, the clock may not start for 1-3 seconds after the point ends. So, when the TV networks put that image on the bottom of the screen that shows the time since the last point, it may show 26-28 seconds, but the umpire's clock may say 22-25.

    There is no absolutely perfect way to do this. There will be positives and negatives to just about everything that they can come up with. I do think that losing a serve makes it more fan friendly, better on the players, and more enforceable for the umpires than a loss of point.

    Also, the players have been being warned about this new change for the last couple of monts of last season. It shouldn't be a surprise to them.

    Of course, at the Australian Open, it will be 20 seconds (not 25), and it will be up to the umpire's discretion again. That is the main problem I have. They just need to get on the same page. Brad Gilbert and John McEnroe are going to be broadcasting at the Aussie Open blasting the umpires for not following the new rule, because I can guarantee you that they will have no idea (as they are usually clueless about the rules) that it's different.
     
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  5. woodrow1029

    woodrow1029 Hall of Fame

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    Sorry, towel is already in the dictionary as a noun and verb.
     
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  6. sundaypunch

    sundaypunch Hall of Fame

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    I may be in the minority, but I think that ball kids should not have to deal with towels. Leave one at the back of the court or on their chair and let the player be in charge of it. If they want to walk back and use it as part of their 25-sec. that is fine. This way there is no complaining about the ball kids taking too long.

    Not to mention that it's not the most pleasant thing for a ball kid to have to handle a sweat soaked towel.
     
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  7. jokinla

    jokinla Hall of Fame

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    Exactly, hopefully the first ball kid that gets Nalbandianed, is immediately defaulted, that's not their fault.
     
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  8. vandre

    vandre Hall of Fame

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    it does seem like players are getting stupid about toweling. i know its hot in austrailia this time of year but i've seen players go for the towel after an ace. really???? one shot (or no shots if you're the receiver) and you're so sweaty you need a towel because your wristband and/ or your bandana have been completely overwhelmed??? heck, i remember lendl used to use his shirt sleeves! when did this toweling thing start?

    [​IMG]

    i don't generally like the idea of more rules (especially when there's the possibility they might not be enforced uniformly) but i think it has gotten ridiculous and won't get any better if left to the players' discretion (i'm afraid). it seems like the kind of thing that started to help players be more comfortable on the court (which i don't have that much of a problem with) but its been abused to the point of being silly.

    there's a huge opportunity here for sham-wow to get into the headband/ wristband game! someone call vince! :)
     
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  9. db10s

    db10s Hall of Fame

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    As a ball boy I have to agree. The towels start getting soggy quickly... It's pretty gross.
     
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  10. ollinger

    ollinger Legend

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    Enforce the time clock and the towel behavior will cease. Players will find other solutions (new wristband on every changeover, for example) because they HAVE TO. Necessity is indeed the mother of invention, Plato told us.
     
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  11. jaggy

    jaggy G.O.A.T.

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    Id be a towel boy on the wta tour. Just saying.
     
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  12. TTMR

    TTMR Hall of Fame

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    They don't towel off because of perspiration most of the time. They towel off because it's become a force of habit, a compulsion. Most players towel off between every point, including aces. It's a subconscious way of resetting themselves for the next point. Players do other things as well: Roddick tugs on his shirt, Sharapova pushes back her hair on both sides, and Nadal...does what he does.
     
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  13. Say Chi Sin Lo

    Say Chi Sin Lo Legend

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    I can overlook toweling off after rallies, but not after some fool gets aced or watches a double fault fly by.
     
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  14. Bobby Jr

    Bobby Jr Legend

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    I'd like to know how this is going to be applied in a practical by the umpires.

    Just say a player has been over the 25 second rule a couple of times just as they start their serve. The umpire isn't going to call out during their serve so does he, before the next point, call the violation? Or will they wait until someone is at 27 or 28 seconds before a serve to call it right there and then.

    It's going to be a nightmare imo... some players are going to go ape if it happens just before a break point etc.
     
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  15. Relinquis

    Relinquis Hall of Fame

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    why don't they just keep the towels on a chair/stool at the back of the court. that way, any time wastage is player related and the ball boys/girls can't be blamed.
     
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  16. woodrow1029

    woodrow1029 Hall of Fame

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    The umpires won't stop a player in ther service motion. If they haven't started their motion by 26-28 seconds, it will be called.

    Also, keep in mind what I said earlier that its impossible to start the clock exactly when the point ends, because the chair umpire has the clock, which starts when he enters the point in te PDA. There is a 1-3 second delay, especially if it looks like a player may commit a code violation, or has a question.
     
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  17. woodrow1029

    woodrow1029 Hall of Fame

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    I just hope it doesn't cause players to abuse the ballkid, start stupid arguments with te umpire, or make more dumb challenges.


    Maybe they should institute timeouts. Like a player gets 1 or 2 15 second timeouts per set.
     
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  18. Bartelby

    Bartelby G.O.A.T.

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    It could also penalize people who can't toss a ball into the air - V Williams and Ivanovic come to mind - which surely is fair.
     
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  19. woodrow1029

    woodrow1029 Hall of Fame

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    Of course, that is only if WTA adopts a similar rule.
     
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  20. Bartelby

    Bartelby G.O.A.T.

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    I was wondering about the WTA as the current event iin Brisbane includes both tours and the commentators have noticed the new attention to the time, but were unable both to get the rule right or distinguish between the two events.

    And it is a rather simple change. Despite this fact R Harrison was moaning endlessly to the umpire about being warned.
     
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  21. woodrow1029

    woodrow1029 Hall of Fame

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    In Brisbane, ATP is 25 seconds with the new rule. WTA is 20 seconds with the old rule. Unless the WTA changed their rule before this week, that is my understanding.
     
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  22. Relinquis

    Relinquis Hall of Fame

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    I don't understand this reference. I'm not very familiar with the women's game.
     
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  23. Bartelby

    Bartelby G.O.A.T.

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    Their ball toss is so shaky that they end up having to do it again at least once a game or so.
     
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  24. Relinquis

    Relinquis Hall of Fame

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    haha. that makes sense. thanks for clarifying.
     
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  25. Bobby Jr

    Bobby Jr Legend

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    This makes me think of an interesting avenue players could go down... as they're nearing their serve each time they could look up and ask the umpire to remind them the score.... Hey presto another 5-10 second leeway created.
     
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  26. klementine

    klementine Hall of Fame

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    He shoots....... he scores!
    +1
     
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  27. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    None of you have ever played at any significant level, so you really are not is a position to comment on intimate stuff like sweating and toweling and their impact on performance at the pro level. If a rule is not working out, it has to be changed.
     
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  28. cork_screw

    cork_screw Hall of Fame

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    They use the towel not to just wipe off sweat, but to buy time to deconstruct the last point won/lost, buy time as a breather, clear your mind if it was an important point lost, think about the placement of the next serve. It really has more applications than just for wiping off sweat.
     
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  29. vandre

    vandre Hall of Fame

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    yup, you're right. you got me. you've pegged the fact that i down a bag of doritos and a big gulp of mt. dew on every changeover and keep hohos in my racquet bag to munch on at my lowly club "hit and giggles" :roll:

    really dude, if the rule is you have to have played tennis "at a significant level" (nice and vague term isn't it?) before you can have an opinion about anything, they'd better just shut this place down now! but since you brought it up, what would you say is a "significant level"? it must not be the ncaa because i've watched tons of DI ncaa men's tennis and those guys don't towel off after every point. the futures must not be significant either because those guys don't towel off after every point either.

    since no one has really said it before, i wonder how much $$$ came into play here? were the powers that be somewhat concerned about sponsorship dollars? if so, could that possibly been a consideration?
     
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  30. Virginia

    Virginia Hall of Fame

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    I've thought this for a long time. It's not just sweat either (which in itself can be pretty disgusting), but they sometimes even sneeze or blow their noses into it.

    In some tournaments they do have a box at the back of the court and some players do use it. I think they should have them everywhere and insist that the players stop signalling the ballboys to hand them their towels. Some players are downright disrespectful in the way they do it.

    The ballboys are there to look after the tennis balls - not act as personal valets to the players.
     
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