Originally I wrote the title as 'Time between points. Observations and Constructive Criticism' but then I snapped out of it and removed the part in italics. The thread about the new rule and Nadal's imminent downfall caused by it (can his terminal decline really be in any state of doubt?) made me ask myself a couple of questions. What about Nadal's upbringing caused him to come up with a ritual of time wasting between points? What did tennis players do before they were provided towels fetched by their own 'page'? What will stop a player from deliberately break the rule in order to obtain a tactical (psychological) advantage? To begin with, I considered Nadal's history of injuries and heavy training from a young age. Could the time wasting have originated then to give him a couple of deep breaths before his tyrannical uncle starts battering him again? I can really see that happening. I know when I was 5 and my grandfather was teaching me the multiplication table I'd often ask for the question to be repeated (frequently earning his ire in this fashion) to buy myself a little time. Imagine a skinny little Nadal getting bombarded with flat balls to his LEFT side and asked to play a forehand! Potentially traumatizing I'd say. The whole towel business is ridiculous. I frequently see tennis players wearing two hand towels and never using them once in a match while frequently (and surprisingly haughtily) gesturing for a towel, as if they have a servant at home who fetches them whatever they desire. This situation is shameful for the ball boys and I think it should be banned out right. I still think the top players will do whatever it takes to create a tactical advantage. I don't see a penalty (short of forfeiting the game) that would discourage them enough to prevent such a ploy. People bounce the ball long or pretend to stretch tired limbs or whatever it takes to interrupt the other's rhythm. Sadly I just don't see how it can be effectively discouraged. Your thoughts?