2019-10-29 06:35:34 UTC
I started watching the tennis channel in the spring, and
it took me a while to catch up on the changes and
variations. Many have to do with shortening the longest
matches, for simple scheduling and for TV.
The biggest change in rules is "no-add" scoring. This is
common in doubles in the pro's and I saw it in singles'
championships for college play. What follows 40-40 is
Game point. At 40-40, the receiving side gets to choose
whether the serve will be to the (old) deuce side or to
the ad side.
The tie-breaker game, first to 7, is now universal for
all pro tournaments. Wimbledon gave in this year - they
had preserved "win-by-two" but finally reacted to this:
In 2010, America’s John Isner and France’s Nicolas Mahut played the
longest match in Grand Slam history. It lasted over the course of
Isner, 33, won with a final score of 6–4, 3–6, 6–7 (7–9), 7–6 (7–3),
The final-set Wimbledon tiebreaker, unlike most tiebreakers,
is only invoked after the score reaches 12-12 instead of the
There is also another new version of tiebreaker, the "match
tiebreaker" or super tiebreaker. This is a game to 10 points
which is played in place of the third and final set. This is used
in pro doubles, and in exhibition matches. The final score is
written using parentheses or brackets, like 6-4, 5-7, (10-5).
On the Tennis Channel today, I saw a chyron which used
a longer form, e.g., 6-4, 5-7, 1-0 (10-5).
There is now a "service clock" at most pro tournaments, to
speed a few habitually slow players. The chair umpire starts
the clock after calling the score, and it counts down from
29 secocnds (or a bit less - tournament option). Violations
are handled about like foot-faults, from what I can tell.
It is only used for the first serve. Court-side interruptions
(crying children, etc.) don't invoke any penalty.
Another innovation - one which slows play - is the instant
replay, which the player can request. The earlier brand-names\
was Hawk Eye, and I have seen Real Bounce either along side
Hawk Eye or by itself.
The Real Bounce web site claims their superiority owing to
their use of 40 low-mounted cameras running at up to 2500
frames per second. They present a movie of the ball bouncing,
seen from some favorable angle.
Hawk Eye uses 10 cameras which are mounted higher, on the
stadium; needs calibration at installation; and uses extensive
computer processing of pictures at 150 frames per second (rate
according to Real Bounce). They "model" the path of the
ball for the inches between separate photos, and model the
bounce and the skid. They claim accuracy to 3 or so mm.,
but all of their validation is held as proprietary information,
so far as I could find from their web site.
Hawk Eye does provide a "definitive" answer - they can
zoom in to see if even a few pixels overlap between the
image they create of the ball's "footprint". I haven't seen
Real Bounce in use for one of the closest line calls, where
the margin is less than 2 mm., but I'm not sure that eyeball-
based opinions of the pictures would all agree.
[BTW, Hawk Eye was first developed for cricket.]
Oh - Tournaments vary in their rules about "coaching" -
either during the match or "from the sideline." There is
an important rule about coaching from the sideline, one
which got Serena angry a year ago. It now has been
made plain that it is a penalty based on the behavior
of the /coach/, not on the athlete. It can be called even
if the athlete never looks in that direction.
There are also rules about medical breaks, etc., specifying
when and how often and for how long.
And that's what I've learned about tennis this year.