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ATP Innovations at the Winston-Salem Open


Warm Up and Serve Clocks to be featured during US Open Series and at the US Open

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (July 11, 2018) – The Winston-Salem Open will be one of seven tournaments throughout the summer to use game innovations announced today by the USTA, the ATP, and the WTA. The rule changes were the result of collaboration and consultation between all three organizations and are aimed at increasing the speed of play and creating consistency in time-related enforcement standards.

Tournament Director Bill Oakes says he’s excited about the rule changes, “We couldn’t be happier to be one of the tournaments featuring these changes, which look to be the future of the sport.  These innovations are great to continue to provide a better product for our fans.”

As per information from these governing bodies of national and international tennis, the Winston-Salem Open will implement the following innovations:

Warm-Up Clock

  • A one-minute clock will begin when the second player/team entering the court arrives at their chair(s).  If at the end of that one minute, a player is not at the net, they will be notified by the Chair Umpire and subject to a post-match fine.  This will not be a time violation.
  • A five-minute time clock will begin following the coin-toss and begin the warm-up period.  During this time, the Chair Umpire will make announcements informing the players of the 3-minute, 2-minute, 1-minute, 30-seconds, and end-of-warm-up marks.  Following the conclusion on the five-minute warm-up period, a one-minute countdown will commence.  At the end of this one-minute countdown, a player must be ready to play.  If a player is not ready at this juncture, the Chair Umpire will announce a “Start of Match Violation” and the player will be subject to a post-match fine.  This will not be a time violation.

Serve Clock

  • The server will be given up to 25 seconds to serve.  This will be enforced in the following ways:
    • During a game
      • Following the point, the score will be entered, the Chair Umpire will announce the score, and then start the 25 second-clock.  If the player has not started the service motion at the completion of the 25-second countdown, the Chair Umpire will issue a time violation.
    • After even-numbered games
      • The Chair Umpire will start the clock when the balls are all in place on the server’s end of the court.  If the player has not started the service motion at the completion of the 25-second countdown, the Chair Umpire will issue a time violation.
  • The receiver is responsible for playing to the server’s reasonable pace

The Chair Umpire will have the ability and discretion to pause the clock.  The Chair Umpire will have the ability to resume the clock from the same time or reset the clock to 25-seconds.

Although the exact location has yet to be determined, a “clock” will be placed in a position visible to players, fans and the Chair Umpire.

Along with the Winston-Salem Open, events in Washington D.C.; San Jose, CA; Montreal; Toronto; Cincinnati, OH; and New Haven, CT will also use these new rules, as will the US Open in New York, NY at the end of the summer. In 2017, the US Open utilized a Serve Clock and a Warm-Up Clock in the qualifying rounds, as well as the Junior Tournament, Wheelchair Competition, American College Invitational, and Champions Invitational.  The ATP also featured a Shot Clock at the inaugural Next Gen Finals in Milan in 2017.

About the Winston-Salem Open

The Winston-Salem Open is the final tournament in the summer-long US Open Series. This ATP event began in 2011, and in 2017 the tournament reached a global audience of more than 3.5 million in more than 100 countries. It won ATP Tournament of the Year in 2016, as voted on by the players. The Wake Forest Tennis Complex will host the tournament August 18-25. Tickets are now on sale. Visit www.winstonsalemopen.com/tickets for detailed pricing information and seat availability.

About the USTA

The USTA is the national governing body for the sport of tennis in the U.S. and the leader in promoting and developing the growth of tennis at every level -- from local communities to the highest level of the professional game. A not-for-profit organization with more than 655,000 members, it invests 100% of its proceeds in growing the game. It owns and operates the US Open, one of the highest-attended annual sporting events in the world, and launched the US Open Series, linking seven summer WTA and ATP World Tour tournaments to the US Open. In addition, it owns approximately 90 Pro Circuit events throughout the U.S. and selects the teams for the Davis Cup, Fed Cup, Olympic and Paralympic Games. The USTA’s philanthropic entity, the USTA Foundation, provides grants and scholarships in addition to supporting tennis and education programs nationwide to benefit under-resourced youth through the National Junior Tennis & Learning (NJTL) network. For more information about the USTA, go to USTA.com or follow the official accounts on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat.

About the ATP

The ATP is the governing body of the men's professional tennis circuits - the ATP World Tour, the ATP Challenger Tour and the ATP Champions Tour. With 64 tournaments in 31 countries, the ATP World Tour showcases the finest male athletes competing in the world’s most exciting venues. From Australia to Europe and the Americas to Asia, the stars of the 2018 ATP World Tour will battle for prestigious titles and ATP Rankings points at ATP World Tour Masters 1000, 500 and 250 events, as well as Grand Slams (non-ATP events). At the end of the season only the world’s top 8 qualified singles players and doubles teams will qualify to compete for the last title of the season at the Nitto ATP Finals. Held at The O2 in London, the event will officially crown the 2018 ATP World Tour No. 1. For more information, please visit www.ATPWorldTour.com.