Tennis: Agassi on the attack over rules: ATP officials face the music

ANDRE AGASSI is one of several leading players who are voicing their concern over the ATP Tour's rule experiments at the Volvo International tournament in Connecticut this week.

For the first time, music is being played during player introductions, warm-ups and changeovers and fans are also allowed to ask winners questions after matches.

An unofficial survey of players at the tournament shows mixed feelings about the radical changes but, more importantly, an overwhelming majority agree that it is not so much the innovations they are annoyed about, but that they do not have a say in what the ATP Tour is doing to try to improve the sport.

Rule changes, in effect since June, already allow fans to cheer during and after play, and move from their seats anytime they want as long as they are not in the lowest tier. The ATP also has shortened the time players have between points from 30 seconds to 25 seconds, and plan to take away another five seconds after the United States Open.

The issue about how the sport is being changed came to a head after Agassi made fun of the music being played between changeovers during his match on Tuesday. After losing, Agassi said the music created a circus-like atmosphere and was an embarrassment to the sport.

He added that he was frustrated because he and other players had not beeen asked whether they approved of the changes.

'I think so many players are against this, that this is going to die on its own,' he said. 'I'd be surprised if it didn't'

Michael Stich, the top seed, said: 'It's not that music is being played out there. The bottom line is the ATP tells us what we have to do. We're represented by the ATP, we shouldn't be kicked around like fools.'

Ivan Lendl, the elder statesman of the tour, did not have a problem with the music, but had a complaint yesterday about the rule that allows fans to move from upper- tier seats at any time.

During the third set of his third-round defeat against Marc Rosset, Lendl complained to the chair official about two boys chasing each other around in the upper level of the stadium.

'I asked him if he could ask those two boys to stop chasing each other, and he said he couldn't,' Lendl said. 'You can still see them (in the upper tier). It's still distracting. I thought the rule was designed for people to watch tennis - not to chase each other.'

ATP officials will continue testing the innovations for the rest of the week and will make a decision.

'I'll just say I'm glad I'm on the way out, not on the way in,' Lendl added.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Latest in Sport
Sport
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Shopfitter

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join a successful an...

Recruitment Genius: Ecommerce Manager

£45000 - £55000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An opportunity is available to ...

Recruitment Genius: Customer Service / Administrator - Spanish Speaking

£16000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This world leading specialist i...

Recruitment Genius: Regional Support Manager

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This role's responsibility also include operat...

Day In a Page

Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'
10 best statement lightbulbs

10 best statement lightbulbs

Dare to bare with some out-of-the-ordinary illumination
Wimbledon 2015: Heather Watson - 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Heather Watson: 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Briton pumped up for dream meeting with world No 1
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve
Dustin Brown: Who is the tennis player who knocked Rafael Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?

Dustin Brown

Who is the German player that knocked Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?
Ashes 2015: Damien Martyn - 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Damien Martyn: 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Australian veteran of that Ashes series, believes the hosts' may become unstoppable if they win the first Test
Tour de France 2015: Twins Simon and Adam Yates have a mountain to climb during Tour of duty

Twins have a mountain to climb during Tour of duty

Yates brothers will target the steepest sections in bid to win a stage in France
John Palmer: 'Goldfinger' of British crime was murdered, say police

Murder of the Brink’s-MAT mastermind

'Goldfinger' of British crime's life ended in a blaze of bullets, say police
Forget little green men - aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert

Forget little green men

Leading evolutionary biologist says aliens will look like humans
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: An Algerian scientist adjusts to life working in a kebab shop

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

An Algerian scientist struggles to adjust to her new life working in a Scottish kebab shop
Bodyworlds museum: Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy

Dying dream of Doctor Death

Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy