Tennis: ATP want to limit second serves

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The Independent Online
THE All England Club may consider organising a special event to experiment with innovations suggested by the organisers of the men's tour, writes John Roberts.

Proposals in addition to the rule changes already due to be implemented by the ATP Tour include restricting players to three second serves per game, controlling the size, flexibility and power of rackets, and producing balls of different pressures to suit the various court surfaces.

It is planned to link the restriction on second serves to the time reduction between points from 25 seconds to 20 seconds. Servers who violate the time rule will lose one of their second serves. Players facing the service who take too much time will forfeit one of their second serves in the following game.

Spectators, who are to be encouraged to express themselves during play, will be able to follow the time between points and and the second-serve countdown on the scoreboard.

Also under consideration is a rule limiting competitors to only three sit-down breaks per set, plus a move to abolish the advantage point. At deuce, the server would be given the option of making his next delivery from the right-hand or left-hand court.

One change by the ATP Tour which has met with the disapproval of the other Grand Slam events is the decision to allocate 650 world ranking points, 10 more than Wimbledon, to the winner of the year-end Tour Championship in Frankfurt.