Relaxation of rules will benefit volatile players

Tennis chiefs are to be more lenient with volatile players in an attempt to make the game more entertaining for spectators. Following discussions with the ATP Tour, WTA Tour and Grand Slam organisers, the ITF has abolished its "three strikes and out" policy whereby players could be disqualified from a match for three indiscretions such as racquet-throwing or swearing.

Tennis chiefs are to be more lenient with volatile players in an attempt to make the game more entertaining for spectators. Following discussions with the ATP Tour, WTA Tour and Grand Slam organisers, the ITF has abolished its "three strikes and out" policy whereby players could be disqualified from a match for three indiscretions such as racquet-throwing or swearing.

The ITF will now experiment with a system where a third minor offence will now see the offending player forfeit a game with the first offence bringing a verbal warning and the second a point penalty. "We want to avoid a player being disqualified from a Wimbledon semi-final for just a quick "one-two-three" series of offences," said ITF executive director Bill Babcock.

"In my experience, player behaviour has improved over the past 10 years. However players may now feel more free to express themselves in the future under our new rules. Of course we don't want players going out on court and shouting obscenities but maybe they feel a little restricted in what they say at present."

However, following three warnings - and in the case of a 'flagrant Code Violation' - the official reserves the right to disqualify.

A further change to be made will be the introduction of a two minute break at the end of every set. This replaces the 90 second break which is currently taken at the change-over after the first game of each set. "It will help commercially and it will also give a shape to the match. Spectators normally like to let off some steam and talk between sets and this change will allow them to do so."

The change also means three consecutive games will be played at the start of a set if only one game was played following the final rest period in the previous set.

The experimental rule changes will apply to Grand Slam tournaments, Davis Cup and Federation Cup matches, as well as in all ATP and WTA tournaments beginning on January 1 2000.

The ITF Annual General Meeting in June 2000 will decide if the rule changes are to become permanent.

Voices
On the last day of campaigning before the polling booths open, the SNP leader has written to voters in a final attempt to convince them to vote for independence
scotland decidesIs a huge gamble on oil keeping First Minister up at night?
Arts and Entertainment
Rosalind Buckland, the inspiration for Cider with Rosie died this week
booksBut what is it like to be the person who inspires a classic work of art?
Life and Style
techApple has just launched its latest mobile operating software – so what should you do first?
News
A male driver reverses his Vauxhall Astra from a tow truck
newsThe 'extremely dangerous' attempt to avoid being impounded has been heavily criticised
PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
Lionel Messi in action for Barcelona
filmSo what makes the little man tick?
Arts and Entertainment
tvReview: An undercooked end (spoiler alert)
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Pharrell dismissed the controversy surrounding
musicThe singer said 'the last thing I want to do is degrade'
Sport
Cesc Fabregas celebrates his first Chelsea goal
footballChelsea vs Schalke match report
Arts and Entertainment
Toby Jones (left) and Mackenzie Crook in BBC4’s new comedy The Detectorists
tvMackenzie Crook's 'Detectorists' makes the hobby look 'dysfunctional', they say
Life and Style
fashion

Olympic diver has made his modelling debut for Adidas

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

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

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week