Shot clock will be introduced as part of Grand Slam shake-up


The Grand Slam Board meeting in London also made a decision to pay 50 percent of the first-round prize money to the injured who pulls out on site before their opening match.

Previously those who pulled out before the first round were not permitted to collect any prize money, leading to players appearing in their opening matches while clearly injured or unfit.

Meanwhile, participants at the 2018 Australian Open will compete under a 25-second shot clock that was tested in U.S. Open qualifying this year.

Following numerous withdrawals in the first round of Slams, the Board has chose to incentivise players who pull out from the tournament before the main draw is made.

The Grand Slam Board (GSB) completed two days of meetings in London on November 15-16.

Grand Slam draws could be set to get much more interesting beginning in 2019, with the year's biggest tournaments set to revert from 32 seeds to 16.

Nevertheless the move to continue the experiment, which was also used at the recent Next Gen Finals in Milan, suggests it will be extended to main draws sooner rather than later. With introduction of the 16 seeded players format again, the possibility of higher-ranked players facing off the last seeded players will increase.

Another change to make Grand Slam matches snappier is enforcing a strict time rule on warm-ups.

The Grand Slam Board has passed a new rule that could penalise those who retire or play below their professional standards.

The timing of the pre-match warm-up will be strictly enforced, with one minute allowed after walk-on to be ready for the pre-match toss, followed by a five minute warm-up, then a further one minute to be ready to commence the match.

The three other slams will also allow 25 seconds, bringing them into line with regular Tour events, but are not now scheduled to have shot-clocks. A player would be subject to warnings and eventually point penalties for clock violations.

At Wimbledon this year there were a total of seven retirements in the men's singles first round - including successive injury dropouts on the same day's play on Centre Court by Martin Klizan and Alexandr Dolgopolov.