The Times U.K. is reporting that the ATP has changed the way players are allowed to use medical timeouts for cramping:
“From next year, on the men’s tour at least, any player who cramps during a match will not have recourse to immediate on-court treatment. They will have to wait until the end of the game. If they cannot play on, the match will be forfeited.”
The decision was made by the ATP Player Council and ratified by the board at this year’s US Open.
The Times says that one match in particular this year convinced the players to change the rule:
“Earlier this year, in a match on the ATP tour, a leading umpire refused a player (notorious in this respect) on-court treatment when he complained of cramps. The player’s reaction afterwards was so outrageously over the top, that it was with this in mind that the members of his council were persuaded that the rule needed changing.”
Can someone help me identify this rascally player? My top guesses are Gael Monfils, Novak Djokovic or maybe Juan Martin Del Potro.
The rule is a sound one, but honestly, is it really going to curb the strategic use of medical time outs? Marat Safin, for example, complained vociferously in Shanghai last week when his opponent, Tomas Berdych, took a lengthy break during their match. But 1. the time out wasn’t for cramping and 2. wasn’t taken during a game.