ATP Tour to trial relaxed coaching rules after Wimbledon

Stefanos Tsitsipas in action

The ATP announced this week that they intend to trial allowing limited off-court coaching during matches after Wimbledon.

According to the relaxed rules coaches will now be allowed to coach players from designated seating areas in the stands, with certain limitations.

The new rules will be trialled from the week after Wimbledon and the ATP says it will run with the new regulations through to the end of the season.

The trial is also set to feature at the US Open later this year.

There has been much discussion about the rules on coaching from the stands with Greek star Stefanos Tsitsipas attracting a lot of attention for allegedly breaking the rules regarding receiving instructions from the stands.

Tsitsipas is not the only player to court controversy as there was also the notable incident in the 2018 US Open final with Serena Williams and Patrick Mouratoglou seen to have been communicating extensively.

The rules trial will also be a fixture on the WTA tour, which has already conducted limited coaching trials in the past.

In their official announcement the ATP said that coaching would be allowed under the trial under the following conditions:

  • Coaches must sit in the tournament’s designated seats
  • Coaching (verbal and non-verbal) is allowed only if it does not interrupt play or create any hindrance to the opponent
  • Verbal coaching is permitted only when the players is at the same end of the court
  • Non-verbal coaching (hand signals) is permitted at any time
  • Verbal coaching may consist of a few words or phrases, but no extended conversations are permitted
  • Coaches may not speak to their player when the player leaves the court for any reason
  • Penalties and fines will still apply for abuse or misuse for the above coaching conditions

The trial will end at the ATP Finals at the end of the year in Turin with the results of the trial to be assessed at the end of the season to see whether it will be included in seasons to come.