The Grand Slam rule changes: Serve/Shot Clocks and more…

The 2018 tennis season is up and running, but some things will be different from the last couple of campaigns after the Grand Slam Board announced several rule changes at the backend of 2017.

Tick-Tock, Tick-Tock
25, 24, 23, 22, 21… 3, 2, 1 your time is up.

From this year the four Grand Slams will have Serve/Shot Clocks! Yes, actual electronic clocks on court that will count down the 25-second time limit between shots.

The move is aimed at time wasters, with the International Tennis Board eager to cut out “dead time”, but Rafael Nadal is not a fan, saying: “I think [the shot clock] is not possible for a great show.”

Don’t Take Too Long To Warm Up
Once players set foot on court they now have one minute to be ready for the pre-match coin toss. They then have five minutes to warm-up and another one minute to be ready for the first serve.

Those who don’t adhere to the new rule could be fined up to $20,000

No Sportsmanship Award For You
Players who retire or perform “below professional standards” in the first round of Grand Slams could be fined their first-round prize money.

Splitting The Cash
Any singles player in the main draw who is not fit to play and withdraws on-site after 12noon on the Thursday before the start of the main draw now receives 50% of the first-round prize money.

The Lucky Loser replacement will receive the remaining 50% plus any prize money earned thereafter.

From 2019:
The number of seeds for Grand Slam tournaments will be halved from 32 to 16 with the hope of making the earlier round a bit more interesting.