Published at Sunday, April 08th, 2018 - 12:07:20 PM. Tennis. By Livia Febe.
Both of those solutions boil down to money. Naturally for many in a 128-player draw that first round prize money is a big deal which is why they will show up to play even if they go in knowing they are unfit and may have to pull the plug mid-match. As a concession to that driving factor players will now be allowed to collect fifty percent if they withdraw after noon on site on Thursday but before the main draw begins. Coupled with this players who are knowingly unfit to play and still opt to compete could face a fine up to the total amount of their first-round prize money if they fail to finish the match or “perform below professional standards.” Together these two rules should encourage players to make the smart choice and subsequently improve the overall optics of the sport.
Many will remember the rash of disastrous late and first-round withdrawals that plagued the slams especially the back-to-back opening-round mid-match retirements that occurred on Wimbledon Centre Court. It certainly did not paint the sport in a great light particularly when it unfolded at one of the most famous venues in all of sports. Thankfully the Grand Slam Board has come up with two changes to help greatly reduce the chances of such an ugly scenario happening again.
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