The Grand Slam Board has met, with rule amendments high on its agenda.
And it was decided:
1) to support 2018 Australian Open’s application to the ITF for a waiver of the 20 seconds between points required by the Rules of Tennis, in order to allow for enforcement of a strict 25 seconds utilising a “serve/shot clock” system in line with that trialed at the 2017 US Open.
2) the timing of the pre-match warm-up will be strictly enforced (1 minute after walk-on to be ready for the pre-match meeting, followed by the 5 minute warm-up, then 1 minute to be ready to start the match). Violation of this timing may subject a player to a fine up to $20,000.
3) any main-draw singles player who is unfit to play and who withdraws on-site after 12pm on Thursday before the start of the main draw will now receive 50 per cent of the first-round prize money in 2018. The replacement “lucky loser” will receive the remaining 50 per cent plus any additional prize money earned thereafter.
4) any player who competes in the first-round main draw singles and retires or performs below professional standards, may now be subject to a fine up to first-round prize money in 2018.
5) the 2018 Grand Slam tournaments will continue with 32 seeds in singles and intend to revert to 16 seeds in 2019.
Love the shot clock rule, (I'm looking at you Nadal and Djokovic) and all the ones to do with money and penalties.
Not sure what shortening the warm up will do. Never found that a problem to begin with. Shortening it down to 16 seeds in 2019 could make things interesting though.