You have to love the renewed enforcement of the ATP time violation rules if for no other reason than it can breathe life into an otherwise boring match.
Andy Murray was well on his way to winning his opening match against Edouard Roger-Vasselin at the Monte Carlo Masters on Wednesday when he was issued his second time violation while serving at 6-1, 4-3. Under rules instituted by the ATP last fall, the second violation meant the loss of a first serve. Murray went on to hold but was clearly unhappy about the call, walking over to tournament referee Tom Barnes in between games to point out that he had to wait for Roger-Vasselin, who was checking his strings when Murray was set to serve within the time limit. Murray won 6-1, 6-4 and spoke to Sky Sports about the incident after the match.
“The only issue I have with it is in the whole time this year, in four months, I’ve yet to see the returner receive a time violation,” Murray said. “It’s always the server that gets given it, and you’re not allowed to serve if your opponent isn’t ready. So sometimes you’re waiting, if your opponent is doing his strings or whatever. So it’s important that the umpire checks both players because it’s not always the server that’s playing slow.
“The first one I agreed with, I said nothing about it. The second one I argued because I was looking to him, and he was doing his strings so that wasted another three, four seconds, and that’s why I lost the serve.”
Next up for Murray is a match against Stanislas Wawrinka, who has won both of their clay-court meetings in straight sets, the last one in 2008.