The ATP announced the inclusion of coaching for the final stretch of the season, but the news was not to the liking of some athletes, such as Nick Kyrgios.
Nick Kyrgios against coaching in tennis. (Photo: IG @k1ngkyrg1os)
Tennis has evolved over the years and the ATP announced a surprise rule change after it ended Wimbledon: Coaching (coach support) will be allowed. Although the instructors are usually on the pitch, this time they will be able to have direct contact with the athletes during a match, but the news has not been welcomed by some athletes, such as Nick Kyrgios.
The provision was announced last Monday and the 'Bad boy' did not hesitate to speak out against the new statute. “I totally disagree. You lose one of the unique traits that no other sport had”, said the Australian through his Twitter account, in response to Patrick Mouratoglou, who was coach of Serena Williams for a decade (2012 to 2022).
“The player had to figure things out on his own. That was the beauty of this”, highlighted Kyrgios, who defends the fact of resolving a match one by one, without the interference of a third party. While this is just an ATP trial period for this innovation, Nick makes no secret of his discomfort.
Similarly, the controversial tennis player added another argument to defend his negative position towards coaching. “What happens if a high-profile player is up against a low-ranking player who doesn't have or can't afford a coach?,” the 'Bad Boy' concluded. Despite the criticism, the rule will be applied.
What is tennis coaching?
Coaching consists of coaches helping tennis players during a match, with the intention of correcting mistakes. Previously, the technicians were located in a sector of the field and direct intervention with the athlete was penalized by the referee. Now there will be no ban anymore.
As announced by the ATP, this law will be implemented, as a test with a view to the future, from the week of July 11, 2022, after Wimbledon, in the ATP and WTA Tour circuit tournaments, the US Open, the fourth Grand Slam of the season; and will last until the ATP Finals in Turin (from November 13 to 20). The new rules implemented are:
- Coaches must be seated in the seat previously designated by the organization.
- Coaching (both verbal and non-verbal) is allowed as long as it does not interrupt the game or create any obstacle for the opponent.
- Verbal coaching can only be done when the player is on the same side of the court as his coach .
- Non-verbal coaching (sign language) is allowed at any time during the match.
- Verbal coaching may consist of a few words or short phrases, conversations are not allowed.
use of the previously cited conditions.