Grand Slam seedings cut to 16 from 2019

Ross Houston
November 22, 2017

"If you want to have matches like I played here with Novak [Djokovic], the three finals, the kind of match that the crowd is more involved in because the points are so long, well, you can not expect to play 50-shot rallies and in 25 seconds be ready to play the next tennis point".

If a singles player (playing in the main draw) decides to withdraw on-site on Thursday afternoon post 12.00 PM because of being unfit, before the main draw, will receive 50% of the prize money (of that particular round).

The 2018 Australian Open is all set to incorporate some major changes in the rules of tennis. There have been 32 seeds at Grand Slam events since 2001 Wimbledon. The 25-second shot-clock was used in the U.S. Open qualifying event this year and also at the Next Gen ATP Finals in Milan earlier this month.

Following numerous withdrawals in the first round of Slams, the Board has chose to incentivise players who pull out from the tournament before the main draw is made.

The timing of the pre-match warm-up has also been modified.

- A player who retires from a first-round match or "performs below professional standards" could face a fine as high as the entire prize money due a loser in that round.

"It was unanimously agreed to support 2018 Australian Open's application to the ITF (International Tennis Federation) 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", the GSB confirmed. One minute for walk-on. A player would be subject to warnings and eventually point penalties for clock violations.

The reasoning: Injured or ill players won't start a match simply to collect their prize money before quitting. The pre-match timing gives a player one minute to meet at the net after walking on the court followed by a five minute warm-up, then one minute to be ready to begin.

The GSB is also intending to reduce Grand Slam seeds from 32 to 16 in 2019.

Two other men also stopped mid-match that day, bringing the first-round retirement total to seven and sparking discussion about whether spectators were being shortchanged. Their replacement will receive the remaining 50 per cent plus any additional prizes earned.

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