In a sport as global and widespread as tennis, the governing bodies come up with various sets of rules which cover up almost every single entity visible on the court. Apart from the basic rules of scoring, every year a particular set of rules are drafted, revised and updated.
The 2018 ATP rulebook has an in-depth detailing of even the most minor aspect of tennis. Here are 12 rules which are stated in the most recent edition of tennis’ rules:
1) A player who has registered for a tournament is allowed to withdraw on site and collect the prize money. Though, he cannot do so in two consecutive tournaments.
2) In accordance with the above rule, a player is given two (non-consecutive) tournaments (ATP Tour level OR ATP Challenger level) throughout the year where he can withdraw on site and collect the money. Repeating the action at the third time will result in the player NOT receiving the prize money.
3) In a doubles team if one player has a ranking and the other player is unranked, then the only way to enter the draw is via a wild card.
4) If a player’s hat, towel or ball, falls from his pocket at a point, then the chair umpire should pause the point, call it let and replay the point. The chair umpire shall then warn the player that if the scenario repeats, then a second let will be called in which will result in loss of point.
5) Players are allowed 25 seconds between points. If the server goes beyond the 25 seconds, he is handed a time violation. But, the server complains that there was some movement in the audience and some spectators had not taken their seats which were distracting. In this case, the time violations stand UNLESS the chair umpire notices movement as means of distracting the player in the lowermost tier of seats.
6) Often we have seen players go on for long rants with the chair umpire. How long can it go? The ATP’s latest rulebook says that the chair umpire can give his explanations twice but no further. If the player still argues and the match is not recommended, then it would result in code violation.
7) A player stands near the back fence during the change of points. He then receives a time violation after 25 seconds pass. Another 25 seconds pass and the player is still not ready to play. In such a scenario, the player gets a code violation. Hence,
Time Violation + 25 seconds = Code violation.
8) In between a match, a player requests the umpire that he wants to leave the court to put on his contact lens. In such a case, the player is not allowed to leave the court mid-match. This is because contact lenses are not considered as equipment out of adjustment unless he is wearing them at the time of the incident. But, every attempt should be made by the officials to help the player put on the contact lens during changeovers.
9) A player is allowed only one toilet break in the entire match. During the changeover, he asks the chair umpire that he wants to take a second toilet break. In this case, the umpire can allow the player to use the toilet break provided that a penalty will be enforced if the player exceeds the allowed time of 90 seconds in the changeover.
10) A player broke the strings of the last racquet he had. In such a scenario, the player is disallowed to continue the match and is penalized based on the Point Penalty Schedule for “Unreasonable Delay.”
11) In case the ball is hit high in the sky (as a lob or as an unforced error) such that it hits the spider-cam or one of its supporting cables, then the player loses the point.
12) A player is not allowed to have the tattoo of the logo of his clothing manufacturer anywhere on his body.
Considering even the smallest possibilities that might occur in the game, it’s safe to say the officials of tennis are doing a thorough work indeed when it comes to rules and regulations.