Bernard Tomic believes the rule change will make world tennis better. Picture: AP
Bernard Tomic believes the rule change will make world tennis better. Picture: AP

How fining injured tennis stars is changing the sport

BERNARD Tomic has thrown his support behind a rule change which is transforming grand slam tennis.

Wimbledon was heavily compromised last year when eight players retired mid-match from the first-round, prompting officials to introduce a new rule to counter the scourge.

Last year, players who took to the court aware they were injured and likely to retire, claimed the full prizemoney allocation.

This year, injured players have the option of withdrawing once they are on-site and are paid half the first-round prizemoney if they don't play.

They are replaced by lucky losers from qualifying, who share the prizemoney, worth about $30,000 this season.

If injured competitors attempt to play and are unable to perform to tournament expectations, they can be heavily fined.

Mischa Zverev was fined $58,000 at the Australian Open after struggling with sickness during an opening-round loss.

Fellow German Peter Gojowczyk was punished with a $40,000 fine at the French Open in similar circumstances.

Tomic, who was docked $20,000 at Wimbledon last year for saying he was bored, was among nine lucky losers to be given a second chance at Wimbledon this year.

 

Dominic Thiem is the only player to have retired injured so far this year. Picture: Getty
Dominic Thiem is the only player to have retired injured so far this year. Picture: Getty

 

"I think it's a good rule. I like it," he said.

"I now know with the rule change, there is going to be a lot more lucky losers.

"I think it's a good rule. You saw nine or 10 lucky losers in Paris and here there are seven.

"Last year, they lost a few matches on centre (court). It's better for the tournament."

Wimbledon's scheduling was thrown into disarray on the second day last year when consecutive centre court matches ended in retirements in matches involving stars Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic.

This year, there was only one first-round retirement - seventh seed Dominic Thiem.



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