PARIS (Reuters) - Laura Siegemund called for clarity around the time violation rule in tennis on Wednesday after she received a warning for being too slow with her serve at a crucial point during her French Open quarter-final loss against Petra Kvitova.
To hasten the pace of play, the chair umpire currently starts a 25 second-clock following the completion of a point and if a player has not started the service motion by the stipulated time a time violation is issued.
Siegemund, 32, stretched her back couple of times while saving three breakpoints from 0-40 down in the fifth game of the second set when chair umpire Marijana Veljovic served her a time violation during her service motion.
The world number 66 argued with Veljovic before her service was broken and she eventually went on to lose the match 6-3 6-3 against the two-time Wimbledon champion.
The German said she was known for being generally slow with her serve but some umpires in the circuit are lenient on the point they start the serve clock.
“As far as I know the rule is before the clock goes to zero I have to start my movement. She is very sharp every time I have her on the chair. She gives me a violation the first opportunity she gets,” Siegemund told reporters.
“So it makes a big difference when they press the button when the clock is running and I think that is where the rule is very unprecise.
“... when the clock is zero and I’m starting my movement, then give me a break. If every time I need 40 seconds, that’s a different thing. But this was just exaggerated.”
While Siegemund was not too bothered about it, she felt the warning was like an elbow jab and called it “a joke”.
“I’m trying my best to be faster. And I think I am also much faster than I was in the past,” she said.
“... Be a little more gentle in the way you interpret the rules. But if she want to give me a time violation, that’s okay.”
Reporting by Sudipto Ganguly in Mumbai; editing by Christian Radnedge
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