Toronto tournament a test for shot-clock innovation

This week’s Toronto Masters is serving as a test bed for a time saving shot-clock innovation, with Wimbledon semi-finalist John Isner fully on board with the idea.

A trial run of the 25-second on-court countdown clock which began last week at the ATP-WTA tournament in Washington will run through the US Open, with the Tours then expected to make decisions about continuing the innovation.

Eighth-seed Isner is confident the plan will work well and will not be a source of extra tension or distraction for players.

“I played the one match with the shot clock, and I didn’t find it to be an issue at all,” the American said on Monday.

“I didn’t feel rushed. And I’m generally one of the slower players as well.

“I don’t bounce the ball a lot or pick at things, but I just kind of take my sweet time behind the baseline before I serve.”

The clock is designed to prevent time-wasting and maintain a regular pace of play.

“We’ve built common sense into the protocols,” ATP rules and competition VP Gayle Bradshaw said on opening day in Toronto. “We’re trying to be sensible here.”

The wide-scale experiment will end with the ATP and WTA ruling on whether to keep using it.

Bradshaw, a former chair umpire, said that leeway is built into the system to account for delays from the likes of crowd noise and player injury time outs.

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