Originally Posted by Chrissie-fan
I agree, and I don't even blame the players themselves. It's professional sports with huge sums of money and worldwide fame at stake, so players are tempted to use anything that they think might give them an edge and they are likely to bend the rules to their advantage if they can get away with it. But the powers that be in the game should be more strict. There's really no point in having a set of rules when in reality everyone can do whatever they want. I don't mean that they should be dictatorial. Giving for example someone a warning because they take two seconds too long between serves is a bit petty. But consistently taking forty instead of twenty seconds is of a different order. Same for the injury time-outs and toilet breaks. Tennis is the only sport I know where you can actually HAVE such a thing as an injury time-out. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but once a player goes beyond a certain limit the umpire should should say, "sorry, but if you need that much time you're simply not fit to play. Match goes to your opponent."
As far as injury time-outs and toilet/change of attire breaks - I would change the current rules that state that a player gets a certain number of these for free. There needs to be a fair rule that allows a player to get the medical attention they need and allows a player to take a toilet / change of attire break if she needs it. But that also takes into account that this can be unfair to her opponent. Forfeiting a match is too extreme and umpires will be reluctant to go that far.
So I would have that when a medical timeout goes beyond the 90 seconds (or 2 mins at the end of a set) - she forfeits the 1st point of the next game (starts 15-0 down). 2 mins later she forfeits another point etc. No warnings, no discretion - that's just what should happen and the umpire announces the score of the next game when each successive time mark is exceeded. Same principle for toilet / change of attire breaks. Say it's at the end of a set. After 2 minutes she forfeits the first point in the next game. Almost certainly will not be able to do it without forfeiting at least one point.
This way - the player is not prevented from getting the treatment and the breaks she needs. But she has to decide if she is prepared to pay the cost in terms of losing points in the next game. Obviously the fine detail of how long before forfeiting each point can be fine-tuned. But I don't even view what I propose as a punishment and am not saying MTOs and toilet / change of attire breaks are wrong. I just want to create a balance.
Time taken on the court between points though to remain as it is with warnings first if need be and the umpires exercising discretion as they do at present.
Edit: Just realised the thread this subject is in. Probably ought to be in the Women's Tennis thread.