Salem Radio Network News Wednesday, September 28, 2022


Tennis-Fritz no fan of ATP’s ‘dumb’ off-court coaching rule

(Reuters) – American Taylor Fritz bashed the ATP Tour’s trial of off-court coaching on Wednesday, saying that allowing players to receive instructions during a match was a “dumb rule” that went against the concept of tennis being an individual sport.

The ATP started a trial of the rule last month, with players allowed to receive instructions in qualifying and main draw matches in tournaments including the U.S. Open and the ATP Finals.

Fritz, who beat in-form Australian Nick Kyrgios 6-3 6-2 to reach the third round of the Cincinnati Open on Wednesday, said he had not taken advantage of the rule.

“I haven’t talked to Mike (Russell) and he hasn’t talked to me one time since the coaching has become a thing. It’s a dumb rule,” the world number 13 told reporters.

“Why are we making it not an individual sport? A huge part of tennis is, in my mind, like as tennis is as much mental as it is physical, and a big part of it is you need to be figuring it out on the court for yourself.

“I think it’s ridiculous that you can be mentally not there, not good analytically, not good at kind of working through things and coming up with strategies, and you can have someone tell you what to do. I hate it.”

Kyrgios has also come out against the rule, saying in June that the beauty of the sport was being taken away by the new rule, which permits an individual to coach a player both verbally and non-verbally from a designated seat.

Fritz next faces Andrey Rublev at the ATP Masters 1000 event, the last big tune-up event before the U.S. Open.

(Reporting by Dhruv Munjal in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Rutherford)


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