|Venue: Flushing Meadows, New York Dates: 29 August-11 September|
|Protection: Day by day radio commentaries throughout BBC Sounds and the BBC Sport web site and app, with chosen reside textual content commentaries and match experiences on the web site and app|
When world primary Iga Swiatek was requested concerning the tennis balls the feminine gamers use on the US Open, she didn’t maintain again.
“I feel these balls are horrible,” Swiatek stated final week.
“They’re fairly dangerous. I do know there are lots of gamers who complain, and lots of of them are high 10.”
The US Open is the one main the place women and men use totally different balls and, within the build-up to this yr’s event, quite a lot of gamers have echoed Swiatek’s feedback.
There has additionally been a combined response to the choice to permit in-play teaching on the event for the primary time.
What distinction do the balls make?
The ladies use Wilson US Open common responsibility balls in New York, whereas the lads use Wilson US Open additional responsibility balls.
The common responsibility balls are thinner and lighter than the additional responsibility ones. Wilson states that the common balls are likely to fluff up more, that means they play quicker however are “much less sturdy” than the additional responsibility.
Wilson additionally says that the common responsibility balls are developed for softer surfaces, like clay or indoor courts, in comparison with the additional responsibility ones, that are for laborious courts and “abrasive” surfaces.
Swiatek defined that the lighter balls can contribute to extra unforced errors which, in flip, could make matches extra unappealing to look at.
“Particularly after three video games of actually laborious enjoying, they’re getting increasingly gentle,” she stated on the Cincinnati Open final week.
“On the finish, you possibly can’t even serve at 170kmh [105mph] as a result of it should fly like loopy. They’re fairly dangerous.
“Proper now we play highly effective, and we type of cannot loosen up our arms with these balls. We make extra errors, for positive, so I do not suppose that is very nice to look at visually.”
The US Tennis Affiliation stated “quite a lot of components” are thought of in deciding which balls to make use of.
“The USTA works intently with the WTA and ATP Tour, their participant councils and our model accomplice on an annual foundation to find out what kind of balls they advocate,” a USTA spokesperson stated.
“The USTA will proceed to comply with the suggestions of the excursions and their participant councils to find out which balls are utilised in the course of the US Open.”
What produce other gamers stated?
Fourth seed Paula Badosa of Spain posted a photograph on Instagram from one among her apply periods evaluating the 2 balls.
Daniel Vallverdu, who coaches former males’s champion Stan Wawrinka, replied to the picture on Twitter, writing: “The sport has advanced. Must be the identical additional responsibility ball for women and men. She is 100% proper for my part.”
French Open runner-up Coco Gauff stated she may “undoubtedly inform there is a distinction” when it got here to utilizing the US Open balls.
In the meantime, American primary Jessica Pegula, who’s a part of the Girls’s Tennis Affiliation’s participant council, stated she was “personally not an enormous fan” of the balls. She informed The Guardian: “I really feel like the primary couple weeks there are a variety of double faults, as a result of the balls are simply type of flying a bit extra. I do not see why we could not change to additional responsibility. Nevertheless it’s simpler stated than accomplished, so hopefully the participant council can work on that.”
Nonetheless, gamers reminiscent of Petra Kvitova and Madison Keys, who are inclined to hit laborious, flat strikes that may collect extra tempo off a lighter ball, have stated they just like the common responsibility ones.
Wimbledon runner-up Ons Jabeur, identified for her artful ball hanging, stated she’s going to “play with any ball” however added: “It will make sense if we performed with the identical balls as males, as a result of that is what we do in different Grand Slams. I see their level.”
WTA spokeswoman Amy Binder told the Associated Press: “The premise behind utilizing the common felt ball was that it restricted the potential of arm, shoulder, elbow and wrist accidents.
“That is one thing that we are going to proceed to observe and focus on additional with each our athletes and our sports activities science groups.”
What concerning the teaching adjustments?
Gamers will be capable to obtain verbal and non-verbal teaching from the stands in the course of the event, supplied it doesn’t interrupt play or hinder an opponent.
Though it’s towards the principles at most tournaments, teaching from the sidelines is widespread, with gamers given warnings or level penalties if they’re caught out.
The daddy of Greece’s Stefanos Tsitsipas has usually been caught making an attempt to teach his son, most notably at this yr’s Australian Open, the place an umpire was stationed underneath his box to catch any feedback.
“My coach has not been as discreet as different coaches, nevertheless it has been all the time taking place,” Tsitsipas stated.
“I’ve gotten a variety of teaching violations, which I discovered unfair. However now that it is legalised, I am very happy I will not need to cope with referees which might be so strict and need to type of wreck the sport.”
Nonetheless, world quantity 12 Taylor Fritz stated he “hates” the brand new teaching rule.
“Tennis is a person sport, so why ought to another person have the ability that will help you?” the American stated.
“I feel folks underestimate how psychological and strategic the game is, so they do not perceive how massive of a distinction it’s.
“I feel that figuring it out for your self on the court docket is a large a part of our sport. I simply really feel like we’re dropping an essential a part of tennis.”
Swiatek stated she may perceive each side of the argument.
“I perceive that gamers say that it is a person sport however however mainly there’s teaching in most of sports activities,” the Pole added.
“In soccer coaches can shout, despite the fact that there’s 11 grown males on the sphere and they need to know what to do. They in all probability know the ways, however he is nonetheless speaking.”