Before each serve, he bounced his ball like a little kid who just discovered gravity, and those that know Djokovic know that today’s match wasn’t even half as protracted as some of Djokovic’s infamous games.
Even the commentators were, eh, commentating on how today’s Djokovic bounce fest was nothing compared to the younger Djokovic, who would take game delaying to dizzying OCD inspired heights.
Wimbledon In Slow-Motion Is Nothing New
Slowing down game play at wimbledon and other grand slams is nothing new, though. John McEnroe was notorious for delaying play, even going so far as to pretend he was napping on the baseline.
Perhaps McEnroe was making a point to say how boring his competition was. Either way, his competition did not take the point with much cheer. But there’s a method to this madness.
Tennis is as much mental as it is physical and slowing down the play can help you to disrupt your opponent’s groove, keeping him or her from getting into a good rhythm or streak.
Of course, the Wimbledon spectators absolutely hate this but they’re not the ones who you want to impress, are they? They might cheer for you when you’re on top but as soon as you stop winning they’ll spit you out as soon as look at you!
But all this hoopla about game delaying has made some tennis authorities consider the idea of a “shot clock”. After all, nearly every other sport has a shot clock of some capacity and most of them have far more viewers on a regular basis than tennis.
The Funny Thing About Wimbledon And All Of Tennis:
The funny thing, though, is that there is already a shot clock of sorts employed in tennis. In Grand Slam matches the server is supposed to serve within twenty seconds of the ball going out of play.
But chair umps almost never actually call a player out on this, much less penalize them the suggested 1 point for delays.
But lately certain umpires are starting to give warnings for this self-indulgent activity. Even our dear boy Djokovic earned a warning against Federer at the French Open, and recently dethroned Nadal was given one in the semis.
There’s still a long way away from a shot clock at wimbledon, though, and most people are actually a bit averse to the clock. People say that it can be hard to employ a clock when the audience isn’t completely done cheering or sitting down.
In other words, the clock can cause more havoc than good in many cases. In the end, it is a tough and interesting debate, and one that can’t be solved in twenty seconds or less.