US OPEN 2017 report - New rules


US OPEN 2017 report – New rules


US OPEN 2017 was a great experience because of many reasons. It was my first grand slam tournament as a coach and US OPEN was the first tournament that introduced some major rule-changes on ITF Junior circuit. If you want to discover what is new read on this article.

Players and coaches at Junior US OPEN got information that this tournament will be different than any other. ITF decided to test some changes and see the feedback from players, coaches, and the whole tennis environment. As with any introduction there are some doubts whether new things will be better than old solutions so I also approach these formulas not knowing what to really expect. Fortunately, after few matches of main draw players I started to fully grasp the opportunities and difficulties that are present in this new „environment”. OK, let’s stop this mystery – it is time to reveal what you are waiting for.



There were 3 major rule-changes during US OPEN 2017 for juniors. These are:

  1. Countdown clock between the points
  2. Legal coaching
  3. Prematch countdown clock


At the beginning you can immediately be more interested in second change (Legal coaching) but I can guarantee that all 3 changes are important. These rules consists of details that can have positive or negative effects on player’s match so it is crucial to understand what you can do to help your player prepare to compete in this environment. It is confirmed that these changes will be implemented also during all junior grand slam tournaments in 2018 so if your players have chance to qualify you should grasp this knowledge as soon as possible.

What did I learn during my experience in New York? Here are my thoughts:

  1. Countdown clock between the points

There are many players who make time between the points longer than it is permitted so this change can be a challenge for them. On the scoreboard there is a visible countdown clock and players have 25 seconds between the last shot in the previous point and start of the next one. Normally it is plenty of time to recover, analyze last point and plan the next rally but not all players know how to do it. I saw many players during US OPEN who rushed their routines and started points way too early because they were scared of „countdown clock”. It is a new thing implemented into a tennis match so it is not surprising that players don’t know what to do. Coaches should teach players how they suppose to behave and how to be aware of time between points. Challenge? Yes, especially for players who love to rest longer after long points.

  1. Legal coaching

This is a break-through in junior tennis. We know that many coaches and parents tried illegal coaching in the past so now they won’t be penalized for that. ITF allowed coaching from stands if the player is on the same side. When player plays on the other side online „gesture” coaching is available. What does it mean? There are many scenarios. During US OPEN 2017 I saw coaches who coached their players 1-2 times per match but there were also coaches who used every break in match to give some tips. This new rule is definitely an opportunity for coaches to use own knowledge and other perspective to make some adjustments to player’s strategy during the game. On the other hand, if coaches use new rule too often they make player dependent on them which is not the best for the long-term development and appearances in other tournaments that don’t allow coaching. Again, coaches should prepare players for this opportunity and decide before the match how they are going to use it to help player win the match.

  1. Prematch countdown clock

Do you know players who spend way too much time on warm-up? Now it is over. Countdown clock is visible and players have 5 minutes to get ready for the match. Umpire is pretty strict so players have to learn how to include all strokes in this short period of time. Personally I think it is a good change because everybody knows that warm-up time isn’t exactly to „warm-up”. Players have to be ready when they step on the court so this new rule emphasizes more professional approach to pre-match activities. Additionally it also speeds up the time between the matches because there are no more situations where 2 players use more time than others to start the match.

That’s it. 3 major changes. Big or small? You decide. Definitely the game is different with new rules. Now it is your time to adjust to new environment. The better you prepare the easier it will be to compete during grand slam tournaments. Have any questions about my US OPEN experiences? Go ahead and contact me.




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