The tour reacts to eliminate unecessary dead time during matches.By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Tuesday November 23, 2021
The ATP Tour has announced new rules relating to toilet breaks, attire changes to come into effect from 2022, in addition to a proposed change to the Medical time out rule, with starting dates to be announced.
The new rules come in response to controversy over the length in toilet breaks, particularly at the the US Open, which saw Stefanos Tsitsipas under heavy scrutiny after he took a seven-minute break during his match with Andy Murray.
That was the match that inspired this tweet by Murray:
Fact of the day. It takes Stefanos Tsitipas twice as long to go the bathroom as it takes Jeff Bazos to fly into space. Interesting. 🚽 🚀
— Andy Murray (@andy_murray) August 31, 2021
“It's just disappointing because I feel it influenced the outcome of the match,” Murray would later say, when talking about Tsitsipas bathroom break (plus other injury timeouts that were taken during the match). "I'm not saying I necessarily win that match, for sure, but it had influence on what was happening after those breaks.
“I rate him a lot. I think he's a brilliant player. I think he's great for the game. But I have zero time for that stuff at all, and I lost respect for him.”
The incident caused a lot of debate and the ATP has clearly taken that into account when making new rules. They are as follows (per ATP):
Toilet Break & Change of Attire (Effective 2022)
• Players can take a maximum of three minutes once they have entered the toilet.
• Players will receive two minutes for a change of attire in addition to the three-minute toilet break.
• Note: Change of attire may only be done in conjunction with a toilet break (unless authorised by the Chair Umpire).
• A player may only take one toilet break per match.
• Toilet breaks can only be taken during a set break.
• Time violations will apply if a player is not ready within the allowed time.
The ATP will also introduce new rules on medical timeouts, but the tour stated that they are not sure when the rules will come into effect.
Medical Time Out (Effective Date TBD)
• One three-minute time out per match to be taken during a changeover or a set break only.
• If the player cannot continue to the next change of ends, he will forfeit the points required to get to that change of ends/set break.