Aussie Open to punish underperforming players

The 'shot clock' in operation at the Gen Finals in Milan

Grand Slam tournaments will revert to 16 seeds rather than the 32 now used as part of a new set of rules to be enforced over the next year or so.

-A player who is unable to finish the first-round match or "performs below professional standards" (if they are not believed to be injured) will be scrutinized and fined as high as the entire prize money due a loser in that round.

It is one of a number of changes decided by the Grand Slam Board (GSB).

Top tennis stars will come under a 25-second shot clock in Grand Slam tournaments starting at the Australian Open in January.

The technology was trialled at the Next Gen ATP Finals in Milan earlier this month - where the eight best young players of 2017 competed - and the chair umpire was left as the sole official on the court.

Another change to make Grand Slam matches snappier is enforcing a strict time rule on warm-ups. There have been 32 seeds at Grand Slam events since 2001 Wimbledon.

Grand Slam tournaments are planning to return to seeding only 16 players, instead of 32, as of 2019, and now will give a player who is a late withdrawal because of an injury 50 percent of the first-round prize money.

Among the other reforms, the timing of pre-match warm-ups is to be more strictly enforced, with players subject to a fine up to £15,000 if they over-run.

Any singles player who is unfit to play and withdraws on-site after noon on Thursday before the slam starts will now receive only 50 per cent of the first round prize money. One minute for walk-on.

Meanwhile, tennis chiefs have also made a decision to reduce the number of seeds from 32 to 16 for the men's and women's main draw at the sport's four Majors in an attempt to make the early rounds of the competitions more competitive, leaving the possibility that higher-ranked players could meet before the last 16. Additionally, it will also reduce the number of matches with little effort. The replacement Lucky Loser will receive the remaining 50% plus any additional prize money earned thereafter.

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