TENNIS RULES ALERT
USTA Tennis Rules and Regulations Committee
New Recovery Rule Adopted at 2012 Annual Meeting
What is the “Recovery Rule” and when does it apply?
The Recovery Rule is a new part of USTA Regulation III.H. The purpose of the new rule is to ensure that a minimum rest period of two hours is offered by a tournament referee to a player who has just completed a singles match in which a match format of 2 out of 3 standard tiebreak sets (or 3 out of 5 standard tiebreak sets) is used. The new Recovery Rule applies only between twosingles matches. Further, the new Recovery Rule does NOT apply to short set matches, matches that play a tiebreak in lieu of a final third set, or to any match indoors that lasts less than 120 minutes.
When is this new rule effective?
The new Recovery Rule is now effective and should be enforced at all USTA-sanctioned events featuring singles events in junior, adult, senior, NRTP, and wheelchair divisions.
Can a player waive the 2-hour rest period?
Yes, the player who just completed a singles match is allowed to waive the 2-hour rest period.
What does the Recovery Rule mean for tournament officials?
This new rule creates new responsibilities for tournament officials with regards to scheduling matches, timing singles matches that are played indoors, and monitoring compliance with the “new” minimum rest period required to be offered between two singles matches. This new rule could plausibly impact the choice of format selected by tournament organizers.
What does the Recovery Rule mean for tournament players?
This new rule provides added relief and recovery time for singles players to promote player health and safety, as well as performance. All else equal, the new rule might result in longer periods of time needed to complete singles tournaments.
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