‘Against the Good Show’: Rafael Nadal Unhappy With Shot Clock During Australian Open 2021 Quarterfinals

Published 02/17/2021, 4:56 AM EST
Tennis – A Day at the Drive Exhibition – Memorial Drive Tennis Club, Adelaide, Australia – January 29, 2021 Spain’s Rafael Nadal during his match against Austria’s Dominic Thiem REUTERS/Morgan Sette


The US Open 2018 gave birth to a new tradition in tennis. A 25-second shot-clock was introduced to keep the pace of the game going in between points. Players tend to slow down after long and grueling rallies, and since 2018, they’ve had a limited time frame to get ready for the next point. However, Rafael Nadal is not impressed with this system. 

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Tennis is an intense sport, and long ralliers often tire out their competitors. So a lot of players aren’t fans of the 25-second shot clock that urges them to maintain a similar pace after every point. 

Rafael Nadal has never been an advocate of this newfound rule in tennis. “You have to do it after the score, because if not you can see, it’s impossible to play. It’s against the good show,” Nadal said. His statements implied that the chair umpires are too quick to activate the shot clock after every point in a match. 

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Rafael Nadal feels the shot clock is not good for the future of tennis

Nadal isn’t the only one who is against the 25-second shot clock rule. Novak Djokovic has also found himself on a similar side of the argument when he was penalized during the Australian Open 2020 for running down the timer. 

All tennis tournaments have been following the shot clock since its advent at US Open 2018. Nadal wasn’t a fan of it back then and continues to speak out against it. 

“I believe it is not something that is good for the future of the Tour,” Nadal had said back in 2018. The Spaniard said that he personally doesn’t mind adapting, but was concerned about the future of the Tour. 

Tennis – ATP Cup – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, February 5, 2021 Spain’s Rafael Nadal REUTERS/Kelly Defina

“But in my opinion, it’s not the same playing at 15 degrees [Celsius] or 18 degrees than playing at 35 degrees and that’s why we have umpires, as they have to evaluate all the conditions to create the best show possible for the fans,” added Nadal. 

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It is quite concerning that Rafael Nadal is strongly against the 25-second shot clock. It is extensively used on the tour, but a major drawback is that it allows only a limited amount of time for players to gather their thoughts after a point. 

There are plenty of opinions and discussions when it comes to the 25-second shot clock. What’s yours? 

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Arjun Athreya

1824 articles

Arjun Athreya is a senior writer at Essentially Sports and has been contributing since early 2020. Having developed an avid interest in sports at an early age, he pursued a Journalism degree and graduated from Madras Christian College. Arjun manages the Golf division and its content, and primarily covers news pertaining to the NBA as well.

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