‘For the First Time in Grand Slam History’- Billie Jean King Ecstatic After US Open 2022 Rule Change

Published 08/28/2022, 6:50 AM EDT

The US Open is all set to begin a new era with a significant change in a rule that has been a point of controversy over the years. Recently, the rules regarding coaching from the stands have changed. Earlier, communication with and getting guidance from the coach during an ongoing match was illegal. Though now the same will be entertained to a certain extent. Many have expressed their thoughts regarding the move, including veterans like Billie Jean King.

Following WTA, the ATP has also decided to give off-court coaching a chance. The trial started after the weeks of Wimbledon and will run through to the season-ending Nitto ATP Finals in Turin in November. Here’s what King had to say about it.

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Billie Jean King weighs in on the rule change

With just a few days left for the Grand Slam event in Flushing Meadows, King decided to address her feeling related to the legalization of off-court coaching. She wrote, “Great news. For the first time in Grand Slam history, the US Open will permit coaching from the stands, something I’ve always believed in and supported.”

“What do you think?” The 12-time Grand Slam champion enquired. Although the rule change now allows player-coach interaction, the association has laid out some rules to keep the on-court action hassle free.

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Some of the rule changes include, the coaches should not leave their designated seat, and the communication should not interrupt the flow of game. Further, interaction should only be done when the player is at the same end as his/her coach, and penalties will come into action if any of these rules are breached. 

Reaction of other prominent personalities

Off court coaching has received mixed response from fans as well as the professionals. Players like the US Open reigning champion Daniil Medvedev and World No.5 Stefanos Tsitsipas have accepted the changes with open arms. While others like Nick Kyrgios strongly disagree with the arrangements.

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Mar 12, 2022; Indian Wells, CA, USA; Daniil Medvedev (RUS) hits a shot in his 2nd round match against Tomas Machac (CZE) at the BNP Paribas open at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

The Australian star once disagreed with the 23-time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams’ former coach Patrick Mouratoglou. The coach openly accused ATP of turning a blind eye to something that has been in practice for decades.

Watch this story:  Billie Jean King sends a heartfelt message to Serena after the retirement announcement

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Kyrgios’ argument centered on how it isn’t fair for professionals who can’t afford to carry their team around the world. Apart from Kyrgios, veterans Todd Woodbridge and Carlos Moya also took a dig at the French coach regarding the same.

What are your thoughts on the rule change?

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Mahima Verma

1034 articles

Mahima Verma is a Tennis writer for EssentiallySports. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Hotel Management from IHM Mumbai. A sports enthusiast, particularly Tennis since her childhood, Mahima believes that she is fortunate enough to witness the legends like Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, and Serena Williams play.

Edited By: Tony Thomas

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