Baseball and college basketball have taken steps this year to speed things along. Should tennis be next?
On an ESPN conference call previewing Wimbledon, which starts Monday, John McEnroe and Chris Evert said they would not have a problem with a between-points clock but said slow play is not the only problem.
"Why don't you focus on the people calling trainers, abusing the rule?" McEnroe said. "To me, that's far worse. To me they walk off the court for a bathroom break after every set."
Said Evert, "I have a problem with, 'I call a trainer because my heart is beating fast; I'm having a panic attack.' You know what? You're nervous or you're out of shape . . . They have to be a little stricter with the timeouts, period."
McEnroe expressed exasperation with players toweling off and having a drink more often than rules allow. "We weren't even allowed to take bathroom breaks in best-of-five-set matches when we played," he said.
Said Evert: "We didn't even sit down. We didn't even have chairs in the '70s. We had to stand up."
Said McEnroe, jokingly, "Back in Chrissie's era, there weren't even chairs. I managed to get in just in time, the first year they had chairs. I lucked out."