Laver Cup star Shelton baffled by rules after team-mate calls for time violation

Ben Shelton admits he took extended breaks between serves during his 7-6(4), 6-1 victory over Arthur Fils on Friday after realising that there wasn’t a 25-second game clock at the Laver Cup, like in ATP tournaments. The lack of time constraints at the team event came under fire from Shelton’s Team World team-mate Felix Auger-Aliassime later in the day when he expressed his frustration about Gael Monfils escaping a time violation during their match.

In the end, Auger-Aliassime defeated Monfils in straight sets 6-4 6-3, but only after launching an angry tirade at the umpire by moaning his rival was taking “too long” between sets.

“Are you sticking to the ATP rules? Are you telling me that’s normal? He sits down for like 30 seconds. I mean, that a time violation warning. That’s not, ‘I’m gonna talk to him.’ Cause I can play games too. I can play games too,” the Canadian fumed.

In the opening match of the tournament, Shelton admitted that he was a bit “nervy” during his tie with Fils, leading to a tight opening set. But upon realising there was no game clock, Shelton began to take his time between serves, which allowed him to gather himself and comfortably beat his opponent.

“Yeah, I thought at the beginning of that match I was a little nervy going from point to point. It felt fast and felt like, you know, he was playing well and he was kind of on top of me, dictating points and kind of the rhythm of the match,” Shelton said.

“Then, you know, I kind of looked around to see if there was a game clock running out like usually we have at ATP tournaments. I didn’t really – I didn’t see anything.

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“So I started taking more time, and I was waiting to see if – I mean, I don’t think I was going over, like 25 seconds is normal, but I was waiting to see if I got a time violation and nothing happened.

“So maybe there is not a time clock in this event, which, you know, when I was down Love-30 and took a little bit more time in a couple service games, I thought it kind of helped me dial things in and change the rhythm a little bit of the match.

“Like I said, I wasn’t trying to go outside the rules or go too slow, but just taking a little bit more time without seeing the clock run down I thought helped me.”

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