The new pace of play rule is going over about as well as those blue courts in Madrid.
A number of players at the season-opening tournament in Doha have been warned and assessed fault penalties for exceeding the new 25-second rule in between points. None was as angry about it as Gael Monfils.
During Wednesday’s win, he argued with the chair umpire after a violation, blaming his delay on warm conditions, long points and ballkids who were too slow to deliver a towel. He saved one gem for deep into the discussion.
“I’m black, so I sweat a lot,” Monfils said to the chair, eliciting giggles from a French broadcasting team.
Monfils could have said “I’m in black [referring to his T-shirt] so I sweat a lot,” but the laughter from the booth suggests he went the other route.