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Fritz no fan of ATP's 'dumb' off-court coaching rule

Fritz no fan of ATP's 'dumb' off-court coaching rule
Taylor Fritz celebrates winning his match against Nick Kyrgios at the Western & Southern Open at the at the Lindner Family Tennis Center on Aug 17, 2022. (Photo: USA TODAY Sports/Susan Mullane)

American Taylor Fritz bashed the ATP Tour's trial of off-court coaching on Wednesday (Aug 17), saying that allowing players to receive instructions during a match was a "dumb rule" that went against the concept of tennis being an individual sport.

The ATP started a trial of the rule last month, with players allowed to receive instructions in qualifying and main draw matches in tournaments including the US Open and the ATP Finals.

Fritz, who beat in-form Australian Nick Kyrgios 6-3, 6-2 to reach the third round of the Cincinnati Open on Wednesday, said he had not taken advantage of the rule.

"I haven't talked to Mike (Russell) and he hasn't talked to me one time since the coaching has become a thing. It's a dumb rule," the world No 13 told reporters.

"Why are we making it not an individual sport? A huge part of tennis is, in my mind, like as tennis is as much mental as it is physical, and a big part of it is you need to be figuring it out on the court for yourself.

"I think it's ridiculous that you can be mentally not there, not good analytically, not good at kind of working through things and coming up with strategies, and you can have someone tell you what to do. I hate it."

Kyrgios has also come out against the rule, saying in June that the beauty of the sport was being taken away by the new rule, which permits an individual to coach a player both verbally and non-verbally from a designated seat.

Fritz next faces Andrey Rublev at the ATP Masters 1000 event, the last big tune-up event before the US Open.

Source: Reuters/gr

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