Federer’s First ATP Match Victory

Today, September 30, 1998, is a fascinating anniversary in the career of Roger Federer, as outlined by Randy Walker, author of the book ON THIS DAY IN TENNIS HISTORY (www.TennisHistoryBook.com)

September 30, 1998: Seventeen-year-old Roger Federer defeats Guillaume Raoux of France 6-2, 6-2 in the first round in Toulouse for his first ATP singles match victory. Rene Stauffer, in his book Roger Federer: Quest for Perfection, summarizes Federer’s achievement, “Yet, before the chase for the year-end No. 1 junior ranking reached its decisive phase, the unexpected happened. Federer achieved his first great breakthrough on the ATP Tour. With a ranking of No. 878, he traveled to Toulouse, France at the end of September and, to his own surprise, advanced through the qualifying rounds to progress into the main draw of the tournament. In only his second ATP tournament, the 17-year-old registered an upset victory over No. 45-ranked Guillaume Raoux of France—his first ATP match victory—allowing the Frenchman just four games. In the next round, Federer proved this win was not a fluke by defeating former Australian Davis Cup star Richard Fromberg 6-1, 7-6 (5). In the quarterfinals—his sixth match of the tournament including matches in the qualifying rounds—Federer lost to Jan Siemerink 7-6 (5), 6-2, with a throbbing thigh injury hampering him during the match. The Dutchman was ranked No. 20 and went on to win the tournament two days later, but Federer was also handsomely rewarded. He received a prize money check for $10,800 and passed 482 players in the world rankings in one tournament—moving to No. 396.”

ATP Board Approves Change In Time Violation Penalty

NEW YORK — At its recent meetings in New York, the ATP Board of Directors approved a rule change and a trial for the 2013 season, both proposed by the new ATP Competition Committee.

From 2013, on both the ATP World Tour and ATP Challenger Tour, a time violation between points (25 seconds) will be penalised in the first instance with a warning. For the second and all subsequent violations, the penalty will be a fault for the server and a point penalty for the receiver. Currently, the rule is a warning and then point penalty for both the server and receiver.

“There’s been a lot of discussion about the amount of time taken between points,” said ATP Executive Chairman and President Brad Drewett. “We believe this modification will give officials a useful tool and allow for more consistent enforcement of the current time violation rule.”

The ATP Board also approved a trial elimination of the service let on the ATP Challenger Tour only, for the first three months of 2013.

“Although this change will not materially reduce the length of a match, we believe it should have a positive impact on the flow of the match,” said Drewett. “We’re certainly not ready yet to eliminate the service let, but believe a trial at the ATP Challenger level will be a good way to test this initiative in a competitive environment and get feedback from players and the public before deciding if it could be adapted more broadly.”

The new ATP Competition Committee serves in an advisory capacity, with any recommended changes or innovations requiring approval by the ATP Board of Directors.

The six-person committee consists of two representatives designated by the ATP Tournament Council, two representatives designated by the ATP Player Council, and one at-large member and a committee chairman, both selected by the ATP Executive Chairman and President.