London: Caroline Wozniacki called for on-court clocks to be installed to clamp down on Wimbledon time-wasters after the former world number one crashed out in the fourth round on Monday.
Wozniacki was the latest victim of giant-killer Barbora Zahlavova Strycova, the unseeded Czech who claimed another famous scalp to move into the quarter-finals with a 6-2, 7-5 victory.
Zahlavova Strycova, the world number 43, had enjoyed the best win of her career in the previous round when she defeated Chinese second seed Li Na and she added Danish 16th seed Wozniacki to her list of upsets, converting a sixth match point to move into the last eight at a Grand Slam for the first time.
But Wozniacki was unhappy with the length of time Zahlavova Strycova took between points, claiming the Czech’s routine stopped her establishing any rhythm.
“It was a tough one. She’s a little bit of a different player to play. There was no rhythm out there,” Wozniacki said.
“I thought she was very slow. But I guess the referee, she has the time on it. If she’s within the time, I guess it’s okay. It’s up to the referee or up to the umpire to say if she is or not.”
Wozniacki is the latest star to raise the issue of players taking too long between points at this year’s Wimbledon.
Roger Federer, a seven-time Wimbledon champion, mentioned the problem when he said he had given up watching an unspecified match at the tournament because a certain player was taking too long.
Federer admitted clocks may have to be installed on court to keep players in check and that this had been mentioned while he was on the players’ council, which helps shape the men’s game.
Federer’s comments came just hours after world number one Rafael Nadal, notorious for his lengthy breaks between each point, had been criticised for time-wasting by Lukas Rosol following the Spaniard’s second round victory.
Nadal took an average of 25 seconds to resume play when the maximum allowed in the sport’s rulebook is 20 seconds and, after falling foul of similar gamesmanship herself, Wozniacki agreed with Federer that putting a clock on court to help the umpires may be the only answer.
“I wouldn’t mind. I think that’s fine. You have a clock. It shows exactly how much time you take in between points,” she said.
While Zahlavova Strycova looks ahead to a last eight clash against Petra Kvitova, the 2011 Wimbledon champion, or China’s Peng Shuai, the latest setback of Wozniacki’s troubled year leaves her battling to regain her status as one of the sport’s top players.
The Dane is still waiting for a first Grand Slam quarter-final appearance since the 2012 Australian Open and continues her disappointing form following golfer Rory McIlroy’s decision to break off their engagement prior to her first round loss at the French Open.
But she insists she still has the motivation to return to the top five years after her only Grand Slam final appearance, at the US Open. “I think every player goes through ups and downs a little bit. But I’m very motivated,” she said.