Tennis News: Stan Wawrinka, too many balls, and Marc Polmans

(Photo by Matt McNulty/Getty Images for ITF)
(Photo by Matt McNulty/Getty Images for ITF) /

Is the ATP changing tennis balls so much a major issue? According to top players Daniil Medvedev and Taylor Fritz, yes. And former top-five player Stan Wawrinka agrees completely.

The issue is that adjusting to new balls so often is, according to the players, causing wrist, elbow, and shoulder issues. Medvedev said at a press conference before the China Open when asked about player injuries, “The balls again and again, it’s almost every tennis player that this season said they go like this,” Medvedev said as he motioned the balls getting bigger. “For the shoulder, elbow, and stuff like this…not good. But it’s the reality right now.”

Stefanos Tsitsipas also has echoed the sentiments about the changing of the balls too often issue. In March he said, “I think the biggest issue this year was the change in balls and that was an issue that has been discussed among the players. Balls need to stay the same in most tournaments and especially on hard surfaces. This benefits us all and protects players from injury.”

Recently, Belgian player Zizou Bergs posted on Instagram about how he had been dealing with injuries and later alluded to the tennis balls being a big part of the issue. Wawrinka replied his agreement. So did Fritz. You’d think since so many players are complaining, the ATP would do something about the issue, but so far…not so much.

Stan Wawrinka hates the tennis balls and Marc Polmans loses his mind for a second

In other Wawrinka news, he crashed out in the first round of the Rolex Shanghai Masters this week to Dusan Lajovic. Wawrinka still has a fantastic forehand, but he has battled so many injuries over the years that he simply isn’t as fast as he once was. Still, watching Wawrinka destroy some forehands stays a great thing to do.

In other news, Marc Polmans was playing in qualifiers at the Rolex Shanghai Masters this week and was just a point away from winning his match when he did something stupid. He was frustrated with losing the previous point so he struck the ball in anger. Of course, this is specifically against the rules as it is.

According to ATP rules, “Players shall not violently, dangerously or with anger hit, kick or throw a tennis ball while on the grounds of the tournament site except in the reasonable pursuit of a point during a match (including warm-up).”

Marc Polmans might have meant to hit the ball over the stands, but instead, the ball went straight toward the chair umpire who was hit in the face. Thankfully, the umpire seemed OK. But Polmans was immediately and correctly disqualified, and he should be heavily fined as well. Hopefully, he has made a call to the umpire to apologize.

Just a listen for the kids reading: Try to control your temper on the court. Tennis can be a frustrating sport, of course. But win your next point and you might win the match.

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