at the Union Buildings in Pretoria
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.
“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,” said the Dane.
She also agreed with Roger Federer's opinion that clocks may have to be installed on court to hurry up the slower players with the seven-time Wimbledon champion fearing that the pedestrian pace of some matches could lead to fans turning their backs on the sport.
“I wouldn't mind. I think that's fine. You have a clock. It shows exactly how much time you take in between points,” said Wozniacki.
However, Zahlavova Strycova believes clocks are not necessary as the final call should remain with the chair umpire.
“I like to take time between points, but the referee didn't tell me anything about it, so I was continuing in my rhythm,” said the Czech player who has made the last-eight at a major for the first time at her 32nd attempt.
“So if the referee would tell me speed up or hurry up on your serve, I would maybe change it. But I didn't get any warning or something like that, so I was just following the rhythm I had.”
Federer's comments over slow play 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.
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 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.
“I'm not going to really take time off. I'm just going to go back and practice and try and get better, you know. I'm definitely motivated and excited for the rest of the year. There's still a lot to be played. A lot of things can happen.” – Sapa-AFP