December 4, 2021

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NEW YORK – Usually, the chair umpire’s pre-match interchange with the players comes down to “TV timeouts, call the challenge loud and clear and let me know if you need to leave to go to the toilet.”

But all the new wrinkles for the qualifying this year at the US Open have meant that the chair umpires’ pre-match conversations with the players have been significantly longer than usual.

On many courts, they have been going on and on. So far, though, it seems to be going smoothly.