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Sharapova Would Like to See Tour Players Charged for Medical Timeouts

After Maria Sharapova improved her record in night matches at the US Open to an unblemished 17-0 with a 6-4, 6-0 victory over her compatriot Maria Kirilenko on Monday evening in New York, the five-time Grand Slam champion was asked an offbeat question by a reporter, to which she had a typically snappy answer.

More: Sharapova Caught Jeering Ana Ivanovic for MTO?

Asked if she could change one rule in tennis, on the court or about play, Sharapova said she’d like to see players have to pay a fee to take medical timeouts. Not exactly the most humane or compassionate idea, but Sharapova’s objective was made clear: She’s tired of people gaming the system by using medical timeouts.

“I'd probably start charging for medical timeouts,” Sharapova said. “I think we'd all see who really uses them and who doesn't. Yeah, I don't know what we put on it, maybe like 2500 or something. Yeah, I think we should do that. That would be fun.”

Sharapova apparently still has the memory of Ana Ivanovic’s medical timeout fresh in her mind from Cincinnati, when the Serb had her blood pressure checked by doctors after feeling woozy during the middle of a game in the third set of their semifinal at the Western and Southern Open. Cameras caught the Russian mocking Ivanovic about the timeout later in the set.

What the Russian failed to mention is that her hypethotical rule (clearly she's joking about this, but who can deny that their is also an element of seriousness to what she's saying) would give her a decided advantage over the rest of the tour. She’s been the planet’s highest-paid female athlete for ten years running. 2500 to her would be like pocket change compared to 2500 for some of the other players on tour.

But Sharapova's call to bring more transparency to the tennis's rules about injury timeouts no doubt would be welcome by many fans and players alike.

Photo Source: Christopher Levy