Tennis has always had its elements of traditions which only add to the charm of the sport but over the last couple of decades many of these traditions have been broken down. Certainly you have to move ahead but why...
Tennis has always had its elements of traditions which only add to the charm of the sport but over the last couple of decades many of these traditions have been broken down. Certainly you have to move ahead but why do we always have to do it at the cost of what has been there for so long. What do you think? Wouldn’t you like to see some things remain the same? It’s not just in tennis it is in life as a whole. It’s part of the fabric of society to want to change and I don’t think it’s always such a great thing. Why change for the sake of changing? Just because someone else does it, doesn’t mean we have to follow. Right, or am I just being a bit dated? Wimbledon changed from white to yellow balls in 1986 and that I can understand because the rest of the tennis world was using yellow balls and for the players it was too much of a transition for the eyes after seeing one colour ball all year and then seeing something quite different for two weeks. But I tell you, it really was something special to watch tennis with the white balls. In the mid-seventies seats were placed on the courts at Wimbledon for players on the change of ends. If those chairs were removed don’t you think the game would speed up somewhat? And Wimbledon does keep the tradition of predominantly white clothing and that’s great but another tradition they have done away with there, and funny enough a number of players were disappointed with this, is the fact that players are no longer required to bow or curtsey to the Royal Box when entering or leaving the Centre Court. HRH The Duke of Kent the Club’s President brought that in in 2003. I remember Serena Williams was particularly disappointed with it, because she would practice her curtseying. The only exceptions to the bowing and curtseying rule is for HM The Queen and HRH The Prince of Wales (Prince Charles). However it is not mandatory but players would be encouraged to bow in such a situation. Remember last year when The Queen did attend and met several players on the Members’ Lawn all the players who met her either curtseyed or bowed but it was left entirely to each players’ own discretion. Such an issue is a hot topic in Australia at the moment because the woman Prime Minister didn’t curtsey to The Queen these past couple of weeks while Her Majesty was in the country on official duties. It has been a major issue in Australia and in England and the Prime Minister has been heavily criticised. It is what lead me to think of the traditions issue in tennis. The traditional way of scoring a doubles match has changed and while it took a bit of getting used to with the sort of “sudden death” match tiebreak, I think it has benefitted the doubles game. Of course technology has changed the game big time with Hawk Eye being the biggest break from tradition which allows players not to have to rely solely on questionable abilities of lines-people. So if you had your choice what traditions in tennis would you keep and what would you like see done away with and what would you like to see reintroduced? Ahhh the beautiful wooden racquet … oh bring that back.