What is it with tennis at times that it feels as if it needs to follow the lead of other sports? This is a great sport and one that stands on its own but there are times tennis feels as if it is a poor cousin to...
What is it with tennis at times that it feels as if it needs to follow the lead of other sports? This is a great sport and one that stands on its own but there are times tennis feels as if it is a poor cousin to other sports. Tennis should be the trailblazer and other sports should be taking a leaf out of our book. Tennis is THE pre-eminent individual sport in the world. It is with that in mind that I was a bit baffled to hear a suggestion raised that tennis should possibly consider looking at a two-year ranking system. Similar to what there is in golf. What a load of hogwash. Why should there be any consideration to something like that? Why should tennis be looking to get advice from golf anyway? Mark Twain was soooo correct when he said “good was a good walk spoiled.” Furthermore, golf is disjointed. Who outside the sport understand how the heck it operates with all the different administrative bodies it has globally and, that you have to have a “card” to play in the USA or another such card to play in Europe or wherever. Golf has a two year ranking system and heaven help tennis if something similar was introduced to our sport. I have no problem with change, learning from elsewhere is a smart policy, but this is a stupid idea. It’s an idea that Roger Federer totally poo-pooed in no uncertain terms. “I’m not a big fan of it just because I think it would make things rather boring, but that’s my personal opinion,” Federer said. “Other than that, as the president of the Player Council, I think it’s not a good thing for the lower-ranked players, to be quite honest. I think it’s going to be a struggle for them to make a big breakthrough. It’s going to take them multiple breakthroughs. So the dream of having one great tournament, then making a move, in my opinion, is never going to happen. “I like golf, but I couldn’t tell you who’s in the top 10 of golf right now. I couldn’t even mention four players. This is where I think tennis lives from the weekly rankings we have, the changes. “If we have a two-year ranking, things would be so slow and nothing would really move. I can’t support it as a president of the Player Council and I have to look at all the players in the eye. “I know it could be a good thing for me or Rafa or for other good players because we would stay at the top for a very long time. For us to move down in the rankings would take something extraordinary. But for the lower-ranked players, I don’t think it’s a good thing and that’s why I can’t support it.” Federer is right on the money with his views in my opinion. Tennis doesn’t show a false value or position which is what golf does with its two-year ranking. By having a twelve-month ranking system you are showing the changes, the ebbs and flows of the sport and giving players, at any position, opportunities. It’s tough to do that with golf. Anyway, how ridiculous it is to rank players according to prize money as golf does rather than where they finish at each event. And not only that as Roger suggested, he doesn’t know who is in golf’s top 10. It’s not surprising, there is one ranking for the North American Tour, another for the European Tour and other for the tour in Outer Mongolia and wasn’t there one for the TeeWee Islands as well? Tennis has one ranking system for its entire circuit and that ranking is used by every event. Perfect. Don’t you think?