The 2013 tennis season is just around the corner so we thought it might be an idea to look ahead with regards to potential changes that should, could, would take effect next year and how they will or won’t change...
The 2013 tennis season is just around the corner so we thought it might be an idea to look ahead with regards to potential changes that should, could, would take effect next year and how they will or won’t change things. COACHING – the women’s side of things has had on court coaching for a few years at the non-Grand Slam events and one of the conditions for a coach to be able to go courtside at the allotted moment is that they have to be hooked to a microphone. It’s so people at home along with the commentators can listen in to the exchanges between coach and player. Where it becomes an issue is when you don’t understand what is being said. The two people in question might be speaking Turkish or they could be from Canada or New Zealand which is tough to understand at the best of times and next to impossible in the heat of a match. So there are two ways to remedy this. A new rule, you can coach from the stands by using sign language or if you go courtside it has to be in English. Canucks and Kiwis will say that’s what they have been using but it’s not true. I mean Swedish is easier to understand compared to how they speak. NET BALLS – this is when the ball gets stuck in the middle of a net when a player has served it. Usually the crowd starts laughing. Beats me as to why it is so funny but now what will happen when the ball-boy or ball-girls stops struggling and releases the ball, the player who served the ball gets to hit it into the stands and later autographs the ball. COURT SPEED – Roger Federer has suggested it would be good to speed up court surfaces. Fair enough but to make it fair maybe four times a year polished floor boards should be used. The tournaments are still to be named but maybe one in Australia, one in France another in England and the last in the USA. Red clay will now be made quick so there are no baseline rallies and grass will be slowed for baseline rallies. Don’t know why the players are commenting on the surface, isn’t that what happens now? CHANGE OF ENDS – the rules were changed a few years ago so that a player is not supposed to stop after the first game of a set when changing ends. The only thing they are not doing now is sitting down (as they used to) but they are still stopping, towelling down, taking drinks etc and nothing is being done about it. If a player does that and does not continue play, then they should be penalised the first point of the next game. That will get them moving. SHOT MAKING – if a player hits a return between the legs and does no damage to himself then that will earn them two points in the game. Wouldn’t that be amazing if two players are at 5-5 in a final set tiebreak? Hit a shot like that and the match is all over. MATCH WINS – in 2012 David Ferrer won more matches than any other player on the men’s tour and that’s a great effort but he should have been rewarded with a trophy to highlight such an achievement. Conversely the player in the top 50, or even the top 100, who wins the least number of matches, should be given a wooden spoon. That’s only fair. Why shouldn’t they be awarded something as well? TV COMMENTARY – the short interviews that are done so often with players as they are about to walk on court should be stopped. The players don’t want to be spoken to at that point and they interviews are dumb no matter who does them. It’s not as if the player is going to reveal anything with his or her opposition just two metres away. Here’s what should take place. In a match, after the first set, the commentators ask the players (yes during the match) what they are thinking, what’s the strategy, why are they getting thumped or why they are winning so easily. Now that would be an incredible insight as to what is going on. Forget putting microphones on coaches, this is what the fans would love to be hearing. And as a further point on the TV commentary, there should be an option to shut a particular commentator off. I know there is a mute button on the TV remote but that’s not enough. The audience should be able to message a central bureau saying get Jack or Jill off and then the director does that if there are 60% of people saying that. It’s the substitution rule for TV commentators. So what do you think? Good ideas to be introduced? Let us know if you have some thoughts on what should be done to change things