Six Rule Changes That Would Improve Tennis

AP Photo/Seth Wenig

Six Rule Changes That Would Improve Tennis

All sports evolve. Even traditional sports like Baseball have taken a chance on evolving to improve the fan experience. This year MLB introduced the pitch clock. It has shortened games by as much as an hour and made it more enjoyable to watch. The game now happens at a quicker and more exciting pace!

What are some of the things that could be done to improve the fan experience in tennis? Let’s explore the following changes:

  • No let serves: what’s the point of the let serve? Let’s keep the game moving by getting rid of it. Players already have two serves at their disposal. Nobody wants to see constant let serves slow down a service game. Plus, playing an awkward serve as a returner makes the point more exciting. The ball can take all sorts of strange trajectories.
  • Let fans be rowdy: I’ve been shushed at a tennis club for hitting against the wall on a nearby court. I attribute this behavior to the sense that tennis needs to be played in pitch quiet. We need to change the culture. Baseball batters have to hit a tiny ball with a bat. That takes the same sort of concentration. These batters don’t mind the noise. Neither should tennis players. Also, pro sports figures are entertainers. Let the crowd be excited and rowdy throughout. This is not Sunday Mass. It’s a pro sport!
  • No code violations for showing emotion: let the players curse at themselves and break their rackets if they so wish. It makes for more drama. Why do they have to be in their best behavior all the time. I see hockey players and baseball players breaking sticks and bats all the time. Meltdowns are part of the entertainment. 
  • Speed up the changeovers: Do players really need that much time to ponder about their existence on every changeover? Five set matches are long enough. Let’s keep the match moving instead of having to watch players sit and eat bananas for five minutes.
  • Allow player team on court: They are already coaching the players from the sidelines. Just bring them on court if they chose to do so. And bring your agent, physio or whatever three people you consider your team. It would be just like Laver Cup where they have their team sitting on comfortable couches and can come over and talk to you if you so choose. And they can have mics on too. 

What rule changes would you implement?


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