We Need To Change Tennis To Make It More Exciting
Can these changes make tennis more exciting?
The ATP, WTA and local federations spend their time figuring out how to grow the sport, bring fans to tournaments and create more excitement. Unfortunately, I don’t think they are doing enough. I think what is holding tennis back is this general reliance on holding on to tradition. Let’s break down some antiquated elements of tennis that need to change.
- Having to be quiet during points. What is it about tennis that everyone must be quiet between points? Golf is the same. I don’t think its justified anymore, especially since tennis draws big audiences in big stadiums. You can argue that they need to concentrate more than other sports. But can that really be proven? I think it’s probably harder to shoot free throws, three pointers and jump shots in Basketball, and you don’t hear them complaining about crow noise or taunting as they nail three pointers left and right. Time for some relaxation of “silence” rules during matches. Let people scream and shout all they want.
- Outfit rules. Some tournaments are stricter than others, but in general, tennis outfits continue to be very traditional. Men wear shorts and women wear skirts. I say let both men and women wear whatever they want, it’s an individual sport after all. Props to Serena Williams for pushing the envelope with her cat suits. Shame on tournaments like the French for banning them.
- Coaching. This one is a bit ridiculous given that we’re in the modern age, every professional sport out there has a coach screaming at them on the sidelines. Only the WTA has started allowing coaching breaks, but two coaching breaks is not enough. They need to allow it and keep on allowing microphones so that we get in on the strategy mid match. I for one have begun to like the exchanges between coach and player as much as the match itself.
- More team competitions. People love to watch the passion that a team sport brings to the table and seeing what the Laver Cup has achieved in the last three years, turning more tournaments into a team format can only help the game of tennis.