Previously I wrote a post about what I view as one of the big problems with the men’s tennis “farm” system.
In the Wall Street Journal recently, there was an interesting article about how colleges are trying to make tennis a more interesting spectator sport.
That there is a belief that tennis needs to be changed or sped up tells me these decision makers are clueless.
So, some of the changes include (these changes vary by conference which doesn’t help) shortened matches and no-ad scoring. Free pizza, t-shirts and other giveaways are also being tried.
What is really bothersome is what the Big 12 is doing–allowing the fans to heckle the players at any time. I say bothersome, I’m actually not against Davis Cup-like fan activity, but this is a bit extreme.
Sure, many will say, “well, in basketball we yell when they shoot free throws, we yell ‘air ball’ when they miss a shot, so why not tennis?”
Yes, why not tennis? I don’t know. Currently I’m conditioned to say zero as I watch my junior tennis player progress. Beyond a simple “good shot”, much else if frowned upon and there surely is NO COACHING allowed. So…I’m not used to it. I was at a college match recently, and one of the fathers of a player was being a complete ass, embarrassing.
Anyhow, my real issue here is, as the biggest tennis tournaments of the year approach and pass, the TV pundits will once again ask, “where is the next top men’s tennis player?”
As college is our only real farm system, how can we expect to produce top men’s players if the matches keep getting shortened?