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View Full Version : What I'd do to reform tennis


superstition
07-14-2007, 10:18 AM
1. Wimbledon would return to the fescue (or fescue mix) and the soil it used in the past (1960s or so), with 100% rye starting at the baseline and moving back. This would help the durability of the baseline, but wouldn't affect the bounce/speed of the court. The balls would also be lower-bouncing, as they were in the past.

2. The US Open would return to grass (something like the current Wimbledon grass and soil, which would differentiate it from the faster and lower bouncing grass of my reformed Wimbledon).

3. The Australian Open would move to fast clay. This would provide a 50/50 grand slam split between grass and clay. Roland Garros would keep its slow clay. (The Australian Open should probably not move back to grass courts because Australia is too dry.)

By making a 50/50 split between grass and clay, the net or all court game will not be dominant over the baseline game and vice-versa. It balances the game while also taking away injury-causing hard courts.

4. In order to be eligible to play singles in slams, seeded players would have to enter the doubles. Mixed would be optional. If a player pulls out of the doubles, then they would also have to pull out of the singles as well. If a player cannot find a partner for doubles, a partner would be assigned. Players may enter the doubles without entering the singles.

This would revitalize doubles by increasing its visibility and importance. Fans would get to see their favorite players in action more often at slams, and the players would get more net practice. The concern over injury and fatigue is minimal or irrelevant, given my other reforms (no more 5 set matches, no hard courts, lower powered racquets).

5. If a player pulls out of the doubles, their partner may choose another player who isn't already in the draw or who has been knocked out.

6. Professional racquets would have the following characteristics:

a) maximums of 80 sq in string area and 55 stiffness, for men
b) maximums of 90 sq in string area and 50 stiffness, for women
c) no other restrictions, except possibly the use of the single shaft form factor

The reduction in racquet stiffness will tone down ball speed and joint shock. (Since female pros have a higher joint injury rate due to stiff racquets and strings, I have set the maximum stiffness lower and given them an extra 5 square inches for reduced shock, to help offset the power loss due to the lower stiffness, and to help them return serve in mixed doubles.) The reductions in head size will make topspin baselining less dominant. Both changes, with the removal of hard courts, are designed to balance the game so that no single playing style has an advantage over another and the reforms also are designed to reduce injury. By reducing the power of racquets, players would also probably be more inclined to use gut, which would also increase joint safety.

7. There would be no dress code at any pro tournament that is more strict than local laws. Players should be able to wear whatever they want to, as long as it's legal in the place they're playing. (This is not a big deal, but it's something I'm in favor of.)

8. Hard courts would be banned and replaced with grass, clay, or indoor carpet. The grass court season will constitute at least 50% of the tennis calendar year. Hard courts are unsafe for professional players. The health of players trumps all other considerations. Tournaments that are "too poor" to afford grass, clay, or indoor carpet will have to cede their professional circuit status to tournaments than can step up.

9. If a player takes an injury time-out, the player is given a one or two point penalty (I'm not sure which number is the best choice yet), in order to reduce abuse of the injury timeout. Players may only take bathroom breaks at the start of one of their service games.

10. No more 5 set matches, or the number of games per set would be reduced. Men would play a maximum of four sets, with a tiebreak. Women would play three sets minimum in the semis and finals of slams, not a minimum of two. *Or, the number of games for men's matches would be reduced so that 5 set matches would not be nearly as long. Perhaps the number of games in the last two or three sets would be cut? Something has to be done to a) shorten matches when compared to traditional 5 setters and b) make women's semis and finals longer, but not absurdly long.

5 set matches cause exhaustion and injury, and lower the quality of slam play/competition. Even the fittest players become exhausted by them. Tennis is not marathon running. Women's semis and finals are too short, in contrast.

11. Get rid of the new "finishing points" in doubles.

mileslong
07-14-2007, 10:26 AM
i like number one but why would you ban hard courts?

superstition
07-14-2007, 10:28 AM
i like number one but why would you ban hard courts?
They're hell on the body, especially for women. Professional tournaments shouldn't be played on them. The only way a hard court might be acceptable is if the total number of hard courts for pro tournaments is very small and if the surface is very fast and low bouncing, like the hard courts of the old days. This would speed up the matches and hopefully limit the impact on the body of playing on concrete.

Eviscerator
07-14-2007, 10:55 AM
I only agree with about 1/3 of your ideas.

Jimmyk459
07-14-2007, 11:07 AM
this is so dumb... hard courts can showcase different styles than the other 3 (grass, carpet, clay). You also act as if the head size will make a huge difference in the game. All players will have to do is loosen their strings or adjust the type of string that they use. While I think that clay is the most fun and most interesting surface to play on/watch, putting a ban on a type of surface is the most ridiculous things i have ever heard.

rod99
07-14-2007, 11:20 AM
horrible ideas. grass court tennis is a joke, regardless of the type of grass. and with all the injuries players are having and with the season too long as it is, you to force them to play doubles? doubles is only for players who aren't good enough to play singles. it allows them to hide their weaknesses.

Kobble
07-14-2007, 12:33 PM
I like the Wimbledon idea.

superstition
07-14-2007, 01:40 PM
I only agree with about 1/3 of your ideas.
Which ones?

superstition
07-14-2007, 01:50 PM
this is so dumb...
You disagree with everything I noted, then, including some things that are already happening, like the recent Wimbledon decision to only allow players to take restroom breaks at the beginning of their service games?
hard courts can showcase different styles than the other 3 (grass, carpet, clay).
Such as? As far as I know, there is no specific style for hard court play. And, the downside of hard courts (injuries) has to be weighed against the diversity added to the game with the higher bounce. Hard courts have actually homogenized the game, as they've displaced grass to the point where the grass season is miniscule. And, hard courts make groundstrokes too good, which makes serve and volley difficult. We already have a surface that makes groundstrokes good and serve and volley bad. It's clay.

You also act as if the head size will make a huge difference in the game. All players will have to do is loosen their strings or adjust the type of string that they use.
Head size, coupled with racquet stiffness does make a huge difference. A 90 sq in racquet with a stiffness of 45 is not going to play like a Pure Drive.

By cutting down the power and forgiveness of pro racquets, serve and volley will be more viable, especially in conjunction with a longer grass court season. More flexible racquets will reduce injury and lead to more finesse, in conjunction with smaller racquet heads. Navratilova and others have said that large-headed stiff racquets make hitting passing shots too easy, which makes serve and volley not viable. And, players have noted that the high bounce of the grass at Wimbledon, in conjunction with the tiny grass court season, has further homogenized the game.

Cutting down injury is a critical concern in the women's game, and taking the stiffness and head size down will help, in conjunction with the elimination of hard courts. Men will also benefit.
While I think that clay is the most fun and most interesting surface to play on/watch, putting a ban on a type of surface is the most ridiculous things i have ever heard.
It's not ridiculous at all. All sports have regulations. An old regulation is no less "radical" than a new one. Hard courts are destroying tennis players' bodies, in conjunction with the new stiff power racquets. Hard courts have been allowed to displace grass, and that's not good. Pro tennis players play tennis for a living and play a whole lot. Recreational players don't have the perspective of what it's like to have your body falling apart when you're trying to compete for a living and for posterity.

superstition
07-14-2007, 01:56 PM
horrible ideas. grass court tennis is a joke,
Why is grass court tennis a "joke"? Is it because the season has been reduced to almost nothing, due to the encroachment of hard courts? Is it because the new grass at Wimbledon plays too much like a hard court? Is it because the power racquets, in conjunction with the new grass, makes serve and volley obsolete? None of those things makes grass court tennis, as a whole, a "joke". The current state of affairs, though, definitely needs to be improved.
with all the injuries players are having and with the season too long as it is, you to force them to play doubles?
Players used to play doubles, back when grass courts existed where hard courts are now, and when players used safer wood racquets and gut string instead of synthetics that ruin the body.

The injury problem is addressed by the following:

1. The elimination of hard courts.
2. The reduction in racquet stiffness.
3. The reduction in racquet power.
4. The reduction in racquet head size.

doubles is only for players who aren't good enough to play singles.
Many of the greatest players in tennis' history, such as Martina Navratilova and John McEnroe, were dominant doubles players. Also, some players who are good at singles are not particularly good at doubles, like Maria Sharapova and Andy Roddick.

35ft6
07-14-2007, 02:02 PM
1. Wimbledon would return... I would be down with making the grass faster again.2. The US Open would be played on grass once again, which rye behind the baseline and fescue mix for the court. I'm a big fan of hard court tennis, so I don't like this idea. If they want to be kind to the players' bodies, make it best of 3 until the quarterfinals.4. In order to be eligible to play singles in slams... If they do this, I would support only having ONE composite ranking based on singles performance AND double performance. Doubles results won't count as much, but it'll count. Not married to this idea but I would rationalize it as "best tennis player in the world" should mean being good at singles AND doubles. It would also encourage players to develop a wider variety of skills.

But if you're trying to save players' bodies, forcing them to play doubles certainly isn't going to help matters.5. If a player pulls out of the doubles, their partner may choose another player who isn't already in the draw or who has been knocked out. Don't think this would be fair. Could definitely see this being totally abused, and it seems contradictory to number 4. "Who isn't already in the draw?" A doubles specialist? But you can't play singles unless you play doubles?6. Professional racquets would have the following characteristics:a) single shaft form factor
b) maximums of 80 sq in string area and 55 stiffness, for men Interesting idea but IMO incredibly unfair, basically penalizing players with certain styles while giving a permanent and profound advantage to others. Basically, it would abruptly end the careers of many top players.

I think the way they do it now is as fair as it's going to get. It doesn't reward certain styles. Every pro can play with any racket used by any other pro, the choice is theirs. They can play with any racket they feel maximizes their game.

I don't feel like there's an inherently superior style of play in terms of aesthetic appeal or "fairness" but limiting rackets in the way you propose would penalize and discourage certain styles of play, and would seem to be designed to increase the chances of your favored style of play proliferating.7. There would be no dress code at any pro tournament that is more strict than local laws. Players should be able to wear whatever they want to, as long as it's legal in the place they're playing. No more tournaments in Dubai.8. Hard courts would be banned and replaced with grass, clay, or indoor carpet. ... The grass court season will constitute at least 50% of the year. I think they should have a proper grass court season, comparable to the clay court lead-up to the French. If this is economically feasible, not sure. At least one Masters Series on grass, even though that would mean moving the date of the French and/or Wimbledon.10. Players may only take bathroom breaks at the start of one of their service games. Interesting idea. Seems fair.

I would get rid let of let services. Yes, that means that in theory, a match can be won by a serve and barely dribbles over the net. Who cares? It can already end that way but with a ground stroke.

Change the scoring. I know it's tradition but so many potential fans are lost. I stumble upon a basketball game between two teams I don't care about, but I see that it's 90 to 91 with only 35 seconds remaining, I stay on that channel to see the drama play out. I understand what 90 to 91 means. Same with football if I see that it's 21 to 21 in the fourth quarter with only 1 minute remaining. But for somebody who doesn't understand tennis scoring, and if the people I know are any indication, it's MOST of America, they stumble upon a tennis match and they have absolutely no idea what it means to be down a set and a break and 15-30 on his serve. It's needlessly confusing.

I would make better commercials to promote the players. Do for tennis what Spike Lee did for basketball commercials. Right now, it's like tennis is being run by a bunch of 80 yo. We've gotta attract new fans! The guys who remember the glory years of tennis in the 70's are going to be dead someday, where will the new fans come from?

rod99
07-14-2007, 02:03 PM
please. this isn't the 1960s. except for maybe in the UK and Australia, there are virtually no grass courts for people to learn to play on. and you want professionasl to go out and play 50% of the season on grass courts? not going to happen. the grass court season is the correct length as it is.

nobody cares about doubles, including the general public. that's why it's never on tv. the great thing about tennis is that it's 1 on 1 with no help from anyone else. doubles is the minor leagues of pro tennis. things were different when mcenroe/nav played. the pro circuit is so much more deep and physical now. back then players could afford to play both. regardless if they played on hard courts today or not, if you required all players to play doubles in grand slams then they would be playing the finals in wheelchairs.

superstition
07-14-2007, 02:11 PM
except for maybe in the UK and Australia, there are virtually no grass courts for people to learn to play on. and you want professionasl to go out and play 50% of the season on grass courts?
That wasn't the case in the past and doesn't have to be the case in the future. And, a player doesn't have to re-learn the game to play on grass. Given how short the season is now, suggesting that adding tournaments would make it harder on players when it comes to playing on grass doesn't make sense. It's harder now because the season is so short. Some players don't even play the tune-ups before Wimbledon.
not going to happen.
the grass court season is the correct length as it is.
A lot of people disagree, including some of the most notable former pros. Why is the grass court season the "correct length", in your opinion?
nobody cares about doubles, including the general public. that's why it's never on tv.
Actually, the Tennis Channel has said there is a lot of demand for doubles coverage, and a big reason why people pay less attention to doubles is because big name players usually don't play doubles anymore. That wasn't the case in the past.
doubles is the minor leagues of pro tennis. things were different when mcenroe/nav played. the pro circuit is so much more deep and physical now.
Tennis doesn't have as many grass courts now, has overpowered stiff racquets and poly string, and too much hard court play. Players who hardly play any tennis at all are getting injured all the time in the WTA.
if you required all players to play doubles in grand slams then they would be playing the finals in wheelchairs.
Not if my other reforms are adopted. The flexible low power racquets and removal of hard courts will make a huge difference.

rod99
07-14-2007, 02:15 PM
i can't take anything serious that is stated by someone with jan-michael gambill as their avator.

Forehand Forever
07-14-2007, 02:20 PM
I like the idea of making the grass courts faster once again. I wouldn't ban hardcourts though. I would want Babolat racquets that aren't so stiff, and strings that don't mess with so many parts of your body.

And if I was magical. I'd create people that could cure injuries, but I don't have those powers unfortunately.

superstition
07-14-2007, 02:31 PM
If they want to be kind to the players' bodies, make it best of 3 until the quarterfinals.
I forgot to mention the number of sets, actually. 5 set matches should be eliminated. That is another crucial reform that needs to be made. And, in slams, women should play three sets in the semis and final, not just two.
But if you're trying to save players' bodies, forcing them to play doubles certainly isn't going to help matters.
People held up just fine when tennis was played with wood on grass and clay. If all of my reforms are adopted, the injury problem will decrease tremendously.
Could definitely see this being totally abused.
[quote]"Who isn't already in the draw?" A doubles specialist?
Or a player who didn't qualify. I don't think it's fair to players to be knocked out if their partner gets injured before the quarters. They should be able to get a substitute. Since players have to leave the singles if they pull out of doubles, how will it be abused?
But you can't play singles unless you play doubles? Interesting idea but IMO incredibly unfair, basically penalizing players with certain styles while giving a permanent and profound advantage to others.
Huh? A player's singles ranking would get them into the doubles draw. I see nothing unfair about having top players play doubles at slams, at least. It would help the appeal of doubles tremendously to have big names play; it would be more interesting for fans at a tournament to be able to see them. Doubles is far easier on the body than singles. Martina Navratilova won tournaments in her 40s and McEnroe won one with Bjorkman not long ago.

I think the way they do it now is as fair as it's going to get. It doesn't reward certain styles.
It absolutely rewards certain styles. Serve and volley is dead. Navratilova and others have said that the new racquets and strings, in conjunction with hard courts and high bouncing grass have made serve and volley die. The racquets are too powerful, too stiff, and make it too easy to play from the baseline.

I don't feel like there's an inherently superior style of play in terms of aesthetic appeal or "fairness" but limiting rackets in the way you propose would penalize and discourage certain styles of play, and would seem to be designed to increase the chances of your favored style of play proliferating.
What I did was re-balance the game to take away the huge advantage of playing from the baseline. By decreasing stiffness along with head size, though, I kept service aces from being too good. If you look at the wood composite era, you'll see something similar to what I'm proposing. The racquets were not overpowered, and people could win from the baseline or at the net. Service aces weren't yet annoying, as they became when Sampras and others started using full graphite racquets. If you look at a flexible racquet with a fairly small head, it doesn't give anyone an advantage, especially if we get rid of hard courts. Clay gives an advantage to baseliners. Grass gives an advantage to net players. Having a 50/50 split between grass and clay tournaments (with carpet thrown in) isn't going to result in the homogenized game we have now, where hard court style play is what everyone does, except clay specialists and the sad remains of serve and volley.
No more tournaments in Dubai.
Huh? My dress code suggestion says the code will follow local laws. Whatever is legal in Dubai becomes the standard. I don't follow you.
I think they should have a proper grass court season, comparable to the clay court lead-up to the French. If this is economically feasible, not sure.
Everyone seems to forget that tennis was played on grass instead of hard courts for most of its history. Professional tennis can afford grass courts.
I would get rid let of let services. Yes, that means that in theory, a match can be won by a serve and barely dribbles over the net. Who cares? It can already end that way but with a ground stroke.
It would increase injury, as players flail to try to get wild let serves on hard courts. I could support getting rid of lets if hard courts are eliminated.
Change the scoring. It's needlessly confusing.
The scoring system makes tennis more interesting than simple cumulative point scoring that you suggested. There is more strategy involved.
We've gotta attract new fans! The guys who remember the glory years of tennis in the 70's are going to be dead someday, where will the new fans come from?
One troubling thing I've seen is that communities are ripping out tennis courts and replacing them with skate board equipment and other things. And, many schools don't have tennis courts and communities are not repairing their courts. Hard courts, although bad for the body, are all most schools and communities can afford, which is why my idea for banning them only applies to pro tennis. It would be nice for the federal government to give schools money to build courts to encourage fitness.

superstition
07-14-2007, 02:33 PM
I'm too lazy to read and respond to your response.
No problem.

rod99
07-14-2007, 02:34 PM
No problem.

my words exactly (roll eyes)

superstition
07-14-2007, 02:37 PM
I wouldn't ban hardcourts though.
Why? We have a women's tour that has a terrible injury problem, where players who don't play much tennis at all are injured when they do play. Even young men like Murray are getting injured. Wrists are a big problem, because of the racquets and strings, but older players will be harmed by knee and back problems from the hard courts.

Tennis is exciting and good on other surfaces. Hard courts are the most prevalent today, but they weren't in the past, and people enjoyed tennis immensely. People also had longer and healthier careers. It's better for the fans for the injury problem to be solved, too. One of the problems for tennis fans is that players they like are often injured and not playing. This leads to fragmentation for fans, and frustration.

I would want Babolat racquets that aren't so stiff, and strings that don't mess with so many parts of your body.
There would be nothing stopping Babolat or any other company from making racquets that conform to my guidelines.
And if I was magical. I'd create people that could cure injuries, but I don't have those powers unfortunately.
There's no magic needed to prevent them. It is possible for tennis to adopt my reforms for the equipment and courts.

rod99
07-14-2007, 02:46 PM
it's the depth of the game and the length of the season more than the court surface that is causing so many injuries. the season needs to end at the end of september or early october as opposed to the beginning of december. players need a chance to recover from the daily grind and travel. players weren't injured as much in the past b/c the game is so much deeper and competitive now. you can't afford to relax b/c any player in the top 50 can trouble most of the top players. this certainly wasn't always the case. 2 slams were played on hard courts since the late 80s and you didn't see the number of injuries then that you see now.

35ft6
07-14-2007, 02:53 PM
Or a player who didn't qualify. I don't think it's fair to players to be knocked out if their partner gets injured before the quarters. They should be able to get a substitute. Since players have to leave the singles if they pull out of doubles, how will it be abused? I can imagine groups of people agreeing that if they meet a certain team in the draw, one will pull out and a player who's had incredible success against said team stepping in. Stuff like that.Huh? A player's singles ranking would get them into the doubles draw. You somehow got things jumbled in the quotes. I was saying only allowing a specific type of racket was unfair.It absolutely rewards certain styles. Serve and volley is dead. True. But why must the rules be changed just for the sake of serve and volley? If that's your personal preference, that's fine, but I see now objective reason for it.If you look at a flexible racquet with a fairly small head, it doesn't give anyone an advantage, especially if we get rid of hard courts. It would give flatter hitters who drive through the ball more a huge advantage. Look at it this way, a guy like Connors could play with a T-2000 because they really went through the ball. Guys who generate angular momentum will be screwed.Clay gives an advantage to baseliners. Grass gives an advantage to net players. Having a 50/50 split between grass and clay tournaments (with carpet thrown in) isn't going to result in the homogenized game we have now, where hard court style play is what everyone does, except clay specialists and the sad remains of serve and volley. Okay, I see your main goal seems to be to revive serve and volley. I'm not a huge fan of serve and volley. But I wouldn't mind seeing more grass court tennis and doubles to see more variety, though.Huh? My dress code suggestion says the code will follow local laws. Whatever is legal in Dubai becomes the standard. I don't follow you. I'm not absolutely sure, but if Dubai enforces Muslim law, at least the women would definitely not want to play there if dress code follows local law. The men would have to wear hats, too.

In general, don't really have a problem with what they wear aside from the fact that tennis clothing tend to look like crap.Everyone seems to forget that tennis was played on grass instead of hard courts for most of its history. Professional tennis can afford grass courts. That era coincided with an era, probably, when there were more tennis clubs with grass courts. I know such facilities still exist, but for there to be more grass court tournaments, there will need to be more grass courts. Not just one or two, but for bigger tournaments, there will need to be a LOT of grass courts. People will have to be willing to commit to the cost of installing grass courts, maintaining it, etc. This will not be trivial.It would increase injury, as players flail to try to get wild let serves on hard courts. I could support getting rid of lets if hard courts are eliminated. Haha. That's pretty absurd. It's been used in the NCAA for years, and I haven't heard about injuries from players flailing to get to wild let serves. Likewise, I've never noticed a pattern of injury on the ATP tour from players chasing let chords on groundstrokes.The scoring system makes tennis more interesting than simple cumulative point scoring that you suggested. There is more strategy involved. The strategy wouldn't change. I'm simply suggesting getting rid of the 15, 30, 40, and Deuces.One troubling thing I've seen is that communities are ripping out tennis courts and replacing them with skate board equipment and other things. And, many schools don't have tennis courts and communities are not repairing their courts. Hard courts, although bad for the body, are all most schools and communities can afford, which is why my idea for banning them only applies to pro tennis.But it's all related. The USTA owns the US Tennis Center, but for the most part, more grass court tennis would mean private and local public facilities having to commit to the considerable cost or installing and properly maintaining grass courts.

Also, the decline of tennis' popularity, I think ties into the scoring. The scoring is needlessly confusing and turns away potential fans. Sports is meaningless without the context of scoring, and when people don't know what's going on, they change the channel. Another important point of context is personality, which the 70's had in spades, which might explain tennis' huge popularity then despite having the same scoring system in place.

superstition
07-14-2007, 03:27 PM
players weren't injured as much in the past b/c the game is so much deeper and competitive now.
I don't agree. Tennis has been competitive and deep prior to the displacement of grass and the displacement of soft equipment, like wood and gut. Some players of the past used to use 1 pound racquets. They were fit and competitive.
2 slams were played on hard courts since the late 80s and you didn't see the number of injuries then that you see now.
Hard courts, in conjunction with the newer racquets and strings... In 1983, Martina was playing with a Yonex R7, not a Pure Drive. Compare the stiffness of the two racquets. Graf played in 1987 with a 200G Dunlop. Compare the stiffness of that with a Pure Drive. Compare the uncoated gut Martina used to the poly people are using now in stiff racquets. Martina's R7 and Steffi's 200G were a lot more powerful, stiffer, and larger than the wood racquets they displaced.

The racquets are not only stiffer, they're larger. They're more powerful. The courts are slower and higher bouncing. The game has changed. Even the hard courts have changed. In the 1940s, the hard courts were comparatively low bouncing and fast.

People can play competitive matches on soft surfaces with soft racquets and soft strings and the number of injuries will be lower.

The length of the schedule is an issue I haven't discussed because it isn't something I want to reform at this point. However, if people feel the schedule and ranking system should be reformed, I'm interested to hear specific plans.

rod99
07-14-2007, 03:44 PM
scheduling is simple:
- have an Australian Open Series (similar to US Open series) during the first 4 weeks of January. have the Australian Open at the beginning of February
- indoor tournaments during February - early March
- keep Indian Wells and Key Biscayne
- keep the clay court season as is
- keep the grass court season as is
- keep the US Open Series and US Open as is
- have 2-3 indoor tournaments following the US Open.
- have the ATP Championships during the first week of October

of course those are just the major tournaments. there would still be minor tournaments (clay season in S American, etc) going on at the same time. i stand by the opinion that the schedule is more brutal on the players than the surface or strings or rackets.

superstition
07-14-2007, 03:45 PM
I can imagine groups of people agreeing that if they meet a certain team in the draw, one will pull out and a player who's had incredible success against said team stepping in.
Anyone who pulls out of the doubles gets knocked out of singles competition, so I don't see a big advantage to this plan. And, the new rule only applies prior to the quarterfinals. The toughest teams are usually faced at that state or later.
I was saying only allowing a specific type of racket was unfair. True. But why must the rules be changed just for the sake of serve and volley? If that's your personal preference, that's fine, but I see now objective reason for it. It would give flatter hitters who drive through the ball more a huge advantage. Look at it this way, a guy like Connors could play with a T-2000 because they really went through the ball. Guys who generate angular momentum will be screwed.
Connors was torn apart by slice and dice Ashe, and beaten by topspinning baseline Borg and serve and volley McEnroe. There was a huge amount of variety, despite smaller racquet head sizes than I mandated in my reform! If the T-2000 was so overly dominating, why was Connors the only pro to use it? Flat hitters would not have an advantage on clay.

Making the racquets smaller and less stiff rebalances the game, not so that it's unbalanced, but so it's more balanced than it is today. Topspin baselining is too dominant now, because of the equipment and courts.

Okay, I see your main goal seems to be to revive serve and volley. I'm not a huge fan of serve and volley.
Serve and volley, net play, all court play. Baselining is too good right now. Even Federer, who is one of the greatest of all time, doesn't even come to net much at Wimbledon anymore. Compare his last match there with his match against Sampras with the other grass and smaller racquets.
But I wouldn't mind seeing more grass court tennis and doubles to see more variety, though. I'm not absolutely sure, but if Dubai enforces Muslim law, at least the women would definitely not want to play there if dress code follows local law. The men would have to wear hats, too.
Well, I said the dress code would be no more strict than local laws. Given the fact that players are playing there now without hats and so forth suggests to me that it's legal to play there without them.
In general, don't really have a problem with what they wear aside from the fact that tennis clothing tend to look like crap.
Yes, but I feel players should be able to wear whatever they want, as long as it's legal, in order to be able to express themselves and also give their sponsors' full latitude. Imagine if tennis had banned Lacoste's original clothing?
That era coincided with an era, probably, when there were more tennis clubs with grass courts. I know such facilities still exist, but for there to be more grass court tournaments, there will need to be more grass courts. Not just one or two, but for bigger tournaments, there will need to be a LOT of grass courts. People will have to be willing to commit to the cost of installing grass courts, maintaining it, etc. This will not be trivial.
Professional tennis can afford it. The US Open plans to provide a winner's check of 1.6 million, or something. It's the single largest jump in tennis history. The US Open is obviously not losing money and can afford grass.
It's been used in the NCAA for years, and I haven't heard about injuries from players flailing to get to wild let serves. Likewise, I've never noticed a pattern of injury on the ATP tour from players chasing let chords on groundstrokes.
Martina Navratilova is in favor of the no let rule, too. I don't think it's a good idea. The wild/erratic behavior of the ball is the server's fault, and the returner shouldn't have to pay for it.
The strategy wouldn't change. I'm simply suggesting getting rid of the 15, 30, 40, and Deuces. But it's all related.
It would flatten the scoring system and would take out some of the interest. Cumulative scoring doesn't allow a play to make mistakes and then get back on track without penalty, like deuce scoring does. There are nuances in tennis because of the scoring. Finishing points, like doubles uses now, and cumulative scoring are not good solutions in my estimation. Finishing points make randomness more important.
The USTA owns the US Tennis Center, but for the most part, more grass court tennis would mean private and local public facilities having to commit to the considerable cost or installing and properly maintaining grass courts.
Tennis has grass courts before. It can again. It's not like tennis wasn't played on grass for most of its history. The financial argument just doesn't add up. Poor tournaments can either get out of the professional circuit or go to clay, making way in the "too crowded" schedule for other tournaments. The notion that players' bodies should be sacrificed to make tennis more profitable for tournament owners is not one I support.
Also, the decline of tennis' popularity, I think ties into the scoring. The scoring is needlessly confusing and turns away potential fans.
That would mean people are becoming less intelligent over time. How can the scoring, which hasn't changed, cause a decline in popularity otherwise?

superstition
07-14-2007, 03:50 PM
i stand by the opinion that the schedule is more brutal on the players than the surface or strings or rackets.
Unless the schedule has become a lot longer, I don't see how that argument is strongly supported, especially since many players play a lot fewer tournaments than what's on the schedule and get injured anyway.

Martina Navratilova played a huge schedule (including doubles and mixed) in the early 80s and it doesn't even compare to what the Williams sisters play now, or Myskina, or Clijsters, etc. Chris Evert managed to get a record winning percentage on clay at the same time.

One of the reason tennis is so brutal is because of the racquets/strings/courts. It's impossible to say that the schedule alone is responsible. Even if we humor the argument that tennis is brutal now only because players are more fit (an argument I think is bogus), by reducing the power of racquets by reducing the stiffness dramatically, the ball speed will be lower and the brutality will go down. Further, by getting rid of the hard courts, even if tennis remains athletically brutal, there will be fewer injuries because players will be on softer surfaces. Hard strings like poly will be replaced with gut to get more power from the low power racquets, which will lead to less shock. Finally, erratic bounces from worn grass courts will shorten points.

Steven87
07-14-2007, 03:53 PM
Agree with only WImbledon. Other than that, this is a joke

superstition
07-14-2007, 03:54 PM
Other than that, this is a joke
The only jokes are comments like that. Either specifically respond to parts you don't agree with, or refrain from posting belittling comments like that.

pow
07-14-2007, 03:55 PM
Why force people to play doubles?! Most top 50 singles players will take their singles matches more seriously and you just end up with a lot of unmotivated doubles matches. Besides that, I never see doubles matches on TV. (I don't have the Tennis Channel)

I don't think any surface should be banned because they allow for different aspects of a player to be tested.

Why do women's racquets get less stiffness?
Is less stiffness really that bad? I use a Redondo 93 and it has a 56 flex. It almost sounds like that's suppose to make everyone's shots like the old days.
Also, if these rules were applied, it's very unfair for topspin players like Nadal and would favor flat hitters more.

Lee James
07-14-2007, 04:06 PM
I couldn't help myself but to drop my opinion. Really the only thing I would change would be the length of the season so that the year end championship would take place in either late september or Early October. I would also consider cutting back the amount of clay court tournaments so that it mirrors the amount of tournments that occur before Wimbledon. This would give players more time to rest, and a couple of months worth of down time between seasons.

superstition
07-14-2007, 04:09 PM
Why force people to play doubles?! Most top 50 singles players will take their singles matches more seriously and you just end up with a lot of unmotivated doubles matches. Besides that, I never see doubles matches on TV. (I don't have the Tennis Channel)
Players will take their doubles matches seriously if doubles begins to matter. Right now, it is treated like a stepchild, where only rarely does a top player enter the draw and may pull out anyway. If top players were to, once again, play doubles, the results would begin to matter more and you'd see the matches on TV. The Tennis Channel said people have said they want to watch the matches, and if top players started playing them, the interest level would rise dramatically.
I don't think any surface should be banned because they allow for different aspects of a player to be tested.
How about a quicksand court, or a court full of knives or three feet deep holes?

Hard courts are not safe for professional play because pros, unlike weekend hackers, must earn their living on them and play on them a huge amount.

There can be plenty of diversity without them. There are different types of grass, for instance. Grass can be made to play quite a bit like a hard court. That's what Wimbledon is doing. Some clay courts can be quite fast. It's possible to put clay on top of concrete. That happens in America.

Why do women's racquets get less stiffness?
Because women are more easily injured due to stiff racquets/strings than men are. If you look at the injury problem, you'll see that it's higher on the women's side. Women are playing with light, powerful, and stiff racquets and their wrists and other joints are being ruined quickly. Bartoli, for instance, had her wrist injured right away simply by returning some of Venus' serves and Venus herself was injured most of last year (wrist).
Is less stiffness really that bad?
Yes. Stiffness is the biggest problem with today's racquets, strings, and hard courts. Tennis used to be played with flexible organic materials like wood, gut, and grass. Racquets are also too light, in general, particularly on the women's side. Less racquet mass = more shock from ball impact that goes into the body. By reducing stiffness and head size, players would be forced to increase racquet mass again in order to produce more power. Players of the past used to use racquets that weighed as much as a pound. And, they used larger grips, which is better for the body because there's more surface area to distribute shock and players don't have to clench as hard. Smaller grips are the fashion now because of the dominance of topspin. Low bouncing fescue made larger grips more useful because the slice was a more important shot.
Also, if these rules were applied, it's very unfair for topspin players like Nadal and would favor flat hitters more.
That's not true. Borg played with topspin with a plain wood racquet. The head size was much smaller than my reformed size, and the racquet was less stiff. Topspin will remain particularly dominant on clay, too.

rum02
07-14-2007, 04:21 PM
yep take the fun out of tennis. take the chocolate out of Neapolitan ice cream. take the funbags from women. take the cheese out of pizza. take the troops out of Iraq. take the big screens from the movies. take the cuteness out of little puppy dogs. take the humour out of comedians.
take the graphics from the ps3! take the ridiculous posts from people like me out of
tt. do you really want to live in a world of boredom? do you? you want the truth,
YOU CAN'T HANDLE THE TRUTH. And furthermore (more meaningless rambling follows...) in conclusion, this is why whatever you said before shouldn't be applied to modern day tennis.

superstition
07-14-2007, 04:28 PM
yep take the fun out of tennis.
False dilemma. Tennis was actually more popular with smaller racquets than the maximums I'm suggesting. Audiences enjoyed tennis immensely when it was played with all-wood racquets with tiny heads and dense string patterns. Audiences even immensely enjoyed the Navratilova-Evert matches when both of them played with wood and the ball speed was about 1/3 what it is now.

People will continue to enjoy tennis with my reforms. In fact, players will have longer and healthier careers. Fans will get to see their player more more frequently, due to injury reduction and increased doubles play. Even recreational players will benefit, because the monstrously large stiff featherlight racquets they're being sold won't be so fashionable anymore and they'll be able to develop decent strokes. I think one of the problems with tennis' popularity today actually is due to such recreational racquets, and possibly due to the brutality of today's game. A lot of people are turned off by the shrieking, yelling, and constant injuries.

theballboy
07-14-2007, 04:45 PM
1. Wimbledon would return to the fescue mix and the soil mix it used in the 1960s, with 100% rye starting at the baseline and moving back. This would help the durability of the baseline, but wouldn't affect the bounce/speed of the court.
I've no problem with making Wimbledon faster.


2. The US Open would be played on grass once again, which rye behind the baseline and fescue mix for the court.
No. Nearly every American pro learned to play on hardcourts. Switching it to grass would give them a distinct disadvantage. Not only that, you seem to forget the reason people switched to hardcourt to begin with: it was too expensive, and too much of a hassle to maintain grass.


3. The Australian Open would move to fast clay. This would provide a 50/50 grand slam split between grass and clay. Roland Garros would keep its slow clay. (The Australian Open should probably not move back to grass courts because Australia is too dry.)

I could care less what they do at that slam.


4. In order to be eligible to play singles in slams, players would have to enter the doubles. Mixed would be optional. If a player pulls out of the doubles, then they would also have to pull out of the singles as well. If a player cannot find a partner for doubles, a partner would be assigned. Players may enter the doubles without entering the singles.


Doubles isn't the same sport as singles. Everyone knows this. Implying they are isn't going to make it so. That, and the fact that you are forcing them to play with another player. That's absurd, and anithtema to the concept of singles.



6. Professional racquets would have the following characteristics:

a) single shaft form factor
b) maximums of 80 sq in string area and 55 stiffness, for men
c) maximums of 90 sq in string area and 50 stiffness, for women
d) no other restrictions, with the exception of a ban on spaghetti string


What, exactly, is your beef with oversize raquets?

7. There would be no dress code at any pro tournament that is more strict than local laws. Players should be able to wear whatever they want to, as long as it's legal in the place they're playing.

Agree with this.

8. Hard courts would be banned and replaced with grass, clay, or indoor carpet. Tournaments other than the slams may use 100% rye grass instead of fescue if they wish. The grass court season will constitute at least 50% of the year.
No. That'd be effectively reducing grand slam tennis to a country club sport.


9. Players may not indicate a mark by touching their racquet to the ground. If a player touches their racquet to the ground, the mark is considered erased. Players who are playing on clay are permitted to cross the net to check a mark if permitted by the chair and accompanied by the chair, the opponent, and the line judge.

I agree.

10. If a player taking an injury time-out trails in the number of games won in the set being played and/or sets won, the player forfeits one game unless that game would end the match. Players may only take bathroom breaks at the start of one of their service games.

You're penalizing a player based on whether they're winning or losing? That is easily the most ridiculous idea ever.

[/quote]11. No more 5 set matches. Men would play a maximum of four sets, with a tiebreak. Women would play three sets minimum in the semis and finals of slams, not a minimum of two.[/quote]
It should be the same number of sets for every round of a grand slam.

superstition
07-14-2007, 05:08 PM
INearly every American pro learned to play on hardcourts. Switching it to grass would give them a distinct disadvantage.
False dilemma. Many of the world's most dominant tennis players on grass have come from America such as McEnroe, Navratilova, and Tilden. People are not incapable of adjustment. If grass replaces hard courts, then more pros will spend time on them.
Not only that, you seem to forget the reason people switched to hardcourt to begin with: it was too expensive, and too much of a hassle to maintain grass.
Just because it's more profitable for tournament owners to make pros play on unsafe surfaces doesn't mean it's right. Ford produced the Pinto with a gas tank that exploded if the car was hit at 25 mph, and the Pinto was inexpensive. Does that mean consumers should buy it?
Doubles isn't the same sport as singles. Everyone knows this. Implying they are isn't going to make it so. That, and the fact that you are forcing them to play with another player. That's absurd, and anithtema to the concept of singles.
The word is anathema, and it's not appropriate. Many top players of the past were dominant in singles and doubles at the same time, like McEnroe and Navratilova.
What, exactly, is your beef with oversize raquets?
Again, they make baseline play too dominant by making passing shots too easy to hit, serve returns too good, and increase ball speed too much.
No. That'd be effectively reducing grand slam tennis to a country club sport.
Only professional tennis would ban hard courts, not recreational or school tennis.
You're penalizing a player based on whether they're winning or losing? That is easily the most ridiculous idea ever.
It's designed to reduce abuse of the injury time-out. Some people, like Brad Gilbert, have called for tougher restrictions, like not letting people take a time-out at all for cramps. I don't agree with such strong restrictions. But, I am tired of people using injury time-outs for gamesmanship, to try to break up a winning opponent's rhythm. If you really are injured and losing, losing one game isn't likely to make the critical difference, anyway.
It should be the same number of sets for every round of a grand slam.
Why? What's the point of getting exhausted players in the later matches where the results are more important?

Max G.
07-14-2007, 06:17 PM
Of the proposed changes, I'd be for some of them (the ones to do with reducing injuries, the surface and racquet modifications, and ESPECIALLY number 12), ambivalent about some, but there are two that I think are badly done - namely, the ones to get top singles players to play doubles.

#4 - It's a good goal, but I think "forcing" them to play by making doubles a requirement for singles isn't going to work well. It would turn doubles into a "chore" - instead of not playing, players would play to not-look-bad instead of playing to win. And that's worse, IMO - I'd rather see doubles matches with players that actually want to win it, rather than two guys playing half-hearted tennis because they don't want to be there but have to pretend to care to be allowed to play singles.

I think a better way to do this would be to just raise the value of doubles to the players. Requiring a more even distribution of prize money between singles and doubles would do wonders for players caring about it. Alternatively, (and also probably easier to implement) changing around the ranking system a bit would also work - for example, having an "Overall Ranking" for a player be "2/3 of his singles rank + 1/3 of his doubles rank." Players would be accepted into both the singles and doubles of a tournament a tournament based on this ranking, and once the singles filled up the remainder would be accepted into the doubles tournament based on doubles rank.

This would actually make players care about doubles results, since they would matter to their ranking and their earnings - I think that your proposed solution, instead of making players care, would instead require players to pretend to care and go through the motions of caring, which isn't the same thing.

This still leaves room for both singles and doubles specialists - someone could be good enough at singles so that they don't need a doubles rank, or someone could be good enough at doubles to not need a singles rank (since presumably, tournaments would have more doubles players than singles players, they'd still be able to accept a good number of players based on doubles-only rank.) However, it makes it a good bit harder to really be at the top of the rankings without playing some doubles.

#5 (allowing players that lost to keep playing) would, IMO, be really unfair in terms of giving points and money to players that LOST. I can imagine a situation where a doubles team loses early, but then one of them ends up being chosen as a "replacement" later on and would thus get the points/money for getting to a late round. Even worse would be the situation in which a team might have to face the same guy on the opposite side of the net twice in one tournament! It might also cause a situation where a player is choosing a partner based on who he's playing next - "my partner's withdrawn, and I'm playing this dude next who's known to always hit this particular serve, I think I'll ask someone to partner me who's especially good at returning that shot..." I think that allowing players who lost to "come back in" opens up a can of worms that I'd rather keep closed. Maybe it would be okay to keep a couple of "alternates" around, but not to pick them from players who already lost.

For the thing about injury timeouts, I also agree with the sentiment, but don't think the implementation. You say that
losing one game isn't likely to make the critical difference, anyway.
but I disagree. For example, imagine a match played on a fast grasscourt. Player X loses the first set in a tiebreak, and he's down 2-3 or 3-4 (on serve) in the second set. Losing a game in that situation is almost equivalent to giving away the match - it's giving away a break of serve, when in the men's game it isn't rare for a set to be decided by just one break, and whether this is a best-of-five or best-of-three match, being down a set and a break is a heck of a lot worse than being down a set. The second issue with this is that "who serves first" becomes suddenly important - if it's 4-4 or 5-4 (still on serve) then it's "okay" to take a timeout, but if you're serving at 3-4 (also on serve) then you have to win the game before being "allowed" to take a timeout with no penalty. I think the penalty for a timeout should be the same whether you're winning or losing. (Also, if you only penalize the player if he's losing, that doesn't solve the following situation - a player wins the first set, then loses the momentum and is losing in the second set and takes an injury timeout to frustrate his opponent. He's still "winning," but his opponent is on a roll. Or, the situation where you've been acing the opponent all match long, and then you notice that he's starting to get a read on the serve so you take a break to disrupt his rhythm, even if he hasn't yet been able to capitalize on his advantage. Or, really, any situation where you want to disrupt the opponent's rhythm when you're ahead in the score.)

I would think a point penalty would be more appropriate - I think that players would be very reluctant to take timeouts that they don't need if they knew they're actually being penalized for it. The penalty should apply regardless of whether you're winning or losing, since really, you might be using the timeout to disrupt your opponent's rhythm regardless of what the score is. A point penalty isn't a big enough penalty to prevent someone from getting an injury treated if it really is hampering their play - presumably, that injury is costing them way more than one point if they keep playing with it. It's also not big enough to make a significant difference, unless the match really was dead even and it was a critical point. However, I think it would be big enough to prevent someone from taking an injury timeout on the off-chance that it might disrupt his opponent. (If that doesn't working, raise the penalty to two points... I just think that a game is too excessive, and will penalize people who AREN'T abusing the rule way more than is reasonable.)

I'm not sure how I feel about #11. I would much rather be for shortening all of the sets (say, from six games down to five) rather than just shortening one set (from six games to zero). I'm just a little bit opposed to the fact that someone might have to play two tiebreaks in very short succession. Not really any sort of deep criticism though. Maybe shortening all of the sets by one game and then shortening the fifth set down by a couple of more games? Anything to avoid the situation where you have two tiebreaks "in a row". Though maybe that's just me.

...as to the dress code thing, is there even any tournament that has more-strict-than-local-laws dress codes besides Wimbledon? Enacting a global statute just to make Wimbledon comply seems strange. Or are there others.

#9 also seems to be an overreaction to a pet peeve more than anything. I guess the reasoning is to prevent them from influencing the umpire, but I think the chair umpire is more than competent enough to ignore the players' protests if he thinks they're pointing at the wrong mark. There's a million other ways to point out a mark besides "touching the clay with their racquet" - pointing at it with your hand, foot, touching the clay with some part of your body (hand, foot), verbally saying it, and so on... all of which the chair umpire can happily ignore when making his call. I don't see how forbidding the players from touching the clay with their racquet would accomplish anything useful. Or am I even misreading the justification for it, is there some other reason besides an attempt to prevent them from biasing the umpire?

Anyhow, that's my two cents.

rum02
07-14-2007, 06:36 PM
False dilemma. Tennis was actually more popular with smaller racquets than the maximums I'm suggesting. Audiences enjoyed tennis immensely when it was played with all-wood racquets with tiny heads and dense string patterns. Audiences even immensely enjoyed the Navratilova-Evert matches when both of them played with wood and the ball speed was about 1/3 what it is now.

People will continue to enjoy tennis with my reforms. In fact, players will have longer and healthier careers. Fans will get to see their player more more frequently, due to injury reduction and increased doubles play. Even recreational players will benefit, because the monstrously large stiff featherlight racquets they're being sold won't be so fashionable anymore and they'll be able to develop decent strokes. I think one of the problems with tennis' popularity today actually is due to such recreational racquets, and possibly due to the brutality of today's game. A lot of people are turned off by the shrieking, yelling, and constant injuries.

sorry my post wasn't really serious at all. next time ignore my opinion.

Steven87
07-14-2007, 06:42 PM
The only jokes are comments like that. Either specifically respond to parts you don't agree with, or refrain from posting belittling comments like that.
Listen buddy, I'm not belittling you, I'm acknowledging you. So with that said, step off partner. You and ya whack idea

superman1
07-14-2007, 06:53 PM
I don't agree with any of it.

#1 is the only one I partially agree with, but I don't want the lightning fast grass. I'd rather have something in-between, where we can actually have a few rallies, but serve and volley is rewarded.

Changing the racquets is ridiculous and you'd have lawsuits from all of the players that would lose their careers as a result. I'm in favor of having racquet restrictions at a a few select tournaments, though. It would be nice to have an all-wood tournament. Maybe it would give some guy ranked #240 a chance to make some noise.

35ft6
07-14-2007, 06:59 PM
Connors was torn apart by slice and dice Ashe, and beaten by topspinning baseline Borg and serve and volley McEnroe. There was a huge amount of variety, despite smaller racquet head sizes than I mandated in my reform! If the T-2000 was so overly dominating, why was Connors the only pro to use it? Flat hitters would not have an advantage on clay. Dude, I never said that the T-2000 was dominating. You said that smaller racket heads wouldn't give anybody an advantage and I'm saying yes it would, to flat hitters with more level swing trajectories.Making the racquets smaller and less stiff rebalances the game, not so that it's unbalanced, but so it's more balanced than it is today. Topspin baselining is too dominant now, because of the equipment and courts. I don't really see this as a problem, maybe that's why I think some of your solutions are unnecessary.Well, I said the dress code would be no more strict than local laws. Given the fact that players are playing there now without hats and so forth suggests to me that it's legal to play there without them. You also said:My dress code suggestion says the code will follow local laws. Whatever is legal in Dubai becomes the standard. I don't follow you.Right now dress code there doesn't reflect local law. Professional tennis can afford it. The US Open plans to provide a winner's check of 1.6 million, or something. It's the single largest jump in tennis history. The US Open is obviously not losing money and can afford grass. Downside for US Open is that it goes from being the world's most important hard court tournament to the world's second most important grass court tournament. And I still think it would cost prohibitive in general to make the tour overwhelmingly grass. Even if US Tennis Center could make the move, doesn't mean smaller, less rich, less profitable tournaments/sites can.Martina Navratilova is in favor of the no let rule, too. I don't think it's a good idea. The wild/erratic behavior of the ball is the server's fault, and the returner shouldn't have to pay for it. The net is always there. The potential of making somebody "pay for it" is always there. Lets just slow down play.It would flatten the scoring system and would take out some of the interest. Cumulative scoring doesn't allow a play to make mistakes and then get back on track without penalty, like deuce scoring does. There are nuances in tennis because of the scoring. Finishing points, like doubles uses now, and cumulative scoring are not good solutions in my estimation. Finishing points make randomness more important. The scoring would be exactly the same, just get rid of the names.Tennis has grass courts before. It can again. It's not like tennis wasn't played on grass for most of its history. The financial argument just doesn't add up.What doesn't add up?

Which court is more expensive to install and maintain?
a. Hard courts.
b. Grass courts.

Take your pick.Poor tournaments can either get out of the professional circuit or go to clay, making way in the "too crowded" schedule for other tournaments. I'm sure the poor tournaments will be thrilled by this rationale.That would mean people are becoming less intelligent over time. How can the scoring, which hasn't changed, cause a decline in popularity otherwise? Not less intelligent. Just means the people who became fans when tennis had more interesting personalities during the 70's aren't being replaced over time by new, younger fans.

herosol
07-14-2007, 07:03 PM
wimbledon changes i agree.

but other things.

you obviously don't realize everything in this world changes.
and if you can't deal with change then you must not be doing well in life.

things changes. tennis changes. i think it be some really shyt to watching the same thing for the next 1000 years.

we might as well change every sport.

1. no more good basketball shoes, everyone has to wear regular converse walking shoes once more

2. lets get rid of titanium clubs for gold

3. no more of these light *** stable tennis shoes. back to heavy ones that do nothing.

4. heck lets get rid of everything in every sport that has changes since 500 years ago, then everything will be made well.

wake up buddy. things change. get used to it.

superstition
07-14-2007, 08:26 PM
#4 - It's a good goal, but I think "forcing" them to play by making doubles a requirement for singles isn't going to work well. It would turn doubles into a "chore" - instead of not playing, players would play to not-look-bad instead of playing to win.
This is a fair point, but I think it's a cultural shift that can be corrected. Top players used to care about doubles, and not that long ago. But, once the injury problem became critical in the WTA tour, not playing doubles or pulling out became commonplace and doubles suffered. For the men, I suppose doubles hasn't been embraced by top players for a longer time, generally, although Sampras did play doubles at least once in a while.

I don't think we should be terribly concerned that playing doubles is an inconvenience for tennis pros. They're well paid, and without having to worry so much about injury (racquet and equipment changes) and exhaustion (getting rid of 5 sets).

The only way I can see my idea being abused is for players to decide to lose in order to save energy for singles. But, if your suggestion to make the doubles ranking more important is adopted, that would be less attractive. I'm not sold on the idea of making the rankings joined, though. Why should a player, for instance, who is committed to playing well in doubles and singles have their singles ranking affected if their doubles partner doesn't play well? But, joining the rankings somewhat would make the "let's play badly in order to conserve energy" thing less attractive. But, really, how many players are going to do that? As you said, they aren't going to want to look bad. They'll want to earn the trophy, too. And, doubles can be rehabilitated to mean more simply by getting all the top players involved. Money and ranking points are likely not necessary. The doubles trophy will have more meaning if all the top players play for it and there is TV coverage. Accordingly, though, money for doubles will probably increase as its popularity increases.

The real chores of tennis are practicing, traveling, doing interviews, signing autographs, and so forth. Playing doubles is not really a chore, unless you're extremely lazy. We're not talking about couch potatoes. Even Martina Navratilova had enough energy in her late 40s to play singles and doubles at a few tournaments.

I think that your proposed solution, instead of making players care, would instead require players to pretend to care and go through the motions of caring, which isn't the same thing.
Well, the doubles idea should probably be limited to slams. I hope I did that in my list. If not, I'll modify it. Players definitely shouldn't have to play doubles at every tournament.

Players can manage to play doubles four times a year at the slams.

This still leaves room for both singles and doubles specialists - someone could be good enough at singles so that they don't need a doubles rank, or someone could be good enough at doubles to not need a singles rank (since presumably, tournaments would have more doubles players than singles players, they'd still be able to accept a good number of players based on doubles-only rank.) However, it makes it a good bit harder to really be at the top of the rankings without playing some doubles.
It's an interesting idea. I think doubles specialists would be happy to have the top players playing, because it makes doubles more important. Doubles has been said to be dying a slow death in recent years. The finishing point and super tie break are examples of how the matches are being shortened and there was even a suggestion to require players to have a singles rank of a certain level in order to play, which is an attack on doubles specialists and which doesn't solve the problem of top players not wanting to play doubles.

(allowing players that lost to keep playing) would, IMO, be really unfair in terms of giving points and money to players that LOST. I can imagine a situation where a doubles team loses early, but then one of them ends up being chosen as a "replacement" later on and would thus get the points/money for getting to a late round.
It's unfair for a player to lose if their partner makes errors or gets injured, too. Doubles is inherently more unfair than singles because you can't control your partner. But, I don't see how it's fair at all for a player to lose because their partner pulls out with an injury. That is totally bad. I also don't see the problem with an eliminated player being able to substitute for someone who's injured. Why not? Who cares if a team has to face the same player twice. So? If they beat that player before, they'd probably rather face that person again. It would be sad for the player who wasn't chosen from a losing team to not be able to play more, but it's sadder to not have the opportunity at all if you lose a match.

It might also cause a situation where a player is choosing a partner based on who he's playing next - "my partner's withdrawn, and I'm playing this dude next who's known to always hit this particular serve, I think I'll ask someone to partner me who's especially good at returning that shot..."
The toughest teams tend to be faced in the quarters and higher. These things would have no effect on the semis or final, or even earlier. Picking a partner because your partner withdrew to deal with a single opponent is a weak idea. Players who deserve to win the title should be able to beat any team.

The second issue with this is that "who serves first" becomes suddenly important
This is a good point, and the first one I've seen that makes me feel I need to revise one of my ideas. You're right, this is a side effect that's arbitrary. Arbitrary things aren't good. But, a point penalty seems too weak.
Also, if you only penalize the player if he's losing, that doesn't solve the following situation - a player wins the first set, then loses the momentum and is losing in the second set and takes an injury timeout to frustrate his opponent. He's still "winning," but his opponent is on a roll. Or, the situation where you've been acing the opponent all match long, and then you notice that he's starting to get a read on the serve so you take a break to disrupt his rhythm, even if he hasn't yet been able to capitalize on his advantage. Or, really, any situation where you want to disrupt the opponent's rhythm when you're ahead in the score.
Good points. The injury timeout problem does need to be solved somehow. It seems my idea isn't great. I came up with it on the fly while I was writing the list, so unlike some of the other ideas (racquet restrictions, court surfaces) which are the result of a lot of thought, this one does seems flawed.

Perhaps a two point penalty is severe enough and should apply regardless of score.

I'm not sure how I feel about #11. I would much rather be for shortening all of the sets rather than just shortening one set...someone might have to play two tiebreaks in very short succession.
Didn't Djokovic play a match that went 7-6 6-7 7-6 etc.? I recall more than one match similar to that at Wimbledon. The matches progressed on serve until a tiebreak happened. He and Baghdatis were exhausted by the endless 5 setters. Henman was, too. 5 set matches are just too much. I tried to come up with a solution, but I'm definitely not opposed to shortening the number of games in sets instead of reducing the number of sets if that would work better.

Maybe shortening all of the sets by one game and then shortening the fifth set down by a couple of more games? Anything to avoid the situation where you have two tiebreaks "in a row".
Not a bad idea.

...as to the dress code thing, is there even any tournament that has more-strict-than-local-laws dress codes besides Wimbledon?
It just seemed simpler to me to have a single rule that applies to all tournaments. The dress code thing is really minor. I could just axe it from the list, but I don't think it's a bad rule.

#9 also seems to be an overreaction to a pet peeve more than anything.
I've heard complaints about players, past and present, who would obscure a true mark with their racquet. I don't think the clay should be disturbed by a racquet when the mark is being disputed. That's all. I don't think this rule is hard to follow. It also seems aggressive and inappropriate for a player to circle the mark or otherwise gesture by marking the clay, particularly before the chair has come to look at the mark.

The thing about players being able to cross the net... That comes mainly from the Hingis meltdown when she played Graf in 1999 and a recent match with a male pro. John McEnroe, as a commentator, said the rules state if a player cross to the other side, they can be defaulted. And, Hingis was given a point penalty for going over to look at the mark. That caused her to melt down. I think a default is certainly excessive for simply taking a look at a mark, but it is definitely rude to cross the net without approval from the chair. I think the rules should be modified to allow players to do so if the chair approves.
There's a million other ways to point out a mark besides "touching the clay with their racquet" - pointing at it with your hand, foot, touching the clay with some part of your body (hand, foot), verbally saying it, and so on...
Right, so complying with the rule about not using the racquet on the clay shouldn't be difficult.
My two cents
I appreciate your thoughtful analysis.

superstition
07-14-2007, 08:39 PM
You said that smaller racket heads wouldn't give anybody an advantage and I'm saying yes it would, to flat hitters with more level swing trajectories.
I don't really see this as a problem, maybe that's why I think some of your solutions are unnecessary.
This is a contradiction, unless you think topspin should remain so much better than the other shots. And, smaller racquet head and less stiff frames will not unbalance the game more. It will create more balance by de-clawing topspin to some degree and making the other strokes more useful.

Downside for US Open is that it goes from being the world's most important hard court tournament to the world's second most important grass court tournament.
People felt the main tournament in the US was more important than Wimbledon when that tournament was played on grass. Tilden, for instance, didn't even play Wimbledon some years. The US tournament was once on grass and so was the Australian Open. People act like Wimbledon is the only grass slam, period. That was not always the case. And, I fail to see why you're so attached to hard courts. The drawbacks outweigh the benefits.
And I still think it would cost prohibitive in general to make the tour overwhelmingly grass.
I wasn't talking about "overwhelmingly grass". I was talking about a 50/50 split between grass and clay. The US Open can certainly afford grass, since it's now raising the salary of the winners to 1.6 million each or something, the largest jump in history.
Even if US Tennis Center could make the move, doesn't mean smaller, less rich, less profitable tournaments/sites can. The net is always there. The potential of making somebody "pay for it" is always there.
Poorer tournaments could convert to clay, indoor carpet, or move out of the professional circuit. Since the schedule is apparently too dense already, that would make more room for the tournaments that can afford grass or clay.

Which court is more expensive to install and maintain?
a. Hard courts.
b. Grass courts.

Take your pick.
That is not the only thing that matters! Which is more expensive to have and maintain, Roger Federer or Joe Schmoe, local hacker? Which would you rather attract to your tournament. Schmoe is happy to make $15 in prize money. That's definitely going to save a tournament some cash!

The health of players outweighs the cheapness of concrete. You're not going to change my mind on this.
I'm sure the poor tournaments will be thrilled by this rationale.
Like all the "poor" tournaments of the past that were on grass even before tennis was professional and all the "poor" tournaments that are clogging the schedule? Tennis used to be played on grass. People afforded it. Tennis managed somehow. Clay is less expensive and is a better surface for the body than concrete. I'm not suggesting that tennis go 100% grass.
Not less intelligent. Just means the people who became fans when tennis had more interesting personalities during the 70's aren't being replaced over time by new, younger fans.
But that has nothing to do with the scoring system.

Voltron
07-14-2007, 08:51 PM
Hmmm, I'll give this a shot, take in mind that I don't care what anyone thinks of my "reforms". (AKA, things that would make Voltron win easier)

All matches will be best of 5 sets

Clay courts must be sped up, and all tournaments must "service" each court between matches, even at club level.

Grass would be sped up considerably, so that S&V is usable.

Racquets shall be no larger than 90 sq inches in head size and shall be no stiffer that 65 RDC.

String jobs must be at least 50% natural gut, with the other half being no stiffer than VERY soft polyester (IE, Polyfibre TCS).

Shorts shall fall no lower than the knee, and sleeves are mandatory.

Players will receive a 1 game penalty for "delay of game" violations.

Grunting counts as an immediate default.

"Pushing" is a punishable offense.

Players must S&V AT LEAST 1ce per game.

I'll think of more

superstition
07-14-2007, 09:05 PM
All matches will be best of 5 sets
Get out the wheelchairs.
Clay courts must be sped up, and all tournaments must "service" each court between matches, even at club level.
This topic isn't about the club level.
Grass would be sped up considerably, so that S&V is usable.
Good idea, although the bounce is perhaps a bigger issue than the speed, as far as I've heard. Fescue not only is faster, but the bounce is much lower. Apparently the soil used makes a difference with the bounce and speed as well. The racquets and strings of today are actually a bigger problem than the higher bounce of grass and the balls, though. Players of the past could serve and volley successfully on clay and hard courts due to the smaller and less powerful (less stiff) racquets. Navratilova, for instance, said that today's racquets simply make passing shots too easy, even on grass. I believe her. It certainly is easier to pass a net player with a Pure Drive and a poly/gut mix than it was with a wood racquet. Players did hit great passing shots, even with the T-2000, but the game wasn't as unbalanced as it is now.
Racquets shall be no larger than 90 sq inches in head size and shall be no stiffer that 65 RDC.
65 is too stiff, in conjunction with a 90 sq in head to do much to change the problems in the game today. Topspin will still be too good. People will continue to use poly. Passing shots will still be too easy to hit. Ball speed will be too high. Etc. Etc. This reform will only help the wrist injuries a bit by slightly reducing racquet stiffness, and the power level and forgiveness will only slightly be reduced over the popular 100 sq in racquets.

In short, this doesn't do enough to balance the game and prevent injury. The stiffness is too high, and the racquet head is too large for the men's game. For the women's game, the low stiffness maximum will make the 90 sq in head size more balanced for all playing styles and help to prevent injury.
String jobs must be at least 50% natural gut, with the other half being no stiffer than VERY soft polyester (IE, Polyfibre TCS).
I thought about string restrictions, but with my racquet requirements, no one would use poly or kevlar in the first place. They'd have to use gut for power. My system not only does a better job for rebalancing and preventing injury, it makes things simpler by not requiring a string restriction.
Shorts shall fall no lower than the knee
Lol.
and sleeves are mandatory.
These dress code bits are arbitrary to me. I support getting rid of the dress code precisely to avoid dictating fashion to players.
Players will receive a 1 game penalty for "delay of game" violations.
Ack.
Grunting counts as an immediate default. "Pushing" is a punishable offense. Players must S&V AT LEAST 1ce per game.
At least one or two of the suggestions was reasonable.

Steven87
07-14-2007, 10:18 PM
Listen to this joke. Go get some sleep

pow
07-14-2007, 10:49 PM
Hmmm, I'll give this a shot, take in mind that I don't care what anyone thinks of my "reforms". (AKA, things that would make Voltron win easier)

All matches will be best of 5 sets

Clay courts must be sped up, and all tournaments must "service" each court between matches, even at club level.

Grass would be sped up considerably, so that S&V is usable.

Racquets shall be no larger than 90 sq inches in head size and shall be no stiffer that 65 RDC.

String jobs must be at least 50% natural gut, with the other half being no stiffer than VERY soft polyester (IE, Polyfibre TCS).

Shorts shall fall no lower than the knee, and sleeves are mandatory.

Players will receive a 1 game penalty for "delay of game" violations.

Grunting counts as an immediate default.

"Pushing" is a punishable offense.

Players must S&V AT LEAST 1ce per game.

I'll think of more

From reading this, I can tell that you dislike Nadal-like players with sleeveless clothes and grunts, "delay of game", AND you want to speed up clay courts AND grass courts. I can also tell that you use a Yonex RDS 001 Mid :), the specs you list allows that racquet to qualify just barely. Oh, and would you happen to use the Polyfibre TCS?

How do you judge when a shot has been "pushed"? LOL, better practice blowing winners only I guess.

haha these rules are a little too biased no offense.

rosenstar
07-15-2007, 08:27 AM
superstition-
why are you so obsessed with bringing serve and volley back? I don't understand why you have such a problem with players who play from the baseline. What wrong with using topspin? And what's wrong with hard courts? Of the hundreds of people I've played tennis with, not one has ever complain that the hard courts have caused them injury. this is the most ridiculous arguement ever.

everything you're proposing is absurd. tennis is an evolving sport, and it will continue as long as the sport's players want to win and tweak their game. most of the things you suggested would completely f**k the game.

I'm sorry, but this really just sounds like someone whining because their game style can no longer be used to win a tennis match. man, you need to get with the times, it's 2008, not 1968.

Phil
07-15-2007, 09:59 AM
Basically, the only changes that I would make-and that are even realistic to make at this point are:

1. A designated "off season" that would last from November 1 to January 15. This would give players the rest they need to recharge for the next season. And if they choose to play exhibitions during this period, that is the risk they take of being injured.
2. Bring back the fast, skidding Wimbledon grass; the current grass has destroyed grass tennis as it was played before 2001.

No other changes are necessary. The racquet issue is a waste of time...the racquet companies, as sponsors and providers of the equipment, are too entrenched to ever allow drastic changes to the equipment.

Injuries can be prevented by better conditioning (especially among the WTA players) and a little intelligence when scheduling matches. No one HAS to play 20 or 25 matches a season. It's all about greed.

Rabbit
07-15-2007, 11:26 AM
I agree with part of the OP. I think all Grand Slams should be contested on natural surfaces. The rest of the season's tournaments pretty much serve as warmups to the Grand Slams, so you'd see a change in those surfaces as well; this happened before when the Open went to hard courts. The US Claycourt season suddenly turned to parking lots.

It is true that today's US pros grew up on hardcourts. The USTA is looking at changing that because of the problem(s) with our tennis system. Clay is now being considered as the surface to develop on. And, to clear up a point made earlier, McEnroe did not grow up on hardcourts, rather he grew up on clay. So did every Wimbledon champion prior to Agassi. That's right, according to an article in Tennis some time ago, the first Wimbledon champion who grew up on hardcourts was none other than Andre Agassi. Other pros who developed on clay were Martina Navratilova, Chris Evert, Stephan Edberg, Boris Becker, Pat Cash, and a ton others.

The racket issue is a waste of time. There is too much money and too much in the way of power in the current dynamic. Racket manufacturers aren't going back to wood <end of story>. A 'pro' spec racket isn't likely either. There is no governing agency in tennis that has the cojones to come out and mandate it. Plus, how do you explain it to the players and enforce if fairly? The genie has been out of the box too long.

I do believe that our current crop of pros are more add water and poof instant pro types. If you look at the top 100, France leads the world and Argentina is right behind them. Except for a couple of pros from each country (Grosjean and Nalbandian), they all grew up on dirt.

Back to the OP. I don't care what they wear, except for Wimbledon. IMO, Wimbledon is tradition and shouldn't change too much. I do think that natural surfaces, especially clay (both green and red) is the way to go. Clay offers a variety of speed and playing condition and is easy on the body.

As an edification for those who've never played on grass, a grass court is to a clay court as a clay court is to a hard court in terms of how easy it is on your legs. In other words, you can play all day on grass and not be sore. It is a wonderful surface and should be embraced by the tennis community.

caesar66
07-15-2007, 02:19 PM
My Changes...
1) have some sort of "series" before each of the grandslams, with two masters series events at each level, plus regular lower tier and mid tier tourneys. This would help make equal "seasons" for each grand slam...keep AO on rebound ace or make it a slow hardcourt (Rebound Ace is somewhat injury causing), Keep FO on slow clay, Speed up wimbledon, Keep USO on fast hardcourt
2)lower the racquet max. to 105 sq. in. Most pros dont play with racquets bigger than this anyway, but it at least puts somewhat of a reasonable cap on it. Stringjobs cant be full poly, hybrid is fine, but no full polys.
3)create a surface that is truly neutral for Year end championships. maybe indoor rebound ace.
4)everyone (men and women) gets equal prize money. but...all play same structured matches at co-gendered tournaments, whether they be 3/5 or 2/3 set matches. I'd even be ok setting a standard of a 3/5 set match, but instead of a full fifth set, a 20 point tiebreaker or something.
5)singles players must enter a certain amount of mid-top tier tournaments in the doubles competition, to get a certain number of points. If they dont, at the end of the season, but before the Year end championships, they lose a certain number of points. They don't necessarily have to win alot in these doubles matches, but have to enter and play.
6) Have actual rankings for mixed doubles, and have a year end championship for them
7) Hawkeye is available at every masters series and above tournament, with three challenges per set.
8) In the US, allow college champions to enter the US open again

and a final note...all those who are jumping on superstition's changes, they are just superstition's opinions. If you dont like them, ok. If you have your own changes, post them. Superstition, and I as well, are looking at the sport as it is and saying how we would personally improve or change it. you dont necessarily have to agree, it wont really change our minds. To me, if everyone would just post their own changes to the sport rather than not listing them but attacking someone elses, we could have much better discussions (not that everyone who has responded to and debated with superstition has been attacking)

35ft6
07-15-2007, 02:25 PM
This is a contradiction, unless you think topspin should remain so much better than the other shots. How is it a contradiction?And, smaller racquet head and less stiff frames will not unbalance the game more. It will create more balance by de-clawing topspin to some degree and making the other strokes more useful. This is an interesting thread, and I know you even named it to outright state what "I would do" as in it's based on your opinion, but many of the changes you suggest would actually make the game less appealing to people like myself.People felt the main tournament in the US was more important than Wimbledon when that tournament was played on grass. Tilden, for instance, didn't even play Wimbledon some years. The US tournament was once on grass and so was the Australian Open. People act like Wimbledon is the only grass slam, period. That was not always the case. And, I fail to see why you're so attached to hard courts. The drawbacks outweigh the benefits. I like hard courts because in my opinion it's the most fair of all the surfaces, and you see the most interesting play on it.The US Open can certainly afford grass, since it's now raising the salary of the winners to 1.6 million each or something, the largest jump in history. I've already covered this. In my very first response I said the US Open could afford it, but how about the dozens of other tournaments that would have to switch in order to achieve 50/50?
Poorer tournaments could convert to clay, indoor carpet, or move out of the professional circuit. Since the schedule is apparently too dense already, that would make more room for the tournaments that can afford grass or clay. For top players, the schedule is overcrowded. But for the other guys, it's probably good there are ample smaller tournaments, otherwise they wouldn't make any money.That is not the only thing that matters!But it DOES matter.Which is more expensive to have and maintain, Roger Federer or Joe Schmoe, local hacker? Which would you rather attract to your tournament. Schmoe is happy to make $15 in prize money. That's definitely going to save a tournament some cash! Huh? How would it save cash? They would sell more tickets and make more money with Roger Federer.Tennis used to be played on grass. People afforded it. Tennis managed somehow. People used to be able to live a comfortable middle class life with homes and everything working factory jobs that required only a high school education. Times have changed.Clay is less expensive and is a better surface for the body than concrete. I'm not suggesting that tennis go 100% grass.Are you sure it's less expensive? The initial cost might be comparable, but I would think maintaining a clay court means it's more expensive in the long run.But that has nothing to do with the scoring system. Geez, Superstition. I always thought it was weird how angry people got with you on some threads, but I never really tracked your post. Now I can kind of see why. You either have a very bad memory or you're intellectually dishonest. I said that a lot of people became fans of tennis in the 1970's when the personalities were interesting, but we're no longer attracting as many fans. One way of attracting new fans would be to make the scoring instantly understandable.

lawrence
07-15-2007, 03:32 PM
3. The Australian Open would move to fast clay. This would provide a 50/50 grand slam split between grass and clay. Roland Garros would keep its slow clay. (The Australian Open should probably not move back to grass courts because Australia is too dry.)
why have only 2 surface types for 4 slams? its more interesting to have different surfaces. id hate having to watch clay again at the aus open

4. In order to be eligible to play singles in slams, players would have to enter the doubles. Mixed would be optional. If a player pulls out of the doubles, then they would also have to pull out of the singles as well. If a player cannot find a partner for doubles, a partner would be assigned. Players may enter the doubles without entering the singles.
as someone already mentioned, doing this would just result in some players slacking off in doubles. what kind of a competition would the doubles draws be if half the people just entered to drop out in the first round and continue with their singles games?


b) maximums of 80 sq in string area and 55 stiffness, for men
c) maximums of 90 sq in string area and 50 stiffness, for women

haha wow are you serious? no one is even using anything under 90" on the ATP right now and you want the WTA players to switch to 90"?

10. If a player takes an injury time-out, the player is given one or two point penalties (the final number is one I'm not certain of yet); this is to reduce abuse of the injury timeout. Players may only take bathroom breaks at the start of one of their service games.
so you get penalized even if you really do pull a muscle and need treatment? bit harsh

insiderman
07-15-2007, 03:44 PM
What is the focus of this Goal? More interest again in tennis by Fans / Consumers? I'm guessing that was the intention of this post.

If so, then placing numerous restrictions on the players/courts/equipment, isn't the answer - the Sport needs to find ways to promote the game, and make it 'cool' again - heck, if NASCAR can do it, tennis must be able to as well.

I believe that the problems are not found "on-court", but off...

TheNatural
07-15-2007, 04:08 PM
they should have cheergirls doing some dances on court for 2 minutes between every change of ends and during every injury time-out.

Jon Rudy
07-15-2007, 04:21 PM
It's interesting discussion talking about what could be, but if these changes were implemented in such a brutally drastic fashion, there'd be a mass walk out. The players unions wouldn't go for the OP's changes, and they'd probably sue to keep most of them, like the racquet changes and mandatory doubles, from happening.

Tennis_Monk
07-15-2007, 04:31 PM
I like the game as is. except for a few fine tuning areas, i wouldnt change much.

Though good looking, i hate cheer leaders in Tennis. They are better suited for 'commercial games' like NBA and NFL. Too much commercialization. Commercial breaks, stupid and ridiculous time outs etc.

TheNatural
07-15-2007, 04:34 PM
they already have a few minutes break between changeovers and at injury time outs, so they may as well take the opportunity to entertain.

I like the game as is. except for a few fine tuning areas, i wouldnt change much.

Though good looking, i hate cheer leaders in Tennis. They are better suited for 'commercial games' like NBA and NFL. Too much commercialization. Commercial breaks, stupid and ridiculous time outs etc.

Albinoswordfish
07-15-2007, 05:07 PM
superstition I agree with almost none of your points.

First of all I don't know a lot of pro that get injured because of hard courts. If it were really that dangerous I think pros would complain.

It's important to keep the variety in tennis especially with the surfaces. It's interesting how every slam is competed on different kinds of surfaces and thats what makes each slam unique in it's own way. Too only have clay and grass would make the game boring

I think changing the racquet's would just be ridiculous, every pro out there already has spent their entire career getting used to their racquet and now all of the sudden we are going to force them to change their racquet.

And making singles players play doubles is also getting pretty ridiculous. You can't force a singles player to play doubles cause it's not their game. If you did they would just be going through the motions and probably would want to lose on purpose.

I don't know it seems like your angry at something in tennis and not really logically thinking through your changes.

rosenstar
07-15-2007, 06:05 PM
superstition I agree with almost none of your points.

First of all I don't know a lot of pro that get injured because of hard courts. If it were really that dangerous I think pros would complain.

It's important to keep the variety in tennis especially with the surfaces. It's interesting how every slam is competed on different kinds of surfaces and thats what makes each slam unique in it's own way. Too only have clay and grass would make the game boring

I think changing the racquet's would just be ridiculous, every pro out there already has spent their entire career getting used to their racquet and now all of the sudden we are going to force them to change their racquet.

I don't know it seems like your angry at something in tennis and not really logically thinking through your changes.

I 100% agree.

CyBorg
07-15-2007, 06:21 PM
1. A designated "off season" that would last from November 1 to January 15. This would give players the rest they need to recharge for the next season. And if they choose to play exhibitions during this period, that is the risk they take of being injured.

Why have an offseason? It might be a good idea to find a way to schedule the masters before November 1 (good luck with promises made to Shanghai, Madrid, Paris Bercy and London), but I see no reason to not have tournaments between Nov 1 and Jan 15. If they are minor tournaments most of the top seeds would not enter anyway, while certain players who are fit enough and hungry enough to want to pick up points can compete.

CyBorg
07-15-2007, 06:25 PM
I want to see more clay and fewer hard court tournaments. It would be nice to see one of Miami or Indian Wells on clay, but perhaps not the red clay they use at Roland Garros - something new and interesting (or old and interesting) and better for the body. Overall, I see no point to having two hardcourt masters series events taking place AFTER the AO and before the clay court season. Makes sense? Not to me.

A masters series on grass wouldn't suck. Preferably good grass. Give it to the Germans. Add an extra week between RG and Wimbledon if possible.

CyBorg
07-15-2007, 06:39 PM
Something crazy, but I would like to see a yearly grass exo where participants must play with wooden rackets. And make top 10 seeds participate (big money prize would do it). Make the grass super-fast and bring back the white balls.

And then just grab the popcorn and enjoy.

Seansaysrawr21
07-15-2007, 06:58 PM
dont you think you're going a little bit extreme with the limiting racquets, and stiffness and 50% of the season grass?? i dont think i could stomach that I mean thats what makes grass season so awesome is that its a small majority and making all of these reforms just kind of takes away from the whole exciting-ness of the sport

superstition
07-15-2007, 08:22 PM
superstition I agree with almost none of your points.
Good for you.
I don't know it seems like your angry at something in tennis and not really logically thinking through your changes.
I have provided quite a bit of analysis to support my suggestions. Did you bother to read it, or is it more fun to just belittle my effort and dismiss everything I've said?

The injury problem in the WTA tour has been more than serious for years and shortening the season and fining players will not fix it. The way people ignore the problem or suggest blaming players does make me somewhat angry. Also, the way people accept radical/extreme changes, like the current racquets and hard courts (a radical change considering that tennis used to be played with wood racquets on grass), but refuse to consider less radical middle ground (like my racquet stiffness and head size ideas), can be fairly annoying. The way people lack perspective concerning how tennis was and could be because they're not thinking much outside the box of the current game also can be somewhat annoying. However, I have had at least one very good response post so far in the topic, and I thanked the poster for it. He didn't agree with some of my ideas, but his responses weren't colored with a belittling or insulting tone and I think he at least made some effort to see value in some of my ideas.

superstition
07-15-2007, 08:29 PM
everything you're proposing is absurd.
What's absurd is when people waste space and people's time with comments like this.
tennis is an evolving sport, man, you need to get with the times, it's 2008, not 1968.
So, tennis is changing, but my changes are "absurd"? Where's your logic? Oh, that's right, it's just more fun to be arrogant and dismissive.

Caswell
07-15-2007, 08:30 PM
I think many of your ideas are counterproductive if you're trying to eliminate injuries.

Lower powered racquets coupled with a longer clay court season are going to create longer points, which will at the very least offset any injuries that would have been caused by hard courts and powerful racquets / poly strings.

You're also mandating doubles play, increasing on-court time.

A penalty for injury timeouts would discourage preventative treatments, so minor problems could develop into major ones.

Albinoswordfish
07-15-2007, 08:33 PM
I think he at least made some effort to see value in some of my ideas.

But I don't see any value to your ideas

Voltron
07-15-2007, 08:40 PM
From reading this, I can tell that you dislike Nadal-like players with sleeveless clothes and grunts, "delay of game", AND you want to speed up clay courts AND grass courts.Maybe..... I can also tell that you use a Yonex RDS 001 Mid :), the specs you list allows that racquet to qualify just barely. Oh, and would you happen to use the Polyfibre TCS? shhhhhhhhh ;)

How do you judge when a shot has been "pushed"? LOL, better practice blowing winners only I guess.

haha these rules are a little too biased no offense. I really just mean moonballing, if you can keep the ball in with fairly solid shots for hours, more power to you, but you wouldn't be able to do either with faster courts. (like I would like to see) :)

superstition
07-15-2007, 08:43 PM
Geez, Superstition. I always thought it was weird how angry people got with you on some threads, but I never really tracked your post. Now I can kind of see why. You either have a very bad memory or you're intellectually dishonest.
Personal attack is certainly not helpful.
I said that a lot of people became fans of tennis in the 1970's when the personalities were interesting, but we're no longer attracting as many fans.
I don't think the point about tennis' popularity being tied to interesting personalities has anything directly to do with the scoring system.
One way of attracting new fans would be to make the scoring instantly understandable.
If you can produce any evidence that the scoring system has diminished tennis' popularity to a degree that would outweigh the drawbacks of changing it, I'm interested. I personally feel that cumulative simple scoring is less strategic and interesting than the current system.

superstition
07-15-2007, 08:44 PM
But I don't see any value to your ideas
Then start your own topic.

Voltron
07-15-2007, 08:47 PM
At least one or two of the suggestions was reasonable. (I'm not going to leave the whole quote in, it would make this post unreadable, anyway...) Fine, maybe bounce is more important, but I think if courts are faster, it makes the game alot more about net play and solid shots rather than ripping topspin shots from 10 feet behind the baseline until your opponent makes a mistake. I mean, solid shots and waiting your opponent out are fine, but not to the extent that I see in now, I'd prefer that the counter-puncher style be at a disadvantage to a S&V style. I do really think sleeveless shirts and capris should be banned, I don't have any valid reason, but whatever. ;) So how about we compromise on racquets: 90 headsize, 55 stiffness, and all gut strings.

superstition
07-15-2007, 08:52 PM
Lower powered racquets coupled with a longer clay court season are going to create longer points, which will at the very least offset any injuries that would have been caused by hard courts and powerful racquets / poly strings.
If you look at the game's history, your assertion is not supported. Players of the past played more tennis than is being played today and had fewer injuries and longer careers. Wood racquets, gut string, and grass courts were a recipe for longer careers, less injury, and players who played singles, doubles, and mixed.

The synthetic equipment and courts is stiffer on the body than the organic equipment and courts of the past. This is why players in the WTA who hardly play at all are injured anyway. Bartoli's wrist was injured just from playing a few games against Venus, because of Venus' serve. There is a severe injury problem right now, and people are looking the other way, blaming players, and arguing that players should be playing even less tennis than they are. Venus herself was out most of last year with a wrist injury. Serena was injured again at Wimbledon. It's insane what's happening and insane how people continue to act like there's nothing wrong because there's a crop of 17 and 18 year olds who people can focus on in order to ignore the slightly older players whose bodies are falling apart.
You're also mandating doubles play, increasing on-court time.
Doubles is not hard on the body. Martina Navratilova and John McEnroe won tournaments recently, even with the current racquets and courts. Let's drop the idea that doubles is going to cause an injury problem if my racquet "evolution" and court "progress" happens.
A penalty for injury timeouts would discourage preventative treatments, so minor problems could develop into major ones.
Do you have a solution for the abuse of the system? Gilbert was suggesting not letting players be treated for cramps at all. That's a lot stronger than a point penalty. If someone is really injured, they're going to take the point penalty, don't you think?

300Gkid
07-15-2007, 08:54 PM
ok, well the racquet related things would pretty much wipe-out the clay-courters and anyone using a lot of topspin. I could see it being implemented in a certain number of years, say 15 or so to let everyone have good notice and begin practicing with these new racquets ect.

grass i have to disagree with, hard-courts may cause injuries at a higher rate but they are much cheaper and obviously many tennis clubs could not afford to have 4 grass courts with the same amount of money they used to have 10-12 hard courts. Thus it would become impossible to practice on especially as juniors when it is very important

superstition
07-15-2007, 08:56 PM
So how about we compromise on racquets: 90 headsize, 55 stiffness, and all gut strings.
This might work if the grass court season is expanded and the 100% rye is only used at the baseline, although I still think the 90 sq in head size should be coupled with a 50 stiffness to take the bite out of passing shots enough to make net play viable. Even with only 50 stiffness, players will be able to hit good passing shots. Borg and Tilden dominated mainly from the baseline with wood racquets which are hardly 90 sq in.

I think the stiffness should be lower for women because their bodies are more vulnerable to destruction by impact shock.

90 sq in is huge in comparison to wood racquets. 75 sq in was considered midsize in the past. 80 sq in is what I suggest for men's tennis. It's big enough for passing shots and makes the game more about finesse and less about blasting from the baseline. I suggested 90 sq in for women, with lower stiffness, because a larger racquet head allows smaller players (which women tend to be) produce more power and, more importantly, a larger racquet head produces more trampoline effort which reduces shock. But, I set the limit at 90 sq in with low stiffness in order to balance the game by making baseline groundstrokes less deadly. Another benefit of giving women a bigger head size when compared to the men is that it makes volleying and groundstrokes a bit easier for them in mixed doubles.

My racquet regulations were primarily designed to do three things:

1. Bring safety in line with what the wood era had.
2. Bring balance back to where it was with wood composites, where all styles of play were successful.
3. Address the needs of each sex, instead of pretending that men and women have the same physiology and injury rate.

superstition
07-15-2007, 09:09 PM
ok, well the racquet related things would pretty much wipe-out the clay-courters and anyone using a lot of topspin.
Absolutely not true. Chris Evert has the record in the women's game for the longest clay court streak. She did that with a 100% wood racquet. It had a tiny head with a dense string pattern.

Stiff racquets are not necessary for clay court play at all, and people can hit topspin easily with 80 and 90 sq in racquets. Remember, a 75 sq in racquet used to be considered midsize. Players who were used to standard racquets called the 75 sq in wood composites "large" or even "huge".
I could see it being implemented in a certain number of years, say 15 or so to let everyone have good notice and begin practicing with these new racquets ect.
I normally play with a Prostaff 85. I got a wood racquet from ****, a Wilson Advantage, just for fun. It has terrible synthetic gut instead of the natural gut I normally use in my Prostaff. Guess what? I beat players 6-0 in sets with the racquet and did well in doubles, too. While it required more effort to get pace, it made hitting angles even easier. Yes, the racquet is more demanding in some respects, but it's also easier in some respects, too. There is more control. Playing with a wood racquet isn't hard, and my 80 and 90 sq in racquets are not nearly as demanding as that! Pros are far better than me and can adapt to my racquets even more quickly.

grass i have to disagree with, hard-courts may cause injuries at a higher rate but they are much cheaper and obviously many tennis clubs could not afford to have 4 grass courts with the same amount of money they used to have 10-12 hard courts. Thus it would become impossible to practice on especially as juniors when it is very important
1. Only pro tournaments would have to follow the no hard court rule.
2. Pro tournaments can afford grass, clay, or carpet.
3. Players can play on grass even if they don't play on grass in the juniors. The Williams sisters have Wimbledon titles and they grew up playing on local neighborhood hard courts.

superstition
07-15-2007, 10:24 PM
What is the focus of this Goal? More interest again in tennis by Fans / Consumers? I'm guessing that was the intention of this post.
That's part of it, but not the main issue. I think fans would like tennis more if my changes were adopted. People like finesse in tennis, something that's harder to find today than in the past because of the overpowered equipment, dull hard courts, and homogenous topspin "grunt/screech" baselining. Not only would audiences like to see more contrast in styles as there were in the past, when Borg played McEnroe or Evert played Navratilova, they would like to see more finesse (which smaller and less powerful racquets would help to provide because topspin baselining wouldn't be so dominant). Another thing that would help popularity is the reduction in injuries, which would allow fans to see their favorite players play more often (and in better condition).

The main issue, though, is injury reduction. The secondary issue is balancing the game, so that topspin baselining isn't too dominant as it is now. The third issue is rejuvenating doubles. The fourth issue is improving tennis' popularity. Tennis isn't doing badly when the US Open can afford to increase the prize money by a record amount, so I don't think expanding tennis' popularity is the most pressing issue at this time. The injury problem is. The unbalanced nature of the game is also a very big problem.

If so, then placing numerous restrictions on the players/courts/equipment, isn't the answer
There already are restrictions. Mine are simply different than some of those already in place. For instance, there is a racquet head size restriction, but it's an absurd one, something like 137 sq in. It does nothing to address the problems in the game and is simply arbitrary. Arbitrary rules aren't good rules. My racquet head size rules have logic behind them. No pro plays with a 120 sq in racquet, aside from one no-name girl, so a 137 sq in has no bearing on reality. That's why it's arbitrary. I have specific reasons regarding why my head sizes make sense.

Allowing stiff and unsafe hard courts and the stiff and unsafe equipment creates its own set of restrictions. Players are restricted when it comes to the amount of tennis they can play. Their careers are restricted when it comes to length. Fans are restricted when it comes to how often they can see their favorite players in action. etc. etc.

Baseball has restrictions for the bats that are designed to keep the power level down. I bet forcing players to use wood also reduces injury.

the Sport needs to find ways to promote the game, and make it 'cool' again - heck, if NASCAR can do it, tennis must be able to as well.
Hard courts and the stiff giant power racquets haven't made tennis more popular. In fact, do you think players would shriek if they played with wood racquets on grass? That would be pretty silly, wouldn't it? They might do it initially, but it would probably wear off as the game would become more finesse-oriented and less about simply blasting from the baseline.

Alafter
07-16-2007, 12:00 AM
1. Wimbledon would return to the fescue mix and the soil mix it used in the 1960s, with 100% rye starting at the baseline and moving back. This would help the durability of the baseline, but wouldn't affect the bounce/speed of the court.

2. The US Open would be played on grass once again, which rye behind the baseline and fescue mix for the court.

3. The Australian Open would move to fast clay. This would provide a 50/50 grand slam split between grass and clay. Roland Garros would keep its slow clay. (The Australian Open should probably not move back to grass courts because Australia is too dry.)

4. In order to be eligible to play singles in slams, players would have to enter the doubles. Mixed would be optional. If a player pulls out of the doubles, then they would also have to pull out of the singles as well. If a player cannot find a partner for doubles, a partner would be assigned. Players may enter the doubles without entering the singles.

5. If a player pulls out of the doubles, their partner may choose another player who isn't already in the draw or who has been knocked out.

6. Professional racquets would have the following characteristics:

a) single shaft form factor
b) maximums of 80 sq in string area and 55 stiffness, for men
c) maximums of 90 sq in string area and 50 stiffness, for women
d) no other restrictions, with the exception of a ban on spaghetti string

7. There would be no dress code at any pro tournament that is more strict than local laws. Players should be able to wear whatever they want to, as long as it's legal in the place they're playing. (This is not a big deal, but it's something I'm in favor of.)

8. Hard courts would be banned and replaced with grass, clay, or indoor carpet. Tournaments other than the slams may use 100% rye grass instead of fescue if they wish. The grass court season will constitute at least 50% of the tennis calendar year.

9. Players may not indicate a mark by touching their racquet to the ground. If a player touches their racquet to the ground, the mark is considered erased. Players who are playing on clay are permitted to cross the net to check a mark if permitted by the chair and accompanied by the chair, the opponent, and the line judge.

10. If a player takes an injury time-out, the player is given one or two point penalties (the final number is one I'm not certain of yet); this is to reduce abuse of the injury timeout. Players may only take bathroom breaks at the start of one of their service games.

11. No more 5 set matches. Men would play a maximum of four sets, with a tiebreak. Women would play three sets minimum in the semis and finals of slams, not a minimum of two. *Or, the number of games for men's matches would be reduced so that 5 set matches would not be nearly as long. Perhaps the number of games in the last two or three sets would be cut? Something has to be done to a) shorten matches when compared to traditional 5 setters and b) make women's semis and finals longer, but not absurdly long.

12. Get rid of the new "finishing points" in doubles.

13. Turn back time to 1960.

superman1
07-16-2007, 12:06 AM
Writing eloquently doesn't change the fact that your arguments are ridiculous, although you'd certainly do well in debate, since substance doesn't really matter as much as presentation.

Please explain to me what happens to Nadal when you tell him he can't use his Babolat any more. Maybe you'd like to see players like Nadal go extinct, but it's not going to happen, not without Nadal making a fortune in court.

classic tennis
07-16-2007, 07:22 AM
I like the racquet regulations & getting the Aussie Open on Clay or Har Tru, if baseball can regulate the bats why do tennis players whinge about regulation so much?

classic tennis
07-16-2007, 07:25 AM
Writing eloquently doesn't change the fact that your arguments are ridiculous, although you'd certainly do well in debate, since substance doesn't really matter as much as presentation.

Please explain to me what happens to Nadal when you tell him he can't use his Babolat any more. Maybe you'd like to see players like Nadal go extinct, but it's not going to happen, not without Nadal making a fortune in court.


Are you kidding yourself ! the players would adapt, especially when the top guy's like Nadal get a 100K a week just for turning up........as for not playing with Babolat....of course he would it would just be a regulation stick.

ATPattic
07-16-2007, 07:44 AM
Whats wrong with hard courts. There the easiest to take care of and are the funnest surface to watch tennis on

classic tennis
07-16-2007, 08:10 AM
No problem with me I had one in my old backyard.....

sureshs
07-16-2007, 09:32 AM
One thing not being discussed is whether viewers will accept a slowed-down, wood racquet based game, after having been spoiled by the fast action and 140 mph serves. If the game is perceived as regressing, it will hurt the image a lot.

Phil
07-16-2007, 10:04 AM
Why have an offseason? It might be a good idea to find a way to schedule the masters before November 1 (good luck with promises made to Shanghai, Madrid, Paris Bercy and London), but I see no reason to not have tournaments between Nov 1 and Jan 15. If they are minor tournaments most of the top seeds would not enter anyway, while certain players who are fit enough and hungry enough to want to pick up points can compete.

Because just about every other "major" sport does-and for good reason. It allows athletes to rest, recuperate from injury/fatigue, hone their skills, develop new or improved techniques and insures that their careers last longer. As it is, a 30-year old pro tennis player is considered "old". In some very intense sports, such as basketball, football and boxing, an athlete is still in his prime at that age.

Forget about points-I think a mandatory off season would cut half or more of the degenerative and cumulative injuries on the tours.

superstition
07-16-2007, 11:26 AM
One thing not being discussed is whether viewers will accept a slowed-down, wood racquet based game, after having been spoiled by the fast action and 140 mph serves. If the game is perceived as regressing, it will hurt the image a lot.
I've thought about this, but I don't think it is a regression. There are many benefits, such as increased finesse, more net play, fewer injuries, and probably less shrieking/yelling. For every change, there are drawbacks and benefits. It's a false notion that tennis has simply cumulatively improved due to the radical change in equipment and courts. Many things have decreased in quality.

But, I'm not talking about going back to all wood. The racquets I'm proposing are going to produce more power than the woodies did, although people could hit with plenty of pace even with them. Tilden, for instance, was described as having had a huge serve. Tanner hit a huge serve with a weaker racquet than what I'm advocating.

A lot of people are put off by today's game. The comments following Wimbledon this year were very negative. People wanted to see more finesse, more net play, etc. The game has become less exciting because everyone hits the same topspin forehand and most people stay on the baseline. There is more to the sport than big topspin forehands, like the excitement that serve and volley used to bring, especially when the opponent was a baseliner. People call the McEnroe Borg Wimbledon match one of the greatest ever. Those racquets are less powerful than what I'm advocating.

superstition
07-16-2007, 11:29 AM
Please explain to me what happens to Nadal when you tell him he can't use his Babolat any more. Maybe you'd like to see players like Nadal go extinct, but it's not going to happen, not without Nadal making a fortune in court.
Once again, players like Borg used heavy topspin with wood racquets, which are a far cry from what I'm advocating. A wood racquet with a 68 sq in head size, dense string pattern, and higher flexibility is not what I'm proposing. 80 sq inches is much larger, and the 55 stiffness is higher than what wood offered.

Nadal would get a shiny new Babolat racquet that fits the new regulations, and he'd still be the best clay court player in the world. Nadal wins, not just because of his racquet, but because of his athleticism. He would have a tougher time against other playing styles, but that's necessary to bring more balance to the game. The baseline is too dominant right now, and so is topspin.

You also have to think about the players who could be in the top 5 right now but aren't because the equipment and courts don't favor their games. Such players have had to try to play the topspin baselining style, generally, but haven't had the results they would have if other playing styles were more useful. There is no way to know who out there could be a top serve and volley player (for instance), since most people don't learn that style now because the equipment and courts make that style obsolete. There's no way to know what flat hitting player with an all court game could be doing better, since people are playing topspin baselining because that's what the equipment and courts are biased toward. Finesse players who use slices and court craft could be having better results if the game is more balanced, too.

The bottom line, though, is that rebalancing the game so that all of the playing styles have an equal chance will be better in all respects. It might make it tougher for one or two players to dominate the field, but it would make for a healthier and more interesting sport. The WTA would benefit even more from the reduced injury rate.

superstition
07-16-2007, 11:45 AM
13. Turn back time to 1960.
That's not what my reforms would do. Some players would still be fitter because of improvements in training, diet, and clothing. The ladies, in particular, aren't going to go back to the "muscle isn't feminine so I'm not going to train hard" attitude from the early-mid 20th century.

Players weren't playing with 80 and 90 sq in racquets in the 1960s. They were playing with wood racquets that had a 68 sq in size, higher flexibility, and a very dense string pattern.

My reforms are designed to balance the playing styles and reduce injuries. They won't make tennis boring. On the contrary, people found tennis really exciting when players like Borg and McEnroe played in the Wimbledon final. That was with the grass and soil I'm talking about, and with racquets that are less powerful than what I'm advocating.

sureshs
07-16-2007, 11:55 AM
Because just about every other "major" sport does-and for good reason. It allows athletes to rest, recuperate from injury/fatigue, hone their skills, develop new or improved techniques and insures that their careers last longer. As it is, a 30-year old pro tennis player is considered "old". In some very intense sports, such as basketball, football and boxing, an athlete is still in his prime at that age.

Forget about points-I think a mandatory off season would cut half or more of the degenerative and cumulative injuries on the tours.

Off seasons are OK for sports which are followed on a per-country basis. For a global sport like tennis, there are always fans somewhere who want to watch the game.

There are only 3 truly global sports - tennis, soccer and cricket (in Commonwealth countries). I have lost touch with cricket and don't know if there is an off-season, don't know whether soccer has one either.

rosenstar
07-16-2007, 12:17 PM
What's absurd is when people waste space and people's time with comments like this.

So, tennis is changing, but my changes are "absurd"? Where's your logic? Oh, that's right, it's just more fun to be arrogant and dismissive.

racquets DO NOT cause injury. Poor Technique does. thats it. hard courts do not cause injury either. I will agree that clay courts and grass courts are easier on one legs, but one cannot intellegently argue that hard courts DIRECTLY CAUSE injury. poor technique and exhaustion (over working, playing to heavy of a schedule) are the only things that cause injury. many of your claims are completely wrong. thats why I have a problem. because there is no truth to your logic.

rosenstar
07-16-2007, 01:38 PM
I wouldn't mind seeing wimbleton sped up, but the hard court season is my favorite to watch, and racquets/strings are find the way they are.

Phil
07-16-2007, 02:05 PM
Off seasons are OK for sports which are followed on a per-country basis. For a global sport like tennis, there are always fans somewhere who want to watch the game.

There are only 3 truly global sports - tennis, soccer and cricket (in Commonwealth countries). I have lost touch with cricket and don't know if there is an off-season, don't know whether soccer has one either.

Soccer has an off season, though it's slightly different on the calendar for Europe, Asia and Latin America. I have no idea about cricket.

I'm not sure why tennis being a "global sport" should preclude it from having an off season. It's all about GREED. The various tournament organizers in concert with the WTA and ATP...has nothing to do with the global aspect of the game.

superstition
07-16-2007, 02:59 PM
racquets/strings are find the way they are.
Do you follow women's tennis at all? And, if so, do you have any justification for the injury rate? Even if you like watching hard court tennis the most, is that enough to justify the damage to players?

dukemunson
07-16-2007, 03:14 PM
I'm not sure why tennis being a "global sport" should preclude it from having an off season. It's all about GREED. The various tournament organizers in concert with the WTA and ATP...has nothing to do with the global aspect of the game.

What are you talking about? It's an individual sport, meaning how could it possibly be greed by the tournament officials? It's the nature of the beast in tennis...it's what makes succeeding in it so amazing. Nobody is forced to play 40 tournaments a year...if a guy like Dqavydenko wants to play every tournament though every week more power to him. Give us tennis all year with a month off in December and lets celebrate being given our favorite sport to watch and play 11 months out of the year...

Moose Malloy
07-16-2007, 03:30 PM
It's an individual sport, meaning how could it possibly be greed by the tournament officials?

'tournament officials' have more say in the way the sport is being run than the players. don't you remember all the controversy about reducing the masters series this year? players only have one vote on the board of directors, they have very little power in anything concerning the schedule. and did you notice how upset the MS directors were(suing the atp, etc)?
the top players are constantly complaining at how long the season is, but it will never be reduced because so many tournament directors would sue the atp. everyone is concerned about their own piece of the pie, it really isn't a unified tour, there will never be an easy fix to any situation. its been like this since the open era started, frankly. greed is why all these events exist, not because the players wanted them. greed is also why the NBA switched the 1st round of the playoffs to best of 7. or why MLB added the wildcard. all sports are businesses even individual ones.

dukemunson
07-16-2007, 03:48 PM
I personally view the switch to best of 7 in the first round as a good thing...the lack of an offseason in tennis again as a good thing. The top guys aren't in favor of it but the guys battling to make it certainly appreciate the constant opportunities year round to move up. It's a bussiness...but it's also a bussiness for the players...if theres is money to be made year round...why not play?

Yours!05
07-16-2007, 05:33 PM
I have no idea about cricket.Cricket calendar is jampacked now to the point of being crippled. Power and money has devolved from England & Australia (not necessarily a bad thing) so the regular steady schedule (favouring them) is now packed with the type of games that feed the ascendant gambling sector. Australian players, at least, do not want this.

rosenstar
07-17-2007, 09:58 AM
Do you follow women's tennis at all? And, if so, do you have any justification for the injury rate? Even if you like watching hard court tennis the most, is that enough to justify the damage to players?

I personally don't care for women's tennis, so you can make whatever changes you like to that. I was really only thinking about mens tennis. and as i said early, HARD COURTS DO NOT CAUSE INJURY TO PLAYERS.

Rabbit
07-17-2007, 10:17 AM
racquets DO NOT cause injury. Poor Technique does. thats it. hard courts do not cause injury either. I will agree that clay courts and grass courts are easier on one legs, but one cannot intellegently argue that hard courts DIRECTLY CAUSE injury. poor technique and exhaustion (over working, playing to heavy of a schedule) are the only things that cause injury. many of your claims are completely wrong. thats why I have a problem. because there is no truth to your logic.

This may have been true at one time, but is not true now. Rackets are lighter than ever, stronger than ever, and stiffer than ever. Good technique or not, injury is likely. Google Warren Bosworth and read the transcript of a session he gave a few years ago. Bosworth states unequivocably that equipment is responsible for injury now.

I personally don't care for women's tennis, so you can make whatever changes you like to that. I was really only thinking about mens tennis. and as i said early, HARD COURTS DO NOT CAUSE INJURY TO PLAYERS.

Your assertion that hard courts do not cause injury to players is in direct contradiction to what analysts and players are saying.

Benhur
07-17-2007, 10:54 AM
and as i said early, HARD COURTS DO NOT CAUSE INJURY TO PLAYERS.


According to the following there are 85% more injuries on hard than on clay. You can't find a lot more information on this if you care to look, but it is actually not necessary. Your own body should be able to tell you. Whenever I spend a long afternoon playing a lot of tennis, the next day MY body can definitely tell the difference whether it played on asphalt or on (green) clay. Maybe yours can't. Keep an eye on injury rates at the US open compared with RG or Wimbledon.

http://www.skichicopee.com/summer_tennis.html

What difference does Har-Tru (clay) courts make?

The HarTru Surface motto is “Play on clay. Play for life”

The material used on HarTru Tennis courts comes from the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. It is billion-year-old Pre-Cambrian met basalt that is mined, crushed, screened and mixed in precise proportions to produce a stable but porous surface. The stability happens because the tiny particles are angular and graded. Smaller particles fill in between larger particles but do not lock up and porous by allowing water to enter between the particles. The particles are hard like industrial diamonds.

The granular HarTru surface is a shock-absorbing cushion by allowing players to slide into their returns; thus preventing joint-jarring stops as on hard court surfaces. Studies show that players are seven times less likely to be injured on surfaces allowing sliding. In the USA, junior training centres are using HarTru surfaces to train the youth as the HarTru surface is easier on the growth plates in the young bodies and thus causing less long-lasting injuries to the future players. Over 30-year-old players are able to compete in tournaments and play recreationally on HarTru surface because of less stress on joints.

On HarTru surfaces the ball has a slower bounce allowing longer rallies, greater stroke variety and a more controlled game. Stamina, strategy and mental toughness come into play. Most of the world’s top players started playing on clay.

With HarTru surfaces, it is easy to follow the balls on a non-glare surface. The natural green HarTru will not stain clothing as does “red clay” surfaces. Wear and tear on shoes and tennis equipment is reduced.

Clay Courts vs Hard Courts

Reduces injuries – 85 % more injuries than clay
Lessens severity of injuries – Repeated, excessive impact exacerbates injuries
Sliding reduces stress of court impact – More stress on back, knees and ankles
Allows frequent play – Body needs recovery time
Surface is cooler – Can fry an egg

Clay Game vs Hard Game

Skill/strategy – Speed/power
Patience/ endurance –Aggression/instant gratification
Variety of shots – Fast/blast shots
Long points – Better not blink
Success for all ages – Over-the-hill at 30

=================

See also article on ease of conversion from Hard to HarTru

http://leetennis.com/FALL%20WINTER%20NEWS%2004.pdf

It’s NOT a HARD Decision to Make
Here are a few questions to ponder…
Have you ever wondered if there is a better solution to the endless patching and repainting of cracked asphalt and concrete courts? Should you have those “hard-on-the-body” hard courts repaired knowing the fix might last 2 years if you’re lucky, or should you have them rebuilt totally? … or... should you consider converting them to Har-Tru?
I bet your ever-aging members would appreciate the last option. It has been proven in University studies that Har-Tru clay courts are much more gentle on players than their hard court cousins. That same study shows that the new, so-called, “cushioned hard courts” may cause even more injuries than a tradional non-cushioned hard court. On top of being a more comfortable and softer surface to play on, Har-Tru courts are also much cooler, and offer a slower, more enjoyable game for players of all ages.
Many court owners tell us that they would love to convert to clay, but think the conversion process is too expensive and time consuming. Few things could be further from the truth! “On a recent project, we convert-
Hard to Soft Conversions
ed a 4-court battery of asphalt courts to Har- at Walt Disney World Tru with the HydroCourt sub-surface irrigation system underneath, and saved the club $35,000,” states Frank Larkin of Howard B. Jones & Sons in Lexington, SC. “And on a recent single hard court conversion to Har-Tru we were able to save a customer nearly $9,000.”
With the evolution of laser guided grading machines and advances in construction techniques and irrigation systems, the conversion process is now quicker and easier then ever. Steve Dettor, President of The Fast-Dry Companies in Pompano Beach, FL says, “The devel-opment of laser graders have cut a 3 week job down to 2 weeks. The same laser equipment cuts the cost of site grading by 50%. Before the laser grader it took 7 or 8 guys on a job site, now it takes 2 or 3.” Steve estimates that his company alone has converted well over 100 courts from hard to Har-Tru over the past 10 years. To further cut costs, most conversions are able to utilize the existing fence posts and fabric, and, if the net posts are straight and the post foundations secure, a retro-fit post can be slipped over the existing post saving the club even more money.
We estimate that over 1/3 of all “new” clay courts built in the United States in the last 5 years, were actually conversions of existing asphalt or concrete courts to Har-Tru. The newest trend emerging takes this conversion one step further. We are now seeing facilities upgrade their existing Har-Tru courts to include HydroCourt or other sub-surface irrigation systems.
Conversions from hard-to-soft can be accomplished in one of three ways. As seen in the graphic on page 1, the most popular option, leaves the old hard court in place and simply caps it with a compactable fill material, a stone screenings layer, and a new 1” of Har-Tru. Option two, is a bit more complicated since it uses an asphalt pulverizer to “shred” the asphalt in place and mix it with the existing base below. This shredded material is then re-graded and capped with screenings and surface. Dick Funkhouser of HT Tennis Courts in Hagerstown, MD has used this technique on a number of facilities. Dick says, “The cost of pulverization is often less than bringing in fill materials on batteries of 3 or more courts.” He continued, “We also use a pulverizer when we need to change the slope of the new courts to another direction.”

Phil
07-17-2007, 11:02 AM
What are you talking about? It's an individual sport, meaning how could it possibly be greed by the tournament officials? It's the nature of the beast in tennis...it's what makes succeeding in it so amazing. Nobody is forced to play 40 tournaments a year...if a guy like Dqavydenko wants to play every tournament though every week more power to him. Give us tennis all year with a month off in December and lets celebrate being given our favorite sport to watch and play 11 months out of the year...

I'm talking about what Moose said...the tournament officials, in concert with the ATP/WTA, actually run the sport. Being an "individual sport" has absolutely nothing to to with the management of the sport and scheduling of tournaments. The players have very little say in this aspect.

Greed in that more and more tournaments are scheduled-many more than a few years ago...for the benefit of the tournament officials.

I'd rather have tennis 10 months a year and be able to see most or all of the top players peforming at or near their peak, rather than sitting out 1/3 of the season or more with injuries. Greedy tournament officials, and fans like you, will ruin the sport...by running down the players. Of course, the players are not entirely without blame, but with an off season, Davydenko wouldn't get to play his 70 tournaments a year. Boo hoo...I'd rather see a fresh and uninjured Davy...reminds me of Kafelnikov, who also used to play close to 30 tournaments a year...half the time he played as if he should have just phoned it in.

fastdunn
07-17-2007, 11:29 AM
Major advantage of hard court is the low maintenance cost.

That's why we have all these concrete surfaces in public parks.
In US, we can only see clay or grass courts in expensive club.

We should develope a material that is very easy to play on
and virtually maintenance free.

sureshs
07-17-2007, 11:30 AM
Soccer has an off season, though it's slightly different on the calendar for Europe, Asia and Latin America. I have no idea about cricket.

I'm not sure why tennis being a "global sport" should preclude it from having an off season. It's all about GREED. The various tournament organizers in concert with the WTA and ATP...has nothing to do with the global aspect of the game.

If you are talking about the top players who must play in all the Slams and the 9 (maybe to be 7 in 2009) Masters, there is a concern. But for the numerous lower tier tournaments, I think it is good for lower ranked players to make a living.

What they can do is to push the the AO down a month. That will give a 2 month break over Christmas. Or move the TMC up.

NadalandFedererfan
07-17-2007, 11:32 AM
Major advantage of hard court is the low maintenance cost.

That's why we have all these concrete surfaces in public parks.
In US, we can only see clay or grass courts in expensive club.

We should develope a material that is very easy to play on
and virtually maintenance free.

I think it is very important for the future of American tennis to develop more grass and clay court surfaces for kids to grow up playing on. The specific skills acquired on each are very key to becoming a top pro. As we can see the current system is not working. In another few years when the Williams and Roddick are retired, or done as contenders for good, the Americans seemingly will have nobody in the top group of players on either tour at all.

sureshs
07-17-2007, 11:35 AM
I think it is very important for the future of American tennis to develop more grass and clay court surfaces for kids to grow up playing on. The specific skills acquired on each are very key to becoming a top pro. As we can see the current system is not working. In another few years when the Williams and Roddick are retired, or done as contenders for good, the Americans seemingly will have nobody in the top group of players on either tour at all.

USTA residential high performance training program for juniors at Evert's is doing exactly that.

NadalandFedererfan
07-17-2007, 11:44 AM
USTA residential high performance training program for juniors at Evert's is doing exactly that.

Good, that is an encouraging sign for rebuilding the state of American tennis.

Phil
07-17-2007, 11:59 AM
If you are talking about the top players who must play in all the Slams and the 9 (maybe to be 7 in 2009) Masters, there is a concern. But for the numerous lower tier tournaments, I think it is good for lower ranked players to make a living.

What they can do is to push the the AO down a month. That will give a 2 month break over Christmas. Or move the TMC up.

I think 10 months allows for plenty of lower tier tournaments. How many of those, really, are played in Nov. and Dec.? Not all that many. Pushing the AO forward a month or back to Nov. Dec., would also be one way to work it.

superstition
07-17-2007, 01:37 PM
Major advantage of hard court is the low maintenance cost.
They have a high cost. Injuries. Fans not getting to see players they want to. Pull-outs and defaults. Homogenization of styles.
That's why we have all these concrete surfaces in public parks.
In US, we can only see clay or grass courts in expensive club.
My reform only targets professional tennis, not clubs, not parks, not schools, etc.

Recreational players don't face the same challenges pros face. They have to make a living on court, and there is no justification for allowing the injury fiasco to continue. Shortening the schedule may help with certain things, like fatigue, but it won't prevent wrist damage from racquets/strings or ankle/back damage from hard courts.

We should develope a material that is very easy to play on
and virtually maintenance free.
Good luck. If someone can develop a surface that's just as easy on the body as grass is, can be used outdoors, and doesn't increase player danger due to slippage, that would be interesting. So far, synthetic grass hasn't received positive reactions from what I've heard.

Tennis tournaments are not poor. This is a myth that needs to go away. Tennis tournaments can afford to switch from concrete to grass or clay. If not, those tournaments can drop out of the already busy schedule and make room for others. The notion that players' health should be needlessly reduced to make more money for already profitable tournaments is ludicrous. Put the players, the fans, and the sport first, not racquet companies or tournament owners. Tennis was popular and profitable even before players turned pro and most courts were grass. The longer the careers are of players, and the more players can play, the healthier the sport will be, literally and figuratively. The profits for companies will come accordingly.

Another myth is that players in America will be disadvantaged if the hard courts are replaced with grass, clay, and carpet. There are many ways in which this myth is wrong, and the most important of them is the fact that American players will benefit, just like everyone else, from the reduced injury rate.

Jon Rudy
07-17-2007, 03:06 PM
Superstition, you present quite the interesting argument for reform, but how do you think the players would respond to such extreme changes? My bet is lawsuits, especially with the racquet changes. They wouldn't be happy with someone telling them the racquet they grew up with - and the racquet they can attribute to their recent success - is now illegal and is going to be replaced with one several inches smaller.

The court surface idea I somewhat agree with, but if you take away the injury-causing racquets, wouldn't that make hard courts safer to play on? You'd be taking away a lot of the speed with the racquet change, and the resulting effect, I think, would be less of a physical toll on the body becuse there wouldn't be quite as much running around.

Your ideas aren't absurd, but I think you'd have to pick one or the other, no more hard surfaces, or no more large-headed racquets.

old_school_tennis
07-17-2007, 03:33 PM
My suggestion probably wouldn't go very far with serious tennis die-hards but if we want to bring attention to the sport and to the world-class athletes that participate in the professional ranks, how about a big prime-time celebrity match that would maybe have some pros or former pros as coaches (Blake, Roddick, Pete, Andre, Chris Evert, Billie Jean King). Now, I'm not talking tier-two celebrities like Joey Fatone, Frank Stallone, and Vanilla Ice.

How about Paris Hilton (though I'm not a fan, it would garner serious attention) vs. Lindsay Lohan? How about a mixed doubles match with Brad Pitt/Angelina Jolie vs. Britney Spears/Kevin Federline in a reunion "love-match." Bruce Willis vs. Ashton Kutcher in a grudge match, winner-takes-Demi?

I realize that attracting these celebs would be the trick, but what if the ATP and/or the WTA donated a large sum to the charity of the winner's choice? American tennis is struggling right now; Nicole Richie just could be the one to save it!

superstition
07-17-2007, 05:50 PM
Superstition, you present quite the interesting argument for reform, but how do you think the players would respond to such extreme changes? My bet is lawsuits, especially with the racquet changes. They wouldn't be happy with someone telling them the racquet they grew up with - and the racquet they can attribute to their recent success - is now illegal and is going to be replaced with one several inches smaller.
Roddick is very vocal in opposition to racquet reform, I assume because he wants to continue to win so many cheap points with his serve. But, I don't see how the players would have any standing, since every player would have the same regulations to follow.

How many players play with the same racquet they grew up with? Not even Sampras or Agassi stuck with the racquets they played with early on. Players can adapt. We've seen them adapt to more powerful racquets and we can see the opposite, too. There weren't any lawsuits about allowing players to switch from wood, or due to allowing players to play with Pure Drives. Henman, for instance, didn't sue because such high-powered racquets made passing him easier.

If the players can be made to understand the advantage of safer equipment and courts, I think they'd be in favor of the regulations, on average. But, I don't recall the racquet companies asking player permission to change racquets so much over the years or tournaments asking player permission to change the surfaces from grass to hard court. I don't recall any lawsuits.

The court surface idea I somewhat agree with, but if you take away the injury-causing racquets, wouldn't that make hard courts safer to play on?
Somewhat. Decreasing ball speed will help to prevent things like the "Clijsters splits" on hard court that several players do in the WTA, and other dangerous maneuvers designed to increase mobility to try to return such fast groundstrokes. But, hard courts hurt parts of the body that are different than what the racquets/strings hurt. So, both need to change.

You'd be taking away a lot of the speed with the racquet change, and the resulting effect, I think, would be less of a physical toll on the body becuse there wouldn't be quite as much running around.
Tennis will still be very physical. In fact, players will have to be more athletic to create winning points with lower powered racquets, although the additional control will make angles and pin point serves easier.
Your ideas aren't absurd, but I think you'd have to pick one or the other, no more hard surfaces, or no more large-headed racquets.
A multi-step transition may be a good idea. It will take time for tournaments to convert, and for racquet companies to come out with new lines. The former will take longer than the latter, particularly in the case of grass.

fastdunn
07-17-2007, 05:59 PM
I actually liked to play on carpet (over wooden floor).
It rewarded my booming serve, quick reflex and flat strokes (ha ha ha).
It was very easy on joints (maybe because I was much younger when I
played on it?).


I'm also all for limiting racquet head size.
Even among non-professionals (like me), it's getting more and more
concerning to approach the net since people pass so well with
big-bubba sized frames...

superstition
07-17-2007, 06:12 PM
I actually liked to play on carpet (over wooden floor).
I left indoor carpet in as an option in my opening post, because I've never heard anything bad concerning its impact on the body.
I'm also all for limiting racquet head size. Even among non-professionals (like me), it's getting more and more concerning to approach the net since people pass so well with big-bubba sized frames...
It's not just head size. Stiffness is just as crucial. By dramatically lowering the stiffness, less shock will go into players' bodies and ball speed will drop. Lowered ball speed, in conjunction with smaller racquet heads, will help to balance the game so that topspin from the baseline, or baselining in general, isn't too dominant as it is now. It will also lower injury rates, because players won't have to resort to the "Clijsters splits" in order to get to balls. And, even if they do things like that, doing that on clay or grass is a bit safer.

Jon Rudy
07-17-2007, 08:52 PM
I get what you're saying about lawsuits, but you're also talking about racquet technology going backward now, not forward like it has been for the past however many years. If all the sudden you're taking away the ability to hit passing shots, as opposed to a racquet giving you the ability to hit passing shots, there may be a lot more resistance than otherwise.

Jon Rudy
07-17-2007, 08:59 PM
By the way, I do personally agree with you about the surfaces changing. I'm well aware of how bad it sucks to play an entire day on hard courts, and I can only imagine what it would be like to be a pro and have to deal with it every day of every week.

I just don't think it's reasonable to do both main changes at the same time, and I doubt the players would be very responsive to it too. A guy like Nadal would eventually adapt, I'm sure, but it would already give a guy like Federer an advantage, and it he won the French Open the year of the racquet change, would there be an asterisk?

superstition
07-17-2007, 09:05 PM
I get what you're saying about lawsuits, but you're also talking about racquet technology going backward now, not forward like it has been for the past however many years. If all the sudden you're taking away the ability to hit passing shots, as opposed to a racquet giving you the ability to hit passing shots, there may be a lot more resistance than otherwise.
Everything has trade-offs. People seem to mistakenly believe that racquet technology "went forward", implying some sort of all-around improvement. Really, though, with the racquet changes, some serious drawbacks have occurred. Safety went backward. Serena is out with a wrist injury. Venus was out most of last year with one. Venus hurt Bartoli's wrist in the Wimbledon final. I could go on and on because the examples are endless.

People could hit passing shots with wood racquets, which have heads that are much smaller than what I'm suggesting, denser string patterns, and more flex. Have you guys seen Borg? He hit with topspin with a wood racquet and won slams. Tilden, in the 1920s-1940s, preferred to play from the baseline and he dominated. I think people need to realize that there are benefits and drawbacks to everything. There is no "moving forward" and "moving backward" in every respect. The key is balance and a hierarchy of importance. Is power more important than healthy players? I don't think so. I place player health above power, especially since racquet mass and correct strokes can produce plenty of power even with a wood racquet. Also, there are other things in the game that become easier with lower powered racquets, like hitting angles, finesse shots, net play, etc. People will probably stop using harsh poly string in favor of gut if racquets are tamed. Instead of going backward to dead string to tame the power of the racquets, it's better for the body to use a powerful string like gut.

Racquets and strings have been going backward when it comes to game play style diversity (the game is homogenous more now than it was in the past where baselining, especially with topspin, is too common), backward in safety, etc.

Roddick will clearly continue to oppose lower power racquets because he relies on service aces so much and his motion/method may not translate really well to more traditional racquets, but other people will benefit. In fact, female players in particular will benefit as a group, although male players are having serious problems with their wrists, like Murray.

As for hard courts, I don't think any pro will really miss them that much. Even Venus Williams, who grew up on them and has a game that is suited to them, prefers playing on grass. I suppose Davydenko, Safin, and other Russian guys may be disappointed. But, the health of players is more important than trivial preferences. Grass can be made to play more like a hard court (like what Wimbledon is doing). By using high pressure balls that bounce high, clay in the soil, rye grass, and other methods, the performance can be pretty similar. Perhaps one way to differentiate the two grass slams I'm proposing would be to make one play as much like a hard court as possible and make the other play as much like a traditional grass court as possible.

superstition
07-17-2007, 09:07 PM
A guy like Nadal would eventually adapt, I'm sure, but it would already give a guy like Federer an advantage, and it he won the French Open the year of the racquet change, would there be an asterisk?
How would it give Federer an advantage if there are two slams played on clay and two on grass? Nadal would be thrilled to have a second clay slam, I think.

There really is no playing style that relies on hard courts, which makes it easier to get rid of them.

superstition
07-20-2007, 12:59 PM
Two people talked about playing on synthetic grass. They said it's easier on the body than hard courts. Has anyone else played on it? Isn't it considered more unsafe than natural grass because it's slippery?

saram
07-21-2007, 09:29 PM
1. Wimbledon would return to the fescue (or fescue mix) and the soil it used in the 1960s, with 100% rye starting at the baseline and moving back. This would help the durability of the baseline, but wouldn't affect the bounce/speed of the court. The balls would also be lower-bouncing, as they were in the past.

2. The US Open would be played on grass once again, which rye behind the baseline and whatever type of real grass the tournament wants to use for the main court.

3. The Australian Open would move to fast clay. This would provide a 50/50 grand slam split between grass and clay. Roland Garros would keep its slow clay. (The Australian Open should probably not move back to grass courts because Australia is too dry.)

4. In order to be eligible to play singles in slams, players would have to enter the doubles. Mixed would be optional. If a player pulls out of the doubles, then they would also have to pull out of the singles as well. If a player cannot find a partner for doubles, a partner would be assigned. Players may enter the doubles without entering the singles.

5. If a player pulls out of the doubles, their partner may choose another player who isn't already in the draw or who has been knocked out.

6. Professional racquets would have the following characteristics:

a) single shaft form factor
b) maximums of 80 sq in string area and 55 stiffness, for men
c) maximums of 90 sq in string area and 50 stiffness, for women
d) no other restrictions, with the exception of a ban on spaghetti string

7. There would be no dress code at any pro tournament that is more strict than local laws. Players should be able to wear whatever they want to, as long as it's legal in the place they're playing. (This is not a big deal, but it's something I'm in favor of.)

8. Hard courts would be banned and replaced with grass, clay, or indoor carpet. The grass court season will constitute at least 50% of the tennis calendar year.

9. Players may not indicate a mark by touching their racquet to the ground. If a player touches their racquet to the ground, the mark is considered erased. Players who are playing on clay are permitted to cross the net to check a mark if permitted by the chair and accompanied by the chair, the opponent, and the line judge.

10. If a player takes an injury time-out, the player is given one or two point penalties (the final number is one I'm not certain of yet); this is to reduce abuse of the injury timeout. Players may only take bathroom breaks at the start of one of their service games.

11. No more 5 set matches. Men would play a maximum of four sets, with a tiebreak. Women would play three sets minimum in the semis and finals of slams, not a minimum of two. *Or, the number of games for men's matches would be reduced so that 5 set matches would not be nearly as long. Perhaps the number of games in the last two or three sets would be cut? Something has to be done to a) shorten matches when compared to traditional 5 setters and b) make women's semis and finals longer, but not absurdly long.

12. Get rid of the new "finishing points" in doubles.


Just curious--why are you so against the newer surfaces and racket technology? Not bashing you--it is just that you always go back to the 'old' courts and sticks....:confused:

pow
07-21-2007, 11:00 PM
How would it give Federer an advantage if there are two slams played on clay and two on grass? Nadal would be thrilled to have a second clay slam, I think.

There really is no playing style that relies on hard courts, which makes it easier to get rid of them.

No? I believe there is... Roddick and Blake excel on them and have found way more success on them than anywhere else. Roddick has had some good runs on grass but that seems to have changed.

Oh and NadalandFedererfan... lucky for you it's been win win for you at virtually every tournament lately. haha :o

superstition
07-24-2007, 01:36 PM
Just curious--why are you so against the newer surfaces and racket technology? Not bashing you--it is just that you always go back to the 'old' courts and sticks....:confused:
Tennis used to be played exclusively with natural materials. Wood. Gut. Grass. Clay. Natural materials are easier on the body than synthetics. Gut is the most efficient string, both for absorbing shock and for producing repulsion. Grass is far easier on the body than concrete.

Tennis has mainly switched to synthetic materials because they're more profitable for racquet companies and tournament owners, at the expense of the health of players and the health of the sport. Concrete has a lower maintainance cost than grass and synthetic Chinese racquets cost less to produce than high-quality wood racquets. Synthetic racquets also can be more powerful, lighter, and easier to produce groundstrokes with. This has led to the homogenization of the game, where groundstrokes from the baseline are too dominant. Synthetic strings like polyester have replaced gut, partially or wholly, for most players and they're harder on the body and also help baseline topspin become too dominant.

I have outlined these issues and more in the topic. I suggest reading through it.

coloskier
07-24-2007, 01:45 PM
USTA residential high performance training program for juniors at Evert's is doing exactly that.

Surprisingly, Evert is sending a lot of her top juniors to Bolleterri, since they are both IMG camps. Brooke Blender, who just won the Girls 16 Clay nationals, is a good example of that.

coloskier
07-24-2007, 01:46 PM
sorry, Brooke Bolender.

superstition
07-26-2007, 11:49 AM
She could be blender or colander. ;)

A.T.S.
07-26-2007, 11:55 AM
1. Wimbledon would return to the fescue (or fescue mix) and the soil it used in the 1960s, with 100% rye starting at the baseline and moving back. This would help the durability of the baseline, but wouldn't affect the bounce/speed of the court. The balls would also be lower-bouncing, as they were in the past.

2. The US Open would be played on grass once again, which rye behind the baseline and whatever type of real grass the tournament wants to use for the main court.

3. The Australian Open would move to fast clay. This would provide a 50/50 grand slam split between grass and clay. Roland Garros would keep its slow clay. (The Australian Open should probably not move back to grass courts because Australia is too dry.)

4. In order to be eligible to play singles in slams, players would have to enter the doubles. Mixed would be optional. If a player pulls out of the doubles, then they would also have to pull out of the singles as well. If a player cannot find a partner for doubles, a partner would be assigned. Players may enter the doubles without entering the singles.

5. If a player pulls out of the doubles, their partner may choose another player who isn't already in the draw or who has been knocked out.

6. Professional racquets would have the following characteristics:

a) single shaft form factor
b) maximums of 80 sq in string area and 55 stiffness, for men
c) maximums of 90 sq in string area and 50 stiffness, for women
d) no other restrictions, with the exception of a ban on spaghetti string

7. There would be no dress code at any pro tournament that is more strict than local laws. Players should be able to wear whatever they want to, as long as it's legal in the place they're playing. (This is not a big deal, but it's something I'm in favor of.)

8. Hard courts would be banned and replaced with grass, clay, or indoor carpet. The grass court season will constitute at least 50% of the tennis calendar year.

9. Players may not indicate a mark by touching their racquet to the ground. If a player touches their racquet to the ground, the mark is considered erased. Players who are playing on clay are permitted to cross the net to check a mark if permitted by the chair and accompanied by the chair, the opponent, and the line judge.

10. If a player takes an injury time-out, the player is given one or two point penalties (the final number is one I'm not certain of yet); this is to reduce abuse of the injury timeout. Players may only take bathroom breaks at the start of one of their service games.

11. No more 5 set matches. Men would play a maximum of four sets, with a tiebreak. Women would play three sets minimum in the semis and finals of slams, not a minimum of two. *Or, the number of games for men's matches would be reduced so that 5 set matches would not be nearly as long. Perhaps the number of games in the last two or three sets would be cut? Something has to be done to a) shorten matches when compared to traditional 5 setters and b) make women's semis and finals longer, but not absurdly long.

12. Get rid of the new "finishing points" in doubles.
for every 1 person that agrees with what you just said, there is 100 more that will stringly disagree to all of your statements. What's wrong with five set matches? 5 set matches allow time for crazy comebacks like Roddick VS Gasquet Wimbledon 2007. Gasquet turned the tables and destroyed Roddick with i believe was 92 winners. Wouldn't you say that's exciting?

superstition
07-26-2007, 12:03 PM
for every 1 person that agrees with what you just said, there is 100 more that will stringly disagree to all of your statements.
1. Truth isn't determined by popularity. What matters, with regard to truth, is the quality of the arguments, not their popularity.
2. I don't see any evidence that supports your 1:100 ratio, or the more general assertion that the majority of people will find my ideas unfit for implementation.
What's wrong with five set matches?
I gave some reasons. Injury. Exhaustion (which creates lopsided competition or which destroys competition completely). Pull-outs due to injury and exhaustion. I consider them boring, because I feel they're too long. I also consider them to be too grueling, an opinion that's supported by the fact that the men who played the notable 5 set matches (especially the two who played them consecutively) did not play at their best when they were eliminated from the tournament due to exhaustion and one man, who is very fit and very young, pulled out.
5 set matches allow time for crazy comebacks like Roddick VS Gasquet Wimbledon 2007. Gasquet turned the tables and destroyed Roddick with i believe was 92 winners. Wouldn't you say that's exciting?
There are advantage and disadvantages for everything. We could have 17 set matches, and there would be at least one advantage. But, the drawbacks would outweigh the advantage(s), in my view. It's also my view that the advantage(s) of 5 set matches are outweighed by the drawbacks.

Custom+Hybrid
07-27-2007, 09:39 PM
Your reforms are far too extreme

You can't expect the entire ATP Tour to play with 80 sq. inch racquets with a 50 RA flex.

And think of all the players who do well on hard courts. Is it fair to rob them of their favorite court surface?

That's all I have to say :?

Not one of your twelve ideas would do any good to the game.
Even the white dress code at Wimbledon is a reasonable rule. They want to continue their traditions, and it adds to the flavor of the event.


Edit: Sorry I meant 55 RA Flex.


Edit: And as a last note, there is no way you can force top singles players to play doubles. Doubles gets no attention in the major events compared to singles. To top players, it is a waste of their playing years. If your goal is to popularize doubles, simply give it more screentime and ENCOURAGE top singles players to enter doubles.

West Coast Ace
07-28-2007, 09:10 AM
i can't take anything serious that is stated by someone with jan-michael gambill as their avator.Well said.

The injury problem is addressed by the following:

1. The elimination of hard courts.
2. The reduction in racquet stiffness.
3. The reduction in racquet power.
4. The reduction in racquet head size.
Uh, no. Players would still practice too much - it's not just matches that take the toll on the body and lead to the injuries. You'd have to limit the amount of money players could make - to about $50k/yr - as long as there's big money, people will (over)push their bodies to try to improve their ranking and earnings.

The racket idea is a total non-starter. You obviously don't read the whole sports page. Golf tried to legislated out 'squared grooves' from pro tournaments - they were sued by the club makers who knew it would be tough for them to sell equipment to the public that their favorite pro couldn't use. The trial started and after a few days it was obvious the pro golf tour was going to get killed. They capitulated.

Your reforms are far too extremeAgree 1000%. To suggest tennis is in such bad shape that a major overhaul is required is beyond laughable. I'd like to see a longer offseason but realize that it probably won't happen - there are too many tournaments that just can't be moved. The biggest problem with the game is the poor marketing - the (overwhelming majority of) players are too aloof and unapproachable. There should be more 'meet and greets' and autograph signings and even 'hit for 2 minutes with a pro for charity'. More like NASCAR! The drivers are interacting with fans a few hrs before getting in a car and risking death - don't think it's asking too much of the players to sign a few autographs ON OFF DAYS!

superstition
07-28-2007, 09:44 AM
Your reforms are far too extreme
The changes that tennis has undergone are more extreme than the middle ground I'm proposing. A Pure Drive with poly is a world of difference when compared to a 1950s woodie. The loss of grass courts and their replacement with hard court in conjunction with the new racquets/strings has been more extreme, because it's resulted in not only the practical death of serve and volley but also the increased injury rate.

My reforms are not extreme. They're designed to bring balance by putting tennis back to a middle ground. Tennis used to be played with racquets that are like what I'm suggesting (graphite/wood composites), and tennis used to have a lot of grass courts. Top pros used to compete in doubles, too.

Nothing I'm suggesting is particularly extreme or radical. In fact, the reforms are designed to temper the radical changes that tennis has had in a compatively short time. Remember that for most of tennis' history, the game was played with tiny-headed wood racquets on grass or clay. I'm not advocating a return to those tiny racquets, but the current equipment and courts is too extreme a change. It has led to topspin baselining becoming too dominant, the death of serve and volley, and a rampant injury problem.
And think of all the players who do well on hard courts. Is it fair to rob them of their favorite court surface?
If a person's favorite drink contains a significant level of arsenic, is it fair to ban it? Hard courts are bad for the body. That isn't debatable. It's plain and obvious truth. Pro tennis players may sometimes lack the perspective that their physical health is far more important than their trivial preference for ball behavior. What good is the high and consistent bounce of a hard court to a player when that player is incapacitated or in pain due to injury from that surface? Pro tennis players are playing an extremely demanding game on an unsafe surface. And, it's a fact that most players loved playing on grass in the past. If grass replaces hard courts, then more players will like grass because they'll play on it regularly enough to excel at it. And, even currently, I've only heard three players complain about grass: Safin (who hates everything), Davydenko (who doesn't like Wimbledon), and Castano (a clay courter).
And as a last note, there is no way you can force top singles players to play doubles. Doubles gets no attention in the major events compared to singles. To top players, it is a waste of their playing years. If your goal is to popularize doubles, simply give it more screentime and ENCOURAGE top singles players to enter doubles.
Your analysis shows a lack of historical perspective. It's only recently that doubles has lost importance, and it's because top players aren't playing doubles anymore, not because of some inherent weakness in doubles tennis. Top players used to play doubles and doubles used to get a lot more attention because of that.

Top players don't play doubles because of the brutality of the current hard courts and equipment. They are so often injured or exhausted (see my 5 set reform) that they don't have the energy for doubles, something that wasn't true in the past when players like McEnroe and Navratilova would play singles, doubles, and mixed in a tournament and win all three.

If my reforms are enacted, players will be able to play doubles. It won't have any effect on their career longevity or the injury rate. Doubles is the game of choice of older players precisely because it's less demanding physically than singles. Doubles will improve the net play of top players, and audiences enjoy watching doubles, particularly when top players are involved. Getting rid of 5 set matches will also open up more time at tournaments for doubles play.

We are not talking about lazy couch potatoes or people who aren't being paid. Top pro tennis players are getting a lot of money to play, more than ever. It's not too much to ask for them to play as much tennis as players of the past played, and they'll want to anyway once doubles is restored to the important it once held. The trophies will carry more significance, and the prize money will increase.

I've made a lot of these points already in this topic and you haven't addressed them. I assume you just read the first post or the first page and skipped the rest of the posts.

superstition
07-28-2007, 09:55 AM
Players would still practice too much - it's not just matches that take the toll on the body and lead to the injuries.
Practice on hard courts does lead to injury, that's true. But, when tournaments like the US Open are on grass again, players won't be injured as frequently during practice at such tournaments. Navratilova, for instance, injured her knee when practicing at her last US Open. She said she really dislikes playing on hard courts because of the toll they take on her body. But, it's not just older players like her who get injured on them by any means.
Golf tried to legislated out 'squared grooves' from pro tournaments - they were sued by the club makers who knew it would be tough for them to sell equipment to the public that their favorite pro couldn't use. The trial started and after a few days it was obvious the pro golf tour was going to get killed. They capitulated.
So, you're saying the racquet companies own the sport of tennis. Why not rename it to "Racquet Company Play" and call the ATP the ARM (Association of Racquet Makers)?

Baseball hasn't allowed radical changes in equipment. Why aren't baseball bat companies suing then?

Racquet companies can sell the racquets the pros can use. What's stopping them? And, there is no weight restriction so the feather light racquets that are so popular with beginners will still be able to be stealthly marketed as pro frames. All of the same BS that the racquet companies do now will be able to be done with the exception of the head size, which isn't very important anyway. Beginners used to play quite happily with tiny woodies and racquets like the T-2000. My 80 sq in racquets with no weight restriction will certainly be more attractive to the average amateur than the once wildly popular T-2000! This is a false dilemma, and if any competant judge were to deal with such a trial, it would be thrown out of court. There is nothing preventing racquet companies from selling whatever they want to to recreational players. The regulations only apply to professional tennis and there is nothing in current law that says professional sports must cater to equipment suppliers by letting them write the regulations. That's absurd.

Plenty of players are using racquets that are obviously more powerful than what pros are using. Huge-headed feather light racquets with giant beams sell quite well at shops, even though it's quite obvious Federer doesn't use them. Do the players I know who use Weeds (about 10 of them) care that pros aren't using them? Not one bit.

The health of players and the health of the sport is far more important than the wants of equipment suppliers. If Golf capitulated, it didn't have very good legal representation because such a case is laughable. How about a class action suit against the racquet companies for their paint job scam? Now that is one that could be successful.

maneater
07-28-2007, 10:07 AM
Uhm... lol i think that for Tennis to be reformed , certain players need to be reformed...i.e Safin...When he's on a roll he's amazing to watch and so is the game of tennis, cos people wanna see someone who has the potential to beat Federer! So, for the love and the sake of tennis, i'd reform Safin by letting him take all his frustrations out on poor little old me! LOOOLLLLL!!!!!!!
SEE THE LENGTHS I'D GO THROUGH FOR THE SAKE OF REFORMING TENNIS ...TUT TUT TUTT! LOL ;-)

West Coast Ace
07-28-2007, 01:07 PM
Practice on hard courts does lead to injury, that's true. But, when tournaments like the US Open are on grass again, players won't be injured as frequently during practice at such tournaments. Navratilova, for instance, injured her knee when practicing at her last US Open. She said she really dislikes playing on hard courts because of the toll they take on her body. But, it's not just older players like her who get injured on them by any means.

So, you're saying the racquet companies own the sport of tennis. Why not rename it to "Racquet Company Play" and call the ATP the ARM (Association of Racquet Makers)?

Baseball hasn't allowed radical changes in equipment. Why aren't baseball bat companies suing then?

Racquet companies can sell the racquets the pros can use. What's stopping them? And, there is no weight restriction so the feather light racquets that are so popular with beginners will still be able to be stealthly marketed as pro frames. All of the same BS that the racquet companies do now will be able to be done with the exception of the head size, which isn't very important anyway. Beginners used to play quite happily with tiny woodies and racquets like the T-2000. My 80 sq in racquets with no weight restriction will certainly be more attractive to the average amateur than the once wildly popular T-2000! This is a false dilemma, and if any competant judge were to deal with such a trial, it would be thrown out of court. There is nothing preventing racquet companies from selling whatever they want to to recreational players. The regulations only apply to professional tennis and there is nothing in current law that says professional sports must cater to equipment suppliers by letting them write the regulations. That's absurd.

Plenty of players are using racquets that are obviously more powerful than what pros are using. Huge-headed feather light racquets with giant beams sell quite well at shops, even though it's quite obvious Federer doesn't use them. Do the players I know who use Weeds (about 10 of them) care that pros aren't using them? Not one bit.

The health of players and the health of the sport is far more important than the wants of equipment suppliers. If Golf capitulated, it didn't have very good legal representation because such a case is laughable. How about a class action suit against the racquet companies for their paint job scam? Now that is one that could be successful.Navratilova is no expert on health - she's just an ex-pro who, after years of being pudgy, 'got it' and got in and has stayed in great shape. Furthermore only a subset of injuries have to do with the pounding on the court - more are due to the repetitive stokes (back to my 'they'll practice more' point. Especially the serve. The design of the shoulder is such that no one should hit a ball (or lift heavy objects) above shoulder level.

I think your big problem is you believe all the players who say they're injured as an excuse to skip tournaments. There is no epidemic of injuries. The top players use that excuse (other than personal emergency it's the only legit reason to skip) because they make enough cash (on and off court) and have enough points to secure their ranking - they don't need to play as many smaller tournaments.

I think the PGA tour's lawyers know more about litigating that some JM Gambill fangirl. You may not like the truth about the way our legal system works - companies can sue if they feel their ability to compete in the marketplace is threatened - the golf club makers sued and forced the pro golf tour to cave in - sorry to be the bearer of bad news and blow up your flimsy theory. The baseball analogy is bogus. Amateurs can still use wood bats like the pros - schools and leagues buy aluminum to keep costs down.

superstition
07-28-2007, 01:22 PM
only a subset of injuries have to do with the pounding on the court - more are due to the repetitive stokes (back to my 'they'll practice more' point.
Tilden practiced his backhand repetatively for something like six months straight and I don't recall hearing about any injury resulting from that. Lots of players trained hard in the old days, but the wood racquets, gut string, and soft grass helped keep the injury rate low. Even if more injuries are caused by ball impact on racquets than hard courts doesn't trivialize the hard court injuries. The number of injuries is only one criteria. Their severity is also important.
I think your big problem is you believe all the players who say they're injured as an excuse to skip tournaments.
Yes, I do believe them. People haven't changed so much psychologically that tennis players would rather pull out of most of the tournaments in a year than play them. If you look at the past—most of tennis' history, you won't find such behavior. It's quite clear that concrete, stiff racquets, and stiff strings are harder on the body. The ball speed has increased. Players, especially female players, are constantly getting wrist injuries right now.
There is no epidemic of injuries.
This is simply not true. Players do not pull out of semi final matches because they're lazy.
You may not like the truth about the way our legal system works - companies can sue if they feel their ability to compete in the marketplace is threatened
There is nothing in my reforms that affects any company's ability to compete in the marketplace.
The baseball analogy is bogus. Amateurs can still use wood bats like the pros
So, where is your case? Amateurs can still use 80 sq in 55 RA (or 90 sq in 50 RA for females) like the pros.

CyBorg
07-28-2007, 01:40 PM
Be realistic. Player unions exist for a reason. Mandatory doubles play would not be in the interests of the players.

In someone's la-la land this would happen but not in reality. Players are human beings. The whole Curt Flood story existed for a reason. We're not taking a step back to the 60s now when professional sports is making ungodly millions and players unions exist to balance out the respective interests between corporate goals and player's goals. As long as the player's goals remain intact and are respected, no body, in whatever shape or form, has the right to decide upon mandatory legislation that would force players to participate in doubles in order to qualify for singles. If this tennis body in questions even tried a trick like this they would be taken to court where they would inevitably lose.

Now tennis doesn't have the union presence of other professional sports - baseball, hockey, basketball. But it will if the atp attempts to introduce hardline legislation. The ATP doesn't want this. If they **** off the players now we'll see lawyers and we'll see blood. That's in no one's interests.

Don't waste your time even contemplating this.

superstition
07-28-2007, 01:48 PM
it wouldn't allow for mandatory doubles play. It's not in the interests of the players.
This is debatable.
In someone's la-la land this would happen but not in reality.
So, your argument is that my reforms are the right thing to do, but won't be implemented because people feel its in their interest to prevent the right things from happening? If that's the case, then all that's necessary is for people to discuss the reforms in order to realize, as you have, that they're the right thing to do.
Players are human beings.
Which is why I'm not in favor of having them play on concrete with stiff racquets and stiff strings. Human beings are organic, not synthetic like robots. Organic string, organic racquets, and organic courts are a recipe for a healthier sport. I would prefer going back to wood, but chose a middle ground for my racquet reform in order to preserve some measure of today's power game while also rebalancing the game enough. We're not taking a step back to the 60s now when professional sports is making ungodly millions and the players union exists to balance out the respective interests between corporate goals and player's goals. As long as the player's goals remain intact, no body, in whatever shape or form, has the right to decide upon mandatory legislation that would force players to participate in doubles in order to qualify for singles.
There is a new rule that's either in place or going to be in place soon to require a singles ranking for doubles participation, so it's clear that even with the current bureaucracy, major doubles participation reform is happening.

5 set matches were a far greater strain on players at the most recent Wimbledon than my doubles play reform would have been, yet people are defending them because of inertia. The current stiff equipment/courts are a greater problem for players than being asked to play a few doubles matches at slams for a grand slam trophy and prize money. We had a lot of players who were too injured to even play at Wimbledon because of the current equipment/courts and yet people are complaining about a few doubles matches for a slam trophy and prize money!

CyBorg
07-28-2007, 02:04 PM
This is debatable.

It's not debatable. I would much rather not have more hours imposed upon me for reasons of a corporate agenda. As a worker I have my own interests which come first and I know that I already contribute to the business by working towards its betterment. This is common sense - this is Capitalism at its most global. What you're suggesting is totalitarian agenda which just isn't realistic with the way professional sports operate. There is a reason players are getting more and more money - they are stakeholders within their sport; major ones. Their rights cannot be overruled outright by a body. Any attempts at doing this would only cause a disruption. The ATP works with the players - it does not dominate them.

So, your argument is that my reforms are the right thing to do, but won't be implemented because people feel its in their interest to prevent the right things from happening? If that's the case, then all that's necessary is for people to discuss the reforms in order to realize, as you have, that they're the right thing to do.

No, your reforms would not be the right thing to do.

Which is why I'm not in favor of having them play on concrete with stiff racquets and stiff strings. Human beings organic, not synthetic like robots.

I think that most players would support the Aussie Open being played on a fast clay surface. I think that this can be done. US Open on grass won't happen - it's a multilayered issue. Fans, first of all, like hardcourt tennis. Second of all, players who are successful on hardcourts (vast majority) will be ****ed off and they have much leverage. Thirdly, grass is harder and more expensive to maintain - and this is the most vital reason as to why this won't happen. The corporate goals will always be in line with efficiency. More grass is inefficient, which is why we probably won't see a master's series on grass, let alone another major on grass.

There is a new rule that's either in place or going to be in place soon to require a singles ranking for doubles participation, so it's clear that even with the current bureaucracy, major doubles participation reform is happening.

Whatever reform occurs will take place gradually and whatever regulations are imposed will affect the lower ranked players more than the top-50 players. The big money makers on the circuit will not allow for something as drastic to happen as what you suggest. We'll see a compromise - we always do. The lawyers will convene - Mr. Disney will back off a bit and the Federers and Roddicks of this world will continue to avoid doubles.

5 set matches were a far greater strain on players at the most recent Wimbledon than my doubles play reform would have been, yet people are defending them because of inertia. The current stiff equipment/courts are a greater problem for players than being asked to play a few doubles matches at slams for a grand slam trophy and prize money. We had a lot of players who were too injured to even play at Wimbledon because of the current equipment/courts and yet people are complaining about a few doubles matches for a slam trophy and prize money!

Five-set matches will remain because of corporate goals. Longer matches mean more money. This is cut and dry. Doubles matches make no money.

You need to realize corporate goals - they rule, in every respect. Everything Mr. Disney does is reflected in some way in terms of finances. The big bosses want excitement; they want more fans; they want drama. This will be balanced with the player's goals and players, in general, are okay with five-set matches, although whenever they're fatigued they prefer to skip smaller events outright.

Ultimately we'll have a compromise. We already have one this year - fewer five-set matches. In terms of corporate goals this balanced out somewhat - CBS/ESPN are ****ed because they're losing money with the coverage of masters series events which are no longer the best-of-five. The organizers of Hamburg and Paris/Bercy, however, are happy that Federer and Nadal are there to attend their event because they're not exhausted after Rome/Madrid.

superstition
07-28-2007, 02:39 PM
I would much rather not have more hours imposed upon me for reasons of a corporate agenda. As a worker I have my own interests which come first and I know that I already contribute to the business by working towards its betterment. This is common sense - this is Capitalism at its most global. What you're suggesting is totalitarian agenda which just isn't realistic with the way professional sports operate. There is a reason players are getting more and more money - they are stakeholders within their sport; major ones. Their rights cannot be overruled outright by a body. Any attempts at doing this would only cause a disruption. The ATP works with the players - it does not dominate them.
Having 5 set matches is more of a "domination" than my doubles idea because it has a far greater negative effect than doubles competition at slams would have. Similarly, the current regulations that allow unsafe surfaces and equipment interfere with players' ability to compete and make money. How much money did Murray earn at Wimbledon, despite his wrist injury? None? I guess my totalitarian agenda is a real threat.
I think that most players would support the Aussie Open being played on a fast clay surface. I think that this can be done.
Ok, but this reform alone would make baseline play even more dominant than it already is. A second grass tournament is needed to provide balance.
US Open on grass won't happen - it's a multilayered issue. Fans, first of all, like hardcourt tennis. Second of all, players who are successful on hardcourts (vast majority) will be ****ed off and they have much leverage. Thirdly, grass is harder and more expensive to maintain - and this is the most vital reason as to why this won't happen. The corporate goals will always be in line with efficiency. More grass is inefficient, which is why we probably won't see a master's series on grass, let alone another major on grass.
There is a tremendous amount of inefficiency in tennis because of hard courts, hard racquets, and hard strings. Fans don't like having lots of players pull out of tournaments, and neither do tournament directors. The cost of grass or clay does not outweigh the benefits of having more top players play at tournaments, and play well throughout the tournaments. The cost of grass or clay also does not outweigh the benefits of having players be healthy with greater career longevity.

It's illogical to subject professional athletes to concrete, and it's illogical to subject them to stiff racquets and strings. This is because there are safe alternatives. Tennis was popular when it was played on grass and wood so the notion that "fans don't like grass" or "fans don't like safe racquets/strings" is unsupported by evidence. I've already addressed the points about player surface preference on this page, in addition to having had addressed it on previous pages.
whatever regulations are imposed will affect the lower ranked players more than the top-50 players.
In what ways?
The big money makers on the circuit will not allow for something as drastic to happen as what you suggest. We'll see a compromise - we always do. The lawyers will convene - Mr. Disney will back off a bit and the Federers and Roddicks of this world will continue to avoid doubles.
I'm really not interested in spending a lot of time theorizing about the legal maneuvering of short-sighted people who don't realize it's in their interest for players to be healthy, for doubles to be revitalized at slams, and for tennis to be less homogenous regarding playing styles. The Golf issue indicates to me that the legal process is capable of producing unexpected and illogical results, so such theorizing isn't very interesting to me at this point. I'm more concerned with the quality of the reforms.
Longer matches mean more money. Doubles matches make no money.
Do you have any evidence to support these assertions? It seems to me that a lot of people would tune in to see a doubles slam final involving Roddick, Federer, the Williams sisters, etc, especially when such players are facing other top players instead of doubles specialists like Raymond and Nestor. As for 5 set matches making money, if that's true, how does having a player pull out due to them make money? How does having players get injured because of them make money? How does having a TV audience get bored and tune out until the final set make money? I don't see anything about 5 set matches that suggests additional revenue. In fact, they make TV scheduling more difficult.
You need to realize corporate goals - they rule, in every respect.
Using the word corporate to justify inertia, especially when the sport is riddled with injury, homogenizing, and becoming overly brutal and turning off a lot of the public ("Shriekapova"), isn't satisfactory. People want to see their favorite pros, not have them injured. People want to see top players in doubles, not players whose names they don't recognize. People want to see finesse in tennis, and especially contrasting styles, not assembly line baseliners hitting topspin.

rod99
07-29-2007, 06:15 AM
why is this thread even going? ridiculous reforms which will NEVER happen. doubles is for minor league players who aren't good enough to compete as top level singles players. nobody cares about it (even if the top players played) b/c they know that doubles allows them to hide their weaknesses. it's like basing NBA contracts on how good someone is at "HORSE" instead of how they perform in actual games.

superstition
07-29-2007, 10:55 AM
doubles is for minor league players who aren't good enough to compete as top level singles players.
This comment reflects a complete lack of historical perspective. It's only recently that doubles specialists have displaced top players. Look at the record lists. You'll find John McEnroe, who was a top singles player, with the second place for most winning team in men's doubles. Look at the women's game and you'll find Navratilova, who was a top singles player, in the first position. Top players used to play doubles and mixed in the slams. It's only because of the current hard court play, hard racquets, hard strings, and so forth that the game has seen players play less and less tennis over time. Doubles play went, and players are pulling out of tournaments like Wimbledon because of exhaustion (Djokovic) or losing matches they normally could have won, pulling out because of injuries (Murray, etc.). Players are playing less tennis, especially in the WTA when you look at players over 21, because of the rampant injury problem. Doubles is not the problem. It's the unsafe concrete and unsafe equipment.

rod99
07-29-2007, 11:03 AM
i've got plenty of historical perspective and know that mcenroe/navritalova used to play doubles regularly. however, players have stopped playing doubles and getting more injured (and thus, aren't playing doubles) b/c the season is too long and the game is so more physical (deeper, players are more athletic and stronger) not b/c of the rackets and court surfaces.

superstition
07-29-2007, 11:16 AM
players have stopped playing doubles and getting more injured (and thus, aren't playing doubles) b/c the season is too long and the game is so more physical (deeper, players are more athletic and stronger) not b/c of the rackets and court surfaces.
Demonstrate to me how the seasons Navratilova played in 1983 and 1987 were shorter than the season players like Serena Williams (who was injured at Wimbledon) and Venus Williams (who was injured prior to Wimbledon) played in the last two years. Or, if you want to perpetuate the idea that the Williams sisters are faking injuries, how about Pierce, Capriati, Seles, Myskina, Molik, Clijsters, Davenport, Hingis, etc.? It's easy to ignore the injury problem by focusing on the latest batch of 17-20 year olds, but players like Navratilova, King, Gonzales, and Rosewall had much longer careers than today's players because they played on grass a lot more and didn't use Pure Drives with poly or face players using them.

Navratilova was extremely fit, so the argument that today's players are so much fitter is not demonstrated. Look at Bartoli. She got to the Wimbledon final. Kuznetsova has been overweight recently and has gotten at least to the quarters of most majors, if not further. Baghdatis and Nalbandian have been called overweight. Murray and Henman are hardly examples of extremely muscular "new tennis" players. The game has become more brutal, with a combination of concrete courts and hard power racquets/strings, but players don't have to work hard by rushing the net and volleying. They can produce a lot of power just with the racquets. There is an illusion of increased athleticism from the racquets of today, but the game has become a lot more repetative and boring in many matches.

Players of the past used to use racquets that weighed a pound. Being really muscular doesn't necessarily translate into wins. Murray, when he's not injured, can beat most players and he's not muscular. Looking to the players of the past and calling them "out of shape" is disingenuous.*

What's changed primarily in tennis is the equipment/courts. Fitness has improved through improved diet and coaching, but the main difference is the former change, not the latter. Put muscular Roddick on an old style grass court with a 1950s wood racquet (dense string pattern) against an accomplished (and scrawny) serve and volleyer and he won't have an advantage due to that muscle. Cardiovascular fitness, finesse, and flexibility are more important than brute strength when you get rid of the power racquets.

Players will still be fit if my reforms are adopted. They won't, however, be forced out of competitions due to 5 set matches, and they won't be forced to sit on the sidelines so often due to injury. Doubles is not a source of injury when hard courts and the overly stiff racquets and strings are gotten rid of. Doubles is also far less a strain on a player's stamina than a 5 set match.

*Edit: I am watching a 1987 Team Tennis match with Mike De Palmer vs. another guy. De Palmer is more built than a lot of players today. Yet, if you look at the ball speed, it's much slower than today's tennis. This is because of the equipment and the higher emphasis on finesse. Not only did he serve and volley (on clay), he also played quite a few points from the baseline. People should remember the difference between cardiovascular fitness and muscular fitness. Davydenko is extremely fit in the former, but isn't very muscular.

rod99
07-29-2007, 11:23 AM
the day your "reforms" are implemented is the day that jan-michael gambill wins a grand slam. never going to happen.

BTURNER
07-29-2007, 11:29 AM
I Think you are micro-managing the players. It is up to them to decide whether to play doubles or not. During the "grand old days of grass" to which you want to return, there was no such rule. Doubles worked because it was viewed as both popular and good practice. It is up to them to decide whether they want to play a hard court season. They know the risks and benefits. Its their body. As for reducing the number of sets. I'm for that in the early rounds by and large but stamina is an important aspect of the sport as well and determines much of the strategy. As for reducing the length of the season, again, the players can choose their own vacation by choosing which events to enter. No need for micro-managing that either. Its about choices the PLAYERS MAKE.

scineram
07-29-2007, 11:39 AM
the day your "reforms" are implemented is the day that jan-michael gambill wins a grand slam. never going to happen.

Thank the nonexistent God!

sureshs
07-29-2007, 01:23 PM
But he does have a point. Was watching Mirza-Chakvadatze now, and was reminded Mirza had a knee surgery recently. She is 20 now, that must have been when she was 19. Isn't it abnormal for someone to have a knee surgery at 19?

rod99
07-29-2007, 01:26 PM
kent carlsson (reached top 10 in 1988 as an 18 year old) had numerous knee surgeries as a teenager and played 95% of his matches on clay. he retired by age 20 due to his knees.

avmoghe
07-29-2007, 09:19 PM
11. No more 5 set matches. Men would play a maximum of four sets, with a tiebreak. Women would play three sets minimum in the semis and finals of slams, not a minimum of two. *Or, the number of games for men's matches would be reduced so that 5 set matches would not be nearly as long. Perhaps the number of games in the last two or three sets would be cut? Something has to be done to a) shorten matches when compared to traditional 5 setters and b) make women's semis and finals longer, but not absurdly long.


I disagree... The five set legendary matches are why I watch the sport to begin with... Without the Borg/Mac, Federer/Safin, Rafter/Ivanisevic, Agassi/Rafter, (insert legendary five setter here... not necessarily legendary ones either... Sanguinetti/Srichapan anyone?), tennis would lose a vast portion of its appeal to me. Four sets with a tiebreak is simply not good enough.... Even a fifth set tiebreak is not good enough..(as done at USO)

juvvi
07-30-2007, 04:33 AM
In order to be eligible to play singles in slams, players would have to enter the doubles.

128 players play singles and 128 players play doubles. So what happens to the doubles specialists??

superstition
07-30-2007, 10:50 AM
128 players play singles and 128 players play doubles. So what happens to the doubles specialists??
This is a good question. Perhaps the doubles requirement would follow rank, where a player at or above a certain singles rank would be required to play. Maybe just seeded singles players would be required to play. Or, perhaps the draw should be increased. I wouldn't want to eliminate the doubles specialists and create a lot of mediocre doubles matches, but the current situation is definitely hurting doubles and the game of tennis in general. Tennis would be better off if fans could see their favorite top players play doubles and singles at slams, and so would doubles.

Edit: I have decided to modify my reform to only apply to seeded players. This seems to be the best solution. It will get top players involved in doubles, which will raise the profile of doubles. It will also increase the value of the doubles trophy. Thanks for the feedback.

superstition
07-30-2007, 10:52 AM
kent carlsson (reached top 10 in 1988 as an 18 year old) had numerous knee surgeries as a teenager and played 95% of his matches on clay. he retired by age 20 due to his knees.
By 1988, a lot of hard courts replaced grass courts. For instance, the Australian Open was played on grass when Navratilova started her career (in the 70s), but then switched to concrete.

Hard courts were hard on the knees in 88, and they're a bigger problem today.

As for clay court specialists with knee problems, perhaps those players would be better off on grass? No one can argue that concrete is easier on the body than grass or clay, so what is your point, exactly? Is it that once in a while a player gets an injury in their youth on relatively safe surfaces? People can slip and fall on grass, twisting their ankle. But, that doesn't mean grass is the least safe surface like concrete. Grass is a soft organic material, not hard and brutal like concrete. The human body did not evolve to play sports on concrete.

superstition
07-30-2007, 10:53 AM
But he does have a point. Was watching Mirza-Chakvadatze now, and was reminded Mirza had a knee surgery recently. She is 20 now, that must have been when she was 19. Isn't it abnormal for someone to have a knee surgery at 19?
It's not abnormal given the amount of tennis she played on hard courts. Hard courts need to go. Ladies her age are getting wrist injuries and other serious injuries at that age now, too.

sureshs
07-30-2007, 10:59 AM
kent carlsson (reached top 10 in 1988 as an 18 year old) had numerous knee surgeries as a teenager and played 95% of his matches on clay. he retired by age 20 due to his knees.

I am not saying clay courts are perfect. Any athlete has to pay the price for his physical effort.

superstition
07-30-2007, 11:13 AM
During the "grand old days of grass" to which you want to return, there was no such rule. Doubles worked because it was viewed as both popular and good practice.
So, why aren't top players competing in doubles at slams today? Any rules can be called "micromanaging". What matters is whether or not the rules are good for players and the sport. Doubles is good practice, as you mentioned. My reform also raises the profile of doubles, increases the value of the trophy, and allows fans to see more of their favorite top players play.

It may be that the requirement would only have to be temporary. With my racquet reform, hard court ban, and the reform that gets rid of 5 set matches, players may once again feel doubles is worth playing. Net skills will be more important; exhaustion will be less of a factor; injuries will be less of a factor, etc.
It is up to them to decide whether they want to play a hard court season. They know the risks and benefits. Its their body.
This is not a logical argument. Players, if they want the trophy, the money, and the ranking, have no choice. The hard court season is long and players are not going to simply skip major tournaments like the US Open and Australian Open because they're played on unsafe courts.

This same faulty argument has been used in reaction to my racquet reform, too. Players have to adapt to the top end of the sport. This means that if other players are using stiff and powerful racquets with stiff strings (like Pure Drives with poly), every player has to choose gear to deal with that. This is why, when someone said "there's nothing stopping a pro from using a wood racquet", that person is completely wrong. There is plenty stopping players from using safer racquets and plenty that is stopping them from boycotting hard courts as long as those hard courts remain such a large part of the season and are used at two of the four slams.
As for reducing the number of sets. I'm for that in the early rounds by and large but stamina is an important aspect of the sport as well and determines much of the strategy.
Players need plenty of stamina to play matches that don't go to five sets. It's clear that 5 set matches are too draining when young and very fit players like Djokovic pull out and even Nadal was clearly tired by them. Tennis is not marathon running. We could have 17 set matches that would test stamina (involving stategy!), but is that really a good idea? 5 set matches are much longer than the women's finals. Can you explain the popularity of women's tennis with the masses given that?

The only match that I can even conceive of a good argument for a 5 setter is a slam final, and even then I think it's a bad idea. 4 sets is plenty.
As for reducing the length of the season, again, the players can choose their own vacation by choosing which events to enter. No need for micro-managing that either. Its about choices the PLAYERS MAKE.
People who argue for a reduction in the schedule realize that the ranking system is involved. You talk about player choices, but do you realize that those choices are made by taking into account the situation? They're not made arbitrarily.

rod99
07-30-2007, 04:22 PM
By 1988, a lot of hard courts replaced grass courts. For instance, the Australian Open was played on grass when Navratilova started her career (in the 70s), but then switched to concrete.

Hard courts were hard on the knees in 88, and they're a bigger problem today.

As for clay court specialists with knee problems, perhaps those players would be better off on grass? No one can argue that concrete is easier on the body than grass or clay, so what is your point, exactly? Is it that once in a while a player gets an injury in their youth on relatively safe surfaces? People can slip and fall on grass, twisting their ankle. But, that doesn't mean grass is the least safe surface like concrete. Grass is a soft organic material, not hard and brutal like concrete. The human body did not evolve to play sports on concrete.

no. carlsson didn't play on hardcourts hardly at all (might have played the us open once or twice). he only played on clay except for like 2-3 tourneys a year. just goes to show that early knee problems are not always caused by hard court tennis.

superstition
08-02-2007, 09:42 AM
The topic about players' reactions to wood racquets shows that they had a positive response. I'm not even advocating going back to them. I'm advocating a middle ground between those and the racquets of today.

80 sq in, 55 stiffness - men
90 sq in, 50 stiffness - ladies

http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=140275

superstition
08-14-2007, 10:12 AM
Here are two recent topics that are related:

WTA tennis is hurting...literally...
http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=150168

How did the grass season become so short??
http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=150145

Henman's Back! (Not in a good way)
http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=150639

The change has been from soft material to hard material and guess what hasn't changed—the human body.

king of swing
08-14-2007, 11:47 AM
while I do like the switching pro courts to 50/50 grass and clay (hardcourts are just boring as well as detrimental to players health) I think that the racket idea out of wack... I could see a 90-95 max for guys and 95-100 max for the ladies but 80 and 90.... i don't know..

king of swing
08-14-2007, 11:51 AM
also your double idea isn't the best...face it double just isn't as important and I don't see a reason to bring it back.. fans can see enough of their favorite players in singles

lethalfang
08-14-2007, 12:57 PM
Changing numerous rules in order to hold onto YOUR favorite version of tennis ain't gonna work.
Let things be.

PugArePeopleToo
08-14-2007, 01:07 PM
Change Wimbledon back to its original faster, lower bouncing material make sense to me. I would like to see a longer grass court season by putting some time in between French Open and Wimbledon. With a longer grass court season, we will have a shorter hard court season. I would also like to see a change of time and surface for Australian Open. Playing on rebound ace with 100 degrees on court temperature is mad.
As far as racquets, should have done what MLB did with aluminum bat. But it's too late now.

superstition
08-15-2007, 06:44 AM
I think that the racket idea out of wack...
Why?
I could see a 90-95 max for guys and 95-100 max for the ladies but 80 and 90.... i don't know..
That wouldn't accomplish anything.

Head size restrictions alone won't accomplish much unless the head size is cut down to something quite small. Stiffness is very important when it comes to injury.

80 sq in for men with max of 55 stiffness. This reduces ball speed and takes away the unfair advantage the current equipment gives baseliners who hit topspin (in conjunction with a longer grass court season and a second clay slam).

90 sq in for women with max of 50 stiffness. This reduces ball speed, dramatically reduces stiffness, but still provides enough power and forgiveness to make the tennis very watchable and playable. Graf and McEnroe did very well with a Dunlop 200G, and that racquet is less stiff (47?) and only had an 80 sq in head. I don't recall anyone saying their matches were boring to watch.

TennezSport
08-15-2007, 07:33 AM
Superstition,

While I agree with you about Wimbledon, I do enjoy that we have 4 different surfaces for the slams. Get W back to the fast surface it was in the past. The only thing that I would do is to have ramp up events for each surface, like the USOpen Series does now. This would mean moving some tourneys around, but it would be better for the players as they would not change surfaces so often.

It would also be nice to limit the big stars to less exo's and give more exo's to the lower ranked players to make more money, get better known and improve their games.

With respect to racquets, I agree with KoS with the 90-95 racquets for men and 95-100 for women. I would also take out the full sets of poly string and only allow half sets mixed with natural gut or soft multi string, in order to reduce stress and injury.

Just some thoughts.

TennezSport :cool:

superstition
08-15-2007, 07:36 AM
As far as racquets, should have done what MLB did with aluminum bat. But it's too late now.
Why? Racquets have been changing. There's no reason why they can't continue to change - toward the specs I posted.

superstition
08-15-2007, 07:42 AM
Changing numerous rules in order to hold onto YOUR favorite version of tennis ain't gonna work.
A balanced game where players aren't injured nearly as often and slam trophies in doubles matter—that should be everyone's favorite game.

The points of my reforms are the following:

1. Increase the ability of fans to see top players. By having the seeded players play doubles, fans can see their favorite players more readily. People will come to watch top players in doubles.

2. Greatly reduce the injury problem. Injury is particularly severe in the WTA tour, but the men's tour is having enough trouble with it, too. Reducing injury with my reforms will also lengthen the careers of players. We should not be seeing 20 year olds with knee operations and 20 year olds saying they're retiring because their "bodies are falling apart". We should not be seeing regular absences of top players who are in their 20s due to injury.

3. Bring balance back to the game, where no one style of play is too dominant.

4. Increase the value of the doubles slam trophies and also restore doubles to an important position in the sport. Doubles play will also create better singles players, because they will develop more net skills.

5. Reduce the role fatigue plays in slams by eliminating 5 set matches or by reducing the number of games played per set. Tennis is not marathon running and having players pull out or play poorly because of 5 set matches isn't a recipe for quality tennis. This year's Wimbledon highlighted the problem. Tennis players have to be extremely fit to play three sets on the men's side. 5 sets is absurd. 4 sets should be the maximum, or the number of games should be reduced.

6. Increase the length of semi-final and final women's matches at slams, to bring greater parity and allow audiences to get their money's worth. Two sets is just too short.

origmarm
08-15-2007, 08:01 AM
Surprised I hadn't seen this thread before so here goes

1. Wimbledon would return to the fescue (or fescue mix) and the soil it used in the past (1960s or so), with 100% rye starting at the baseline and moving back. This would help the durability of the baseline, but wouldn't affect the bounce/speed of the court. The balls would also be lower-bouncing, as they were in the past.

This is not a bad idea. Haven't they tried something like this before moving to the current solution?

2. The US Open would return to grass (something like the current Wimbledon grass and soil, which would differentiate it from the faster and lower bouncing grass of my reformed Wimbledon).

I am pretty ambivalent on this. I do think we need some hardcourt tournaments for variety but I would like to see one more grass and I think the US Open has a better shot than the Australian

3. The Australian Open would move to fast clay. This would provide a 50/50 grand slam split between grass and clay. Roland Garros would keep its slow clay. (The Australian Open should probably not move back to grass courts because Australia is too dry.)

Disagree, I like the hardcourt for the variety

4. In order to be eligible to play singles in slams, seeded players would have to enter the doubles. Mixed would be optional. If a player pulls out of the doubles, then they would also have to pull out of the singles as well. If a player cannot find a partner for doubles, a partner would be assigned. Players may enter the doubles without entering the singles.

This would revitalize doubles by increasing its visibility and importance. Fans would get to see their favorite players in action more often at slams, and the players would get more net practice. The concern over injury and fatigue is minimal or irrelevant, given my other reforms (no more 5 set matches, no hard courts, lower powered racquets).

I would say no to this one. I like your aim of raising the profile of doubles but I think its a different game. I value the doubles specialists and I enjoy watching these, I realise I am probably in a minority here.

5. If a player pulls out of the doubles, their partner may choose another player who isn't already in the draw or who has been knocked out.

Again no, its too open to abuse.

6. Professional racquets would have the following characteristics:

a) maximums of 80 sq in string area and 55 stiffness, for men
b) maximums of 90 sq in string area and 50 stiffness, for women
c) no other restrictions, except possibly the use of the single shaft form factor

The reduction in racquet stiffness will tone down ball speed and joint shock. (Since female pros have a higher joint injury rate due to stiff racquets and strings, I have set the maximum stiffness lower and given them an extra 5 square inches for reduced shock, to help offset the power loss due to the lower stiffness, and to help them return serve in mixed doubles.) The reductions in head size will make topspin baselining less dominant. Both changes, with the removal of hard courts, are designed to balance the game so that no single playing style has an advantage over another and the reforms also are designed to reduce injury. By reducing the power of racquets, players would also probably be more inclined to use gut, which would also increase joint safety.

While I think the idea of imposing greater conditions on racquets is not a bad one for some standardisation I'm not sure I agree with the numbers. I think that the current restrictions are too loose and I would like to see some changes, particularly I think with stiffness. I think you are giving an unfair advantage to certain playing styles here, notably S&V.

7. There would be no dress code at any pro tournament that is more strict than local laws. Players should be able to wear whatever they want to, as long as it's legal in the place they're playing. (This is not a big deal, but it's something I'm in favor of.).

Again I disagree, I think its not that important but I think clubs should be allowed to impose a dress code if they wish. Its important for the image of the club and its members

8. Hard courts would be banned and replaced with grass, clay, or indoor carpet. The grass court season will constitute at least 50% of the tennis calendar year. Hard courts are unsafe for professional players. The health of players trumps all other considerations. Tournaments that are "too poor" to afford grass, clay, or indoor carpet will have to cede their professional circuit status to tournaments than can step up.

Again no, while I don't like hardcourt tournaments as much I think they have their place. I would like to see a less proportion of them in the tour calendar however

9. If a player takes an injury time-out, the player is given a one or two point penalty (I'm not sure which number is the best choice yet), in order to reduce abuse of the injury timeout. Players may only take bathroom breaks at the start of one of their service games.

I think this is a good idea, especially the bathroom break one. If a player is genuinely injured them a 1 point penalty is the least of their worries.

10. No more 5 set matches, or the number of games per set would be reduced. Men would play a maximum of four sets, with a tiebreak. Women would play three sets minimum in the semis and finals of slams, not a minimum of two. *Or, the number of games for men's matches would be reduced so that 5 set matches would not be nearly as long. Perhaps the number of games in the last two or three sets would be cut? Something has to be done to a) shorten matches when compared to traditional 5 setters and b) make women's semis and finals longer, but not absurdly long.

5 set matches cause exhaustion and injury, and lower the quality of slam play/competition. Even the fittest players become exhausted by them. Tennis is not marathon running. Women's semis and finals are too short, in contrast..

I personally think that we should have 3 setters and then have 5 setters in the semis and the final. That way we preserve the way a game can swing in a 5 set match but we reduce the fatigue throughout the tournament

11. Get rid of the new "finishing points" in doubles.

This I'm not familiar with, could you elaborate?

Some good and some bad in here, some of it makes sense, some of it I suspect is to bring about more S&V tennis. I feel that with some guidance, the current game will evolve again as it has in the past

coloskier
08-15-2007, 08:36 AM
My own person opinion from 40 years of experience is that the problem is not the court, but is definitely the equipment. Even back in the 70's all the juniors played on hard courts and you did not see injuries like you do now. Because of the change in equipment, you can get a lot more power, but it also leads to a lot of severe grips (western), which is definitely causing all the wrist problems out there. Also, with the popularity of the two hand backhand you are seeing the wrist problem, too. You don't see near as many players with wrist problems using a 1 handed backhand. You also don't see many players that use a 2 hand backhand using a 90/95 frame. While the bigger frame helps you with off center hits and helps in reach for a 2 hander, it is a detriment to 1 handers. Take away some of the power that these rackets have and you will see a lot better game, rather than someone getting powered/blown off the court. Take away the power and you also take away a lot of the demands for severe fitness, also lessening injuries. It will also make some players want to end the point a lot quicker by using finesse and the Serve and Volley, because it will be harder to get passed.

David L
08-15-2007, 08:44 AM
1. Wimbledon would return to the fescue (or fescue mix) and the soil it used in the past (1960s or so), with 100% rye starting at the baseline and moving back. This would help the durability of the baseline, but wouldn't affect the bounce/speed of the court. The balls would also be lower-bouncing, as they were in the past.

2. The US Open would return to grass (something like the current Wimbledon grass and soil, which would differentiate it from the faster and lower bouncing grass of my reformed Wimbledon).

3. The Australian Open would move to fast clay. This would provide a 50/50 grand slam split between grass and clay. Roland Garros would keep its slow clay. (The Australian Open should probably not move back to grass courts because Australia is too dry.)

By making a 50/50 split between grass and clay, the net or all court game will not be dominant over the baseline game and vice-versa. It balances the game while also taking away injury-causing hard courts.

4. In order to be eligible to play singles in slams, seeded players would have to enter the doubles. Mixed would be optional. If a player pulls out of the doubles, then they would also have to pull out of the singles as well. If a player cannot find a partner for doubles, a partner would be assigned. Players may enter the doubles without entering the singles.

This would revitalize doubles by increasing its visibility and importance. Fans would get to see their favorite players in action more often at slams, and the players would get more net practice. The concern over injury and fatigue is minimal or irrelevant, given my other reforms (no more 5 set matches, no hard courts, lower powered racquets).

5. If a player pulls out of the doubles, their partner may choose another player who isn't already in the draw or who has been knocked out.

6. Professional racquets would have the following characteristics:

a) maximums of 80 sq in string area and 55 stiffness, for men
b) maximums of 90 sq in string area and 50 stiffness, for women
c) no other restrictions, except possibly the use of the single shaft form factor

The reduction in racquet stiffness will tone down ball speed and joint shock. (Since female pros have a higher joint injury rate due to stiff racquets and strings, I have set the maximum stiffness lower and given them an extra 5 square inches for reduced shock, to help offset the power loss due to the lower stiffness, and to help them return serve in mixed doubles.) The reductions in head size will make topspin baselining less dominant. Both changes, with the removal of hard courts, are designed to balance the game so that no single playing style has an advantage over another and the reforms also are designed to reduce injury. By reducing the power of racquets, players would also probably be more inclined to use gut, which would also increase joint safety.

7. There would be no dress code at any pro tournament that is more strict than local laws. Players should be able to wear whatever they want to, as long as it's legal in the place they're playing. (This is not a big deal, but it's something I'm in favor of.)

8. Hard courts would be banned and replaced with grass, clay, or indoor carpet. The grass court season will constitute at least 50% of the tennis calendar year. Hard courts are unsafe for professional players. The health of players trumps all other considerations. Tournaments that are "too poor" to afford grass, clay, or indoor carpet will have to cede their professional circuit status to tournaments than can step up.

9. If a player takes an injury time-out, the player is given a one or two point penalty (I'm not sure which number is the best choice yet), in order to reduce abuse of the injury timeout. Players may only take bathroom breaks at the start of one of their service games.

10. No more 5 set matches, or the number of games per set would be reduced. Men would play a maximum of four sets, with a tiebreak. Women would play three sets minimum in the semis and finals of slams, not a minimum of two. *Or, the number of games for men's matches would be reduced so that 5 set matches would not be nearly as long. Perhaps the number of games in the last two or three sets would be cut? Something has to be done to a) shorten matches when compared to traditional 5 setters and b) make women's semis and finals longer, but not absurdly long.

5 set matches cause exhaustion and injury, and lower the quality of slam play/competition. Even the fittest players become exhausted by them. Tennis is not marathon running. Women's semis and finals are too short, in contrast.

11. Get rid of the new "finishing points" in doubles.Disagree with all of them. Things are fine as they are. Good thing you're not the ATP CEO.

Roforot
08-15-2007, 08:52 AM
I read this post w/ great interest. I appreciate the thought and discussion in trying to make the game better.

Here are my compromises:

1) Racquet Reforms: I think 85-100 sq " is fair; am less concerned about head size, but more about injury prevention, so I like the idea of putting stiffness 50-65. I think this is reasonable and most current players can comply and it eliminates a future niche/specialist Babo-bubba 130" 80stiffness forehand machine.

2) Strings: others mentioned it, but it cannot be emphasized that Polys are greatly responsible for hurting s&V (more than racquets anyway), according to Pat Rafter. Basically they make it easier to hit passing shots w/ crazy spin; in addition Rafter said they didn't do much for feel/volleys touch, so he never used it.
I don't think most rec. players (excepting Talk TEnnis members) know or use a string b/c of their pro idol as opposed to public familiarity w/ their idol's racquet. Thus I feel an equipment change involving strings would be easier to push through and enforce.

I know this is also contraversial, but I've felt wrist/elbow soreness after playing just 2-3 sets w/ the stuff that in my mind at least, it has to contribute to wrist/elbow injuries.

3) Your changes regarding Wimbledon sound like a great plan; I'm not sure how the two types of grass would look on TV, but otherwise am all in favor of it.

4) Clothing: Here I disagree; I don't want people to look like Nascar racers or billboards on TV. I also don't really like the baggy hip-hop looks or sleeveless shirts. And going the other direction, I don't like tight-tight John Stockton shorts. Golf has guidelines for dress/clothing; I think tennis tradition is important as well.

5) Scoring: keep the scoring the same; I like tradition. I tend to favor keeping best of 5 for men at grandslams; the 5 setters are what're remembered. Off the top of your head, how many great 4-setters can you rattle off?

6) Injury Timeout: should have a 1 point penalty to avoid abuse. I see a lot of people take timeouts for knee/calves and then run off like racehorses. They must be getting ahell of a massage!

7) I personally would like more grass/clay courts; this is my personal experience but it's a lot less wear on the limbs/back/knees. My thoughts are if the pros played more tournies on grass/clay, we would as recreational players see more local grass/clay courts.

A reasonable start out would be to make the GrandSlams on natural surfaces and let the masters etc. be on hard courts.

8) I don't think Doubles should be mandatory; but I think the results of 4 doubles tournies should impact a single players ranking. Someone who hates it would just take a 0, but for others I could see a well-rounded player scoring well.

9) Regarding the length of the tennis season; it's hard to say. My impression is that if they cut the season shorter, players would just do more exhibition matches rather rest/recoup. I don't think many players save Federer and Nadal plan rest times.

Finally, I want to say that although I like S&V, my goal would be to create a balanced mix where you'd have enough contrasting styles. I think back to late 80s and you had some s&V (Edberg/Samprass/Kraijeck) competing w/ baseliners (Chang/Courier/Agassi) and that was really interesting tennis.

origmarm
08-15-2007, 08:58 AM
My own person opinion from 40 years of experience is that the problem is not the court, but is definitely the equipment. Even back in the 70's all the juniors played on hard courts and you did not see injuries like you do now. Because of the change in equipment, you can get a lot more power, but it also leads to a lot of severe grips (western), which is definitely causing all the wrist problems out there. Also, with the popularity of the two hand backhand you are seeing the wrist problem, too.

I agree with this. My bro plays with a much more western grip that I do and also plays a 2HBH. He can no longer play a 2HBH because of his wrists and has always had wrist problems. I play eastern and a 1HBH (mostly due to how I was taught back in the day) and have never had these problems despite our build (and clearly our genetics) being similar

TennezSport
08-16-2007, 06:48 AM
While I do not thinks it's completely the racquets, I do agree that the new grips are part of the problem. Add the new poly strings to the package and you have a dangerous combination. These new grips require too much wrist snap to generate the massive TS of today's game. If we were to go back to natural gut or soft multi synthetics, we would see a significant drop in wrist and arm problems.

Additionally, with all the action on the ball, we are see greater angles on the court requiring players to cover more territory, putting greater strain on the lower body to cover the court. This is happening on all surfaces, not just HC.

TennezSport :cool:

superstition
08-17-2007, 09:39 PM
Here are my compromises:

1) Racquet Reforms: I think 85-100 sq " is fair; am less concerned about head size, but more about injury prevention, so I like the idea of putting stiffness 50-65. I think this is reasonable and most current players can comply and it eliminates a future niche/specialist Babo-bubba 130" 80stiffness forehand machine.

2) Strings: others mentioned it, but it cannot be emphasized that Polys are greatly responsible for hurting s&V (more than racquets anyway), according to Pat Rafter. Basically they make it easier to hit passing shots w/ crazy spin; in addition Rafter said they didn't do much for feel/volleys touch, so he never used it.

I don't think the logic is sound here. Head size is part of the injury problem. Racquet stiffness is just one component of the problem. Greater head size, in conjunction with stiffer racquets and poly, yields greater ball speed. Not only does that result in more injuries, but also it helps make topspin from the baseline too good. A 100 sq in 65 stiffness reform isn't much of a compromise. It's practically no reform at all. My reform is a compromise between going back to standard size wood racquets and the reckless anything goes mentality of today.

Big Bubba racquets aren't the problem. Stiff racquets between 95-110 sq in are the main culprits, although I think the men's game should drop to 80 sq in because it's clear that even 90 sq in produces too much power. It's not just possible ball speed that matters but the ease of blasting the ball. Players could hit hard with wood racquets but they didn't blast the ball constantly because there were better ways to win. The average ball speed was considerably lower in the early graphite and graphite/wood composite periods.

Although I think it would be ideal to have wood-graphite composites again as the standard, I have moved toward establishing a maximum flex and head size instead of mandating a minimum percentage of wood because racquet companies can likely produce racquets more cheaply without the wood in them which will help make the reforms an easier sell. However, I personally think a minimum wood percentage of perhaps 80% is probably the best possible solution because wood is an effective absorber of shock, increases racquet mass, and increases flex. By allowing 20% of the racquet to be stiffening synthetics, the racquets will be less prone to warp and head sizes can be extended to 80 and 90.

People who have said the strings used currently are a bigger issue than the racquets are missing the point. People wouldn't be using poly in low powered racquets in the first place. There wouldn't be enough power. And, having a small head size, like 80, with a high flex will make topspin from the baseline less dominant over other strokes so the attractiveness of poly will diminish in favor of safer string like gut.

People need to remember that all of my reforms are designed to work together. If you take away one component, the whole design fails. For instance, making a maximum head size without a stiffness maximum is only going to favor serve-volley players at the expense of everyone else because it will be fairly easy to hit big serves. A very stiff small headed racquets is not going to be good for the body, either. So, the maximum stiffness restriction is just as important as head size. With my stiffness and head size reforms, the string problem is eliminated because the edge poly has over gut will be taken away. Players will want to use gut for its power.

4) Clothing: Here I disagree...I think tennis tradition is important as well.
Tennis players have never been static in the way they dress. Did players in the 40s dress like players in 1900? No. Tennis dress has constantly been changing. Players should be able to dress however they want to as long as it's legal in the area they're playing in. No one should impose their arbitrary sense of fashion on them. If traditional dress is so important, tennis players should be wearing this:

http://www.vintagevictorian.com/images/modes_aug97.jpg

5) Scoring: keep the scoring the same; I like tradition.
Tradition isn't an argument. There can be a tradition that's bad just as easily as there can be a tradition that's good. There can be a tradition that not longer works because of other changes.

My thoughts are if the pros played more tournies on grass/clay, we would as recreational players see more local grass/clay courts.
Perhaps, although recreational play isn't what I'm focusing on.

8) I don't think Doubles should be mandatory
Why?

Finally, I want to say that although I like S&V, my goal would be to create a balanced mix where you'd have enough contrasting styles. I think back to late 80s and you had some s&V (Edberg/Samprass/Kraijeck) competing w/ baseliners (Chang/Courier/Agassi) and that was really interesting tennis.
I've said over and over that my reforms are designed to bring balance to the game. However, the late 80s shouldn't be the benchmark. The serve was too much of a weapon, despite the success of some baseliners, and the racquets were already becoming too light and stiff. The first few years of the 80s are a better benchmark with the 80 sq in wood/graphite composites, the Prince Woodie, Rossignol's F-200, the Dunlop 200g (also 80 sq in), the Yonex R-7, and so forth.

LES
08-17-2007, 10:37 PM
There's no need to reform tennis. Let's say someone started a league with the reforms you proposed. If it were so great as you imagine then it the pros would gravitate to play in that league, no? Somehow I doubt that they would. What is the incentive for them to play a slower/ more limiting game than they are used to? I still have my Dunlop 200G in the closet. Despite being able to hit topspin, etc.. I jsut don't feel like using that kind of racquet now that I'm used to the modern racquet. I'm sure most player would feel the same. It might be novelty of having an 'old school' tournament with current pros using woodies or other old school racquets, but so boring if every tournament was like this - which is what you are proposing. Would you watch car racing if they limited the speed to 60mph?

I understand the concern for safety in sports where the danger is death or permanent disfiguration but injury due to hardcourts? Puh-lease! You over exagerating the safety or lack there of in the current game. What you are proposing has nothing to with safety. This is just a strawman. Basically, you have a bias against modern tennis and you are reminiscing about the 'good ole days' when Borg & McEnroe ruled the game.

superstition
08-18-2007, 12:38 PM
There's no need to reform tennis.
This is an opinion, so it can't be proven.

What is the incentive for them to play a slower/ more limiting game than they are used to?
I've detailed the advantages of my reforms many times in the topic. I suggest that you read my posts and respond to the advantages, specifically, that I discussed. As for "more limiting", that's incorrect. All changes have advantages and drawbacks. What matters most right now is balancing the game and reducing injury, because those are two areas where there needs to be a lot of improvement when compared to tennis of the past.

I still have my Dunlop 200G in the closet. Despite being able to hit topspin, etc.. I jsut don't feel like using that kind of racquet now that I'm used to the modern racquet. I'm sure most player would feel the same. It might be novelty of having an 'old school' tournament with current pros using woodies or other old school racquets, but so boring if every tournament was like this - which is what you are proposing. Would you watch car racing if they limited the speed to 60mph?
Would it be more exciting for players to kill their opponents with knives after a victory? There is a line between what's exciting and what's too dangerous. It's my position that hard courts, hard string, and hard powerful racquets are hard on the body. It's a pretty difficult point to counter. Not only are they hard on the body, they're not necessary for quality tennis. Ball speed is not the only thing in tennis, by any means.

You over exagerating the safety or lack there of in the current game.
The frequency of injury in comparison with that of the past speaks for itself, along with the severity of injuries and the shortening of careers. Talk to Kim Clijsters, Lindsay Davenport, Venus Williams, Martina Hingis, Mary Pierce, Andy Murray, Mark Phillipoussis, Jennifer Capriati, Monica Seles, and many others. How about asking 20 year old Mirza about her knee operation?
Basically, you have a bias against modern tennis and you are reminiscing about the 'good ole days' when Borg & McEnroe ruled the game.
Incorrect, not am I advocating a return to standard size wood racquets. Read my racquet reform guidelines again and look at the racquets Borg and McEnroe used. Who is the one exaggerating?

suwanee4712
08-31-2007, 05:48 PM
I would hate to see hard court tennis go altogether. But it is hard on the body. I remember Martina announcing in 1986 that she would only play a minimal amount of hard court tournaments because of the effects they were having on her knees. And she did just that for the last 8 years of her career. In fact, after 1987, she never played the Lipton or the Florida hardcourt tournaments again.

But I do like a lot of your ideas. Maybe you should run for tennis commish? ;) What I'd like to see is more players (specifically American, Australian, etc.) grow up learning the game on clay courts. Clay court tennis does wonders for anyone's game. The faster HarTru variety is fair enough for even net rushers. It's softer, more foregiving, and forces you to learn more about strategy and patience.

I would also like to see youngsters taught how to volley FIRST. Put them right up at the net face to face learning about hand-eye coordination, racquet control, angles, and not to be afraid of the net. Then gradually move them back to learn groundstrokes, and finally, the serve. I think it's a good way to learn the game. Plus it might would encourage more all court and serve and volley type players - providing that we have the kind of racquet technology guidelines that you're talking about.

I would also encourage players to not just automatically go to a two-handed backhand, but to find what's more comfortable for them. Anyone that thinks that a one-handed backhand is a weakness just doesn't understand the strengths of it.

Players like Lendl, Sampras, and Mandlikova were all better players *because* they had a one-handed backhand instead of a 2. That's because they understood the variety of that stroke and knew how to use that to exploit weaknesses in their opponents - such as Lendl and Mandlikova to hit short and low to the Connors and Evert forehands. Not to mention that all 3 had some of the best backhand passing shots of their day.

lainey80
08-31-2007, 06:01 PM
Big 'ups' to you and your ideas.;) Sounds like you have a genuine concern for the players.

Kaptain Karl
09-22-2007, 10:41 AM
1. Wimbledon would return to the fescue (or fescue mix) and the soil it used in the past (1960s or so), with 100% rye starting at the baseline and moving back. This would help the durability of the baseline, but wouldn't affect the bounce/speed of the court....This one, I agree with.

The balls would also be lower-bouncing, as they were in the past.Nah! AELTCC just needs to NOT open the Wimby balls 2 weeks in advance, like they have the last two years.

2. The US Open would return to grass...NO!!!

IF ... the USO changes the surface at all, it should go back to Har-Tru, like it had at Forest Hills.

3. The Australian Open would move to fast clay. This would provide a 50/50 grand slam split between grass and clay. No! A 50/50 grass/clay mix of the Majors is a bad idea. Hard courts are a reality. Deal with it.

Just REDUCE the number of hard courts; replace them with Har-Tru.

4. In order to be eligible to play singles in slams, seeded players would have to enter the doubles.A really lame idea. Here's a partial list of recent players who stink at doubles. Who wants to see them stumble and bumble around the courts????

Agassi
Roddick
Ljubicic
Blake
Gonzo
Nalbandian
Murray

[Snore!]

If a player pulls out of the doubles, then they would also have to pull out of the singles as well. If a player cannot find a partner for doubles, a partner would be assigned.No. Nope. Bad ideas.

I'm glad you're not the Commish for Tennis.

This would revitalize doubles by increasing its visibility...It would make Dubs the laughingstock of pro sports

5. If a player pulls out of the doubles, their partner may choose another player who isn't already in the draw or who has been knocked out.Ridiculous!!! If you think cheating is bad in Pro Sports now...?!!!

6. Professional racquets would have the following characteristicsThis level of micro management is nuts. I'd be open to restrictions; but not measures as drastic as these.

7. There would be no dress code at any pro tournament ...Stupid micro management. Let the Tourneys do what they want here.

8. Hard courts would be banned ...You are one persistent son-of-a-gun.

No.

You pretend changing this at the Pro level can be made distinct from the Amateur level. It cannot. Hard courts are everywhere. Deal with it.

(Hard courts can be softened and reduced in number, but banning is assinine.)

9. If a player takes an injury time-out, the player is given a one or two point penalty ...No. Just remove the consequences of poor conditioning from the allowable "injuries". IOW, cramps are not an "injury". Play or default.

10. No more 5 set matches ...No. Just play 3 until the Round of 16 ... again, like Forest Hills did several years ago.



doubles is only for players who aren't good enough to play singles. it allows them to hide their weaknesses.Posted like one who can't play Dubs well. (If you were to see someone post, "Singles is for players who can't play Dubs" you'd get a sense of how silly your assertion sounds to those of us who CAN play good Doubles.)

the grass court season is the correct length as it is.No. It's too short. I do think a significant "Grass Season" would be a good thing.

(But AELTCC "caved" to the dirtballers a few years back. They've turned Wimby into a "clay event." Ugh!!!)



I kept service aces from being too good. If you look at the wood composite era, you'll see something similar to what I'm proposing.Yet, if you Google the name "Colin Dibley" and "145MPH" you'd see how long ago players could serve as fast in the '70s. (Oops!)

Hard courts, although bad for the body, are all most schools and communities can afford, which is why my idea for banning them only applies to pro tennis. It would be nice for the federal government to give schools money to build courts to encourage fitness.(a) Your idea would just make US tennis fall farther down, in terms of Pro performance.

(b) Thanks for giving away more of my money. (The "Feds" aren't playing with their money; it's ours...!



I'd rather have tennis 10 months a year and be able to see most or all of the top players peforming at or near their peak, rather than sitting out 1/3 of the season or more with injuries.YES!!!!



Change Wimbledon back to its original faster, lower bouncing material make sense to me. I would like to see a longer grass court season by putting some time in between French Open and Wimbledon.Yup.

As far as racquets, should have done what MLB did with aluminum bat. But it's too late now.I thought the PGA finally *did* make a rule to remove the square groove club face. (The PGA fought them ... lost ... allowed them ... and now the players even agree they make the Short Game too easy. (Someone correct me if I'm wrong....)

Tennis can do the same kind of fix....

- KK

Rhino
09-22-2007, 11:04 AM
Can't they just leave it alone? It's brilliant, i love it as it is.

ananda
09-22-2007, 10:19 PM
the scoring of table tennis (21 point games) makes a lot more sense than tennis scoring (small games, and many of them).

i also feel that 5 setters become a test of stamina and not skill. 5 setters only in later rounds, if at all. i hv not understood what's going on when A loses the first 2 sets, and then wins next 3. (caution: newbie thoughts)

acher
09-23-2007, 08:35 AM
i have to say as a spectator and traditionalist, i prefer the 5 setters for grand slams. there's nothing like an epic rollercoaster match. and sure it might seem like a test of stamina, but i feel the better player goes through 99% of the time. it's not like you're going through each round in 5 sets, if you're really deserving you should go through in straight sets, like most of the top players.

superstition
09-23-2007, 10:22 AM
i have to say as a spectator and traditionalist, i prefer the 5 setters for grand slams. there's nothing like an epic rollercoaster match. and sure it might seem like a test of stamina, but i feel the better player goes through 99% of the time. it's not like you're going through each round in 5 sets, if you're really deserving you should go through in straight sets, like most of the top players.
How about reserving 5 sets for the finals, then? It's awful to have competition ruined by players playing multiple 5 setters (or even one tough one) going toward the final.

superstition
09-23-2007, 10:29 AM
I would hate to see hard court tennis go altogether. But it is hard on the body. I remember Martina announcing in 1986 that she would only play a minimal amount of hard court tournaments because of the effects they were having on her knees. And she did just that for the last 8 years of her career. In fact, after 1987, she never played the Lipton or the Florida hardcourt tournaments again.
Mirza has already had a knee operation and she's only 19 or something.
But I do like a lot of your ideas. Maybe you should run for tennis commish? ;)
There are too many people who think player health and the health of the sport take a back seat to "profits". Look at all the support for concrete courts because they're "cheaper" and "easier to maintain". They're not cheaper because they carry a physical price tag that hurts the sport.

There are young PhD university science teachers who are teaching courses with the English measurement system, in 2007! I don't have a lot of faith in the ability for humans, especially Americans, to adopt reforms, even if they're really logical. The English system is incredibly inefficient and obsolete.

What I'd like to see is more players (specifically American, Australian, etc.) grow up learning the game on clay courts. Clay court tennis does wonders for anyone's game. The faster HarTru variety is fair enough for even net rushers. It's softer, more foregiving, and forces you to learn more about strategy and patience.
More clay courts would be good, but we also need many more grass courts. Grass has been largely displaced by concrete, to the detriment of the sport.

I would also like to see youngsters taught how to volley FIRST....it might would encourage more all court and serve and volley type players - providing that we have the kind of racquet technology guidelines that you're talking about.
It's key to adopt the racquet and court surface reforms. Even with a racquet reform, if we continue to have more and more tournaments on hard surfaces, serve and volley isn't a great idea. It's very hard on the body to jump, lunge, and so forth at the net on concrete.

superstition
09-23-2007, 10:32 AM
the scoring of table tennis (21 point games) makes a lot more sense than tennis scoring (small games, and many of them).
Simple cumulative scoring would water down the game in my opinion. I'm not in favor of it. Deuce-add scoring makes tennis a more mental game and reduces the role of luck (if you take away the ridiculous technology that allows players like Roddick to serve consecutive 40 love games with aces.)