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Indy Tennis
02-03-2006, 05:50 AM
At the risk of being dubbed sacrilegious I have to say I like the new no-ad, super-tiebreaker third set doubles format used at regular tour events.

I love watching pro doubles. Nothing shows the skills of these players like the rapid-fire, point blank volley rallies.

The new format cuts a match down to about an hour max and it’s pretty intense to have the game come down to a sudden death, receivers choice point at 40-all.

The only downside is at times a lesser team may win by getting hot in the super-tiebreaker. Overall I think it’s a good change.

Netbudda
02-03-2006, 06:27 AM
I disagree, specially with the part about cutting the matches time down. Why are they discriminating against doubles players..??? Let's implement this idea about no adds and playing lets on the WTA and ATP tours and then you will see the problem with it. Doubles players just want to play the sport using the same rules every other professional player uses, they don't have to make special rules to get them off the court quicker, if that was the case, let's set every match ( singles, double, grand slam, davis cup ) to an intense 1 hr of tennis and whoever wins the more points is the winner. I respect your opinion, but in my eyes it's the wrong thing to do, specially after watching the AO doubles finals...what a match !!!!!

tennisnj
02-03-2006, 07:48 AM
As long as these changes don't make it to the tournaments & leagues we play in as amateurs, I'll be happy. My local league plays 2/3 tiebreak sets, the H.S. team I coach still plays that way as well.
It better not make it to the 'weekenders' who play on the public courts in my town. I love going to the public courts in my town & play w/the 'weekenders' who play sets w/o tiebreakers, the way it was meant to play. I always have a tough time getting any of the people in my weekend group to play w/o tiebreakers, they're always pressed for time. If you can't hold AND break serve, you don't deserve to win a set or match.

vllockhart
02-03-2006, 07:50 AM
We just need to see more doubles. The ATP and WTA do precious little to promote doubles and we rarely see it on TV.

Grimjack
02-03-2006, 08:42 AM
I disagree, specially with the part about cutting the matches time down. Why are they discriminating against doubles players..???

Because doubles is dead weight on the tour. They get paid like professionals, yet they bring in zero public interest, and thus zero revenue.

Recreational tennis is one thing -- there, doubles should (and does) thrive. A professional tennis tour is a business. Nobody would pay players just because they're good. They pay them because putting on the tennis spectacle helps to generate revenue.

From a business standpoint, these guys (pro doubles players) should thank their lucky stars that the tennis powers that be are clueless businessmen. The correct business move is to axe doubles altogether. Just one of many horrible marketing moves tennis has made over the last 20 years while the sport declines into cult status.

vllockhart
02-03-2006, 08:53 AM
Because doubles is dead weight on the tour. They get paid like professionals, yet they bring in zero public interest, and thus zero revenue.

Recreational tennis is one thing -- there, doubles should (and does) thrive. A professional tennis tour is a business. Nobody would pay players just because they're good. They pay them because putting on the tennis spectacle helps to generate revenue.

From a business standpoint, these guys (pro doubles players) should thank their lucky stars that the tennis powers that be are clueless businessmen. The correct business move is to axe doubles altogether. Just one of many horrible marketing moves tennis has made over the last 20 years while the sport declines into cult status.

Um. doubles is a legit part of tennis. They are professional players in a wealthy sport, they deserve every dime they make. Just because they don't have sense enough to market it well doesn't mean it's irrelevant.

Indy Tennis
02-03-2006, 09:15 AM
I haven't met a person yet who after watching pro doubles doesn't come away thinking how fun it is to watch.

The speed of the game is even more apparent when watching doubles.

The Bryan brothers have helped a little with the exposure of the game, but I tend to fall on the side of those who think the game is not properly marketed.

It would help if the big stars would play more regularly and with the new rules maybe some will.

Kaptain Karl
02-03-2006, 10:22 AM
Because doubles is dead weight on the tour....TILT!!! About as wrong as can be.

From a business standpoint, these guys (pro doubles players) should thank their lucky stars that the tennis powers that be are clueless businessmen.Rather, the "clueless businessmen" need to get a clue and promote and advertise Doubles better. That AO Mens Doubles Final was one of the most entertaining and GOOD TENNIS matches I've seen, ever. I put it right "up there" with the Venus/Davenport Wimby '05, the Genepri/Coria USO '05, Agassi/Blake USO '05 and Federer/Santoro USO '05. It had excitement, tension and amazing shotmaking. (One thing good about JHH's "Duran" was we got to see the whole Mens Dubs Final. Wa-Hoo!!!

The correct business move is to axe doubles altogether....*IF* they did this, it would truly be the beginning of the END for tennis. I'd say (if the dropped Dubs) "Fill out the DNR paperwork. Tennis is finished."

- KK

Kaptain Karl
02-03-2006, 10:34 AM
I haven't met a person yet who after watching pro doubles doesn't come away thinking how fun it is to watch.

The speed of the game is even more apparent when watching doubles.

The Bryan brothers have helped a little with the exposure of the game, but I tend to fall on the side of those who think the game is not properly marketed.Agreed.

It would help if the big stars would play more regularly and with the new rules maybe some will.I pray NOT. Federer, Hewitt, Nadal? Sure, they can probably play Dubs. But who wants to see Roddick, Agassi, Fish, Nalbandian, Coria, Chela, Gonzo, Massu, Gaudio and Mathieu play Dubs from the backcourt??? (Snore!)

(I'll admit a Kiefer Dubs assault/brawl could charge the public interest. But I don't really want that kind of publicity for the game.)

The new rules suck. The ITF should promote Dubs better, as it IS; not use gimmicky rules to "promote" the game of Doubles.

- KK

DanEd
02-03-2006, 03:46 PM
nalbandian is a very good doubles player and he does not not play from the baseline
Agreed.

I pray NOT. Federer, Hewitt, Nadal? Sure, they can probably play Dubs. But who wants to see Roddick, Agassi, Fish, Nalbandian, Coria, Chela, Gonzo, Massu, Gaudio and Mathieu play Dubs from the backcourt??? (Snore!)

(I'll admit a Kiefer Dubs assault/brawl could charge the public interest. But I don't really want that kind of publicity for the game.)

The new rules suck. The ITF should promote Dubs better, as it IS; not use gimmicky rules to "promote" the game of Doubles.

- KK

Kaptain Karl
02-03-2006, 04:21 PM
nalbandian is a very good doubles player and he does not not play from the baselineI've *never* noticed him in any Doubles Draw, but I'll take your word for it. And, you DO get my point though, right?

- KK

Yours!05
02-03-2006, 04:56 PM
Originally Posted by Indy Tennis:<snip>The Bryan brothers have helped a little with the exposure of the game, but I tend to fall on the side of those who think the game is not properly marketedAgreed.

I pray NOT. Federer, Hewitt, Nadal? Sure, they can probably play Dubs. But who wants to see Roddick, Agassi, Fish, Nalbandian, Coria, Chela, Gonzo, Massu, Gaudio and Mathieu play Dubs from the backcourt??? (Snore!)

(I'll admit a Kiefer Dubs assault/brawl could charge the public interest. But I don't really want that kind of publicity for the game.)

The new rules suck. The ITF should promote Dubs better, as it IS; not use gimmicky rules to "promote" the game of Doubles.

- KKI saw the Bryans play twice live at the AO. Very keen to see them as they're in the vanguard of doubles promotion, but for all their "Twin Appeal" (and they're OK looking) they don't really do doubles a service. Charisma does not rise from the court, and they hardly showcase the sublime skills of doubles. For that you need Paes, Woodbridge etc. etc. It needs at least to be a *show* and there won't be any *show* coming from those KK named. So you're left with not just 2nd tier singles players, but virtual unknowns who've spent their lives honing the skills we love to see. Surely a promotional challenge.

Kaptain Karl
02-03-2006, 05:56 PM
... Bryans ... Very keen to see them as they're in the vanguard of doubles promotion, but for all their "Twin Appeal" (and they're OK looking) they don't really do doubles a service. Charisma does not rise from the court, and they hardly showcase the sublime skills of doubles.This is so true. I coach Doubles a lot ... and I'm flabbergasted to see how often the Bryans are caught -- and stay -- in One Up / On Back ... and how often they don't "play the beginning, middle and end of the points" (as Blaskower teaches).

... you need Paes, Woodbridge etc. etc. It needs at least to be a *show* and there won't be any *show* coming from those KK named.Yes. The best Dubs players are guys like:
Bryan, Bob (USA)
Bryan, Mike (USA)
Mirnyi, Max (BLR)
Bjorkman, Jonas (SWE)
Ullyett, Kevin (ZIM)
Nestor, Daniel (CAN)
Paes, Leander (IND)
Black, Wayne (ZIM)
Hanley, Paul (AUS)
Zimonjic, Nenad (SCG)
Santoro, Fabrice (FRA)
Llodra, Michael (FRA)
Damm, Martin (CZE)
Arthurs, Wayne (AUS)
Bhupathi, Mahesh (IND)
Not too many *name* players, huh?

Surely a promotional challenge.Agreed. But don't let the ITA "give up." They haven't even tried...!

- KK

equinox
02-04-2006, 04:29 AM
Super Tiebreakers suck. It just not tennis.

I played last season with super-T after the competition i was in changed the format at the last second. I would have played somewhere else if i'd known this before hand.

Reason Super-T is bad because it gives people without decent levels of fitness a chance to win.

Example today i lose the first set 7-5 against two older guys, i thought why was i playing there pusher game... Next set i dropshotted them to near death, last two sets 6-0 6-0. They lose all energy and hope at 4-0 second set. Now if we were playing Super-T they could been more fresh and had a better chance of winning.

Why should the fitter player be penalised?

bigserving
02-04-2006, 09:13 AM
The fact is that fans pay and tune in to watch players not the game.

Even on this board of so called tennis fans, the same names come up over and over. Venus, Serena, Agassi, Federer, Roddick, Hewitt, Sharapova. Posters are constantly complaining about the TV coverage not showing the players that they want to see.

At the US Open last year. Venus v Serena, the top row of Arthur Ashe Stadium was full. 23,000 plus fans. The men's doubles final, maybe five hundred, maybe a thousand people watching. If Agassi and Federer were in the final, the place would have been packed. Attend any tour event and just pay attention to when the fans show up. In most sessions, there is a mass exedus after the singles is over and the doubles begins.

Nobody cares about the doubles players. If they did, the ATP would happily promote it and line their pockets with more green. Those are just the facts.

The ATP is taking the right approach in trying to create an environment to get more of the big name singles players to play doubles.

Kaptain Karl
02-04-2006, 10:20 AM
The fact is that fans pay and tune in to watch players not the game."Sort of." But the ITF and ATP haven't even tried to help promote the doubles players. Your argument is a "chicken/egg" claim.

... Attend any tour event and just pay attention to when the fans show up. In most sessions, there is a mass exedus after the singles is over and the doubles begins.Same answer. Dubs hasn't been given a chance. (Probably because the idiots at the top of the ITF and ATP don't know *how* to market.) Fans are left to follow the whims of the Hollywood idiots who run the Networks ... and think all that matters is the "Soap Opera-ness" (Or is it the "National Enquire-ness"?) of tennis promotion. Dopes...!

Nobody cares about the doubles players. If they did, the ATP would happily promote it and line their pockets with more green.Since they haven't even attempted to promote the doubles players, your assertion is still a hollow chicken/egg "splat".

The ATP is taking the right approach in trying to create an environment to get more of the big name singles players to play doubles.No they are not. No tennis fan will be enticed to be anything more than a casual fan by watching poor doubles players foul it up. Instead, the ATP should put a good solid year of marketing and promotion into the game -- and players -- of doubles *. THEN, if the fans are still ... unaware ... of dubs, you may have a persuasive argument.

* I'm not saying "Market dubs exclusively." But, at least market dubs -- for dubs -- with an equal attention.

- KK

bigserving
02-04-2006, 11:14 AM
You make a lot of grand, unsubstantiated assumptions. You assume that we tennis fans know nothing of doubles unless the tour promotes it. What is to promote. Who are these people that you expect the game to promoted to? What do expect the tour to promote that they don't already.

Doubles is played by far more players than singles. Tennis fans are well aware of the game of doubles. Face it, as a means of entertainment which pro tennis is, it is not the game, it is the players that is the attraction. John McEnroe is playing doubles at San Jose next week. There will be a good crowd for his match. Not because it is doubles, but because McEnroe is playing.

Some of the early round doubles for the SAP is played at a private club with free admission. Some of the top doubles teams play there. Still, there may be fifty or sixty fans show up to sit in folding chairs right next to the court. They could never schedule McEnroe's doubles match there. It would be chaos because McEnroe, the individual, is the attraction.

You say that nobody wants to pay to see inferior players play doubles. Well, McEnroe is not a top player and just check the attendance when he plays and learn a bit about who people will pay to see.

Doubles is part of every tour event. People simply do not pay to watch it in it's current format, that is a fact. Nobody wants to pay to see no names play the game, also a fact. Attend the US Open, Miami, or Indian Wells events. At any one time there may be men's, women's, singles, and doubles going on at any one time. Just take a little time to look around and see where the fans are. That should tell you all you need to know.

Moose Malloy
02-06-2006, 12:03 PM
Pam Shriver agrees with you bigserving. Doubles has always had limited appeal, even when singles stars played it:

"This has been a long time coming," laments Shriver, now established as one of the leading tennis analysts in television. "The problems with doubles have not just come around in this generation. I realized where doubles was in 1985, when Martina and I were coming to the end of our 109-match winning streak. Imagine a 109-match winning streak in any sport. But it got teeny, teeny attention. Martina is one of the greats of all time and I was a Top 10 singles player and had a name, but where did it get us? Basically, there was hardly mention of our long winning streak."

Shriver still believes the women could utilize their imposing stature in their quest to have doubles given more of the spotlight, pointing out that "Martina [Navratilova] has been a big story in the last few years and is still playing doubles in her 50th year. So maybe between Martina and just enough of the top stars playing occasionally, that could be just enough to keep things from bubbling over [from the men's] on [to] the women's side. But doubles has basically been the poor stepsister to singles since the start of Open Tennis in 1968. I remember walking out to play doubles finals with Martina in the 1980s at the U.S. Open at 11 a.m. on Sunday morning. You were disappointed, sure. But at the end of the day, it was like, 'Can I win another U.S. Open?' The crowd is the crowd no matter how small or large, so you just go out and play. .Taking [as a given] my doubles fondness and [yet] trying to look at this from a distance, I am not sure that the pro game or the tournament directors worldwide owe the game of doubles anything. It is more like the game of doubles has to show that it is worth a slice of the pie. I say that as someone who remains loyal to doubles."

http://www.sportsmediainc.com/tennisweek/index.cfm?func=showarticle&newsid=14698&bannerregion=

Deuce
02-06-2006, 11:36 PM
Sigh... one up/one back... sigh... this is one of the things in life that is just simply... wrong.

If doubles is a "dead weight" in tennis, it is because of the fans' ignorance. Yes, I place the blame squarely on the fans - for not seeing doubles as the wonderfully talent-laden spectacle that it is.

The reason this has occurred is twofold:
First, many people play more doubles than singles. Many social events incorporate doubles. Let's face it - at the recreational level, doubles is seen as more of a social activity than a competitive sport. This perspective rubs off on people, who inevitably do not take pro-level doubles very seriously as a result.
Secondly, pro singles is what gets the media attention. If nothing changed in pro singles and pro doubles, but the media spotlight changed proportionally from pro singles to pro doubles, then pro doubles would be in good shape, and we'd be talking about the potential death of pro singles. People (i.e. tennis fans) will place importance wherever the media tells them to place it, rather than assess things for themselves, and decide for themselves. This is a most unfortunate element of the human character in 98% of humans.

Kaptain Karl
02-07-2006, 03:09 PM
You make a lot of grand, unsubstantiated assumptions.Ouch! You BRUTE...!

You assume that we tennis fans know nothing of doubles unless the tour promotes it.Nope. You misunderstand me. “We” here on TW are not “the typical” tennis viewer / fan. Even though I disagree with you personally, I consider you an above-average fan ... and NOT the fan the promos and ads would be aimed at.

What is to promote?Speed!
Artistry!
Reflexes!
Teamwork!
Amazing saves!
Super angles!
Etc....!
(Were’ve you been?)

Face it, as a means of entertainment which pro tennis is, it is not the game, it is the players that is the attraction.This is the problem. The current thinking at the top levels of the ITF, ATP, etc. think like you think. I’m suggesting this is “stinkin’ thinkin’!!!”

John McEnroe is playing doubles at San Jose next week. There will be a good crowd for his match. Not because it is doubles, but because McEnroe is playing.Actually BOTH. Mac is known to be one of the finest doubles players EVER. (And he still has that “celebrity” you reference.) He appeals to both types of fans.

You say that nobody wants to pay to see inferior players play doubles. Well, McEnroe is not a top player and just check the attendance when he plays and learn a bit about who people will pay to see.This is a truly ridiculous supposition. Everyone knows Mac is one of the greatest Dubs players *ever*. (Navratilova was recently asked who the BEST Doubles team was. Her answer? “Mac and anybody.”)

... Nobody wants to pay to see no names play the game, also a fact.Nope. It’s an opinion.

Attend the US Open, Miami, or Indian Wells events. At any one time there may be men's, women's, singles, and doubles going on at any one time. Just take a little time to look around and see where the fans are. That should tell you all you need to know.Hasn’t this been addressed already? Why are you circling the discussion? The “powers that be” need to promote Dubs -- seriously -- for at least a year. If a good Dubs promotion doesn’t produce *butts in seats* after a year ... THEN I’ll agree that Doubles is a loser.

... Shriver, now established as one of the leading tennis analysts in television.Arguable, at best. She’s “good”, but “leading”??? Nah!!!

... Martina is one of the greats of all time and I was a Top 10 singles player and had a name, but where did it get us? Basically, there was hardly mention of our long winning streak.Um, Moose Malloy? I am posting about Men’s Doubles; not Womens. (I’m not sure *even I* have any useful suggestions for promotion and marketing of Womens Doubles.)

- KK

Max G.
02-07-2006, 04:22 PM
If it really is about "name value', as some of you claim, then it's even more about marketing than about anything.

There is nothing in the name "Andy Roddick" that makes it inherently superior to the name "Mike Bryan" - "name value" is gained through being promoted in the media...

Moose Malloy
02-07-2006, 04:28 PM
You guys are nuts. I've been attending the US Open for 20 years, attended Wimbledon a few times. This are events attended by knowledgable tennis fans, not some sheep waiting for the media to tell us what to think. Fans don't care about doubles, this has nothing to do with marketing. The stands empty when doubles is played around the world. And its been that way for 20 some years.
The ATP tried marketing doubles in the mid 90s. They even had a separate year end championship for doubles in Hartford. It was a disaster, no one attended.
Tennis fans understand that doubles is played by inferior players that couldn't excel in singles. Or are too old or slow to do well in singles. The Bryans are a joke in singles, they are lucky to get a free ride from the ATP.

Max G.
02-07-2006, 04:30 PM
I would kind of like to see Agassi and Roddick try to play doubles, just to see what would happen when they played some actual doubles players....

dmastous
02-07-2006, 04:49 PM
Because doubles is dead weight on the tour. They get paid like professionals, yet they bring in zero public interest, and thus zero revenue.

Recreational tennis is one thing -- there, doubles should (and does) thrive. A professional tennis tour is a business. Nobody would pay players just because they're good. They pay them because putting on the tennis spectacle helps to generate revenue.

From a business standpoint, these guys (pro doubles players) should thank their lucky stars that the tennis powers that be are clueless businessmen. The correct business move is to axe doubles altogether. Just one of many horrible marketing moves tennis has made over the last 20 years while the sport declines into cult status.
Spoken like a tournament promoter. These are the reasons stated for the changes in the doubles format. I'll add another. For the doubles draw you have twice the number of players to house, feed & transport, for a tenth the value. But they are simply wrong. Doubles isn't popular for one reason. It's never gotten a square deal from the networks.
If TV (and I mean ESPN, ABC, CBS etc. ) would show double with the same effort and care they show singles (and I know some would say they mash singles as well, but work with me here) then doubles would have the same kind of star quality that singles has.
The whole reason for the changes in the doubles format is to try and convince the existing singles players to play doubles. It's the lazy way to deal with the problems you've stated.
The hard way, and the better way, because doubles is fantastic to watch, is to market and promote and show doubles on a par with singles. But the networks simply won't do it. They, and the ATP/WTA are too lazy.

dmastous
02-07-2006, 05:02 PM
You guys are nuts. I've been attending the US Open for 20 years, attended Wimbledon a few times. This are events attended by knowledgable tennis fans, not some sheep waiting for the media to tell us what to think. Fans don't care about doubles, this has nothing to do with marketing. The stands empty when doubles is played around the world. And its been that way for 20 some years.
The ATP tried marketing doubles in the mid 90s. They even had a separate year end championship for doubles in Hartford. It was a disaster, no one attended.
Tennis fans understand that doubles is played by inferior players that couldn't excel in singles. Or are too old or slow to do well in singles. The Bryans are a joke in singles, they are lucky to get a free ride from the ATP.
It takes patience and effort to develop a market. Do you think tennis as it is now was always as popular? Were the first tennis matches sold out affairs? Just because the ATP or ITF is too lazy and needs instant return on their investment doesn't mean doubles can't be successful. They had Luke & Murphy Jenson plastered all over the place. But they gave up too soon. They had the Woodies. Now they have the Bryan Bros. They can do something with the tour, but they need a concerted, combined, sustained effort from all involved and will bring more fans. They are just too impatient and lazy. Like the networks canceling good shows because of initial bad ratings.
Do you think MASH would have survived in today's entertainment market? It would have been canceled after a few months. If it doesn't make the top 10 in it's first season it's a failure.

bigserving
02-07-2006, 05:36 PM
Ouch! You BRUTE...!

Nope. You misunderstand me. “We” here on TW are not “the typical” tennis viewer / fan. Even though I disagree with you personally, I consider you an above-average fan ... and NOT the fan the promos and ads would be aimed at.

Speed!
Artistry!
Reflexes!
Teamwork!
Amazing saves!
Super angles!
Etc....!
(Were’ve you been?)

This is the problem. The current thinking at the top levels of the ITF, ATP, etc. think like you think. I’m suggesting this is “stinkin’ thinkin’!!!”

I am a fan of doubles. But I understand and acknowledge why doubles is (fact) not popular on the tour. You still have not said who these "typical" fans are who will supposedly come if doubles is promoted.

This is a truly ridiculous supposition. Everyone knows Mac is one of the greatest Dubs players *ever*. (Navratilova was recently asked who the BEST Doubles team was. Her answer? “Mac and anybody.”)

McEnroe WAS one of the best players. Welcome to 2006 Mac plays the senior tour now. If doubles is so much about "teamwork", as you mention, then why is Peter Fleming's name NEVER even mentioned among great tennis players. Doubles players are not recognized as the best tennis players. If they were among the best, they would have singles results to show for it.

Hasn’t this been addressed already? Why are you circling the discussion? The “powers that be” need to promote Dubs -- seriously -- for at least a year. If a good Dubs promotion doesn’t produce *butts in seats* after a year ... THEN I’ll agree that Doubles is a loser. KK

Because these are the facts as they exist today and you still don't seem to want to acknowledge that fact or you still just don't get it.

While I respect your opinion, you have presented no tangible facts to backup anything that you write. You seem to subscribe to some, "If you build, they will come," mentality. Field of Dreams was a fantasy movie, much like your doubles promotion fantasy.

Gotta agree with Moose, some of you guys are nuts!

bigserving
02-07-2006, 05:42 PM
I would kind of like to see Agassi and Roddick try to play doubles, just to see what would happen when they played some actual doubles players....

Your first post was not your best work but this one is getting on the right track and you are making the ATP's point.

I also would like to see Agassi and Roddick play dubs. Most fans would. That is why the ATP is trying to create a format where they will play.

Agassi sells tickets, Roddick sells tickets. Do you think that Agassi and Roddick against the Bryans would sell tickets?

BTW I would take Roddick (serve) and Agassi (returns) against the Bryans game, seven days a week.

Max G.
02-07-2006, 07:10 PM
Doubles players are not recognized as the best tennis players. If they were among the best, they would have singles results to show for it.

Not necessarily. If they're among the best DOUBLES players but not the best singles players, then they'd win doubles titles and not singles titles. Which is what they do.

Gaston Gaudio is an amazingly good claycourter, but where would he be if we judged him by his performance on grass? nowhere. Or where Andy Roddick would be if we judged him based on his performance on clay.

Even among singles players, there's a fairly wide gulf between the different surfaces. To me, it seems like the difference between doubles and singles is MUCH greater than the difference between singles-on-different-surfaces, and it seems just as unfair to say that "doubles players aren't good tennis players because they don't win at singles" as it is to say that "Gaston Gaudio shoudn't be recognized as a good tennis player because he can't win on grass" or "Ivo Karlovic shouldn't be recognized as a good tennis player because he can't win on grass" or "Carlos Moya shouldn't be recognized as a good tennis player because he can't win at doubles".

Deuce
02-07-2006, 10:12 PM
I know I'd certainly prefer to watch guys like Moodie and Nestor and Bhupathi and Bjorkman playing doubles instead of watching Roddick and Agassi play doubles.
The reason is very simple - the 'no name' guys are much better doubles players. Roddick and Agassi can't volley to save their lives.

So, while it may be true that many of the top doubles players are not near the top as singles players, the reverse also holds true - that many of the top singles players are not very good doubles players. Which is the more valuable element of tennis - singles or doubles? We know what the media thinks is more valuable - but I'd suggest that people make their own assessment, free of the media's influence. If humans are capable of so doing, that is...

Kaptain Karl
02-08-2006, 12:04 AM
I am a fan of doubles.I doubt your claim, here. Any "fan" of doubles would understand that Agassi and Roddick are *terrible* Dubs players.

You still have not said who these "typical" fans are who will supposedly come if doubles is promoted.Yes I did. Go back and read it again.

McEnroe WAS one of the best players. Welcome to 2006 Mac plays the senior tour now.This shows me how little you really know about doubles. Mac may be on the Senior Tour; but that does not obviate his *still current* doubles prowess.

If doubles is so much about "teamwork", as you mention, then why is Peter Fleming's name NEVER even mentioned among great tennis players.If you are not going to *read* my replies, what good are you in this discussion? If "Mac and *anybody*" constitutes the Best team, why would any particular partner need to be mentioned? You are begging the question.

Doubles players are not recognized as the best tennis players. If they were among the best, they would have singles results to show for it.This is a truly asinine assertion. The more you discuss Dubs, the more you show your ignorance of the game.

... or you still just don't get it.Yeah. That must be it.

... you have presented no tangible facts to backup anything that you write.Only someone who knows little about doubles would claim this.

Have you read *any* of Deuce's posts in this thread??? I ask because you post as if your mind is already "made up."

- KK

Rabbit
02-08-2006, 07:02 AM
I've got to say that when I attended the Masters in Houston, the crowds were as thick for the doubles as they were for the singles. I also have to admit that I became a fan of the doubles more than the singles after watching Knowles/Nestor play two Argentines. The doubles guys have more variety and play more to the crowd. They get the crowd in the match and are more appreciative of the crowd IMO. Prior to that, I watched some dubs in Indian Wells, but was more interested in catching the big names in singles. I've watched doubles in Memphis as well. Today, I'd probably watch as much or more doubles if I were to attend Indian Wells.

What has really helped me is the Tennis Channel. They carry the doubles matches for the tournaments they carry. Once you get some exposure to these guys, it really is fun to follow them. I really enjoy watching doubles more now than the singles because there is more action on court. There is more variety. If you don't have access to it, you're really missing something special.

All that said, I understand why doubles hasn't made it. And, there are a bunch of contributing factors. However, when you consider that Knowles and Nestor split $6000 for winning Delray Beach, we're not talking a ton of money either. My personal opinion is that the doubles and singles tours should split and only play together at Masters Series and above level events. The doubles tour could then focus on smaller markets that don't get professional events. I feel certain that if they came here and played an indoor event, they'd get crowds. They'd probably make more money. Quite frankly, the doubles guys are going to have to do more to earn their money. They need to have pro/am events at every tournament they play, they need to put on doubles clinics, they need to to promotional stuff when they're not playing tournaments. I think the players on the doubles tour want the same respect that the singles guys get, but they never will until they get the public behind them. They can do it, but it's going to be painful for the first generation or two of players on that tour.

With regard to the new format, I don't think the reasons are valid. First, who among us goes to a sporting event wanting it to be shorter? Gee, when I'm in Chicago and attend a Cubs game, does anyone really think I don't want to spend 3+ hours at Wrigley? Hell, I'd move into Wrigley if they'd let me! Same thing applies to tennis. When I go, I want to see a good match. If I'm there a couple of hours, well I paid for a ticket and I'd love to see as much tennis as I can. Now, they say the change is for TV. What TV? The Tennis Channel? Excuse me, but the folks who opt for the Tennis Channel aren't doing it to see shorter matches, i.e. less tennis. My wife and daughter may absolutely love the new format, but they doesn't want to watch tennis anyway! IMO, it's kind of like Lifetime telling my wife they're not going to put on movies any more because they're two hours long.

Truth be told, the powers that be in tennis aren't thinking about the long term good of the game. Around here, upper level competition is dieing on the vine. The 5.0 league has been gone for a couple of years, save two teams, and the 4.5 is next. 4.0 has fewer teams each year. I have contacted the head pro at my club and strongly suggested that he get off his duff and start a 4.0/4.5 singles and doubles night at one of the clubs. There are guys who want to play, they just don't want to fool with league tennis. But, I digress. The USTA had better be doing everything it can to promote any kind of tennis. Doubles is the working man's (woman's) brand of tennis and they'd better get off their collective corporate duffs and figure out a way to save it, not kill it.

penpal
02-08-2006, 07:19 AM
I don't know much, but one thing I do know is that those of you who believe doubles is languishing because the media doesn't focus enough attention on it have the whole thing backwards.

The media does not lead the masses, the masses lead the media. The networks don't show Roddick because they inherently like Roddick and want the masses to feel the same way. No, they show Roddick because they have learned that when they do the masses tune in and they are able to sell more advertising.

Doubles is not treated as second rate because it is a lesser quality version of the sport, it is treated as second rate because the masses don't enjoy watching it as much as they do singles. Why is that, I couldn't say for sure, though I would venture to guess that, even though the pure tennis skills displayed in doubles are on par with the singles, the drama isn't there. Long rallies, intense focus, contrast of styles ... these are the things that build drama and all are less evident in doubles than they are in singles.

Moose Malloy
02-08-2006, 10:38 AM
Here's a tournament director's response to doubles players not being promoted:

But as Pilot Penn tournament director Anne Worcester, formerly CEO of the WTA Tour, knows as well as anyone, the promotional part of doubles is complicated, to say the least. Doubles players can wait until the last minute before entering events, leaving promoters stymied in terms of giving the public good advance notice of who is going to participate. As the enterprising Worcester explains, "I definitely think that we tournaments could do a better job of promoting doubles, but it would be nice to have a much earlier sign. You don't know until either 9 a.m. or noon on Saturday of your qualifying who is signing in for the doubles. So I have no incentive to go out and put any doubles players in my advertising because I don't know who is playing. I remember getting a call one year at 7 a.m. on the Saturday from Lisa Raymond telling me she and Martina Navratilova were coming to the tournament, which was great news. But I would have liked to have put them in the advertising. So doubles players have to help tournaments promote them too."

"It is not that I had a negative perspective back then, but when I was trying to broker player/tournament negotiations, the sticking points were always the size of the qualifying draws and the size of the doubles draw. When tournaments are struggling, they don't want to pay for more hotel rooms or pay for more meals or more transportation when everybody arrives with their entourages. It was clearly a tournament consensus that doubles was an expense and not revenue. When I came to the Pilot Pen, I saw better what an important part doubles is of the whole entertainment experience. I have been pleasantly surprised at how popular doubles is."

Be that as it may, New Haven may be inordinately doubles-friendly. Worcester attributes the supportiveness of the fans largely to demographics, alluding to the fact that between 30 percent and 40 percent of the spectators are older than 55 and therefore predisposed to watching doubles since that is all they play.

Kaptain Karl
02-08-2006, 11:54 AM
penpal - I respectfully encourage you to READ this thread before you post more arguments which have already been thoroughly addressed.

Rabbit - Very thought-provoking suggestions. I'll be back.

Moose Malloy - Thanks for the quote. I don't know if (today's) Dubs teams still can commit so late to tourneys. (Anyone?)

I agree that they surely have a responsibility to help promote the game. And I disagree with your conclusions. (Surprise!)

- KK

Moose Malloy
02-08-2006, 12:39 PM
Any "fan" of doubles would understand that Agassi and Roddick are *terrible* Dubs players.


Just looked up their record at atptennis. They've both won doubles titles beating some good teams along the way. They're certainly better in doubles than Nestor/Knowles/Bryans are in singles. Those guys haven't even come close to winning a singles titles of any kind. Considering Agassi & Roddick hardly ever play doubles, yet both have bagged titles in doubles, points to the doubles specialists being very lucky that singles players don't play doubles. I've seen Nalbandian/Puerta & Ljubicic/Ancic play doubles in Davis Cup, there's no reason they wouldn't be among the best teams in the world if they played regularly. They don't because singles is their priority, as it is for every pro player. I've read interviews with Todd Woodbridge where he said singles was always his priority, regardless of his success in doubles. I have no problem with that. But, the Knowles/Nestors types realized they couldn't make a living in singles & concentrated soley on doubles. To me, that lessens the game of doubles. The best clearly aren't playing & guys that wouldn't be able to make a living on the singles tour are taking advantage of the situation. At least in the 80s, many doubles champ were guys that were in the singles draw as well. Guys like Noah, Leconte, Nystrom, Gomez, Edberg, Jarryd, Wilander, Cash, Annacone, Forget, Gilbert, Sanchez, Curren, Mecir etc.

here's Agassi's one doubles title (w/Petr Korda)
1993 Cincinnati Masters Series:

R32 Stoltenberg, Jason (AUS )/
Woodforde, Mark (AUS ) 6-3 3-6 6-2

R16 Ferreira, Wayne (RSA )/
Stich, Michael (GER ) 6-4 6-3

Q Michibata, Glenn (CAN )/
Pate, David (USA ) 6-2 7-5

S McEnroe, Patrick (USA )/
Reneberg, Richey (USA ) 6-4 2-6 6-4

W Edberg, Stefan (SWE )/
Holm, Henrik (SWE ) 7-6 6-4

Not bad for a "terrible" dubs player, huh?

Indy Tennis
02-08-2006, 04:14 PM
At Delray Beach they put some doubles on grandstand court between featured singles matches.

I gotta hand it to Floridians, most of them stayed to watch an excellent double match (Nestor/Knowles vs. Kim/Lee).

It was a highly entertaining match and I think people will be willing to watch a doubles match if they only have to invest an hour or less with the new format. With the old format you might be in for a two-hour or more match and I don't think most people are willing to invest that much time in a doubles match.

penpal
02-08-2006, 05:43 PM
penpal - I respectfully encourage you to READ this thread before you post more arguments which have already been thoroughly addressed.
- KK

And I respectfully affirm that the points I made in my post HAVE NOT been thoroughly addressed.

I state again, I think you have a basic misunderstanding of the marketing process. You seem to think the ATP isn't interested in marketing doubles. I'm sure the ATP would like nothing better than to see doubles become just as popular as singles and the execs in the ATP offices have probably had many meetings trying to come up with ways to make it happen -- it's just not an easy sell.

Imagine you're the ATP exec in charge of negotiating television deals with the networks. You have ESPN on the phone and they are offering to ink a contract that will pay your organization $XX million over the next 4 years. They are paying for the rights to televise events that you are hosting. At this point, you might say, "We would very much like a clause included in the contract that guarantees you will televise X hours of live doubles coverage, as we REALLY want to promote that aspect of the sport."

Can you guess what they would say?

Here's my guess: "We understand your interest in promoting doubles, and we will do our best to work it into the schedule where possible, but we are going to have to reserve the right to televise whatever we believe will draw the largest audience."

What do you do now? Walk away from the deal and hope that another network makes you an offer AND lets you decide the programming schedule? Or do you accept the terms and take the millions, knowing that no other network will ever give up the right to determine what they will show and when they will show it?

Now, what if the network said, "Look, we know you've been wanting to promote doubles for years and we know you haven't been happy with what we've been televising. The problem is the audience just isn't there. Based on our research, it seems the average tennis fan thinks doubles lacks the intensity and the drama of singles. Believe me, we are as interested as you are in developing doubles into a sport that draws large audiences, so here's what we propose; we will increase our doubles promotion and commit to televising more doubles if you make the following rules changes to doubles -- no-ad scoring and a super tie-break in lieu of a third set."

You see what I'm saying now? I believe the ATP is doing exactly what you want them to do, and yet you complain because you don't understand the process.

Kaptain Karl
02-08-2006, 07:29 PM
I think you have a basic misunderstanding of the marketing process.::Sigh::

You are describing the "contract negotiations." I'm addressing marketing and promotions. (Two completely different things.)



SALES is the process of proposing a solution for a need.
MARKETING is the measuring of the effectiveness of existing programs ... so you can make adjustments and improvements.

The Pro Tour's promotions are "broken" IMO. They need to have some real pros employ good Marketing science and propose fixes to make the promotions more effective.

(I just got the March [i]Tennis mag. the baseline profile of DeVilliers, the new ATP Chairman, gives me (some) hope. This is because DeVilliers isn't an "ATP insider" who got promoted. He represents "new blood." The same article demonstrates the obstacle of "politics" he is up against. The ITF controls Davis Cup. The Slam events are also not under ATP control.)

You seem to think the ATP isn't interested in marketing doubles.No. They are incompetent in their marketing and promotions.

I'm sure the ATP would like nothing better than to see doubles become just as popular as singles ... Their *behavior* doesn't support your claim.

... and the execs in the ATP offices have probably had many meetings trying to come up with ways to make it happen ... I seriously doubt this.

Imagine you're the ATP exec in charge of negotiating television deals with the networks....Your hypothetical is a "setup". (Maybe the ATP actually negotiated like you supposed -- which would prove my incompetence claim. But any negotiating team worth its salt wouldn't have approached the Networks *anything like* what you describe. Unless, of course, they wanted to lose...!)

I believe the ATP is doing exactly what you want them to do, and yet you complain because you don't understand the process.Nope. The ATP, ITF and Slams are not doing anything like "what I want." (But they're in competition with each other; not cooperation ... yet. Their behavior demonstrates classic "zero sum" thinking. They have each been trying to get bigger and bigger pieces of a shrinking pie -- not cooperating to see if they can help make the "pie" bigger.)

- KK

sureshs
02-08-2006, 08:19 PM
I've read interviews with Todd Woodbridge where he said singles was always his priority, regardless of his success in doubles.

Reminded me of the TTC program on Lisa Raymond - she said she plays doubles so that she can play better in singles. Almost as if she was ashamed of playing doubles!

From my personal perspective, I find that doubles is far easier to play at the recreational level. Less running, less energy expenditure, more fun, more results without good fundamentals. When I watch pro doubles, it is at the back of my mind that two players are doing the work of one. This is not true at that level of course, but the perception is there, as another poster said, that doubles is easier.

Rabbit
02-09-2006, 06:35 AM
Reminded me of the TTC program on Lisa Raymond - she said she plays doubles so that she can play better in singles. Almost as if she was ashamed of playing doubles!

I don't think she meant it like that at all. The bulk of her success and her income has hinged on her doubles career. She knows that.


From my personal perspective, I find that doubles is far easier to play at the recreational level. Less running, less energy expenditure, more fun, more results without good fundamentals.

I'd agree with some of this, but certainly not all. You can play doubles without good fundamentals? I strongly disagree. Remember that in any doubles match not only do you have half the court to cover, but half to hit to as well. Returning serve in doubles is a much more daunting task than in singles. Doubles also requires more variety of shot, and quicker decisions about what to do and what not to do.

The movement required in doubles isn't what it is in singles unless you start doing a lot of poaching and moving at net. In a competitive doubles match where there is a lot of moving, you can get your heart rate up.

With regard to the fun part, that's true, but if you look around you at the courts, you'll see plenty of hit and giggle singles too.

Don't get me wrong, I still love to play singles, but doubles provides more of a challenge because of the items listed above.

I don't know much, but one thing I do know is that those of you who believe doubles is languishing because the media doesn't focus enough attention on it have the whole thing backwards.

The media does not lead the masses, the masses lead the media.

I hear what you're saying, but if folks are never exposed to doubles, how will they know if they like it or not? The biggest question Cliff claims to get is "Why don't you show more doubles?".

I don't know that the networks do things that are sensible. Why do they always show Roddick, Agassi, or the Williams, even over showing Federer? It's pretty much a common agreement on these boards that ESPN would rather show a mediocre women's match, a 51 minute romp, that involves the Williams sisters than a truly great match involving two men who aren't American. Hell, for that matter, ESPN would rather show a repeat of Serena's match than a live match involving two men!

While what you say makes sense, the networks don't follow your logic it would appear.

Kaptain Karl
02-09-2006, 07:08 AM
From my personal perspective, I find that doubles is far easier to play at the recreational level. Less running, less energy expenditure, more fun, more results without good fundamentals.Dubs is certainly more social at the Rec level.

After my weekly indoor doubles play, I usually watch the tennis on the six indoor courts while stretching / cooling down. I'm frequently so tempted to ask if ANY of those (mostly 3.0 - 3.5) players would like "some" more advanced Tips for Dubs ... but I don't. (Many of these people *could* employ some better tactics. I just don't think anyone has bothered to show them much....)

When I watch pro doubles, it is at the back of my mind that two players are doing the work of one. This is not true at that level of course, but the perception is there, as another poster said, that doubles is easier.I appreciate your candor.

I think I'm such a Doubles fan because even from my Jr days -- a lllooong time ago -- my Instructors and Coaches almost universally would say, "Singles is checkers; doubles is chess." (The ... cachet ... of this phrase always made Dubs appealing to me. Even though I personally cannot stand Chess, I “got” the implication that Doubles is much more of a *thinking* game than Singles.)

- KK

sureshs
02-09-2006, 08:23 AM
I don't think she meant it like that at all. The bulk of her success and her income has hinged on her doubles career. She knows that.

I'd agree with some of this, but certainly not all. You can play doubles without good fundamentals? I strongly disagree. Remember that in any doubles match not only do you have half the court to cover, but half to hit to as well. Returning serve in doubles is a much more daunting task than in singles. Doubles also requires more variety of shot, and quicker decisions about what to do and what not to do.


This is close to what Lisa said: "The reason I play doubles, the reason I am out on the court all day training, is so I can do better in singles". Her success and income is due to doubles, but still she aspires for singles. Why?

Then last year Paes and Bhupathi had a fight when the press pointed out that Bhupathi had passed Paes in slam titles. Paes pointed to his singles record as one of the reasons for his superiority.

Last week at Delray Beach, Vince Spadea was in the TTC booth after losing the day before. He said his doubles matches in the tourny may have made him tired for singles, but "I made a few extra bucks from doubles". It is well known that players who are not confident of going deep into the singles rounds sign up for doubles for that extra money. Not that singles players are doing it for free, but you know what I mean. One of the Bryans referred to Lisa (was it?) as his cash cow in mixed doubles. All this leads to the perception that doubles is a side business which you do to make a few extra bucks in case you are kicked out of singles early. People make a big deal about old-timers like Laver playing doubles, but it was often due to necessity, as prize money was a joke then. A lot of women played doubles because the money was even lower for them - this might explain the number of women who were top singles and doubles ranked players.

I knew I would get into trouble when I said at the recreational level, dubs can be played with bad fundamentals. Your sentence is literaly true - "I" can play successful dubs with bad fundamentals. I as in me only. I cannot do that in singles. Return of serve is the only difficult part as you point out, specially for a right hander in the ad court, which is where I prefer to play to improve my backhand return. But energy-wise, mental strength-wise, stroke production-wise, I find singles far more difficult. I can play 4 sets of doubles, but am essentially done after 1 singles set, specially if it 6-4 or something.

bigserving
02-09-2006, 09:15 AM
I don't know that the networks do things that are sensible. Why do they always show Roddick, Agassi, or the Williams, even over showing Federer? It's pretty much a common agreement on these boards that ESPN would rather show a mediocre women's match, a 51 minute romp, that involves the Williams sisters than a truly great match involving two men who aren't American. Hell, for that matter, ESPN would rather show a repeat of Serena's match than a live match involving two men!

While what you say makes sense, the networks don't follow your logic it would appear.

Read Pen Pal.s Post #32 above, then read below.

NEW YORK -- For the second consecutive year, Tiger Woods and Serena Williams are the most highly sought athletes to serve as spokespersons.
In a survey of professionals in the public relations and marketing industries conducted by Alan Taylor Communications, Inc., Woods easily outdistanced Lance Armstrong among the men. Williams beat Annika Sorenstam among women.
Also high on the survey were two Hispanic athletes, Alex Rodriguez and Oscar de la Hoya.

http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/sportsbusiness/news/story?id=2004780

The handful of vocal Serena hating morons on this board do not represent the reality of the viewing world and the general public. They are not the viewers with disposable income that advertisers covet.

When more players like Agassi, Roddick, and Serena play doubles, the networks will show it. The ATP has created a shorter doubles format in an attempt to get higher ranked, more popular players to paticipate. When popular players play, people will watch and doubles will be shown.

bigserving
02-09-2006, 09:37 AM
If you are not going to *read* my replies, what good are you in this discussion? If "Mac and *anybody*" constitutes the Best team, why would any particular partner need to be mentioned? You are begging the question.

I am thinking that you should read your own replies. People in this thread keep asking you for your "how to promote doubles," solution because you have presented absolutely nothing for discussion in that regard.

Any experienced sales professional would have no problem breaking down the who, what, where, when, why and how in a reasonably coherent manner. But you have not. You debate and resort to name calling probably because you lack the ability to present an intelligent argument on the subject.

Must pack for Davis Cup now so that I can see some good doubles. GO USA!!

Kaptain Karl
02-09-2006, 11:22 AM
I am thinking that you should read your own replies.I've just gone back and read *every post* in this whole thread....

People in this thread keep asking you for your "how to promote doubles," solution ... No. No poster has asked me this. Not once. Not even you. Your baseless charge confirms my suspicion that your reading comprehension is ... lacking.

... you have presented absolutely nothing for discussion in that regard.I don't normally do this, but you keep making charges against me which are without foundation. Here are some quotes from my previous posts in this thread. Maybe you should read them aloud to help with your comprehension....

the "clueless businessmen" [the “powers that be in Pro tennis] need to get a clue and promote and advertise Doubles better.

don't let the ITA "give up." They haven't even tried ...!

ITF and ATP haven't even tried to help promote the doubles players.

the ATP should put a good solid year of marketing and promotion into the game -- and players -- of doubles. THEN, if the fans are still ... unaware ... of dubs, you may have a persuasive argument.

The current thinking at the top levels of the ITF, ATP, etc. think like you think [that the players are the thing to promote; not the game]. I’m suggesting this is “stinkin’ thinkin’!!!”

The “powers that be” need to promote Dubs -- seriously -- for at least a year. If a good Dubs promotion doesn’t produce *butts in seats* after a year ... THEN I’ll agree that Doubles is a loser.

The ATP, ITF and Slams are not doing anything like "what I want." (But they're in competition with each other; not cooperation ... yet. Their behavior demonstrates classic "zero sum" thinking. They have each been trying to get bigger and bigger pieces of a shrinking pie -- not cooperating to see if they can help make the "pie" bigger.)

You debate and resort to name calling probably because you lack the ability to present an intelligent argument on the subject.You're gonna make me cry...!

I cannot help it if you read like so many people argue orally -- already planning your retort before you've even heard out your opponent. I recommend a remedial reading course.

- KK

penpal
02-09-2006, 12:53 PM
KK - clearly we have some differences of opinion (and that's not a bad thing :) )

You have been pretty clear in your claim that the ATP/ITF should better promote the game of doubles as well as doubles players, and that, up until this point, they have either not tried hard enough to do this or have been incompetent in their attempts.

Let me ask you this though -- How exactly would you propose the ATP and ITF successfully promote and advertise the sport and players of doubles if the networks don't televise the sport and players of doubles? In other words, how do you, the promoter, convince fans to fall in love with a sport when you can't offer them a regularly scheduled opportunity to watch it? (and I'm assuming here that you are talking about promoting to a national and international audience, as opposed to local promotions)

What I believe, and what I've outlined in my earlier posts, is that the ATP/ITF knows that to allot resources to promoting a sport that isn't widely televised would be throwing good money after bad. Before they can promote the sport of doubles to the fans they HAVE to promote it to the networks, and that means convincing the networks to televise it more often and more regularly (and that occurs during contract negotiations).

mislav
02-09-2006, 01:40 PM
Clearly an effort should be made to bring more public to the doubles. Exactly how to do it is beyond me. Perhaps a super tie break is a good thing, but I feel it mames the doubles games and should be left for exhibition matches.

Kaptain Karl
02-09-2006, 01:48 PM
penpal - Thanks for your response. I can enjoy this level of discourse....

Let me ask you this though -- How exactly would you propose the ATP and ITF successfully promote and advertise the sport and players of doubles if the networks don't televise the sport and players of doubles? What’s the big idea, asking the question which lies at *the crux* of the matter?

Addressing the first part (How exactly would you propose the ATP and ITF successfully promote and advertise the sport and players of doubles?): I don’t know the specifics. I remember how the NBA was losing viewers like crazy (Was that in the late ‘70s or early ‘80s?) and they hired an advertising company which had them change the way the NBA had been advertising. (In their case, they switched from promoting the whole team, to -- first identifying, then -- promoting the clash of one team’s “star” against another’s. The new method was HUGELY successful.) But the NBA’s new firm first *studied* the problem with good research ... then they made the changes and watched the numbers closely to see that they had, indeed, changed them in the direction they wanted.

I also thought the “These Guys Are Good!” ad used by Pro Golf a few years ago was terrific. We should be so lucky in Tennis....

Now the second part (How ... if the networks don't televise the sport and players of doubles?): This is the very “Chicken/Egg” problem I mentioned early-on in this thread. I do admit I’m stumped here. But this is the reason those high-powered Advertising firms get all the Big Bucks...!

What I believe, and what I've outlined in my earlier posts, is that the ATP/ITF knows that to allot resources to promoting a sport that isn't widely televised would be throwing good money after bad.No. It would be an “investment” in the future of Tennis.

Before they can promote the sport of doubles to the fans they HAVE to promote it to the networks ...I disagree. And this is (again) the Chicken/Egg thing. I think the Big Shots in Tennis should at least explore this with a reputable Ad Agency and learn who is right.

- KK

spirit
02-21-2006, 01:41 PM
At the risk of being dubbed sacrilegious I have to say I like the new no-ad, super-tiebreaker third set doubles format used at regular tour events.

I love watching pro doubles. Nothing shows the skills of these players like the rapid-fire, point blank volley rallies.

The new format cuts a match down to about an hour max and it’s pretty intense to have the game come down to a sudden death, receivers choice point at 40-all.

The only downside is at times a lesser team may win by getting hot in the super-tiebreaker. Overall I think it’s a good change.

After seeing the new format for the first time - on the tennis channel I saw the semifinals and finals with McEnroe - Bjorkman winning at the SAP - I think I like the new doubles format. Like most everyone else, I was skeptical about the new format. But it seems to work well, and in a close match the drama is heightened and that makes for good fan interest. And the shortened time for a match is made to order for television, and for putting it on on centre courts just before the big singles match up. This just might work to bring back doubles as a reasonably sigificant part of pro tennis. I'm not sure how many star singles players it might induce to play doubles, but I think it can help keep the game going at the pro level for doubles specialists, and for good singles players who are also good at doubles - Bjorkman, Max Mirni, Santoro, for example.

tennisnj
02-21-2006, 01:47 PM
Why not put the men's doubles matches on the court before the singles matches, especially later in the tournament? Let's say the Pilot Pen final is scheduled for 2PM. Put the doubles match on @ say 12, & that way any fans who arrive early are treated to a doubles match on the main show court. If the match is put on after the singles final, everyone wants to go home, leave right after the trophy presentation, etc. I know what pundits are saying, if the doubles match goes over, then there's a chance TV coverage would be delayed, & a full singles match won't be seen on TV. And I know if someone was in the doubles & singles finals, there's a chance that person would be tired from the doubles match & not be able to rebound in time. BUT, I'm just making a suggestion to get more fans to watch doubles at tournaments, nothing else.

spirit
02-22-2006, 07:27 AM
Why not put the men's doubles matches on the court before the singles matches, especially later in the tournament? Let's say the Pilot Pen final is scheduled for 2PM. Put the doubles match on @ say 12, & that way any fans who arrive early are treated to a doubles match on the main show court. If the match is put on after the singles final, everyone wants to go home, leave right after the trophy presentation, etc. I know what pundits are saying, if the doubles match goes over, then there's a chance TV coverage would be delayed, & a full singles match won't be seen on TV. And I know if someone was in the doubles & singles finals, there's a chance that person would be tired from the doubles match & not be able to rebound in time. BUT, I'm just making a suggestion to get more fans to watch doubles at tournaments, nothing else.

I vote for this. The new doubles format will very rarely lead to mathces much longer than one hour, so I think it would be perfect for a television lead into the singles final. For the rare instance when the same player ends up in both the doubles final and singles final, the player can decide whether to play the doubles before his/her singles final or to withdraw from the doubles final. In the latter case perhaps the player on the other half of the doubles team that made it to the finals could be allowed to choose one of the losing semi-finals team members as a substute to play in the doubles final as his/her partner.

Grigollif1
02-22-2006, 08:05 AM
Congratulations guys. Great Thread to read all the way. Very good arguments on both sides from competent tennis fans. This thread reminds me a while ago, when this space had much better quality content rather then the whole Who is gay who is not etc....

tronio1991
03-01-2006, 01:59 PM
I personally do not like it... the no-ad scoring is what gets me...

Feña14
03-01-2006, 03:03 PM
If I was a doubles fan then I wouldn't be impressed with it at all. It takes away an essential part of tennis that has existed since the start.

On the plus side, matches are over quicker so I get to see more singles but I don't think that's what it was created for.

Pomeranian
03-01-2006, 09:48 PM
Horrible, but in tournaments I play in, I play with ads first to 6 leading by two.

rfprse
03-01-2006, 10:55 PM
I don't like it. It's ridiculous. No ads. "super" tie break.
Do they want to make the doubles tour into a tennis social?

Moose Malloy
03-02-2006, 10:19 AM
Steve Bellamy is giving these guys a chance:

The Tennis Channel Open treated ticket holders and television audiences to a historic first in Las vegas on Wednesday: three doubles matches on stadium court at an ATP tournament.

“This is the greatest night in the history of doubles,” said Bob Bryan. “Three doubles matches on a night session in Las Vegas is a significant breakthrough for doubles tennis.”

“I think we proved that doubles tennis can be as compelling of a sports property as any, as three doubles matches packed the stadium,” said Steve Bellamy, president and founder, The Tennis Channel. “The buzz on site was as big as I’ve ever seen, and fans got to see 12 different stars on one ticket.”

http://www.atptennis.com/en/doubles/news/week9_history.asp

Why not put the men's doubles matches on the court before the singles matches, especially later in the tournament?

Tonight's night session has doubles on before singles. I've never heard of any event doing this before. Good idea.

jagsv650
03-03-2006, 10:41 AM
It's horrible. They're professional tennis players, let them play tennis. I hope they don't start doing this in my league. If they do it will be the end of league play for me. Some of the best games I've played in and watched on television went to Deuce several times. It makes you want to win that game more, it means more. I hope they realize the error of their ways and end the nonsense!

Freedom
03-03-2006, 11:33 AM
On the plus side, matches are over quicker so I get to see more singles but I don't think that's what it was created for.


I do.


The tours' goal, I think, is to keep doubles while not losing money over it. Whether it's forcing stars to play singles, or doing this new format...it's just to keep doubles in the black, IMO.

mislav
03-03-2006, 12:57 PM
I personally do not like it...
It takes away an essential part of tennis that has existed since the start.
Horrible, ...
I don't like it. It's ridiculous.
It's horrible.
I agree with everything above. They should have thought of some other way to promote doubles. These new rules just make them lose more significance.

vkartikv
03-03-2006, 01:35 PM
Its not like ESPN is going to start showing doubles matches just because these new rules have been implemented. The 3rd set tie break is absolutely ridiculous

peter
03-03-2006, 01:45 PM
It's horrible. They're professional tennis players, let them play tennis. I hope they don't start doing this in my league. If they do it will be the end of league play for me. Some of the best games I've played in and watched on television went to Deuce several times. It makes you want to win that game more, it means more. I hope they realize the error of their ways and end the nonsense!

I too think the new doubles format stinks.

Luckily I'm the one running the regional leagues around here and I can tell you that the new format will enter _our_ leagues over my dead body...

Can't speak for the national leagues here in Sweden though...