Major tennis authorities should be singing from the same hymn sheet but it’s far from it!

This is something I have wanted to write for some time and I didn’t know where to begin.

During the two weeks of Wimbledon I always like listening to Martina Navratilova and she used a phrase all week and that was “Father Time will catch up.” It’s true, it will and the best the game has ever seen won’t be out there forever and the tennis authorities want the same goal to increase people taking up the sport and finding an interest.

I think having a few governing bodies like ITF, WTA and ATP is good for the sport as they have different but similar goals and interests. The Grand Slams also have a Grand Slam board but still have their own rules.

Grand Slam Rules

Australian Open – At 6-6 in the final set players will play a first to 10 points tie-break

French Open – No final set rule, it goes on and on

Wimbledon – At 12-12 in the final set players will play a first to 7 points tie-break

US Open – At 6-6 in the final set players will play a first to 10 points tie-break

These tournaments are meant to work together for the interest of the sport and differences just make it difficult to follow.

Can we just have one rule? 6-6 in the deciding set = a champions tie-break to 10? Easy. Easier for the players as well. Wimbledon adding the 12-12 rule confuses me.

Best of 5 or 3?

I do think the conversation to lose best of 5 in men’s Grand Slams is going to pick up more noise soon. To be honest, I’m happy to see it go. I don’t think it is captive to a younger audience and early rounds are perceived as boring.

Best of 5 was scrapped in the final matches of Masters 1000 matches a long while back. Olympics has now ditched it for the men’s tennis and Davis Cup has lost it with the re-form. Will we keep it on the men’s side.

There is a valid argument that younger players don’t do well at Grand Slams as it has been scrapped everywhere outside of the majors so they have no exposure to it.

The ITF

God knows where to begin. The ITF have soo many changes they can’t even keep up. They are the body that see’s over everything but at the same time seem lost. The re-forms of Davis Cup and Fed Cup lately have led to questions. Of course Davis Cup is heavily funded by Kosmos group with the re-form.

You can read more about the changes to both below;

Fed Cup reform

Davis Cup reform

Ladies will be held in April after Charleston and before Stuttgart where as Men’s will be season ending in November. Many top players have ruled themselves out of it.

ATP

I think the ATP have things looking good.

They have good tournament structure and serve the players well. We have ATP Cup coming in and the ATP have linked up well with the Laver Cup lately for the one in Geneva later this year.

WTA

To be honest, I would like a bit more to happen.

The prize money for Shenzhen is great but I think the tour needs to look at other options going forward to attract more people to watch and play tennis.

I think a leaf out of the ATP book, maybe a similar style Laver Cup and take it around the world? I think it would work really well. Even a ‘Next Gen’ WTA event like the men have at the end of the season.

Organisations

Different countries organisations have different goals and to be honest the leading one is Tennis Australia.

Signing up with the ATP to bring the ATP Cup to Australia in early January is a fantastic move and others maybe need to look at doing more.

I would have liked to have seen the WTA involved in a cup competition as well. It would bring more attention to the women’s game which now in January will have lost WTA Sydney due to the ATP Cup with site being used for the ATP Cup.

A WTA Cup would be good but would have to be in January as well as the calendar is full and in Australia but at other cities to?

Rules

Already spoken about final set rules but we need some clarity and set in stone followed rules.

Men’s doubles has no-add scoring on the ATP Tour which I love but at majors has add scoring

shot clock, some are visible, some aren’t and some use it…

Clarity

At the end of the day despite organisations having different interests and responsibilities we should be singing from a similar hymn sheet to make things more structured where as it feels like governing bodies are just fighting with each when they should be working together.

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