Wednesday, September 03, 2008


From the news wires:
NEW YORK —The coaches of women’s tennis players will be able to visit them on the court during matches starting next year on the WTA Tour.
The Tour’s board approved the long-discussed change last week, and the decision was announced Wednesday during the U.S. Open. Tour CEO Larry Scott says the main motivation was for television, because fans enjoy gaining insight into the sport. Coaches must agree to wear microphones to have on-court access to players.
Coaches will be allowed one visit per set. They also will be able to come on court when an opponent is taking a medical break.

All this tennis tweaking is out of control.
If it's not a stupid-tiebreak, or club tennis, it's on-court coaching -- ruining one thing that sets tennis apart from other sports.
Plus, they're not even doing it right. I still don't understand how viewers can hear this coaching and opponents won't. You know, in football games, a team doesn't get to know what the other is doing.
I love how the WTA in particular tries to fix tennis when the game is just fine, thank ye. What's wrong with the WTA is that they have two history-breaking sisters, a fine player who just had a kid, two top-three players from a war-torn country, and, oh yeah, Maria Sharapova, and they still can't market the sport properly.
Yeah, let's fix tennis. Or let's fire Larry Scott and hire someone with a brain. Who's with me?


van said...

I'm with you Naf!

No way is that going to get the average sports fan to watch more tennis—or make the tennis fans watch more than they already do. It's pretty much a useless endeavor, unless they were to say they're trying to cut down on the illegal coaching going on.

Naf said...

What up, Van. It's a very half-baked plan to me. They've not expressed how exactly it's supposed to draw fans in -- or add to the perspective. Isn't that what John McEnroe's for?

yogahz said...

I'm with you.

What insight are we supposed to be getting? At that point in a match all I've ever heard are encouraging words to prop up the player, not real strategy discussions. And, often as not, the coach and player are not speaking English so the majority of television viewers in the US don't understand anyway (I'm assuming this is the target market for TV).

You're also so right about what's right about the game. Don't forget the player fighting through her emotions to have the greatest season ever (plus a brother on the tour), a former weak server who has found her game and on and on.

It would be funny if the majority of the players take a pass.

Naf said...

Hi, yogahz! Thank you for your support! I thought you'd make mention of Safina. I was really hoping she'd play better yesterday, but you're right. Great stories, no marketing ability. What would Safina's coach have told her yesterday: "Pretend the wind's not there?" Sigh.