WTA CEO Steve Simon has proposed that professional tennis singles match scoring be modified to include no-ad scoring and third set "super tie-breakers similar to the changes made in doubles so that match length will be shorter and more predictable. The world's number one player Novak Djokovic has strongly endorsed this change and I couldn't agree more.
Sports must adapt to a changing world to keep current, while still maintaining their essence and while this rule modification will provoke changes in the way some player's approach the game, the fundamental truth is that the best player on a given day is still going to win. Purists might object, but remember that basketball, football even baseball have modified their rules over the years to modernize. Even professional wrestling realized that a predictable three-hour Wrestlemania would be more appealing to Pay-Per-View audiences than highly unpredictable prize fights.
A sport that is relevant and attractive to a TV audience living in a faster paced world with a shorter attention span is needed.
It's about time.
Steve Kaplan is the Owner and Managing Director of Bethpage Park Tennis Center, as well as the Director of Lacoste Academy for New York City Parks Foundation and Executive Director and Founder of Serve & Return, Inc., a not-for-profit organization that provides free tennis programs to individuals experiencing adversity and struggle. Over the last 35 years, Steve has coached more than 1,000 nationally-ranked junior players, 16 state high school champions, and 2 NCAA Division 1 Singles Champions.He may be reached by e-mail at StevenJKaplan@aol.com.