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.
Steven Kaplan is the owner and managing director of Bethpage Park Tennis Center, as well as director emeritus of Lacoste Academy for New York City Parks Foundation and executive director and founder of Serve & Return Inc. Steve has coached more than 1,100 nationally-ranked junior players, 16 New York State high school champions, two NCAA Division 1 Singles Champions, and numerous highly-ranked touring professionals. Many of the students Steve has closely mentored have gone to achieve great success as prominent members of the New York financial community, and in other prestigious professions. In 2017, Steve was awarded the Hy Zausner Lifetime Achievement Award by the USTA. He may be reached by e-mail at StevenJKaplan@aol.com.