OK here's my take on the recent Albany Open Tennis Tournament or 'Emu Point Summer Championships' as some like to call it ( not sure why ). A local identity has asked the public to comment on the format so this is my personal opinion.
Now the reason I actually like the format of the Albany Open Tennis Tournament is because it keeps teams interested. If they have a bad start either due to nerves or lack of current form they still have a chance to win as there are 8 matches to play.
In other words each team has a chance to play themselves into the tournament.
The reason the format is so well received is because it afford players the luxury of a bad start, great idea.
Nothing worse than having a crap initial match then simply going through the motions for the rest of the day.
I have called for different formats in tennis for a long time as I believe the current one is like 50 over cricket, a little out dated now due to the new and improved 20/20 format. Tennis needs a new face lift, one that doesn't keep revisiting the same old scene and the new first to 4 games idea seems like a welcome change, I like it.
This year's Albany Open was one that gave teams a chance, rather than the common scenario where a team dominates all day and wins easily by not dropping a match. The new format allows perhaps any of the top four teams to win providing they have at least one big win of say 8 games in a match.
The timed format keeps the games ticking over quickly as each team is doing their best to amass as many games as possible. The short deuce also presents some cut throat game finishes. In fact two years ago on our way to a win in the Tournament myself and David Bignell played a match where the result was decided on the very last point of the match, brilliant concept.
This year didn't really matter, especially in the Mens A Grade Championship as it was 8 wins from 8 matches, fairly decisive in any mans language.
So to my conclusion; A great tournament, a great concept, a fresh way of playing and scoring and a fantastic way of keeping teams in the tournament who may have otherwise been a little dejected if they had been dealt a loss early on.
Tennis needs a new look, the 4 game format does it's bit, The Albany Open does it's bit, others should do their bit to embrace a bit of a change to the game. As the old saying goes 'Don't knock it 'til you've tried it'.
Over and out..........