Monday, 13 March 2017


IF ever there was an argument for spicing up tennis scoring to gain some less than 'ho hum' results I suggest you take a look at the Mens Doubles draw at the Indian Wells Tournament currently being played in the US.
No less than 11 matches were decided in a third set super tiebreaker out of a total of 16 matches played. Now I know what you will say to that and sure many Mens singles matches go the decider as well but the difference with a super tiebreaker is simple, every point counts.
You can't afford to lose too many points in a row in a super tie breaker however you could lose three love games in a third set singles match yet still win the set. The reason why there are so many matches in Mens doubles now decided in a super tie breaker is simple, when it gets to deuce, next point wins.
Scores such as 3-6, 6-4, 11-9 are now as common as the Big 4 winning Slams but the difference between singles and doubles is now obvious, singles players are now winning at doubles because SHOT MAKERS are now being rewarded for gutsy play. Grinding players into the ground in long singles matches reward the fitness fanatics and the guys who have the stamina to stay out there all day but personally I do like watching players such as Monfils who are entertainers more than grinders.
So as per usual I will give my take on what could be an alternative to three set singles matches with long deuces.
Make singles matches best of 5 sets, short deuce, returner chooses the side to receive at sudden death and at 2 sets all play a super tie breaker to finish, first to 10 points by a margin of 2 points. Basically it's the longer version of what is now happening in Mens doubles.
If the ATP is going to tinker around with the doubles then why not do the same in the singles ? Have you seen the prize money up for grabs now days in Mens dubs ??
It's obviously a lucrative form of the sport so it's obviously being taken seriously by all players which was proven this week at Indian Wells with seven of the top ten singles players entered in the doubles also. Why would they play ? Shortened format so court time is now around 90 minutes on average, many matches though just last an hour, great practice for returning and working on various strategies plus the money is great.
For Kyrgios and Zimonjic to beat the Bryans is rather obscene though Zimonjic could win with my Dad and he's 80 but it proves the format is opening up the play and allowing for upsets.
If the ATP is serious on making tennis exciting for the public with sudden death points and super breakers which reward go for broke type of tactics then why not do it in the singles also ?
Tennis has to evolve just as other sports are prepared to try new systems so I believe it's time that singles follows doubles and gives the players and the public something different.
Just a thought.......

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