A Tennis Wish List for 2019

Not much head scratching is usually required when the idea comes to deciding how to start a wish list for tennis in 2019.

A sport of which has long been concerned about punching below its weight spent too much of last year elbowing itself within the ribs as its too-numerous leaders traded blows along with crossed purposes.

This particular is usually no way to run a niche sport concerned about market along with mind share in a ruthlessly competitive global entertainment landscape. Improvement is usually all the more urgent with tennis’s biggest stars, Roger Federer along with Serena Williams, both 37.

along with so using a completely new season about to get serious with the start of the Australian Open on Monday, my No. 1 wish for tennis is usually unity. In an ideal world, of which might mean unified governance.

“the idea will never happen, however what we need more than anything is usually a commissioner,” said Brad Gilbert, the longtime player, coach along with analyst.

of which might require each of tennis’s seven governing bodies to cede some of its authority, a situation of which might probably require an existential threat to the game’s viability or profitability.

In an imperfect however still better world, unity could also mean a genuine players’ union — why not men along with women together while we’re wishing? — of which could make for more meaningful progress on tennis’s today-intractable issues through tough negotiations with those who own along with operate the tournaments.

within the current system, the players along with regular tour events are in partnership, an unusual arrangement in professional sports of which can make consensus along with change difficult.

Novak Djokovic, back at No. 1 along with president of the ATP Player Council, has explored the concept. however for today, a union appears to be wishful thinking: too many legal along with logistical hurdles.

however the sport can still do better at finding common ground in 2019.

Start with agreeing on a more coherent schedule of which does not include three men’s team events within less than four months: the Laver Cup in September 2019, the revamped Davis Cup in November 2019 along with the revived ATP Cup in January 2020.

Continue by creating a meaningful mixed men’s along with women’s team event of which will carry on the legacy of the Hopman Cup. Further embrace tennis’s ability to showcase men’s along with women’s stars within the same events — a longtime strength of which different sports are interested in replicating.

Reach an agreement on coaching of which will apply to all sectors of the pro game. The women’s tour currently allows on-court coaching visits once a set while the men’s tour along with main-draw Grand Slam events do not allow any coaching during play.

“If we develop the idea, we should develop the idea nonstop,” said Simona Halep, the women’s No. 1. “If we don’t, we should stop completely.”

Halep prefers letting players solve their own tactical along with psychological issues under pressure, as do I along with plenty of others. however the existing coaching situation is usually confusing to fans along with disorienting to women’s players, who have to change routines within the tournaments of which matter most. In light of the difficulty for umpires to fully police player-coach communication, perhaps allowing signals coming from the box along with only the box is usually the right compromise.

More tennis wishes for 2019:

ELIMINATE LETS ON SERVES A point or a tournament can already end using a net-cord winner during a rally when a groundstroke, volley or overhead hits the tape along with trickles over. Why should a serve be treated any differently? This particular will also speed play, slightly reduce costs (sensors are used to detect lets) along with bring pro tennis in line with college tennis.

ELIMINATE PLAYERS’ RIGHT to catch a service toss without penalty. If a player chooses not to hit the ball once tossed, the idea should count as a missed serve. This particular will also speed play along with, in producing the ideal toss more elusive, take away a smidgen of a server’s advantage.

MAKE A MORE CONCERTED EFFORT to push tournaments to use balls coming from the same brands or at least with the same characteristics during the different surface swings: hard court, clay court, grass along with indoor. Few things irritate players more than significant disparity between balls week to week, along with there is usually concern of which abrupt modifications can lead to injury. The ATP is usually working on This particular issue. Time to hurry up.

PROVIDE PLAYERS along with COACHES with detailed information about court speed along with ball characteristics well in advance of a tournament to allow competitors to better prepare. This particular might also help reduce injuries.

PERMIT FANS TO ENTER A STADIUM as the players change ends after the first game of a set. The current policy, which typically does not allow fans to enter until the changeover after the third game, leaves too many paying customers waiting for too long.

COOPERATE TO DEVELOP JUST ONE MAJOR RATING SYSTEM for tennis players, be they professional or amateur. The Universal Tennis Rating, with the backing of strong private investors, is usually producing inroads. however the International Tennis Federation is usually also creating its own rating system along with algorithm. Such a system is usually an important concept of which could simplify along with improve the transition to the professional game. Why create more tennis confusion with competing systems instead of joining forces to produce one of which will be universally accepted?

FAIRER USE OF WILD CARDS The Grand Slam tournaments should no longer allow reciprocal wild card entry to players coming from different Grand Slam nations. the idea is usually elitism. along with the completely new-look Davis Cup should definitely not be granting two wild cards to its 18-team final phase. the idea is usually anti-competitive.

MORE CONSISTENCY IN APPLYING THE RULES on coaching violations, the timing of line-call challenges along with the eligibility of convicted administrators to serve on the ITF board of directors.

A MEN’S GRAND SLAM SINGLES CHAMPION UNDER AGE 30 (there are none active at the moment) along using a completely new French Open men’s champion. along using a first major title for South Africa’s Kevin Anderson, which might be the first for an African in singles in 38 years.

ONE MORE MAJOR for Petra Kvitova, who has come back so inspirationally coming from adversity. Another chance in a major final for Madison Keys to conquer her nerves along with play to her potential.

MORE VARIETY IN COURT SPEEDS on tour, fewer injury timeouts. More open roofs, less pain for Andy Murray. More drop-shot returns, fewer tweeners. More integrity, fewer conflicts of interest. More conversations, fewer social-media posts. More players, fewer hitters.