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The Tennis Business Discussion Forum Archive

[tennisbiz] Re: Marketing professional doubles

From: Ray Bowers <>
Date: Sat 21 Apr 2001 23:28:21 EDT

Hi Eugene Harper---

--I've nearly reached the view that the doubles pros would be better off
having their own, separate circuit, perhaps linking with the singles
performers at the Slams only. I greatly respect the doubles pros, having
covered the Hartford year-end event in 1998 and 1999, and also written about
the pro doubles wars in other monthly columns for Tennis Server.

--To sustain fan interest, a men's doubles circuit might be organized about
the team idea (a "team" would have three pairs), where there would be one-day
or one-weekend team dual meetings along with weeklong tournaments where wins
are counted by team. Simultaneous pair and team records would be maintained
through the full tennis year.

--Men's pro doubles, however, must also address the following problem. The
points are too short, especially on fast, indoor surfaces where the serving
pair has a huge advantage. Extended exchanges produce lots of fan excitement
and reaction, but extended points are far too few. Too high a percentage of
serves are not successfully returned or are dispatched by server's partner.
Also, the large advantage of server means that many sets are decided by only
one service break -- i.e., the outcome rests on just a few moments of poor
play by one of the pairs. The gallery becomes lulled by the constant success
of servers. (In one match at Hartford, there were no service breaks in three
sets, all decided in tiebreakers--servers won 36 games, receivers won zero.)

Both problems--the too-short points and the too-great advantage of
servers--might be met by limiting doubles servers to just one serve.

The two problems are less evident in women's pro doubles, where the points
are longer and the server's advantage is less pronounced. But there seem to
be few pure doubles stars among the women, so a separate women's circuit
would seem unwise.

--Ray Bowers at or

Received on Mon Apr 23 2001 - 07:30:10 CDT

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