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The Tennis Business Discussion Forum Archive

[tennisbiz] Re: Cure for Men's Tennis

From: Junie Chatman <>
Date: Sat 26 May 2001 08:19:16 -0400

Just reading the comments on how boring professional tennis is, and
how the game should be changed to make it more interesting . . .
well, I do not recall hearing these notions during the McEnroe,
Connors, Borg days. I truly believe personalities make for
interesting tennis, in specific, and interesting sports in general.
People want to see someone they can either love or hate. I remember
glued to the tv to watch Illie Nastase work his magic with the
tennis racket, but also, berate his opponents, the linesman and even
the spectators. There were some great rivalries that people wanted
to see: Mac vs Connors, Mac vs Borg, Connors vs Borg. But you would
also get the boring matches between 2 baseliners like Vilas vs
SoloMon or Borg vs Vilas. Tennis on tv is what I consider sports
entertainment. We want to see gifted, athleticism on display, but we
also want to be entertained as well. You could always count on
McEnroe to liven up the show. I think we have it in women's tennis
with, as an example, the Williams' sisters vs Hingis (because there
seems to be some friction there which makes for interesting tennis).

I am not condoning bad behavior, but I would like to see more
gamesmanship out there. Look at basketball's Philadelphia 76ers and
Allen Iverson. I lot of people do not like him because of his
brashness and arrogance, but he ignites the crowd and people watch
in masses on television, which makes the sport more popular. But
there are a lot of people watching, would love for him to fall flat
on his face. So what, they pay to see that! Likewise with Mohammed
Ali, Deon Sanders, Joe Namath, etc.
I think one can pick apart certain things I have written to prove
another point of view, but I think the bottom line is the players
will make or break the sport, not rule changes!
Sure, technology has made the game faster, but I think if we are
entertained more, the interest in tennis will get back to the glory
days (or close to it).

Received on Mon May 28 2001 - 09:05:46 CDT

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