I’M SURE SOME OF YOU OUT THERE watch tennis, play tennis, care about tennis, consider the game a time-honored tradition, respect the history, know the history.
But I don’t get it. Every year come summer, as the major sports wind down, Tennis’ marquee tournaments start cutting into my morning sportscast and I find my self watching, but rarely enjoying, the sport. I see so many ways to make it better, such as:
1. Somehow Demonstrate the Power Better
Did you know that some of these tennis players can hit the ball 120 mph? And that’s the women!
Tennis players smash those serves but it’s hard to tell sometimes because their opponents return them so often. I think they should have the two players fire balls at targets, something breakable like bottles or windows or vases and create like a shooting gallery or carnival game with points based on accuracy and damage done.
Also if some targets exploded that wouldn’t hurt.
2. Take A Page Out Of Dodgeball
It seems to me that combining tennis and dodgeball into one violent array of overhead smashes and circular welts, and people being beaned in the face by high-speed balls is a natural progression for both sports.
Imagine the pain and agony of being nailed by one of those high-powered serves. Now imagine the joy and excitement of watching others being nailed by one of those high-powered serves. It might be difficult to find willing participants, but it’ll make one hell of spectator sport.
3. Make it Full-Contact
My biggest beef with tennis—and all games involving nets that you must remain on your own side of—is that you can’t engage your opponent. It’s not physical. There’s no contact.
Wouldn’t it be better if they could tackle or hip-check each other? Or use their rackets as weapons? Maybe doubles tennis should mena one player from each team on the other teams side of the net as a defender who dishes out punishment. I’m not sure that you can make tennis full-contact without transforming the game into something unrecognisable, but maybe that’s the point.
4. Use Different Surfaces
Yeah, I know they do this already—some tournaments are played on grass and some on clay, but what about playing on ice? Or hot coals? Or trampolines? Maybe make the whole court a giant bouncy castle?
A change in surface changes the style of play, so just imagine the adjustments that would be needed to play on ice or trampolines. As it is there are grass-court specialists and clay-court specialists, so new and different surfaces will open the door for new, potentially exciting, specialists. Not to mention the increased potential for spectacular spills and injuries, generating the types of highlights that can outlive an athlete’s career—can’t imagine the players would have a problem with that.
5. Light the Ball on Fire
This is an actual thing. People do this. For fun—so they claim. It’s quite simple, really, you just take an average everyday tennis ball soak it in gasoline and spark a match. It does make lobbing the ball for a serve difficult, and requires a flame-retardant suit, but also makes everything else about the game way more awesome—some might say more fiery.
The best thing about fire tennis is that it proves conclusively that I’m not alone in thinking tennis needs to make a few tweaks to improve the game.
6. Stock the Women’s Ranks with Statuesque Eastern Europeans
Wouldn’t tennis be better played by beautiful tall blondes who look more like fashion models than athletes? Women who look like this:
Wouldn’t that like drastically improve the ratings and general interest in women’s tennis? Wait, this is already happening? It has raised awareness and interest in women’s tennis—and, perhaps more importantly, the prize money? Well, that’s one suggestion taken I guess, good to see they’re listening.
When can I expect the game to go full-contact?