A while back I wrote a very highly regarded tennis blog that averaged better than 4000 visits daily and had a single high daily visit of 21,000. Needless to say, I’m a tennis fan. I’ve been biting my tongue while watching the US Open this week, but I cannot contain my frustration with this fiasco of a tournament any longer.
The USTA is groveling at the feet of CBS TV network, and while I agree that TV revenue is important, it should not be some advertising executive who controls the game’s enjoyment. The playing of critical semi-final and final matches do not have to be played at night, even a devoted fan like me will not stay awake to watch a 5 set match that doesn’t even start until 8 pm. The men’s final is scheduled for Monday night at 7 pm, which means that the first serve is likely to be at 8 pm, and the match will not be completed before 1 am. The reason for this schedule is that CBS is televising the FedEx Cup golf on Sunday afternoon! How many kids will be allowed to watch the match, and how will a young generation of players be developed if they don’t get the chance to watch the best players compete? It’s little wonder that the USA does not have any high ranked men tennis players.
But the USA does have the best woman tennis player in the person of Serena Williams who will probably play in the women’s final on Sunday. I will predict that Arthur Ashe stadium will NOT be sold out for this match, a sad commentary for US tennis. The stadium is too big to watch tennis and a reflection of this trend towards bigger and bigger venues is in the terrible line calling by the line judges. They are too far away to make the correct calls; I counted 16 bad calls in one match. Many of the players are complaining as it interferes with their rhythm and concentration.
In my opinion the US Open should be moved to Indian Wells, California!
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