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Steve’s comparisons to the NFL emphasize the real problem tennis has created for itself regarding the rules. They are not applied fairly - or intelligently. Everyone says that Serena’s match-ending foot fault should have been called regardless of the situation. Obviously the sport is much less strict when Nadal or the champ, del Potro, walks around or bounces balls well beyond the 25 seconds allowed under the rules before serving. So let’s be fair, and let’s and go back to watching tennis played instead of rules-related dramas and the Monty Hall approach the “challenge system” had given us. The NFL limits challenges for one reason - they take time. Tennis is now the only sport that has access to accurate calls and that can be made INSTANTLY and they don’t do it! This is nonsense. Lines-people have worked very hard to help the game grow for years, but the increasingly faster shots and the available technology has made them obsolete. The umpire should be looking at all close calls instantly (or a techie in the “trailer” should) and there shouldn’t be questions about one’s looking at the player’s box, etc. Should a tennis player be penalized for an indecisive mind? What if Laver played today and we valued the gift of watching him play less than his “challenge speed”? Are you kidding me? We now need no lines people. We need an umpire to apply the rules equally to all, and we simply need a photo system to check foot faults. End of story. I love Serena Williams, and she did act like an ass, but since she was victimized by one perhaps correct call in a tennis world where that is secondary to, as Mary Carillo once called it, a “carny gimmick” system (before the networks seem to have called her off) and constant inequitable rules application, I think we need to really examine why the sport does not lead the way into the future. Please, let the “Challenge System” and inequitable umpiring go the way of shamateurism, long white pants and bloomers.
Toggle Commented Sep 26, 2009 on "Much Better" at Concrete Elbow by Steve Tignor
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