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This • That • Tennis • Turin / Torino Tennis • And Then Some

TURIN, ITALY: L-R Casper Ruud of Norway, Andrey Rublev of Russia, Alexander Zverev of Germany, Matteo Berrettini of Italy, Novak Djokovic of Serbia, Daniil Medvedev of Russia, Stefanos Tsitipas of Greece, and Hubert Hurkacz of Poland ahead of the Nitto ATP Tour Finals at on November 12, 2021 in Turin. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images for ATP )

We are there. Where? The year-end ATP Finals. The current ranked Top 8 men that are still standing … in the world are here.

Where’s the annual suit shot ? That’s what we said. Yes, the guys were wearing “no logo“ dressy casual look was great. But this is the year-end finals and this isn’t the Next Gen year end finals.

One guy didn’t read the memo • his jacket was all logos out. Who was it ? Well it was sort of two guys. One was Novak in bright green with a huge Lacoste gator on back and Medvedev’s jacket featured the “L” for Lacoste on the front. It’s ok. But it’s just not the same.

Pandemic tennis is based on GREED. Prices for tennis tickets is way too high. The current crop of players are awesome. But they don’t get “it”. The more you give to the sport the more you get back. The tourney sponsors and  promoters are lost . So are the agents , managers And players. They are talented “divas”… the days of giving the fans value for their money is gone.

In America most tourneys charge $25.00 just to park your car in a field a distance from the site … giveaways or freebies ? You know hats or bobble heads well we don’t see many of those. Event T shirts are 25-40 dollars. Food is pricey but so is basic water.

TURIN, ITALY: (L-R) Andrey Rublev, Alexander Zverev, Matteo Berrettini, Novak Djokovic and Daniil Medvedev are seen ahead of the Nitto ATP Tour Finals on November 12, 2021 in Turin. (Photo by Valerio Pennicino/Getty Images for ATP)

What happened here ? Since when are fans of the sport being held by the ankles so that the event gets all their money. The times they are changing. People don’t have as much discretionary money to spend. Basics like fuel and food and rent eat it up like Pac-Man. Tennis is in the hospitality business. Instead the fans get this attitude • come in. Sit down and empty your wallets .

The players are suffering and many are really lost. Many now travel with entourages that are six to 10 people. They now refer to them as player support team. Family. Coaches. Hitting partners. Physios . Trainers. Shrinks. Babysitters.

Pickleball is the fastest growing sport in America. Followed by the old paddle  sport newly  named POP tennis. In the rest of the world PADEL tennis is taking over. So where’s tennis going ? Time will tell but it’s got to change the schedule.

Grass tennis needs a season. Not a few weeks. There are Way too many hard courts that are tough surfaces tearing up knees and hips and  backs. ( they add too much sand in last coats of surface ).

Tennis needs a commission and a commissioner. Tennis needs to start by lowering ticket prices. All qualies should be free. And most of all lower all your ticket prices. And  stop building huge stadiums.

Garbine Muguruza of Spain celebrates her victory against Barbora Krejcikova of the Czech Republic at the conclusion of their match at the Akron WTA Finals tennis tournament, in Guadalajara, Mexico, 12 November 2021. EPA-EFE/Francisco Guasco

The BALL is way to small to follow from the nose bleed seats. And  the stadiums don’t breathe or have decent air flow because they are too huge. Rules need tweaking. Injury time outs are very very necessary. Would you rather the match just comes to a instant halt. What then. Trust us. As fans the break is nice. As TV viewers watching the taping or chiropractic moves are fascinating. It’s only TV producers and directors that see it as “down” time.

Too much booze is sold. Let’s see more healthy reasonably priced beverages. Let’s see a water sponsor willing to sell water at their price. Let’s see water sold during changeovers down the aisles.  Let’s see more fan / player interaction. Team tennis gets it right with clinics. Let’s see more kids and  families and that starts with pricing that’s affordable for all.

We want to see growth in the game. Not players that don’t want to do press. Why can’t agents train their players how to handle a press conference. Andy Roddick could give lessons. Or any good Hollywood publicist.  Most of all we want to see no more obstacles or signage on court that is dangerous removed. We want players rules to change so that players can capitalize on their popularity with logos and patches in their clothes that are bigger and get more exposure.

Why are players limited to size or number of patches. Why ? And most of all let’s see some real transparency in the leadership. The players deserve it. The fans deserve it. Sadly tennis is filled with nepotism and cronyism. And poor performers in management are just recycled into new positions. How’s that for growth?

As media we are tired of not being valued. We pay our own way for everything. And barely are appreciated for  the exposure we give an event. It was bad before Covid and it’s magnified way worse now. Turn on your TV, find tennis , see empty stadiums. It speaks for itself …