Too Many Aces? Reduce Size Service Box.


John Isner after defeating Nicolas Mahut in tennis’ longest ever match. There were over 200 aces.
Tennis, like football, is in trouble. Football needs an appeals system, whereby team captains can instantly challenge disallowed/allowed goals, with a TV replay made instantly on a large screen, and the referee and the crowd to be given a chance to make the same review that TV audiences and commentators can. It simply has to be done, or the game will descend into farce, where audiences instantly know the judgements made were wrong.

Tennis has fixed the equivalent problem with its use of Hawkeye now a well-bedded in feature of the game. Tennis has a different problem. It’s the endemic high number of aces, and the resulting lack of rallies.

This could be easily solved, by reducing the size of the service box. The central line could become two lines, a foot or even two feet apart. Job done.

Indian Express

Final paragraph, ‘SW at SW19 Again’.

Williams continued to fire aces in the final, which helped in the first set, when she did not exactly look sharp early. Leading by 4-3, Williams secured her third break point with a nifty backhand topspin lob. She won the game with a running forehand down the line. She won the set with an overhead smash, set up, like an assist in basketball, by that serve again. The match ended soon after.

It sounds boring. It was boring.

When tennis is won by the same players over and over again, depending on big serves, it’s time to change the odds away from raw serving power, and back towards a more varied game. An ace used to be a rarity before modern rackets came along. It’s time to fit the court to the equipment that’s now available, and make the game more interesting. There are far too many aces now. By narrowing the service box, you wouldn’t ever find a fifth set going to 70-68 as in the Isner/Mahut game. The same players might well win, but the crowd would also win. In tennis, as in football, those who pay the piper, should call the tune.

The Tap Blog is a collective of like-minded researchers and writers who’ve joined forces to distribute information and voice opinions avoided by the world’s media.
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2 Responses to “Too Many Aces? Reduce Size Service Box.”

  1. tapestry says:

    From Selwyn Alojipan on Facebook –

    Too many teams in prominent top-level matches have suffered from bad decisions made by referees who base their decisions solely on their single personal viewpoint when other information input could have aided them. Now that technology is becoming widely available and cheaper, referees should be instructed to use all available technological aids to make better informed judgments. Aside from England’s nullified goal against Germany, two of Team USA’s goals in two different matches were also disallowed by the referees and there has been no satisfactory explanation provided by the referees what their reasons were. The matches ended in a draw when they could have been decisive wins instead. I hope that referees in rich countries may soon have a wrist-mounted video feed, and a head-mounted camera, not just two-way audio link, so they can see instant video replays of the event they blow their whistles on.”

  2. tapestry says:

    Serbia were also pushed out with obvious wrong decisions which turned the result against Australia. You wonder if the result is arranged in advance like the Eurovision Song Slugfest.

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