Tennis

Tennis: Does the sport need revolutionising?

Stakhovsky's serve-and-volley style was impressive (©GettyImages)
Stakhovsky's serve-and-volley style was impressive (©GettyImages).

Many tennis fans these days will say that right now we are living through a golden age of tennis. 

Great champions such as Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray have given tennis a good name in a world of sport, whilst there is a large amount of talent even below the top-four. 

But, does this really mean we are in the best age of tennis? 

Granted, the popularity of a certain sport is directly connected to its athletes, or rather, the level of their talent.

Federer was so dominant in his early years until Nadal showed up, then Djokovic, and at last Murray. 

The vast majority of titles Federer won before Nadal and Djokovic became real forces on the ATP Tour and these days he is lucky to get one per-year with all the rivalries out there. 

Tennis as a sport changed so much over the last 15 years. 

Some of us can still remember back in the 1990's when the Wimbledon Championships were so diverse - with so many surprises, different tennis styles and it was a true golden age of serve-and-volley style of tennis.

But, as the years went by, the organisers of Wimbledon and later on, other Grand Slam and ATP tournaments decided to slow down the game down.

The courts became slower, the tennis balls bigger, heavier and thus slower and today we can count on one hand players who can actually serve and volley. 

That is the reason why it was so great to see a guy like Sergiy Stakhovsky beating Federer. The Ukranian played a stunning serve-and-volley style of tennis that would have made players that utilised a similar type of tennis through the history of the sport very proud. 

But, this was an exception. In present day tennis its so hard to play serve and volley with purpose - slower courts and tennis balls give returners too much time to respond.

Guys like Djokovic and Murray - the games best returners - make it virtually impossible for a serve-and-volleyer to get to the net with time to make a decent play.

Stakhovsky, Jurgen Melzer, Radek Stepanek and Ivan Dodig are decent serve-and-volleyers, but are nowhere near being at the top of the game.

In conclusion, even though there are plenty of great players out there, with more young talent breaking through, the diversity and contrast of styles that once made tennis so interesting to watch is in its essence gone. 

Tennis needs someone who has knowledge to bring the best out of both worlds. 

 

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Topics:
Wimbledon
Tennis

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