Since starting this blog a couple of months ago, I’ve devoted large chunks of time to thinking about how to improve my game. I’ve pondered how to adjust to playing outside and how to be bolder and how to tailor my game to my opponent. Self-improvement is hard!
But then I got to thinking, maybe I’m going about this all wrong. Maybe it’s the game of tennis that needs some work, not me!
In the spirit of making a lasting contribution to the sport–and having nothing whatsoever to do with the fact that I’m in New York and have no time for a full-blown blog post–I humbly submit three suggestions for how tennis can be a better game.
1. The Reserved FBI Rule. In a social match, we usually just play first-ball-in, rather than spend time warming up our serves. But what happens when your very first serve goes in? You end up losing all those do-overs! One of my tennis buddies floated the idea of a rule change allowing the server to save the unused FBI, like a get-out-of-jail-free card. If the server double-faults later in the match, he can whip out his FBI and keep going for his ace.
2. The Split-Point Provision. Every once in a while, I make an amazing shot–a shot that should be featured on the evening’s highlight reel–only to have the opponent make a stab save and steal my rightful point. In these frustratingly unjust situations, the aggrieved player should be able to call out “Split Point!” Each side would then be awarded a half-point. Caveat: The Split Point may be utilized only once per match by a player or doubles team, and may not be invoked on a match-deciding or set-deciding point.
3. The Double-Fault Exclusion Clause. How many times have you double-faulted when you’re down match point? If you’re anything like me, plenty. It’s the most deflating feeling. In fact, I don’t even like it when it happens to my opponent (although I’ll still take the win). The Double-Fault Exclusion would eliminate these anticlimaxes by allowing the server extra match-point serves. When serving under the DFE clause, the player must serve underhand and to whichever side the receiver chooses.
I think we can all agree these small changes would significantly improve the game of tennis–or at least make it less frustrating.
What rule changes would you like to implement? Or is tennis perfect just the way it is?