Tennis Australia CEO Craig Tiley has received backing for his radical idea to abolish service ‘lets’ in the sport.
Tiley is reportedly set to lobby to the world’s best players and fellow grand slam tournaments in a push to change the rules of the game in an attempt to speed it up.
Speaking to the Herald Sun on Monday, the Australian Open boss said “it would be crazy not to” get rid of ‘let’ calls which, he said, added a cumulative 15 extra hours onto the tournament.
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SEN tennis journalist and commentator Brett Phillips says world tennis bodies should hear Tiley out.
“I hope so (that governing bodies listen to Tiley),” Phillips said.
“I hope they think it’s a good (idea). I’ve been banging on about ‘lets’ for a while, it is just absolutely bloody ridiculous to be honest.
“I mean, the finest of ‘lets’ that don’t even affect the trajectory of the ball (should be allowed).”
Phillips said it would be one easy fix to mitigate post-midnight finishes, which continued to occur on a regular basis throughout the tournament, despite futile efforts to plan against them with a more spread out draw and earlier start times.
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Craig Tiley wants to make a huge change to the game. Credit: Daniel Pockett/Getty Images
“There’s a stat that came out, ‘lets’ added 15 additional hours … of court time to the whole product (across the Australian Open),” Phillips said.
“So, no wonder we’re there until 1am in the morning.
“Let’s just get on with this.”
Phillips even wants to go a step further and do away with advantage points, mirroring the rules for Fast4 tennis where, at 40-40, the next point wins the game.
“I would have a sudden death deuce — they do it in the doubles — I would bring it into the singles,” Phillips said.
“It adds a bit more drama and we quicken up the product.
“I’d prevent the amount of bounces a player can take. Alexander Zverev on Friday, he was up to about 25 bounces, cut that out.
“All these little things (they can change). They’ve got to think about the people who are going to be occupying the seats over the next 20 years, the younger people whose attention spans are short.
“They want a quick product. They want a great product. They don’t want to be sitting there all night.”