Skip to main content

SI Insider: What Can Tennis Do to Widen It's Appeal

Video Rating:
Video Duration:

In this week's Mailbag during the tennis layoff, SI's Jon Wertheim shares some ways tennis can widen its appeal for the mass sports audience.

Video Transcript: 

Robin Lundberg: I'm joined now by our senior writer, Jon Wertheim, who has all the tennis insights. Jon, what's in your mailbag this week?

Jon Wertheim: Good question. And again, I I'm astounded that there are no live matches, we're not talking about players winning and losing and climbing up the ranks and falling - and people still have a lot of questions about tennis. But I think speaks really well of the sport. One of the questions we address is there's been a lot of talk about what tennis can do to get a younger audience, what tennis could do to speed itself up, make itself more television friendly. The Patrick Morataglou event gave us some insight of that. Patrick was on the podcast and he talked about what he wanted to see tennis do to get a younger audience. It's hard. I mean, at some level, a sport is a sport and it's hard to reinvent too much. On the other hand, I think that speeding up the pace of play is something that's critical. And I think he made a point that when tennis matches happen, it's sort of a bland movie and players don't always get to show their emotion. And it takes too long for steam to unfold. I think it's an interesting analogy. I mean, I think the flip side of that is that this is cast of characters is wonderful. It's diverse. They're great on social media. They come from all over the world. I mean, there are a lot of sports that would kill for tennis' sort of colorful, charismatic cast. So I think the changes ought to be really thought of in the context of play and in format and not beyond that. But, you know, some of these some of these changes that Patrick implemented seemed a little gimmicky. Others, I think, really could catch on. Again, I think shortening the time in-between points. Absolutely critical.