He current tennis It’s very different from a couple of decades ago. All the sports evolve and that of the racket is no exception, although many fans feel a certain nostalgia for the aroma of bygone eras, creating narratives that place not only the players from several seasons ago above the tennis level, but also the state of the competition itself. For colorful tastes, but few opinions as authoritative as those who have lived through this evolution in tennis, players who have seen how the ATP it has changed enormously from within. Robin Haasewho flirts with retirement in the coming months but still competes on and off, is one of those names… and he comes up with groundbreaking solutions.
The Dutchman was part of the Players Council for several seasons. His concern for the present and future of tennis was evident, coming to draw some kind of map with various solutions to, according to him, make tennis “more entertaining”. As if it were solving a case, Robin still maintains that scheme at home, hoping that the current tennis stagnation ends once and for all. In a very interesting chat with CLAYdid not cut a hair when it came to providing innovative solutions to modernize and energize our sport, some of them unusual: he is in favor of introducing, at least in some tournaments, the sets format of the current Next Gen Finals, with four games per sleeve instead of six.
“Which is more fun to watch? Three sets of six games or five sets of four? If you win a set 6-4, the next set you have one game, another, the third…it’s boring. People leave to drink something, however, if you win a set 4-1 and in the first game of the next set you break your opponent’s serve, you are already very close to winning the second set. it’s much more exciting for the fansalthough it is harder for the players”affirms Robin shamelessly, who clarifies that he would not introduce this rule at all levels. “I’m not saying we have to change it now, but we could experiment with something else”; His proposal focuses on tournaments ATP 250who “are suffering economically” and need to “have something different.”
“I don’t think tennis is boring. I just think it should be something faster, more exciting”. Her statements seek to rekindle that spark in a younger audience, as well as provide a element differenceThe tournaments of a lower step, since the public “loves the five sets in a Grand Slam” and that the Masters 1000 already welcome the cream of the circuit, reason enough to fill stadiums. In addition, two other changes that Haase would introduce in the circuit consist of “freedom of mobility” to enter a stadium and the complete eradication of ‘let’ in service turns. “If I bought a ticket and had to wait 10 minutes in line, I’d wonder what this is. There’s no point in spectators waiting so long, just come in and sit down, move freely. And there’s no let on a trade, why what does it have to be in a serve? The only argument in favor is that of tradition. People don’t understand this rule, when it happens in the Grand Slams they don’t know what’s happening.”
A DIFFERENT TENNIS, WITH ITS VIRTUES AND DEFECTS
Haase also had time to give his opinion on the current circuitechoing some words of Toni Nadal in which the Spaniard stated that the circuit is in worse condition that ten seasons ago. The Dutchman supports this theory, but only applies to the aristocracy of the circuit, a top-20 in which “before you had names like Davydenko, Nishikori, Roddick, Hewitt or Wawrinka”. However, Robin is convinced that the global level of tennis is better currently. “Now, all the guys who play Challenger can play on the ATP tour. 10 or 15 years ago it was much easier to win a Challenger, now it is very hard“.
Finally, there is a very recurring open debate among the nostalgic. Beyond the pure level of tennis, Is it more entertaining nowadays? Doesn’t the same player profile get bored over and over again? The truth is that Haase thinks similar to many tennis fans, stating that variety has been lost in pursuit of power… sometimes without control. “My generation learned to play tennis by pocketing the ball, and later on, to hit harder and harder. Today, what you see is players hitting the ball as hard as possible, and later on they learn not to make mistakes. It’s a different way of looking at tennis. Now the surfaces don’t matter, the dribbles are pretty much the same everywhere, which means there are no specialists. There are no more serve and volley players or clay court specialists anymore, because in all tracks you can play more or less the same. Before there was a greater variety”.