Why Tennis Sucks: Too Much Grass In The Game

Why has pro men’s tennis largely fallen out of favor with the American viewing public?

2010 Wimbledon Court Wear Marks

Technology.

1980 Wimbledon Court Wear Marks

To illustrate, brilliant financial blogger Kevin Kedrosky recently compared the court wear marks from the 1980 Wimbledon Final and the 2010 Wimbledon Final. (The result of weeks of use leading up to the matches.)

As you can see, even without all the distracting graphics I added to the image, in 1980 the players were all over the court. In 2010, they quite clearly hugged the baseline. The pattern of play in ‘10 was vastly more predictable than it was 30 years ago.

But if the players aren’t markedly better athletes today than they were in 1980, why the difference? Read more…

Insane Tennis Rants Good For The Sport, America

Despite a pair of unlikely champions in Kim Clijsters and Juan Martin del Potro, USTA officials have to be wearing their happy pants over the success of the U.S. Open. CBS got a 2.4/5 Nielsen rating for the men’s final, up 41.2% from last year. ESPN also got great ratings, and the economy failed to dent attendance.

The tournament, however, will probably be most remembered for the maniacal ranting of Serena Williams and Roger Federer, the former who inspired the product pictured above as seen on last night’s “Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien.” But was Serena’s profane outburst a bad thing? Depends on how you look at it. Read more…