‘Fast 4 tennis will be a game changer’ we were promised but the only thing that seems to have changed is the number of games in a set, 6 to 4. Sleep deprived Australians support a 20/20 tennis format but, sadly, what we saw with Fast 4 tennis does not go far enough.
Amendments urgently need to be made if Fast 4 tennis is to fulfil it’s potential. Here are some suggestions:
1,2,3 and over: We’ve outgrown the coin toss, photo and shaking of hands at the commencement of play. Fast 4 needs to borrow from the great amateur ping pong table traditions and kick games off with the time honoured ‘1,2,3 and over’.
Ball Kids: How many minutes are wasted while these trained monkeys totter around collecting balls every time someone misses a forehand? For god’s sake, give them BMX bikes or better still, just leave the balls where they are until the end of the match and then get a bloke in a tractor to drive around and collect them. I’ve seen this work very effectively at Albert Park Golf Driving Range for years.
Power Play: If the doubles court was opened up during a ‘power play’ we’d really get to see how good Rafa Nadal’s court coverage is.
Faults: If a first serve fault had to be followed with a lollypop, long, boring rallies would be relegated to the history books. Or better still, punish a service fault with a ‘free hit’ at your opponent’s backside.
Old Hacks: 20/20 cricket has reaped the benefits of coercing retired hacks to return. Fast 4 needs to learn… Oh, what’s that? Mark Philopoussis is playing? I stand corrected.
Change of ends: Efficiency improvements were made here with time for a change of ends reduced but it wasn’t enough. 60 seconds is pedestrian by Marathon runner’s standards. If Fast 4 players ran through a change of ends, pausing only to grab a wet sponge and plastic cup off a trestle table, this could be reduced to 20 seconds.
Singing In The Rain: We can no longer endure Cliff Richard’s lenghty redition of ‘Singing In The Rain’ during weather delays. Fast 4 should insist he perform a shorter song. Only one I can think of is Song 2 by Blur (2:02).
Sort rallies: Fast 4 rallies will continue to go on forever unless organisers consider incrementally raising the net height after each ground stroke.
Pizza Heads: Just as KFC Bucketheads have become synonymous with Cricket, Fast 4 tennis needs a commercial partner. I would like to see a people wearing a Pizza Box as a sun shade or perhaps a Maccas burger wrapper as an Andre Agassi style bandana.
Do you have any Fast 4 suggestions? Leave a comment below.