By Aki Mai. Tennis. Published at Wednesday, April 11th, 2018 - 07:27:51 AM.
Another rule change designed to the improve the sport concerns the pre-match warm-ups. Administrators and pundits alike have been searching for ways to speed up the sport and they have a logical place to shave off some time when it comes to the warm-ups. Players will now be expected to meet at the net in a more timely fashion and adhere to the chair umpire's command when “time” is called or face a hefty financial penalty. The match is the main event after all so if any unnecessary dillydallying can be cut so much the better.
Condensing the team competition to a single week is arguably one of the best ways to help put it back in the spotlight as well. As noted Davis Cup tends to get lost in a crowded tennis calendar with the focus spread to all corners the globe at various junctures in the season. By assigning it a single week at a single venue where all the teams will compete all the attention is directed to that one place in time. As it can travel to different host cities it also presents an opportunity to bring that magnified focus to areas of the world that field Davis Cup Teams that might not be able to wrangle that level of attention on their own.
Installing Black Code 4S was actually a lot less trouble than expected. Typically geometric or textured polys can be a bear for the fingers but 4S wasn't terribly onerous even though the edges were definitely noticeable. Coil memory seemed typical for a polyester but with a little care tangles and kinks were easily avoided. As with most geometric or textured polys installing crosses comes with some risk of damage due to the sharp edges. I didn't have any issues but I'd still encourage other stringers to take their time installing crosses—especially if they're blending Black Code 4S with another softer string.
It is natural to get excited about these positives but it is important not to put the horse before the cart. The ITF has not yet enacted any of the proposed changes. It is encouraging however that they did unanimously endorse the proposed changes which will be reviewed at the ITF's general meeting in August. One hopes the changes will garner approval and whatever adjustments may need to be made in the future it is fantastic to see that the ball has finally gotten rolling to start making the Davis Cup relevant in tennis once again.
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