Match Points #9 : How could UTS be included in tennis’ regular schedule?
Match Points is a talk show about tennis, hosted by Josh Cohen for Tennis Majors. In this episode, Josh asks the panel what they would like to see the rest of tennis introduce after the innovations of UTS.
Our Match Points panel consists of 2013 Wimbledon champion and former WTA world No. 7 Marion Bartoli, founder of Behind the Racquet and current ATP world No. 225 Noah Rubin, and American journalist Ben Rothenberg. In the excitement of UTS, there were plenty of new ideas on show – from on-court coaching to player chats with TV commentators, plus sudden-death scoring. In episode #9 of Match Points, Josh asks if any of these ideas could cross over into the rest of the tennis calendar – and could UTS become a regular event, with ranking points on offer?
Bartoli – a broadcaster and pundit herself – enjoyed the spectacle on offer at the Mouratoglou Tennis Academy, and thinks it was enticing to viewers.
“The way they used the on-court coaching in English was a really great experience for a viewer,” she said.
“You want to know at that moment what is a coach saying to a player and what is a player saying back.”
Noah Rubin agreed, saying: “Getting to know the players, having them mic’d up here and there is super important.”
‘That little extra spice’
But he is also keen on sudden death scoring, which he thinks adds to the drama.
“Deuce points are great…but having that last point, a little bit more pressure, that’s great for tennis and for TV.”
“It brings that little extra spice when it’s all right there on the line, you have to win that point,” added Bartoli – who is also a fan of the UTS cards, but thinks they won’t catch on for another ten or 15 years.