From “Totally Tennis Magazine” (January 2010), Rick Westhoff, a USPTA teaching pro from the Bath & Racquet Club in Sarasota makes this case:
“What would happen to the game of tennis if service lets didn’t exist? For one thing, the opportunity to negate a great serve or a clean ace by a dishonest or frustrated opponent would disappear.
“Also, the game would move along at a better pace. Play is slowed down while the serve is redone and it also sets up a chance for a double fault. Play is intended to be continuous, but with service lets the flow of the match is interrupted each time one occurs.
“Let’s face it, we don’t stop play during a point if the ball touches the net, we
just react and do our best to return the shot. Why the discrepancy? Eliminating the let would allow everyone to concentrate on playing the point,
keep things moving and wouldn’t allow the receiver to discount an otherwise good serve.
“No one gets an advantage by eliminating the service let. The serve
hitting the net could become a ‘sitter’ thus favoring the returner or it could
skid off a line and favor the server. Either way, it adds a new level of excitement to the game because the returner and server both have to be alert and ready for whatever happens.
“College tennis and World Team Tennis have done away with the service
let. So why not follow their lead, create a situation where there’s less chance for conflict and speed up the game while keeping it neutral? I think it should be seriously considered.
“If we start the new approach to service lets now, with all tournaments and
leagues, it will be much easier to incorporate this into the ATP and WTA
tours as the juniors move into the professional ranks. That will be the norm for them. I believe it will make the great game of tennis even better!”
PS Why the picture of Maria? Well, i thought it was more interesting than another one of a plain tennis net! 🙂
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