The Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) will be experimenting with the practice of permitting coaching from the stands. This is something that takes place regularly (for both men and women); but, is that a good idea?
Serena Starts It
This change comes after Serena was penalized for receiving hand signals from her coach Patrick Mouratoglou (which she denied “ever receiving coaching”) in the US Open final against Naomi Osaka. Her coach later confirmed that he was in fact signaling to her.
The trial begins at the Dubai Duty Free Championships and Hungarian Open in February and will continue at all WTA Premier and International events in 2020.
Darren Cahill, coach of Simona Halep, said the move was long overdue. “I’m for it,” he said. “I’m big on tradition. I’m old. So I love the whole tradition of tennis and the one-on-one and problem-solving and what you’re trying to do. But I think we’re evolving as a sport.”
Like Alcohol Prohibition
In my opinion, it is foolish to try to legislate against what the vast majority of the people will be doing anyway. Most players spend hours with their “teams” working on skills and strategies to improve their performance. Not allowing a coach to remind a player of what they should be doing seems foolish.
And really, what is the difference between on-court coaching (allowed) and from the stands (not allowed)?
If the women do it, can the men be far behind?
And how about friends giving US advice during a tournament or league play?
What do YOU think of the change?
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