Overriding point: There's no need to change the sport to make it more casual-fan friendly.
1. I'd merge the ATP and WTA into one Tour, so all tournaments would have both men and women's fields. There would be one featured tournament and two smaller tournaments per week The big names who would be in action would all play in the featured tournament.
Why? It would actually hurt the smaller tournaments if they couldn't have at least a semi-big name playing. And as others have said, the women formed their own tour for a very good reason, even if all Larry Scott is doing is making them kowtow to the ATP nowadays.
2. I'd have Martina Navratilova be commissioner and Pam Shriver be the Deputy Commissioner.
Tennis doesn't need a commissioner, it needs to have non-American corporate headquarters.
3. I'd allow coaching at all matches, to make it more interesting, to prevent fake injury timeouts and to give fans the chance to see players interract with their coaches.
First of all, it would take away one of the integral parts of the sport, the fact that it is truly an individual quest. The mental/psychological aspects are very intriguing and unique to tennis.
Secondly, it would take away from Davis Cup and Fed Cup, the latter of which needs more help than harm.
4. I'd have a 3-4 month off-season.
Players make their own offseasons -- some actually take time off, others play exhibitions like mad. This would not only hurt the core tennis fan base (which you do not want to alienate), it would also be bad for minor-league players.
5. The Australian Open would be in early March and the grasscourt season would be extended by two weeks.
Only if the two weeks the grass takes up means hardcourt tournaments are stricken.
6. I'd have all the players wear microphones so fans could hear everything, profanity included.
See overriding point
7. I'd have instant replay with 2 challenges per set.
I might be the only person on the planet who thinks you gotta take the lumps of human linespeople. Nobody can help most linecalls. You want less egregious errors, train your umpires better.
8. I'd get rid of best of 5 set matches for the men, except for the finals of Grand Slams and Davis Cup.
This would ruin fitness and finals. The GSes are special because the men have to work hard and win 7 best of 5 matches. Actually, I think the women should play best of 5 at the GSes.
Davis Cup is more about national pride, and some of the best matches have gone overtime in 5 sets.
9. I'd change the Davis Cup and Fed Cup formats and have each event held every other year over 10 days at one location.
Nope, one of the very interesting things about DC is the fact that it's played over the year. Fortunes change for all countries, so its not like there's an unfair disadvantage.
Fed Cup should adopt Davis Cup format or be scrapped altogether.
10. I'd change the ranking system.
11. The featured tournament of the week would be a round robin event, comprised with a field of 16 players, four in each group, with the top player from each group making the semis. The other tournaments would be single elimination events with 32 player fields.
Um, what is the point of this? RR tournaments suck, especially if you have the same big-name players playing them week in, week out. It's also totally different strategy to play RR events and elimination events -- and would playing RR events truly help discern who are the great players from the merely good ones?
Sounds like you've fucked your mysterious ranking system.
12. There would be a seperate union for the players.
Or, you could make the tours actually represent the interests of the players again. darrin: the ATP incorporated in 91 and became the governing body of men's tennis. Don't know about the women, but the ATP is not a players union.
13. The tour would have awards for men's and women's MVP's, Most Improved, Rookie of the Year, Comeback Player of the Year and Coach of the Year.
See overriding point (and they already do have some of these awards). Tennis is not an inherent team sport, I don't understand what's so wrong with that?
14. I'd make sure that tennis and the players got some decent promotion.
By making the stars play the "featured" RR tournament week-in, week-out and not go to the smaller events?
15. Final set tiebreaks would be gone at all tournaments
Just GSes. Weekly tournaments have best of 3 TB sets because they have to stay on schedule.
BTW, I like how your suggestions are always transitory and never concrete. I see you hold all of these things near and dear to your soul.