View Full Version : McEnroe calls for service line to be moved forward 20cm to curb power serves.

May 24th, 2002, 06:17 PM
Remember the days when men's tennis featured exciting play, long rallies and creativity. Sometimes it still does with players like Hewitt and Federer but more often than not matches can be won and even Grand Slams (wimbledon) with a big serve a la Pete Sampras, Goran Ivanisevic and in women's tennis Venus Williams. Of course many will HATE this suggestion but I think it would be a great change. Power players are relying more and more on the big serve especially in the men's game but also in the women's game. Serving and trying to return those serves and running those serves down is leading to more injuries and less exciting tennis.

I do however wonder if moving up the service line will just create short rallies by making the return of serve more lethal especially since the server will have to fall back to recover to the baseline. I suppose the idea is that serving will be based more on placement, spin and sometimes off pace so as to give the server time to recover for the return of serve. I like the idea for at least a trial period. I suspect their would be a lot of double faults at first but that players would adjust.

McEnroe wants to curb power servers
MADRID -- Former world No. 1 John McEnroe believes a new generation of power players must be curbed by moving the service box closer to the net.

"The service has become too decisive, especially on the faster courts," the American told Spanish sports daily Marca in an interview.

"Tennis needs a change and it should start with the service in order to make the game more attractive. Bringing the service box 20 centimetres closer to the net would make serving more difficult and would help the less powerful touch players."

The 43-year-old said he believed the dependence on power in men's tennis was one of the reasons why it was losing ground to the women's game.

"In America, women's tennis is more popular than men's. It is incredible... but the men need to do something more and they should ask themselves why this is happening.

"Now there a lot of strong lads with a great deal of power, but they need to try and add another dimension to the game so that the public realise just how good they are."

Bright Red
May 24th, 2002, 07:42 PM
Can we say bitter envy. :rolleyes:

May 24th, 2002, 07:49 PM
... then Hingis' serve would, all of a sudden, be good again!!!
Hallelujah!!! (j/k)

May 24th, 2002, 08:01 PM
Someone needs to remind Mr McEnroe that he is no longer on the tour... Geez!! Get a life already. Sheesh!

May 24th, 2002, 08:16 PM
Now he wants to tamper with the court? What happened to his idea of getting the players, back on wood racquets??? lol..heheheheheheheheee

May 24th, 2002, 08:20 PM
Either John is planning a comeback and doesn't want to lose every match he plays :rolleyes: or he's completely lost it - if you make the serve softer, all the men and women will do is smack the return for an easy winner. So no one will hold serve. No one will be able to serve and volley either.

May 24th, 2002, 08:23 PM
Has he totally lost his mind ?!

May 24th, 2002, 08:28 PM
How silly does it all sound. Contrary to his belief some of the men's matches are highly contested battles, it's just that they are too boring. It's the personalities that are lacking on the men's side. Now this fool want's to change the service line? Please, it would do no good since all of these players have been trained and playing on the same court all their lives. If you think matches are error filled now, it will be nothing compared to the amount of errors made if this idea happens. MAC GET A HOBBY, YOU ARE NOT THE AMBASSADOR OF TENNIS!!:rolleyes: :rolleyes:

May 24th, 2002, 08:33 PM
What that will mean is only very tall players wil be to really crank their serves. Serena, Venus, Lindsay, Elena Bovina. Alexandra Stevenson, they'll all still have big serves.

BUt Justine, who has a very effective serve, would lose it, because she's just not tall enough to do anything but spin the ball in if they move the line. Venus Williams can hit a straight ball and have it land a foot inside the serve line. Justine Henin cannot.

This idea will really hurt the moderate servers, like Andre Agassi, or Justine. The tall players will have lesser serves, but the disparity between their serves and everyone elses will be greater.

Goran wouldn't even change how he played. (H*ll, Goran might not notice they moved the line.:) )

This idea basically says, make it like volleyball, where the advantgae is to the reciever. Whatever.

May 24th, 2002, 08:51 PM
hmmmm I guess I'm in the minority here but I think it's a good idea. Something is wrong with the men's game, that's for sure... I remember really loving to watch Mac and Jimmy Connors and some of the other men's players. More serving and volleying, more exciting exchanges at the net. But watching the men is really boring to me now! It's just BOOM-ace BOOM-ace over and over again. Or these excruciating long baseline rallies ala Agassi. :rolleyes:

Not bashing him now, I'm just saying the men's game used to have something that it's lacking. I know the women's game has a lot of power hitters, but the women will try to serve and volley (like Serena and Henin did during their last match.) I think something needs to be done, and since personality transplants aren't an option (so we can't make the men less boring) --;) -- this might work.

OK flame away ! I have my fire retardant on...

May 24th, 2002, 08:53 PM
Johnny Mac is such a loser...:o
I remember him saying that doubles should be banned, because they don't sell tickets.:rolleyes:

May 24th, 2002, 09:01 PM
c2AKAcmglenn - This idea would KILL serve and volley.

May 24th, 2002, 09:23 PM
It would kill serve and volley? Not necessarily since you would theoretically serve a bit slower and get into the net a step faster. Getting to the net faster makes volleying easier.

May 24th, 2002, 10:06 PM
Originally posted by treufreund
It would kill serve and volley? Not necessarily since you would theoretically serve a bit slower and get into the net a step faster. Getting to the net faster makes volleying easier.

Yeah...but when the ball is coming at you twice as fast as the serve you're in trouble

May 24th, 2002, 11:50 PM
it's funny that he is proposing this now that Pete is history. i wonder why he didn't suggest this at the height of Pete's career? :o :o :o

May 25th, 2002, 12:57 AM
Actually a serve and volleyer generally wants to serve slower and with more spin, so that gives him or her extra time to come into the net

May 25th, 2002, 01:40 AM
If we want to bring back moon ball tennis, how about a 4 foot net height. Take away serve angles, more spin needed, returners woudn't dominate----problem is the 4 to 5 hour matches would really sow down tournaments.

May 25th, 2002, 03:44 AM
McEnroe is sooooooo tired :rolleyes:

May 25th, 2002, 04:28 AM
Wow McEnroe has actually surprised me. If they actually did this, then Anday Roddicks serve will probably loose some of it's effectiveness. It's shocking he would endanger Andy, the man drools every time the boy comes on court.

Just think we will have two weeks of him dissing the women's game at RG.

Williams Rulez
May 25th, 2002, 04:49 AM

I tell you that if this happens, everyone will just get borken more often. Even now, serves are being smacked for winners. So we slow down the serve... and... that's right, they get smacked for winners even more often. I don't see how that is going to help serve and volleyers... now, they can't even get to the first ball after they serve :o

Geez, use your brain Mcenroe... :rollseyes:

I also think that Volcana made a very good point. Moving the service line would just hinder players who are short ... which are usaully not really the big servers anyway. It wouldn't hinder tall players as much, and they are the big servers most of the time.