The final tennis major of the season, the U.S. Open, is on the horizon and is preparing to change the way things are done in Flushing Meadows, New York.
A new venue has been built in the New York borough of Queens where the tournament is held, named for American jazz great Louis Armstrong.
The new venue is in addition to Arthur Ashe Stadium, but will be more intimate and United States Tennis Association President Katrina Adams actually said that the new stadium, with its retractable fabric roof, “Gives the US Open a second stage that is second to none.”
If there were a new third stage, would it be third to none?
The US Open will also see the introduction of “shot clocks.”
The clocks have been used in other North American tournaments leading up to the US Open, with mixed reviews coming from the players.
No longer will we be forced to watch Roger Federer wear out a perfectly good tennis ball dribbling interminably prior to a serve, although he is not the worst offender.
The rule has been in place for some time that permits a player 25 seconds, but the time had been kept by chair umpires.
Andy Murray is a supporter of the clocks.
“It was one of those things in tennis that is so stupid, that the players were sort of expected to be counting to 25 in their heads, not having a clock on the court, and then getting warned — how were you supposed to know how much time you were actually taking?” Murray said after playing with a clock in Washington.
Serena Williams disagreed with Murray, thought the clocks were distracting. “I hate it, because I serve way faster than the serve clock, and then I feel like I need to play slower — which is totally not the case, obviously,” she said.
Perhaps it is time for some microphones connected to a decibel meter in order to lower the level of the orgasmic screams emanating from some of the players every time they hit a shot.