Welcome to On The Line!
This website explores the multi-faceted world of tennis. You will find a wealth of material ranging from light-hearted satire to motivational coaching tips, from eyebrow-raising quotes to controversial comment, from challenging quiz questions to droll humour.
The site presents topics as wide-ranging as the introduction of electronic line-calling systems, match-rigging, Andre Agassi's legacy, the demise of serve-and-volley and the Flying Spaghetti Monster!
You will find well over a hundred practical pointers and tips to help you develop your own game. There are also interactive quizzes and games to help you while away a leisurely hour or two.
Over time, new articles and material will be added. You are encouraged to voice your reaction to the articles you read in the Talking Points area.
How to be better at tennis and poker
Online games such as poker can improve the hand-eye coordination, concentration levels and decision making skills needed to be successful in tennis. Your mental acuity can mean the difference between a win and a disheartening loss when your body is tired and about to give in to fatigue.
The gravy train is leaving. Mind the gap!
Have you noticed that tennis now disappears off the radar for a whole month between Wimbledon and the second week of August when the Canada Masters starts? The annual tennis calendar is now effectively reconfigured as two separate seasons.
LTA elicits parliamentary pique
Gerry Sutcliffe, the sports minister, has asked an all-party Parliamentary Tennis Group to investigate the LTA's activities and if he doesn't like what he reads in their report, he will consider the possibility of cutting future funding for British tennis.
Absorb Davis Cup into the Olympics!
It is time to consign the Davis Cup to the dust heap of history. But from those ashes, I believe the phoenix could rise in the form of a compelling Olympic tennis team event.
Fodder for the media feeding frenzy
There are no hiding places for top sports stars these days. Any indiscretion is like a piece of steak dropped into the piranha tank of tabloid scrutiny. Andre Agassi, golfer Tiger Woods and Chelsea footballer John Terry are just three sporting luminaries who have fallen victim to those razor-sharp teeth in recent months.
The greatest hoax of all time?
You may have heard that the United States Tennis Association (USTA) was supplied with renewable energy certificates (RECs) to match its electricity consumption during the 2009 US Open. By buying verified RECs, the USTA made a bold statement about its commitment to the cause of environment-friendly renewable electricity generation. But could it be that they, along with many other businesses and individuals, are guilty of being a shade disingenuous about this supposed investment?
Getting too close to the players?
We have pre-match interviews right before the players step out on court (can you smell any nervousness)? We have post-match interviews conducted courtside while the emotion is still raw and the conditions are perfect for an unguarded remark or two (will they say something stupid?). Are we getting too close to the players?
Retractable roof, retractable agreement?
Can the LTA be trusted to nurture the development of tennis in Britain these days? Having unveiled the new retractable roof over Centre Court, perhaps the AELTC should take retractability a step further and make funding conditional on the LTA achieving targets in all aspects of the game's development nationally.
Is WADA in violation of the Fourth Amendment?
The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) may not be strictly bound by the text of the Fourth Amendment but it should probably avoid blatantly flouting the spirit of its wisdom.
Because players are allowed to accept undisclosed guarantees from tournament organisers and because the ranking system allows certain results to be discounted, the competitive structure of the professional game has been undermined. It has become open to abuse by unscrupulous elements. Tennis's newly formed Integrity Unit would do well to address the issue of appearance money as urgently as possible.
More . . .
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