Is this for real? "Superset Tennis"

Space Cowgirl
06-16-2004, 12:47 PM
Superset to rock foundations

Eleanor Preston
Wednesday June 16, 2004
The Guardian

Kerry Packer's World Series Cricket caused uproar within the game's establishment in 1977. Twenty-seven years on and another Australian entrepreneur, Steven Duval, is looking to make the same impact on tennis.

Superset Tennis has already signed up Tim Henman, Greg Rusedski, John McEnroe and Goran Ivanisevic for its British debut tournament at Wembley Arena on October 3 and the organisers hope they will be playing in a highly charged atmosphere closer to WWF wrestling than Wimbledon.

With an emphasis on crowd interaction, the players will be encouraged to question line calls replayed on giant plasma screens, and their coaches will be on court with microphones.

The matches will each be played over one set, with rock music and lights. The one-day format will have a day session featuring all eight players in four head-to-head sets, and a night session of semi-finals and a final, the winner taking away the entire £250,000 pot.

"The idea of £250,000 for a day's work is pretty motivating," Henman said. "I think in the United Kingdom there's a massive amount of interest in the game and sometimes wonder whether we're really taking advantage. It's going to be something that generates even more interest. This should be a great spectacle and hopefully can bring more and more youngsters into the sport."

McEnroe claimed the format would put him on a level playing field with the current players. "I can give anyone on the men's tour a run for his money for a set or two," he said.

In a parallel with the Packer revolution some sections of the tennis family are expressing concern at the consequences if the idea does take off. But Duval, who intends to build a season-long series of events following a pilot scheme in the United States last year, has enlisted the support of the game's powerful management companies that represent the players. Their clout means any voices of dissent from within the ATP and WTA Tours should be quickly silenced.

"Certain people may be concerned but unfortunately the sport isn't currently changing to keep up with today's requirements," said Duval. "We are not trying to be in competition with existing tennis events. We truly believe that we are healthy for them because we're going to re-invigorate interest and reach a whole new demographic, which is good for tennis as a whole.

"Packer came in and did that to cricket, which was a dying sport, and now it's a billion-dollar industry. We want to do the same to tennis. We want to try and make tennis sexy again.",10069,1239857,00.html
hmm, not sure what to make of this. Am I wrong in thinking 1 April was over two months ago?

06-16-2004, 01:21 PM
Well they did it last year in the US and showed a taped version on Thanksgiving. It was supposed to be a whole bunch of players but ended up being mostly Americans because of the timing and location. It was a lot of fun and with these players I imagine this version would be a lot of fun too! :)

06-16-2004, 03:04 PM
Yah, it was pretty entertaining :D

06-16-2004, 03:13 PM
Jesus McEnroe. GO AWAY. You're 8 thousand years old.

Next you know Pat Cash will sign up.

06-16-2004, 03:16 PM
I'd rather stick with the current version of tennis. Realy. I don't mind line-call replays, but the rest is sick.

06-16-2004, 03:30 PM
sounds pretty interesting

would definitely like to see some rock music pumped out during the matches :)

Trolls Need Love Too
06-16-2004, 03:32 PM
It will keep the McDonalds crowd interested, short attention span that is.

06-16-2004, 06:23 PM
Well, I was there for the last Superset Tennis in Portland in November. It was actually fairly interesting, and for a made for TV, one day, fun exhibition event, it mostly worked. The players were not really that thrilled with the surface (it was an odd type of hard court) and the background of the court was white, which made it hard to see the ball in some cases. JanMike, Robby, and James all had positive comments about the experience and thought the crowd seemed to be involved in the event (I had a media credential). It was kind of fun to have the music between games, coaches on court during the matches, lights and music for the intros, and giveaways in the crowd between sets. All of the players were given appearance fees, but Robby won the event and the $250,000, plus some stuff from Gateway (he bought a house).

So, its a fun, audience participation event, but it will never replace real tennis.

06-16-2004, 07:02 PM
I watched Superset Tennis on TV. It's more entertainment than sport. When JMac believes he can complete with guys like Henman, you'll know how sporty this 'Superset Tennis' is.

I will say "Superset Tennis" to ATP tennis is about "Stars on ice" to figure-skating in Olympics.