This afternoon I watched a World Team Tennis (WTT) match. It was the first one I have seen, though I have read about the league a bit. The Newport Beach Breakers hosted the Springfield Lasers.
The first thing that I noticed was that the court looked funny. I like monochrome courts, so this is an abomination in my book. It was also difficult to figure out who was playing, for the team names were listed by the score but not the names of the players. Thus, when a commentator would say something like “Player X is not hitting his forehands with authority” the viewer is left to guess which player this is referring to. While the back of the jerseys did contain last names, the text was small and rarely legible on screen.
I really like the fact that lets are played in this league. It adds an interesting dynamic to the service game, and it also keeps things rolling.
Here are a few observations that I made during the match:
- There was sound. Between points the PA system blasted classic rock and the crowd was loud. During points clapping could still be heard, as well as general crowd noise.
- The line judges moved. One thing I have marveled at in the past is the ability of line judges to remain still when tennis balls fly at them at speeds of more than 100 mph. Well, in this league the line judges bail. They still made good calls (I didn’t see any bad calls during the match).
- Errors were common. Many rallies ended with unforced errors. They often reminded me of errors that I make when I play tennis.
- There were differences in pace. The men served big and hit most groundstrokes with considerable pace. Most of the women did not serve very hard, and only half of their groundstrokes were hit with a lot of pace (the exception to this was Lindsay Davenport, who plays for Newport Beach).
- The scoring is a bit confusing. I had a difficult time following the scoring. Newport Beach won 19-15 in the first game of what was called a super tiebreak. I’m not sure why that super tiebreak was needed, or what would have happened had Springfield won the first game of the super tiebreak.
The WTT is entertaining. I might watch more matches if I am able to find them on television.