Tennis: So what would you do? Interested parties serve up some suggestions: Is world tennis in crisis? Fans and sponsors find the obsession with power a turn-off while Germany's leading light switches on to a cultured approach

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There are no quick fixes. The only avenue would be to take something away from the power player and give something to the touch player. Depressurising the balls would do that - that's the main difference between the game now and, say, 20 years ago. Majorettes isn't the answer, or Sampras putting on a red nose. They were all jerks, those so-called personalities of yesteryear.

BRIAN JOHNSTON: Cricket commentator

I think that to make the game more interesting they should stop letting the players sit down and rest between each game. All that business of towelling down or drinking is absolutely ridiculous.

If a batsman gets hot he doesn't get a drink or a chair to sit on. Tennis players are soft compared to cricketers.


One has to do what they do in Europe, which is to make it perceived as less effete and only open to a small minority. In Belgium, where I've lived, everyone plays. In London there are a few places like Holland Park where anyone can play, but apart from that you end up at the Vanderbilt Club. So we have to make it seem less effete and more democratically available.

KARL MILLER: Professor, sports fan

Only one serve should be allowed. That's always been my view, it's a great disfigurement of the game, this power serving. But that would be all, otherwise I think it works pretty well - it's not like rugby, where it would be good for the players to understand the rules, and for the rules to be slightly more sensible. But taking away the second serve would make a great deal of difference.

SUE BARKER: TV presenter, former player

Tennis would be more interesting if the players showed more personality on court. Players today are brought up to show no emotion and encouraged not to be themselves. They tend to be bland and controlled. At least with players like John McEnroe you could love them or hate them. To add interest they should be told to just try and react and not block out everything.


The problem with tennis is the country's attitude. Wimbledon is still run like a gentlemen's club. There should be far more access for keen, enthusiastic players and there should also be more tournaments. Getting into Wimbledon is like getting into Fort Knox. You can't get in unless you're the Queen's second cousin. It should be more like America, where there are endless facilities.

RALPH STEADMAN: Cartoonist, illustrator

I would love to see a really anarchic game. I would introduce exploding tennis balls, or at least something to take the players by surprise. I'd also let spectators throw strawberries and ice cream at the players if the game was boring. The problem is there are too many young, preppy stars who aren't very interesting. Players ought to use their talents in a risque manner to rock the boat.

(Photographs omitted)