Personally I love the Tennis Channel. I can get my tennis watching fix every day of the week! Add to that the coaching tips, bag check, and insider info and I am one pretty happy camper. So, what is there to write home about? Doubles. There is simply stated not enough doubles coverage. Simpler, almost NO doubles coverage!
I’m not asking for a lot, live coverage of the men’s, women’s, and mixed finals of ANY tournament would be welcome. Not only is there little live coverage, but often there is no coverage! Even my beloved Tennis Channel would rather air a repeat of a singles match than air a never before seen doubles match! It is very frustrating to me.
It is the catch 22. Do major singles stars not play doubles because it won’t add to their airtime or is there no airtime because no singles stars play doubles? The only major tournament that any singles stars seem to play doubles in is the Paribas at Indian Wells. I think it is because the entire tournament is best of 3 for both men and women. And if that’s so then let’s have all the tournaments adopt this format.
Arguably the best doubles team in the history of tennis is playing and playing well right now. Bob and Mike Bryan have elevated mens doubles to a new level of popular. Unlike any other players, these two have dedicated their careers to being the best in doubles. Their popularity is sometimes the only reason doubles tennis is aired at all!
What I know is at some point in your tennis life you end up playing more doubles tennis than singles tennis, for me that came post 40. Now watching doubles has become much more relevant. I can still enjoy watching a good singles match but the doubles brings with it the passion that comes as I strive to put into my play what I have just watched the professionals do. (Of course that really NEVER actually happens but a girl can dream)
So c’mon ESPN, CBS, NBC, ABC, and Tennis Channel, dial into your audience profile and bring us some doubles! We really will watch more tennis if you air doubles!