Big Mistake

The U.S. Open (tennis version) has decided that in 2013 the men’s final will be played on Monday at 5pm instead of Sunday at 4:30pm.

The upside of this move is that it will eliminate the unfair practice of playing the men’s semifinals on Saturday and then the finals on Sunday. Now, the women’s semis will be Friday and Sunday and then men’s will be Saturday and Monday.

But, who exactly is going to be around to watch the men’s final on Monday at 5pm? On the East Coast most people will just be getting out of work. People in other U.S. time zones will still be at work. In Europe it will be 10 or 11pm. In Asia it will be the early morning. So, there really isn’t any one place on the globe where this might increase viewership and it will greatly detract from it. So why are they doing it? I suspect the answer is football.

By playing on Sunday at 4:30 of the opening weekend of the NFL season the men’s final already gets lost behind some football fans. And, while playing later on Monday night would make sense, it would put them up against the opening doubleheader on Monday Night Football. So, they are essentially going to give up and try and cram a tennis final around the NFL schedule.

I don’t get it, why not move the entire tournament instead? If they started a week earlier they wouldn’t have to worry about football. And they would be able to finish the tournament on Labor Day Weekend.  Well, this is only for 2013 right now so there is hope the USTA and other powers think this through.

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  • blmeanie  On December 16, 2012 at 12:11 pm

    it will likely assist the fading away path that pro tennis has been on for a while.

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