Print and Go Back ESPN.com: Tennis [Print without images]

Thursday, March 16, 2006
Updated: March 17, 9:25 AM ET
Game headed in right direction with instant replay

By Patrick McEnroe
Special to ESPN.com

INDIAN WELLS, Calif. -- Instant replay is going to be awesome.

For too long, tennis has been stuck in its traditions, which is part of its strength as a game. But you have to be able to change some things and get fans interested. This is about fans. It will be great for the fans on television and in the stadium. It's outstanding technology and it adds some interest to the game.

The players will adjust to it, they'll adapt. If you can get rid of some terrible calls, why not do it? The umpires and linesmen will still play a part in the game, which is good, but we have to embrace ways and opportunities to find new fans and get people interested in tennis as a television sport.

I think it's going to be a huge success and I hope we see more and more of it.

As for the players, I think most are positive about it. Roger Federer is not, but in my mind tennis, for too many years, wanted to know what the players thought. To be quite honest, that really shouldn't be that relevant. What should be relevant is selling the game and selling it to the public.

The players don't want change -- they are creatures of habit -- but once they do have change, they'll deal with it. It was a big deal when we had the automatic changeover after a set. People forget the way it used to be: When you won a set 6-4 or 6-2 you kept playing. Now you don't even think about the changeover.

We have to get over the idea of asking the players what they want. It's more about asking the fans what they want and what's good for television, what's good for selling the sport.

And the players will benefit from that.

Patrick McEnroe, the U.S. Davis Cup captain, provides analysis for ESPN.com during the Pacific Life Open.