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Dull TV Pundits Suck The Tennis Enjoyment Marrow Dry

If you could have a top 5 ranking of the most dull, boring, unimaginative tv tennis pundits around, you’d be hard pressed to knock Pat Cash or John Lloyd off the top spot. Sky TV’s Barry Cowans would certainly give those two a run for their money, as would Virginia Wade and Eurosport’s Tennis presenter, Rob Curling. And, with Jo Durie begging to be let into the inner sanctum of the Top 5, the bore fraternity couldn’t be stronger.

And interestingly, coincidence or not, the ‘bore’ gene seems to run deep into their personalities and, their appearance.

Now think about this; you’ve some of the greatest players ever to have played the game (Federer, Nadal, Djokovic, with Andy Murray knocking on the door) the crème de la crème, the Rolls Royce of the men’s tennis elite, fighting it out for top honours in a Grand Slam Final, and, to grace the occasion, instead of matching the event with scintillating commentary, insights, aliveness and excitement from say, John McEnroe, Boris Becker or Goran Ivanisevic, we’re treated to a bland demonstration of non-inventiveness by way of poor word choices, lacklustre emotions, strategic tennis insensibility from the top 5 ranking TV Tennis bores.

I don’t know about you but comments and insights like… “oh, he’s proved he’s human after all”… “I’m lost for words”… “I’m disappointed in his attitude”… “Oh, what a shot”… isn’t at all that motivating. Frankly, you don’t need to be a ‘name’ to utter such obviousness.

For me, their insights and comments are rarely energising. None of it makes me want to pick up a racket and take the sport up because of what they say. They haven’t worked hard enough to link and bridge what we’re watching, to then have me be inspired to be better than I currently am. Not much at all of what they say enhances my enjoyment and excitement. In fact, it reduces it. It curtails it. It shows me these people are inarticulate at best, advertising and demonstrating to the viewing public that they haven’t improved their worth in the TV and commentary arena.

Now of course, some may say that you don’t need commentary, you don’t need anyone else to describe to you what you’re already watching. For some, that’s true. They won’t need another voice to help them enjoy what they’re enjoying. But let me say this; can you truly understand and comprehend the magnificence like The Palace of Versailles without those headsets giving you information and insight to everything you’re gazing at?

Commentators and pundits have a responsibility to enhance and build the value of the tennis match for the viewing public through incisive questioning, detailed analytical reporting, insightful articulation. And so because of that, they too should be unmercilessly judged on their performance, their entertainment value, their engagement with the viewing audience.

Why indeed should they receive a lump of money just for turning up and for churning out boring, self-absorbed drivel? (They probably fist pump in front of the mirror, delighted they’ve not been snuffed out before they've had their contract renewed… again!)

Why shouldn’t they not be criticised and poked at, just like they do to current players on their performances? Why should their performances be tolerated and be excused? If they were measured on a pay-for-performance basis, they’d be out on the street, searching for gullible TV channels to hire them for who they are, and not for what they bring in terms of value.

I think we all want our tennis watching experience to be just like watching a thrilling, captivating movie. We want to be moved, struck, inspired, taken on the ride of our lives. We want to be fired up inside, to take on the world in whatever we want to do.

The tennis players are certainly doing their part to make that happen – just watch the recent Australian Open Final between Djokovic and Murray for verification. In fact, dig into all the men’s and women’s Australian Open quarter finals and you’ll find that to be true – however, the supporting cast, the bland, voice-over-operators, well… they’re drunk on their own dry, dull blandness, utterly believing their contribution is what the TV tennis world wants to hear. They couldn’t be more wrong.

Out with the TV Tennis pundit bores, in with the entertainers who motivate and inspire!

Raja Hireker

Marketing & Advertising Specialist. Lives in London, UK. Favourite Players: Federer, Nadal, Borg, Connors, Graff. Best Tournament: US OPEN. Hates - Boring Commentators, Crappy, Slothful Advertising & Marketing Communications. Best food - Fish 'n Chips. Hobbies - Sports, Friends, Food. Loves - My Wife, My Two Children and a Grand Slam Tennis Final Filled With Theatre, Drama and Intensity.

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90 Comments

    1. John Lloyd is seriously A* boring. McEnroe sometimes talks nonsense but to be honest I like to watch a match he is commentating. Tennis needs someone like a Martin Tyler in football.

      1. Hi Waleed,

        John Lloyd’s whole demeanour is one of lethargy and dullness. I personally am not inspired by his plain, un-thought-out comments. It’d be better if he’d keep silent than speak.

        Tennis is a sport of theatre and drama. It has to be reflected back by commentators who can add to and enhance the viewers experience.

        I love watching football also. I don’t think Martin Tyler would rank up there for me. Alan Parry has a passion that he brings out in his work.

      2. I think Tyler is decent, Alan Parry is pretty good as well.

        Ian Darke is another good one, sometimes does boxing too, pretty good voice for it.

  1. In Australia we have Jim Courier, Todd Woodbridge, John Newcombe and occasionally Lleyton Hewitt for the final week of the Australian Open. Courier doesn’t talk trash, gives a decent analysis but it is very clear he is a Nadal fan. Same with Mats Wilander. Henri Leconte is great fun to listen to when he fills in for French matches, whooping and full of excitement. My personal favourites will have to be the TennisTV duo of Robbie Koenig and Jason Goodall. Those guys probably don’t have the experience of guys like Mcenroe, but they definitely commentate with passion and a wide range of vocabulary. Never dull to listen.
    Another commie I like is the one commentates for the Dubai matches (don’t know his name)! A respected senior commie with a lot of passion and not afraid to speak out his true opinions – most notably telling Jelena Jankovic to ‘shut up!’ during a heated exchange with Serena Williams sometime ago!

    1. You’re right Conal, Jim Courier is insightful, detailed and knows how to ask a penetrating, curiosity provoking question. The British commentators can certainly learn from Jim, as well as from the others you’ve mentioned. But, they won’t, as they continue to demonstrate, week in week out, their lack of depth and their poor entertainment value.

      1. Courier’s commented / pundited for ITV for the French Open, hasn’t he? He impressed me there. Apart from that, I don’t get to see much tennis, so can’t really comment on the others for much of the time – I don’t even tend to know who it *is* who’s commentating unless I recognise the voice and can put a name to it. I’ve confused Jeremy Bates and Tim Henman before now 🙂

      1. Oh, and do tell me who it is who seems almost incessantly to yell out “Oh stop it” when Fed pulls off some amazing shot?

    2. @Conal I think the Dubai guy is David Mercer. I like him too.

      One thing to note when slating commies is – remember they have employers and they do have to operate under the broadcasters guidelines. That means freedom of speech or speaking your mind are usually a big no no, which of course can translate into bland / mundane commentary but they have no choice or else they’re out the door.

      I remember when David Mercer said Laura Robson had a bit of puppy fat to lose about 4 years ago as she wasn’t moving well around the court at Wimbledon. Perfectly justifiable comment.

      Was something along the lines of “Perhaps a bit of puppy fat to lose as she begins to concentrate on tennis full time”. He had to make a full apology on air after saying it.

      I find stuff like that ridiculous, PC brigade out in force, “oh that’s going to give young girls a complex about their weight, he can’t say that”

      1. Agree with Jonathan’s comments both on the restrictions imposed and on the increasingly strident PC brigade. Seems nobody is allowed to criticise anybody these days for fear of doing them permanent psychological damage – and as for the damage the *lack* of criticism is doing, don’t get me started on that!

    3. Yeah! Robbie is my fav.. I remember a brilliant rally between Fed and Delpo in 2013 WTF with fed finishing it by a wonderful forehand pss. Robbie said : ” U’ve got to be kidding me! Did we just see that!!”

    1. My picks: Robbie and Jason
      Vijay Amritraj and Alan Wilkins (Wimbledon only)

      Can’t stand: Any of the American excuse for commentators, John MacEnroe, Mats Wilander

      1. Agree Robbie-Jason. But Vijay? No. I just don’t like “game point” or “break point” in every game!

  2. I also like Robbie Koenig and Jason Goodall. They know their tennis and talk objectively about the match. John McEnroe talks too much about his past and makes fun of his horrible behaviour. His brother, Patrick is fine and Darren Cahill is ok but too technical. The other American commentators I could live without.

    I know Fed says he watches a match with the sound off.

    Raja, I can`t forgive you for being a fan of Nadal and Connors.

    1. Hi Sue,

      You know, when people ask me what football team do I watch or support, I say, ” I love watching great football’, so that includes watching players like Messi, Suarez, Ronaldo, etc.

      The same with tennis.

      All the players I mentioned bring their own brand of drama and theatre to the table, as well as their technical and mental excellence.

      Nadal and Connors are fighters, they’ve the warrior spirit. I like that. They’re committed to fighting to the end. Yes, many may not appreciate or like their personalities or their attitudes or whatever else they don’t like; I like to take the personality out of it (although hard to envisage) and look at the elements of their game I can model and emulate in some way.

      And yes, I think because of Nadal being who he is and what he has done, he has actually taken Federer to even higher levels of excellence. Without each other, they wouldn’t produce such incredible tennis with such incredible drama.

      I know McEnroe has commented that his tennis level, his appetite for the game, his bristling edge, dropped when Borg left the scene.

    2. Although I agree Robbie is a good commentator, some of his lines are overused and I get really annoyed listening to them. “Oil painting of a bachand!” “Mongoose on amphetamines” “jaw dropping stuff from both players” “vapor trail behind that forehand” mongoose on amphetamines?? Where does he get those lines?

  3. I like robbie, jason and Frew McMillan. Can I please also put in the mix for the most boring Andrew Castle and why oh why do they let Marion Bartolli loose in a commentary box. Have to agree with Sue about not being able to forgive Raja for being a Nadal fan!!!!

    Going off subject what do you all think of the parrot advert – will Rogi catch on!!! I think I may have made it into the top 10 as well

    1. Hi Trudi,

      Here’s a common misconception made by most; because someone is skillful in one area of life, they automatically are skilled in other areas. That’s the incredible error of judgement made by those hiring these ex-tennis players to commentate.

      I heard John Lloyd, after Murray’s defeat in the Australian Open Final, saying it’s inexcusable that Murray lost concentration, that he doesn’t have what it takes to live with the top guys.

      So, here’s a player, who has won 1 singles title in his career, thinking that his comments are going to affect Andy Murray who has, to date, won 31 career singles titles, is a Wimbledon and US OPEN champion, as well as the reigning Olympic Champion.

      John Lloyd, barely made a name in his tennis career on the world stage, yet highly incompetent as a TV commentator.

      Nadal. Hmm… Please see my comment/reply, to Sue. 🙂

      1. Hi Raja

        Re my Nadal comment my tongue was firmly in my cheek – your okay really as you like Federer as well !!!

    2. Bartoli isn’t bad, gets distracted easily but some of the analysis from her in French Open was decent!

      @Raja “So, here’s a player, who has won 1 singles title in his career, thinking that his comments are going to affect Andy Murray who has, to date, won 31 career singles titles, is a Wimbledon and US OPEN champion, as well as the reigning Olympic Champion.”

      I don’t think how much Lloyd won or didn’t win dictates whether he can have an opinion on Murray’s game. And I doubt he made the comments “to effect Murray” he made them in an honest assessment of Murray’s game in that final, which were spot on. I much prefer that over bland PC answers whereby people search for some small positives and sit firmly on the fence.

      With that line of thinking I could say – how can you have an opinion on commentators – when you have never commentated live on air yourself?

      1. +1 for that last statement, Jonathan. Exactly my thoughts.

        By Raja’s thinking, Mauresmo should not be coaching Murray. None of the coaches who haven’t won anything significance, should be giving any opinion on slam winners, let alone coach them.

        I also believe that if someone is skilled in one area, they can, and probably will be as skilled in other areas, not automatically, but if they can put the time and effort into it.

      2. Yes Jonathan, John Lloyd can give his opinion, as we all can. What’s important is a credible qualified opinion that has measurable impact. My comment is based along the lines of if you were looking to excel and improve in a particular area, who would you listen to, and when I say listen to, I mean in using their views to help you improve and better yourself in that area.

        I actually don’t have to be a commentator to have an opinion of commentators because my opinion is formed based on being the recipient of the commentary, not as a fellow commentator.

      3. You don’t need to be a great player or have won a grand slam to give opinions or even coach someone. Jose Mourinho one of the best managers in Football right but i am sorry i dont even know which f.c he ever played for? You could be a lousy player but a great tactician or analyst of a game.
        John Lloyd was spot on on his remark about murray ‘he was back in to his pre-lendl days’ and his attitude is ‘inexcusable’. you dont need a Masters 1000 to spot that anyway.

        and Sid, not that it matters but Mauresmo has as many slams as Murray + she is a former World NO.1.

      4. John Lloyd, prior to Murray, was of course the last British player to make the final of the Australian Open.

        And I agree that his assessment was accurate. Harsher than we’re used to these days, but accurate, regardless of how many career titles he has, and his experience as Davis Cup captain.

        But don’t worry, in this household we’re quite fond of throwing his old sins back in his face: “You say that now, but when you were playing you used to …” 🙂

  4. As tennis pundits go, you just cannot beat Annabelle Croft. She’s amazing and still has a wonderful pair of legs too! She’s not olden, she’s golden!

  5. Thank You Raja for taking the time to post this article. I agree with you on Mc Enroe and Wade to an extent but disagree about Rob Curling who has settled into his role as facilator quite well. John Lloyd is clearly a gentleman but lacks real fire and passion in his belly.
    And THE worst of them?? Andrew Castle by a mile!!! Please get me the sick bucket!!
    My two best are Free Mc Milan and Greg Rusedeski who are both as truly informative as they are honest.They may be less passionate than others but this is well tempered by their love and knowledge of the game…

    1. Frew Macmillan yes. Rusedski – hell no. Bandwagoner. Check his comments after he lost to Sampras at USO 2002, that sort of stuff spills over into his TV work today.

  6. Hello Raja…. Thanks for your insight to the world of boring commentators! ! I absolutely agree with you what you have said and written. Its a a shame really of what is going on right now. Like the rest of the readers Andrew Castle and John Lloyd are the worst. With J Mac , Wilanders and Wade. The best for me is R Koenig and Goodhall With Jim Courier as my top commie. But come to think of it R Koenig does keep repeatedly keep saying the same old lines. He definitely needs to find some new ones. There definitely needs to be an overhaul but I don’t think it will change unless there is accountability. With some sort of petition and thousands of peoples signatures to demand change in how these boring commies are ruing the great sport of Tennis, especially when you have like you say the current top 4 at the helm. If they cannot inspire the younger generation with the likes of Federer and co. What’s is going to happen when he has retired? ?? Anyway good post Raja!!!

    1. Andrew Castle gets so much stick, in terms of analysis there’s better but I quite listening to him. He is easy to listen to, and I think if you’re a first time viewer of tennis, or just an irregular watcher, he’s pretty good.

      Wimbledon 2008 final I thought he did a stellar job on that and added to the action 4th set tie break after Fed rips that backhand passing shot winner down match point “the two best passing shots of the tournament without doubt have just taken place on the last two points, it’s 8-8, what’s next?” That added to the atmosphere perfectly I thought as a viewer.

      If you put him alongside someone with a more technical understanding of tennis, the mechanics and the psychology then it’s good. Him and Henman are pretty good together for that reason.

      This bit was also good from him – http://youtu.be/V_6tRloS9zU?t=12m6s

    2. Hi Serajul,

      I don’t think a petition is going to fix it. Hiring good people who can provide great commentary, will.

      You seem to have a passion and keen interest in the subject matter; why not take up the challenge to be the ‘voice’ that’ll grace our TV screens!

  7. I agree with most of what’s been said both in this article and in the comments. But if I may offer a small tidbit: commentary is not designed to do many things at the same time. It caters to the majority, or what it perceives to be the majority, which is the general public. All of us here have seen countless matches of tennis, certainly enough to form our own opinions. We also, player or not, tend to have a good technical understanding of the game, its rules and the flow of a match.

    What this means is that we judge commentary often on things that are unique or analytically deep. The simple matter is, however, that most watchers of tennis on the BBC, for example, will be ones who bandwagon during the Wimbledon season. As such, commentators have to speak as if to beginners. But that is only one example.

    Broadly speaking, you can enjoy different things in commentary. Some are repetitive (Koenig), some over analytical, or some just not exciting enough, or too shallow in their understanding. But I doubt any of them are ever going to get the balance right for everyone. It is no surprise that the more “tennisy” a channel is, the more likely it is to have commentators who are willing to go deep into the game, strategy or otherwise. Similarly, less specialist channels either don’t don’t have the audience generally to justify things, or the financial investment for things like proper post match analysis (I’m including that in commentary). Sorry about the long post, guys!

    P.S castle is shit, yes.

    1. You took the words out of my mouth, John. Or at least most of them. I agree with nearly everything you’ve said. You can only do so much. If you are accustomed to seeing baseline rallies after baseline rallies, you can’t fault the commentators for using cliches after cliches. I blame the style of tennis these days, no the commentators. Might I dare to say that I feel this entire post is grossly unimaginative. The author makes every attempt to chastise the commentators, while praising the quality of tennis, when it should be exactly the other way around. And at the same time, has offered not one example of what great commentary should be.

      I’ll try to keep this short. Take for example a very regularly used phrase in the NBA. Ginobli from downtown. Bryant from downtown. You will hear that over and over again. Dull and imaginative? No. It’s music to the ears of a Ginobili, or Kobe. It’s frustration for those who aren’t their fans. You get the point, right?

      It also comes down to what you said, that is, catering to the fan base. Just because our favorite player isn’t really winning big, doesn’t make the commentary bad. I’m pretty sure the same fans loved and lapped up everything that John McEnroe had to talk about Federer during the 2003-2008 period. What does that make us? A bunch of hypocrites.

      Everyone has their own taste. I, for example, love commentators that talk about strategy even before the player on the court has resorted to it. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t, but it makes for interesting commentary. For example, “I just don’t understand why Federer doesn’t sneak around to the backhand in the ad court, and go from broke.”. Bam! Next point Federer does exactly that and wins the break!

      What you call boring, is exciting to some. If you really want to get rid of bad commentators, or not pay them well, why not do the same with players like Karlovic, Isner, maybe even Ferrer who does the same thing over and over again? Tennis is a game of repetition, eternal repetition. The commentary can only be so much different.

      If the author is deterred from picking up the sport on the basis of the quality of the commentary, then he seriously lacks an understanding of the beauty of this racquet sport, and isn’t really a tennis fan to begin with.

      1. Hi Sid,

        If you’ll go back to my post, I said “none of it makes me want to pick up a racket and take the sport up because of what they say”.

        I didn’t say that I won’t play tennis ‘only’ because of that – I can choose to play the game for different reasons, that has nothing to do with the current poor commentary — like loving the incredible strategy various players employ, being immersed inside the drama of an intense match, the razzamatazz, the role models.

        In fact, I played tennis for 6-8 hours a day during my summer holidays when in my teens, for years, and that’s when BBC’s Dan Maskell was the voice of tennis. He wasn’t so much inspirational, but a dear to listen to. I played tennis because I loved the game. I still love the game, and play it.

        And so based on your analysis of my post, and therefore, leading you to formulate your assumption of my not wanting to pick up a racket due to the poor commentary, and for that reason alone, you’ve decided to declare I’m not a true fan of the game.

        Whether I am or not, is not for you to decide. (Well, you can decide and I choose not to agree with you in the slightest)

        Your comments are similar to those who are deeply religious, wearing the garb, can recite the various mantras, principles, and yet judge others as being non-pious because of not following suit.

        As for giving you examples of what would be the kind of commentary I’d be inspired by; let me give you a comparison;

        John Lloyd “that’s ridiculous!” uttering that robotic nonsense time after time again after witnessing an incredible rally or a remarkable shot.

        Me – “If you got your body in the way of that shot, you’d surely be on the way to the hospital. How much velocity he was able to generate from that looping windup on the forehand, seemed to defy science, especially when you think he must have covered the equivalent distance of an 800 metre runner before unloading that howitzer. You want tennis drama – boy, you got that, in one single point”

        Though as you’ve pointed out, certain commentary isn’t to everyone’s taste.

      2. You, as expected, have missed the point entirely. I am merely stating that the quality of commentary is no worse than the quality of the monotonous tennis we see these days. How can we blame the commentary to be unimaginative? Would you say that John Isner, Ivo Karlovic, David Ferrer, for example, should be paid a lot less per tournament than their peers due to their unimaginative tennis?

        Look, I know where you’re coming from. You’re from the Advertising world as you’ve stated. It only makes sense for you to take a product, whatever it may be, and do everything to sell it. The fact that you are a Rafael Nadal and Luis Suarez fan says a lot. Bumping an opponent on a changeover simply because he has got the best of you, is not fighting spirit. Biting an opponent is not fighting spirit. This list will go on an on, so let’s just leave it at that for now.

        Next, coming to your assessment that I am wearing a garb, and reciting mantras. Let’s for a second take a look at the mantras, the fatwas, the decrees, the commandments you have laid out: –

        – Thou shalt not receive a lump of money just for turning up and for churning out boring, self-absorbed drivel?

        – Thou shalt cast out the TV Tennis pundit bores.

        – Though shall not have an opinion of Andy Murray, if thou hast won just a single title in your career.

        – Thou shalt not hire ex-tennis players to commentate.

        Not once have you mentioned anything about the sad qualify of tennis these days. Sounds to me like you’re pretty institutionalized with what you believe in. I’m glad you’re not their boss. Do you honestly believe that Roger Federer has so many fans simply because of great commentary? No, Sir! I don’t know about other readers on this blog but all I care is Federer’s beautiful game, and how he conducts himself. I couldn’t care less about how the commentary goes.

        Finally, let’s talk about the type of commentary you like. I did follow cricket for a while. Looks like you are the tennis equivalent of Ravi Shastri commenting. Full of cliches, hyperboles. “Way to the hospital”, “Defy science”, “Unloading a howitzer”. Really? I must confess, you certainly have a flair towards the dramatic, which I’m pretty sure has something to do with your Marketing and Advertising psyche. 🙂 While we are at it, here’s one that would make me a great commentator in your eyes, “Rafa is broken. Rosol better get out of his way at the changeover, or the bull will certainly gore him this time”. Like that, don’t ya? What is this, the ******* MMA?

        I’ll tell you what my good friend, you are a very talented individual. Perhaps the next Mark Zuckerberg. He figured out people were “dumb fucks”, and has already made tens of billions off them. I wish you good luck following that path.

        I think your entire post is a troll. Thanks for letting me have the last word, because I’m done with you.

        – The CookieThief

    2. I agree with Sid. Some of the (most of) Murray-Djokovic and Murray-Nadal and Djokovic-Nadal rallies are so horrible I don’t know what to say. I have actually gotten to the point where anyone who has any respect for Nadal seems like a nut case to me. Nadal is Satan disguised as a tennis player. And about the commentators, the ATP Masters ones along with Courier and Mcenroe are the best. Maybe Becker as well. Other than that everyone else is both biased and have no tennis knowledge or has bad english.

      1. Yes, some of the comments of “great rally” or the like during the AO final made me think the commentators were scraping the barrel a bit. I kept thinking: “You thought *that* was a great rally?!”

        “If you got your body in the way of that shot, you’d surely be on the way to the hospital. How much velocity he was able to generate from that looping windup on the forehand, seemed to defy science, especially when you think he must have covered the equivalent distance of an 800 metre runner before unloading that howitzer. You want tennis drama – boy, you got that, in one single point”

        Yeah, and if you tried saying something like that in a tennis commentary your producer or whoever would be rapping you over the knuckles for excessive verbosity, I imagine. You couldn’t fit that in clearly in the time available, I don’t think.

  8. I just wanted to say, I like the little changes you’ve made to the website Jonathan.

    P.S. The majority of commentators suck.

    Peace.

  9. I really enjoyed this article and I completely agree!

    As for my favourites, I doubt many will concur but I love Mark Petchey; he’s a got a great commentary ‘voice’, he’s very articulate, his comments are insightful and detailed, and he always gets very involved in the match, which personally enhances my enjoyment of the contests. Another favourite is Annabel Croft – her technical analyses are usually spot-on, and her voice is incredibly soothing. David Mercer, the old-timer, is excellent. I quite like Frew McMillian’s commentary as well but I’m not a fan of his delivery.

    Wilander and McEnroe are very knowledgable, but both are biased as hell which grates, and the latter is very self-absorbed.

    1. I like Petchey too, French Open 2009 he was decent for Fed vs. Haas.

      Bit too much “that is UNREAL” and he can be a bit of Murray fan boy seen as though he coached him but I enjoy matches usually when he’s on. Has a self deprecating style.

  10. Interesting change in the UI! It’ll take a slight while to get used to though. I do think that you could utilise some of the space on the sides, else the comment section starts seeming a little narrow. Or is that just me? Love the expanded pictures.

    And I’ve never heard Frew McMillan, is it?

    1. And thanks for the weather forecast. For Dubai that too!! Shouldn’t it be in degrees Celcius though, because most of your viewership will not be from the USA?

      1. It’s no narrower now. Just the design change probably gives that impression. I can’t really make it wider, guessing you are looking at it on a large monitor?

        Good point about weather, have updated it. I use Fahrenheit in the UK, makes it seem warmer 😆

      2. Using Fahrenheith makes it seem warmer? LOL It must get really hot in the summer then, right?

      3. Hah!! You guys are cute. Come to Delhi/ Mumbai/ Chennai. In June. Then let’s talk about temperature. :p The one time Nadal came to Chennai, he got bageled cause he wasn’t used to the heat. He never came back. Nobody complained.

    2. Expanded pictures?! And where have everyone’s avatars disappeared to? I’m getting a lot of seemingly wasted space on the RH side, and I don’t even have a particularly widescreen laptop. Also at the moment when I post something the site doesn’t take me back to where I was once my post has appeared, but bumps me back to the top of the page, which isn’t helpful. I know IE is ancient, but it’s what I’m stuck with until I get a new laptop, so there’s not much I can do about it.

      BTW, I must have spent too much time on MTF. When I spotted the title “Dull TV Pundits” I mistakenly thought that it was a reference to pundits who overly favoured Nadal 😀

      1. “Also at the moment when I post something the site doesn’t take me back to where I was once my post has appeared, but bumps me back to the top of the page, which isn’t helpful.”

        Okay, it didn’t do it that time.

  11. I actually prefer the original website layout, this new layout seems to cram all the comments section in with a narrower margin. I do like the weather widget though! 🙂

    1. Jon, adding to that…why don’t you also,

      – Show the local time of the tournament city.
      – Display the exact local time of the next Federer match.
      – Perhaps have a, “Next match” section?

    2. The weather widget is out the box. So would need a coder to do that either as a separate plugin or an add on.

      Plus I’d need to integrate with something third party for the schedule and next match as updating it manually would be annoying.

  12. Hi Jonathan, I’m not crazy about the new layout. I agree with Conal. It’s too crammed together.

    I can’t comment on a lot of these commentators. Never heard of them. Maybe that’s a good thing, lol.

      1. True. Change takes a while to get accepted. But change is always good. I like what’s been done. Maybe a tad of work on the cram. Rest seems great.

  13. Hey Raja saab, good article. Anything to get through this Rogerless moments. Me, I am too dependant on the commies. I need them to explain things to them. The “local” commies are quite good. I mean, like the Dutch commies who comment for Eurosport. Especially the female ones. They actually are more neutral then the men 🙂 I don’t mind hearing the commies you all mention above, but when they go gaga over Rafa or tell it is time to retire everytime Roger loses… then they start to bug me. Especially JMac. But to be honest, when Roger lost to Stakhovsky, he was honestly sad. It is so nice to dream about the time when Roger’s biggest streak ends, but when it is actually happening, I guess he felt differently.
    But one thing I do know is that I don’t like Castle. He was the one, after Novak got booed by the crowd when he lost to Dimi at Miami 2013 I think, he actually said that he was disappointed in the crowd for booing the world number 1. But a woman totally put him on his number. She tweeted to Sky Sports on air a message for Castle: “You don’t get respect because you are number one, you earn that respect”. Boom. Ofcourse Novak was doing his usual rope-a-dope and look-at-poor-injured-me, but Castle thought he still deserved respect for beeing number 1.

    Hey Jon, the changes will just take some time to get used too. That’s all.

    1. Hi Katyani, I also am dependent on commentators, though like my watching experience to be enhanced by a commentator who is knowledgeable, has energy and loves their work. I think Jonathan mentioned David Mercer as a being someone he likes. I do to. When there’s the opportunity to do so, I generally switch the BBC Radio 5 live commentary on, and switch off the tv commentators. Now if someone like Ian Darke switched from boxing commentary and became a tennis commentator instead, now that’d be the time I’d put Radio 5 Live on mute!

      1. Yes, I meant to mention the Ratio 5 Live commentators. Some of them are very good – and particularly the ones who do the ball-by-ball commentary. I’ve tried it on a few snippets, and I can’t keep up at all – my brain can’t even process the play fast enough, let alone let the words get as far as my tongue!

        There’s been many a time when I’ve preferred to listen to a match on the radio – just as well, given how little tennis I actually get to *see* …

  14. Hi Raja, rather late comment to drop here but thanks for writing the post. An interesting subject to discuss and I had a fan reading it as well as everybody’s opinion. I agree some of guys, I don’t mind tennisTV.com. But when I watch matches on TV, I’d rather watch without sound as French commies are chatterbox and too excitable shouting “oh là là” all the time.

    I prefer live comments and analysis at the peRFect Tennis chat room. Come and join us Raja, we have far more entertaining commies line up! Though sometimes boys go off to cricket and football or girls tend discussing Fed’s beautiful hair and ass… 😉

    1. Hi Wanda,

      I’m sure if there was a lead tv commentator required to chat about Federer’s locks ‘n botty, you’d be the chosen one! 🙂

  15. Hi Guarav,

    Just wondering when you intend to post your next article ( if Jonathan allows you to, that is! )
    Must say I enjoyed your last one ( The Weak Era debate ) which I think garnered over three hundred
    comments! And Sid – we need a post from you too – if anyone can stir things up, it is you!!
    And Thank You for your continued posts Jonathan – always a most enjoyable read…

    1. Hey Paul. You hit the nail on the head. “If Jonathan ALLOWS you to”

      I’ve been sending him emails, twice a day sometimes; I’ve even offered to bribe him, but his asking rate is just way too high. So now I’m trying a new tactic and telling him how much I love the new UI. Maybe that’ll soften him up. :p

      On a serious note, I appreciate it. I’ve just been caught up with coming up with new music, so the writing part has taken a bit of a hit for now.

    2. Paul Z,

      Yup, I admit I really liked Gaurav’s weak era post, probably the best non-Jonathan post that I read. I tried to add a lot of material to it through comments that Gaurav is free to insert into the original post if he wishes.

      Thanks for recognizing that unique quality that I possess of being an instigator. Takes some skill, you know 🙂 My next post? I’m waiting for the right time. When it happens, it will be glorious 😉

  16. Pundits? I am waiting to hear:

    1. “I wonder what he is on?”

    2. “He seems to be at the peak of his cycle.”

    3. And about Serena – “It looks like it’s not only Bruce Jenner who is undergoing a gender transformation”.

    1. I saw that posted on the Federer site. Not sure I totally believe it, particularly coming from menstennisforums! A suspect site for info if ever there was one. He may be I guess, but he’d lose an awful lot of points if he missed Monte Carlo (a 1000 Masters) where he reached the final, for a little 250 tournament so I don’t think that would be a great idea. He could miss Madrid I suppose since he missed it last year, but again, it’s a Masters so it would seem an odd decision. I guess he might do it to promote a first-time tournament, but still seems like a strange decision if it’s true.

      1. If it is true, the decision is not strange. This a new tournament and need a top player to participate to get off the ground. Stan is playing Gevena to get that tournament started. Why not b/c Nadal fans are obsessed with Federer not playing as much. It drives haters crazy when they don’t when or where Federer is playing.

  17. If Fed plays Istanbul but he should drop Monte Carlo and Madrid. He can try a pick up those points in Rome.
    Istanbul > Rome > Roland Garros would be perfect. Just the right amount of matches.

      1. Of all current clay tournaments, Madrid offers Roger the best chance. I mean, he has won twice there. That’s the most he has won at any clay tournament (outside of Hamburg), right? I mean, he has beaten Nadal on clay here for crying out loud! 🙂

      2. Agree with Sid, can’t think why Roger would skip Madrid – even without the blue clay Scooter – but yes, why not bring it back and get rid of both Nadal and Djokovic at a stroke?! 🙂

      3. Well he’s never won Rome so…maybe he could get lucky. Guess he could skip Rome as well, that way he’ll have two weeks off. Anyway, I just don’t want Fed turning up at RG with nothing left in the tank or less than 100%.

        It’s happened at the last two slams now, ya know. Then again nothing is confirmed.

        Speaking of blue clay, Dull’s match against Fiasco is one that I would never forget. He even made some threats about boycotting the tournament in 2013. 😆
        But of course there was no need, with the supersonic comeback from career threatening injury an’ all.

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