The Heat Down Under is bad for Tennis
I can write this with a fair amount of confidence that I know what I'm talking about having lived in Phoenix Az. being a member of their superb Tennis Community.
When you think about places in the Country that thrive on Tennis, rarely does one think about Phoenix however you will find a Public Tennis Court on almost every block, many Tennis Clubs and a few indoor facilities.
Ok, that last statement is what this is all about. Even though Phoenix is great and touts some very competent, competitive Players, playing tennis in the Summer in Phoenix is nothing less than playing tennis in conditions that defy reason.
I recall playing a tournament at a facility called Mt. View Tennis Center, which is a wonderful place. It was in the dead of Summer where the temp rarely drops below 100° (but it's a dry heat) and aside from having to deal with your Opponent, you have to deal with moving your body from time to time. Some people can do this better than others and I fall firmly in the list of those who could not. For some unknown reason, I found myself in the Finals which was great except on that particular day, it was 112° and I swear my shoes were melting to the Court.
My opponent was a lefty whom I had previous encounters with and at last count, I was down a match against him so everything was moving in his column to win. It wasn't the competition that bothered me that day, it was that damn heat. I couldn't move my legs to the ball and I remember letting a few shots just go by to conserve energy. My thinking was, as long as I hold serve, I'll let it go all out in the Tie Break. That's a very very risky game strategy but when your skin is cooking so much that you could just pour steak sauce on your arm and eat it, how much aggression can one muster?
What is happening in Australia is in my opinion something that should be taken seriously and then corrected. And that (WHAT) is moving the Tournament to a time when the Temperature is not at it's peek point of misery. When the defending Champion has to default because the heat is too much to handle or even someone not being able to compete at their very best level, is bad for business. We have only four Grand Slam events per year and two are just not scheduled that assures the very best play we want to see from the very best Players in the World.
The Australian Open should be move to the end of February
Wimbledon should be moved back at least another two or more weeks from the French Open to allow our Players better preparation from the Clay Season. Essentially we must decide what we want, is it all about money or should it be about seeing the best Tennis possible?
That's my argument, what's yours?