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Opinion

Tennis has lost its place in the sporting landscape

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Roar Guru
3rd September, 2020
1

The second Grand Slam is on right now, if you are wondering.

You wouldn’t even know it is on. The coverage for this year’s Grand Slam is horrible. In Australia, the television coverage for the US Open is on ESPN. It is only on one channel.

It feels to me the US Open is lost. It saddens me that Aussies like Alex De Minaur and Jordan Thompson who made the journey halfway across the world in these very trying times have had little-to-no coverage of their efforts so far.

Thompson is into the third round. No press conference, not even a highlight of the match has been shown. Moreover, it seems to be the US Open is an afterthought.

One factor is due to the fact the big names, such as Ash Barty and Nick Kygrios, who create headlines across the world aren’t there. Also not to mention Rafal Nadal and Roger Federer are not playing either, so the tournament is only headlined by Novak Djokovic and Serena Williams.

It is alarming that tennis coverage has dropped in Australia. The US Open timeslot has been up for much debate for years due to scheduling and time zones. If you want to make the US Open relevant and give it own unique timeslot it deserves it needs to be at a prime time for all viewers especially in Australia, where tennis fans want to watch it at an appropriate time, not at 5 am.

By having it in the middle of the NBA playoffs and other sporting events in the US, it seems the US Open has lost its relevance in the United States and around the world. To make this more worrying the coverage of other Australian tennis players is lacking and you don’t hear enough about them.

There are more tennis players than Ash Barty and Nick Kygrios, such as Thompson and De Minuar.

Nick Kyrgios

(Photo by DAVID GRAY/AFP via Getty Images)

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Thompson is ranked 43rd in the world, which is quite impressive and is in the third round against Mikhail Kukushkin for what will likely be a victory. De Minuar plays Frenchman Richard Gasquet in the second round at 1 am Australian time.

You would not even know that this is going on if you are following the tournament. What a shame for De Minuar – if he wins or loses the coverage will be minimal. It highlights the tennis coverage on other Australian tennis players is a concern and drives the fact that the sporting media needs to be diverse in all sports coverage, not just cricket and Aussie rules.

What I find strange is the US Open is not on free-to-air television. It would be a perfect time to give people something different from watching Aussies rule,s which I think even die-hard fans will get bored of.

Finally, if tennis wants to be apart of the Australian sporting landscape all year the coverage needs to be provided on all platforms because it seems the game is in the wilderness of the sporting landscape.