Sporting Life

On-court coaching dilutes tennis' pure one-on-one beauty

It's not like we go around shouting "Tradition, Tradition, Tradition" like Tevye in Fiddler On The Roof, but let's say when it comes to sport I'm part of a fussy tribe. We think interviews before tennis matches are banal, golf fans who shout "in da hole" should be indefinitely incarcerated and cheerleaders in cricket is plain wrong. In short we're happy to consider a criminal law against dumbing down sport.

We admire football managers but a mix of George S. Patton and Plato they are not. We believe data is stifling instinct and congratulate the LPGA on creating a new rule which disallows caddies from standing behind a player and lining them up. That's just a fundamentally individual skill.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on October 21, 2018, with the headline 'On-court coaching dilutes tennis' pure one-on-one beauty'. Print Edition | Subscribe