Serena Williams’ coach Patrick Mouratoglu has urged the tennis authorities to liven up the sport with controversy or risk losing fans.
Mouratoglu was at the heart of 2018’s major tennis talking-point when Williams erupted with anger after being accused of receiving on-court coaching during the US Open final.
However, far from being remorseful, Mouratoglou believes tennis is in desperate need of more such incidents.
“We have to live in our century and tennis is very much behind other sports,” he told Metro.
“I’m talking to the big governing bodies around the world to try and change that because we need to, it’s the moment. If we don’t do it now it’s going to be too late.’
“If you look at the figures, the average age of the tennis fan is 62 years old. If we don’t do it now, it’s too late.”
Australian Nick Kyrgios is perhaps the one high-profile player in the world with a genuine reputation for courting controversy and, although he is condemned within tennis, that is far from the case elsewhere.
When told about a non-tennis fan who is happy to watch Kyrgios, Mouratoglou said: “It’s the same for everybody.
“And why? Because Nick Kyrgios is giving to people what tennis doesn’t give to them. It’s simple.
“It’s time to realise that tradition is fantastic but if because of tradition and only tradition you lose everyone it’s less fantastic so you have to keep some tradition to this sport of course but you also have to live in your century.
Hawk-eye has also failed to escape Mouratoglou’s ire.
“I think Hawk-Eye is a mistake, too,” he added. “It shouldn’t be ok.
“Again, no controversy. Before, [John] McEnroe was crazy. It was great. We had fun. Now, “oh the ball is out, okay”. Flat.
“Technology is great, it’s fantastic. But come on, we don’t want everything to be flat.
“Hawk-Eye is a mistake. No coaching is a mistake. Code of conduct is a mistake. Big mistake. Big mistake.
“Let people be themselves on a tennis court, then people have a chance to get to know them, like them, and dislike them.”
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