Discipline and rhythm and mental gruel are just a few of the things that make tennis such a compelling sport. Two players blasting crosscourt forehands at each other until one of them finally blinks and throws in a down the line shot or a drop shot that could set one of them up with a winner—it makes you grit your teeth and clench your fists and all the other clichés about the physical manifestation of tension.
But there’s another side to tennis that—on the rare occasions you see it—makes you yelp from pure joy. That side consists of totally, completely unnecessary stuff like this:
Gratuitous tweeners and trick shots are a specialty of Nick Kyrgios, but this winner today at Stuttgart was especially nonchalant even by his standards. I love it! And he’s not the only player getting in on the fun. Here’s dapper head case Benoit Paire, also from Stuttgart today:
Make these kinds of shots worth two points. It incentivizes flair and forces players to calculate an extra dimension of risk. And it’s fun as hell. There are plenty of players out there already toying with these shots: A tweener winner from Dominic Thiem; a weird between-the-legs baseline forehand from Jack Sock; one of the best tweeners I’ve ever seen from Daria Kasatkina; a no-look, behind-the-back winner from Pablo Cuevas; Roger Federer many times over; Gael Monfils even more than that.
But I am greedy for more. Make trick shots worth two points.