Navratilova, Becker, call for smaller rackets
Martina Navratilova, Boris Becker and John McEnroe have asked the world governing body of tennis to reduce the size of tennis rackets.
Updated: February 25, 2007 09:48 IST
Wimbledon:Several former Wimbledon champions including Martina Navratilova, Boris Becker and John McEnroe have asked the world governing body of tennis to reduce the size of tennis rackets. In an open letter on Thursday to International Tennis Federation president Francesco Ricci Bitti, a group of mostly former players said wider rackets had made the sport "unbalanced and one-dimensional". They said the more powerful, wide-bodied rackets had made players reluctant to come to the net and had encouraged baseline tennis. They suggested the racket width be reduced from the present limit of 12.5 inches to 9 inches "perhaps in stages over four or five years". "The objective for all of us must be the restoration of variety in the playing styles of professional players so that baseliners, serve-volleyers and all-court players have an equal chance," they said in a statement. "Please do not ignore this suggestion which is made by responsible individuals - former players and journalists who are professional observers of our sport". No players currently on the WTA or ATP Tour signed the letter. Other well-known former players to sign included: Stan Smith, Pete Fleming, John Lloyd, Tom Okker, Ilie Nastase, Neale Fraser, Pat Cash, Fred Stolle, Sue Barker, Guillermo Vilas and Vijay Amritraj. (AP)