Larger Tennis Balls Can Solve Increasing Aces

May 5, 2011

Unlocking Word Meanings
Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

1. ace (n.) [eys] – in tennis, the first shot of a player which his/her opponent misses
Example: The top tennis player won the game with an ace.

2. rally (n.) [ral-ee] – in tennis, it is an exchange of several shots before a player wins the point
Example: It is boring to watch a tennis game with very few rallies.

3. physique (n.) [fi-zeek]  – the structure or form of the body
Example: An athlete’s strong physique is advantageous.

4. dull (v.) [duhl] – to make something boring or unexciting
Example: Long speeches usually dull a party.

Read the text below.

As tennis players become more and more competitive, it is possible that more aces will cut the games shorter.  

Only a month ago, 6foot-10inch Croatian player Ivo Karlovic served the ball at 156 mph, breaking the 155-mph record held by American player Andy Roddick.

Better racket designs plus the skills and physique of players like Karlovic might cause players to win tournaments by multiples aces and fewer rallies.

Because of this, the ITF proposes the use of larger tennis balls which move slower and bounces higher making it easy to keep them inside the court.

In 2002, ITF introduced balls 6% larger than regular tennis balls to be used for leisure games. But the ITF also saw this as a solution to having more rallies in professional tournaments.

Though aces in games have not yet increased since 2002, ITF claims the average service speed is increasing which may prompt them to use larger balls.

Senior tennis players who played using the larger balls disliked the idea because larger balls may dull their game. ITF also admits that using larger balls may tire players easily as they exert greater effort to hit the balls.

Viewpoint Discussion
Enjoy a discussion with your tutor. 

Discussion A

·         Why do you think some consider speed in games exciting?
·         What other factors makes games challenging aside from speed?

Discussion B

·         Do you think technology changes the way sports are played? Please explain your answer.
·         What are the advantages and disadvantages of using advanced technology in sports?

May 5, 2011