Tennis spectators turning into rowdy, loud crowd

Lately, we are hearing more and more often how the atmosphere in tennis matches is changing and how the traditionally noble and respectful sport is slowly transforming into a ‘rowdy’ one, where crowds are nothing like before and they behave nowhere near how they used to behave. 

Tennis:  a sport with a strict etiquette 

Tennis is a sport with a very strict etiquette in all matters: from the dress code in some of the major tournaments (such as Wimbledon for example, with the ‘all white’ code) to the ‘echoing silence’ anytime the ball is on during a tennis match and from the tight, conservative and preserved behaviour of athletes when winning to the preserved and conservative behaviour of the audiences watching live a match unfolding.

It seems that for those who love tennis, their chance to be more spontaneous, more hyped, more extroverted and more free to fully express their emotions, is when they are betting on tennis in apps offering online betting Malaysia or any other part of the world. There is no etiquette there!

Tennis spectators and crowds are changing

But lately things appear to change. Spectators are no longer the quiet audience that they once used to be. They get to shout, behave “unacceptably” (at least in the eyes of those who want to sustain the strict etiquette of the sport), they are booing players, disrespecting athletes by calling them names and they are generally more rowdy. In fact they are now far from being silent and quiet. They are loud and noisy. 

And in breaking the traditional silence in the tennis court, they are becoming more and more like the fans of other sports, who are yelling and shouting and cheering all at once and all together. Some fear that tennis spectators are becoming more and more like the football fans, who are known for their aggressiveness while on the field. This doesn’t feel so strange now in the world of tennis when we get to see crowds being aggressive and rude towards players. 

What has been lost is most likely the respect for the sport itself and this might also be the result of the fact that people are witnessing players themselves being strongly irritated, hot tempered and over-aggressive towards each other and towards tennis officials. When the etiquette is not respected by the athletes themselves, it’s hard for the fans to follow the rules. 

Another reason is that tennis is becoming more popular and more mainstream than ever before, which means that it gains more fans who aren’t always respectful of its rules and expected behaviours. Some new fans don’t get to appreciate the strict etiquette in tennis and so they don’t even bother to consider the norms or conform to them. 

Most of the big names in tennis have experienced such rowdy behaviour on the court. From Taylor Fritz and Alexander Zverev to Stefanos Tsitsipas and Daniil Medvedev, all top seeds in the ATP rankings have been confronted with unpleasant behaviour from spectators. Of course some of them have their own bad temper, but the fans’ hot temper is not something that we are used to seeing. 

Noisy and rowdy crowd distracts players 

But in the end what a rowdy crowd does is distract players from their game and unfortunately distort the game itself while also lowering the quality of tennis as a sport.

Tennis has traditionally been a different kind of sport. One which is distinguished from all other sports, due to its noble, elite and unique codes of conduct and its clear and strict etiquette at the same time. If we are to remove all these from tennis, then we are not sure whether we are still talking about the same sport. 

Nobody wants to see tennis spectators turn into fans filling stadiums in sports like football. Nobody wants to see tennis transform into just another competitive sport, where the crowd can do anything they want with no self-control or preservation and ultimately with no respect. And certainly, nobody wants to see tennis go down this road. But what we are looking at right now is a deteriorating culture accompanying many tennis matches. 

Cover Credits: NewYorkTimes

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