Have the US Open Solved the Biggest Dilemma in Tennis?
April 1st saw a barrage of social media accounts putting up unfunny April Fools posts and cluttering up our timelines. There was only one that stood out, a tweet by the official US Open account.
BREAKING: The US Open to add puppies to the ballperson team at the 2019 tournament for the first time.
The tweet above stuck with me throughout the day and as I woke up to sunshine streaming through my window, I had an epiphany, they're absolutely right. The US Open should stick with this April Fools gag and install dogs as ball people in this years tournament. In their attempt to get a few retweets they may have stumbled across the answer to solving the biggest dilemma in the sport; how to replace Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic.
This era of tennis will go down as the best in history with three players excelling and create iconic moment, after iconic moment. Federer's classy backhand, Nadal's power and Djokovic's guile, but what will be left of the sport when they retire?
The day hasn't arrived yet but it's strange to think of the sport without that trio. The tour's young stars look promising but maybe tennis will need to find a new way to entertain their audience. Maybe tennis will need dogs.
No, stick with me. I am deadly serious. If a dog can help somebody across a busy road or detect drugs at an airport, then I say, get them involved. We trust canines to sniff out explosives, so surely we can trust them with bright yellow balls.
As you the video above shows, this has been done before, with an exhibition in Brazil use stray dogs to collect balls. Watch that clip and tell me it isn't brilliant.
Outside of the top three, Nick Kyrgios is the most exciting player on the tour, he's a maverick, just as likely to hit a miraculous shot as he is to lose his cool. There aren't many ways to make a player like him more exciting but add a dog to the mix and the results could be sporting gold.
Children are great, they're the future leaders of this country and they are good at passing tennis balls to players, but they lack the x-factor. There is no stardust, no chance of something wild happening, it's all just a little too predictable and efficent.
I will go as far as to say, that if the US Open were to boots ballpeople to the curb and introduce ball dogs, then the viewing figures would increase. Higher figures mean happier advertisers, which in turn increase profits, it makes sense from both a viewers and business perspective.
Not only that but imagine the sponsorship opportunities, dogs having brand names emblazoned on their coats, coats that could then be sold as merch for dog owners around the country. It's a win-win.
As doomsday looms over tennis, and retirements draw ever closer, the US Open have stumbled across the best way to keep us all entertained. They just need the courage to see this April Fools prank though and if they don't then we need to hound them until they do.