Brad Gilbert has a beef with tennis rules or lack thereof regarding the serve

Gilbert took to social media after Coco Gauff's win over Paula Badosa to air his grievances
2023 WTA Finals - Day 6
2023 WTA Finals - Day 6 / Clive Brunskill/GettyImages

Brad Gilbert has been around the game of tennis for a long time, as a player, broadcaster, and coach. When he talks, people tend to listen though they may not agree with his opinions.

He has a beef with current tennis rules and aired his grievances on social media on Monday after his player, Coco Gauff, defeated Paula Badosa in the Round of 16 at the Italian Open.

Whether his words change the rules at some point remains to be seen.

What Brad Gilbert said

Gilbert's specific issue is with the server tossing the ball to begin the service motion and then catching it. This seems to be a problem with the women because men rarely do this. Men tend to have higher tosses, bigger motions, and faster serves so it is odd that they deal with the toss even if it is not where they wanted or expected it to be and proceed with the serve.

Gilbert thinks repeated catches of the toss slow down the game, defeat the purpose of the serving clock, and are disruptive to the opponent's concentration. The serving clock goes off when the player is in the service motion; it does not resume or restart with a caught toss.

As expected, people can see both sides of his argument. Those who agree with him think there should be a cap on how much a player can do this within a game or set or some stipulated time. Others do not believe the WTA would take that type of action so at a minimum, the player should be penalized for delaying the game if they continue to engage in this behavior or charged with a fault.

Dissenters of Gilbert's opinon point out that the wind and conditions change from game to game in a tennis match, and if the players need a practice toss to assess the conditions, they should be afforded that opportunity.

In reality, the players are not assessing the conditions. They catch the toss because it is incorrect and likely to be called a fault when the serve is completed.

Do you agree with Brad Gilbert that the caught tosses in the women's game should be eliminated because they slow down and degrade the game?

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