Tennis News: Novak Djokovic, Ben Shelton and Ksenia Efremova

  • Djokovic discusses the future of tennis
  • Shelton starts poorly
  • Efremova does something not done in 20 years

Chris Hyde/GettyImages
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What will the future of tennis look like? What should it look like? Does the sport need to change any to keep growing its global brand?

Many of us (and I am assuming you are a tennis fan because otherwise, you might have ended up on the wrong site while looking for rugby or something) like tennis as it is. The sport is the way we have watched it for years, but, according to Novak Djokovic's recent comments, there are studies showing the average age of a tennis fan is closer to retirement age. That's not good.

Tennis is great exercise that anyone can play. One might wonder if pickleball has taken some attention away from the real sport, however. But Djokovic does have strong views on the future of tennis.

There have been rumors of an "elite" tennis league, potentially backed by Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund, taking the place of the ATP and WTA. Where there's money, players will - and should - follow. After all, they play the sport to earn a living.

Novak Djokovic loves tennis but thinks it needs to adapt

Novak Djokovic recently played an exhibition in Saudi Arabia recently against Carlos Alcaraz. While there has been discussion about the country hosting several tournaments in 2025, the tennis great says he is not aware of what might be happening with that. At the event, Djokovic spoke about what might happen with tennis in the future.

Djokovic said, "I'm generally always supportive of improving the sport. I have said this many times before, that I think that tennis is not using its full potential. We are one of the most globally watched and popular sports in the world, but I think that we have been quite conservative and conventional in certain aspects, and that unfortunately hasn't really been a great appeal to the younger audience."

Whatever happens with the future of tennis, we can bet Novak Djokovic has a voice in that. As he should.

Ben Shelton bounces out early

After a very good first full year on the ATP tour, Ben Shelton was likely hoping for a great start to 2024. That didn't happen, however. He lost in the first round of the Brisbane International to Roman Safiullin in three sets. Fafiullin was brilliant with his first serve, landing 88 percent of them. But Shelton maintained his inconsistency with 22 unforced rrors.

Shelton has all the potential to be the best American player in a long time. His serve is enormous. But he needs to learn patience and consistency. Otherwise, he will aways be good, but never great.

Ksenia Efremova wins ITF tournament at just 14 years old

Efremova had to defeat the No. 1, No. 4, and No. 5 seeds on her way to claiming the W15 event in Monastir, Tunisia, but not only did she do that but she didn't drop a set during the tournament. She became the youngest champion of an ITF tournament since 2003 at just 14 years and 8 months. Now the Frenchwoman will travel to Australia to try to win the Australian Open junior title.

Who should doubt her either? She has now won 12 straight matches. She definitely has the potential to be an important player on the WTA tour one day.

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