Tiafoe says tennis fans should be given more freedom at matches
American Frances Tiafoe said tennis should loosen its strict rules governing the behavior of fans attending matches to help attract a younger audience.
According to tennis etiquette, fans should not make any noise during points and should only move to and from their seats when players take a break during the change of ends.
“I think fans should be able to come and go and move around and speak during matches,” Tiafoe told Forbes.
“Imagine going to a basketball game and not saying anything.”
Tiafoe told the magazine that certain events like Wimbledon should retain some tradition but “outside that, let’s start to change things to bring younger fans to the game.”
At last year’s U.S. Open, Tiafoe electrified the New York crowd during his win over Rafa Nadal in the last 16 en route to reaching his first Grand Slam semi-final.
There he further endeared himself to the fans when he battled eventual champion Carlos Alcaraz for five sets in front of a sold-out crowd that included former First Lady Michelle Obama.
It is no surprise then that the 25-year-old from Maryland said that the comparatively rowdy atmosphere at Arthur Ashe Stadium in Flushing Meadows makes it his favorite court to play on.
“There is nothing like Arthur Ashe at night,” he said.
“Arthur Ashe period, but Arthur Ashe at night. New York at night, everyone’s drunk and the atmosphere, it is crazy.”
Fan-favorite Tiafoe will be in action on Friday in the second round of the Miami Open, where he is seeded 12th.