The Coman Tiebreak

By Jim Cummings
Editor, Friend At Court

The John B. Coman Tiebreak was formerly known as the Balboa Tiebreak or the Experimental Tiebreak.

For years, John Coman from Southern California championed the then called Balboa Tiebreak. John died in December 2003 and USTA, in recognition of a lifetime spent devoted to tennis, decided to remove the designation "experimental" from the tiebreak he fought so hard for and name it in his honor. A fitting tribute to a real gentleman. He was everything that is good about tennis.
The Coman Tiebreak is the same as the present tiebreak except that ends are changed after the first point, then after every four points (i.e., after the 5th, 9th, 13th, 17th points, etc. It really is easy to explain because all anyone has to remember is the number 14. Change ends after point 1 of the Coman Tiebreak and every 4 points thereafter. Everything else is the same.

For example, when the set score is 6-6, the player whose turn it is to serve shall serve the FIRST POINT FROM THE DUECE COURT; after the first point, the players shall CHANGE ENDS and the following two points shall be served by the opponent(s) (in doubles, the player of the opposing team due to serve next), starting with the AD COURT; after this, each player/team shall serve alternately for two consecutive points (starting with the ad court), changing ends after every four points, until the end of the tiebreak game. IN DOUBLES THE SERVER WILL ALWAYS SERVE FROM THE SAME END OF THE COURT!

Principal Advantages:

1. Fairness – By changing ends more frequently, the effects of the elements (sun, wind, etc.) are distributed more evenly between the two opponents as opposed to playing six consecutive points before changing ends.

2. In doubles, the server will always serve from the same end of the court, rather than having to serve from both ends.

In Nebraska, we have been using the Coman for the 2007 season and have really been pleased with it. With the old tiebreak, you could be looking into the sun or hitting into a stiff wind for 6 points......what a disadvantage that can be!! How many times have you lost a match because you were down 6 love in the tiebreak? With the Coman, the elements are distributed equally.

It also helps keep track of whose serve it know on which side of the court you served from and thats where you'll serve every time with the Coman.

“Try It, You’ll Like It”

No comments: