A tennis lover from New South Wales is taking his faster, more inclusive version of the sport to the United States.
Merimbula tennis coach James Poso has been developing Ten15 tennis for three years and will tour it around Florida in mid-April.
Ten15 involves eight players, or eight doubles pairs, playing off in a first to 10 points round robin.
There are 15 matches in the 2.5 hour tournament, and anyone can play.
“I guess what makes it different to anything else is we’ve managed to get older players and ladies competing with men,” Mr Poso said.
“It’s gender neutral and there’s no age limit, so everyone can play against each other.”
James Poso has been working on his version of tennis for three years. (ABC South East: Lisa Markham)
The game also gets rid of the two-serve rule.
“Playing tennis for the last 35 years, I never understood why the inventors of tennis went with two serves. Lots of other sports have only got one serve,” Mr Poso said.
“Only having the one serve does make it a different tactical battle and you get some surprise results.”
Push to bring in fans
Ten15 also has a different atmosphere, with Mr Poso calling it “anti-Wimbledon”.
“You’re more than welcome to talk during the point. There’s a DJ with music playing. You walk out to your own entrance music,” he said.
Mr Poso hopes his format can bring people across who do not normally watch tennis, in a similar way Twenty20 cricket has brought in new fans.
“I’m a tennis tragic and I like the way that tennis is and all the history and etiquette,” he said.
“But I definitely think there’s a big market for people who might find tennis a bit boring or a bit slow.”
Game started off as fundraiser
Mr Poso first came up with the game for a fundraising tournament.
After his sister died from breast cancer, he wanted to hold an event to raise money for the Breast Cancer Foundation — that is why Ten15 uses pink tennis balls.
The Florida tournaments will keep the charitable spirit alive, with half of the prize money going to a charity of the winner’s choosing.
Mr Poso contacted the US Tennis Association on a whim after he saw their #maketennisfun campaign, then met with representatives at the Australian Open in January.
“Florida is a great place to launch something innovative because they’re really up for it,” he said.
Mr Poso said talks with Tennis Australia had been a dead end because the body had only recently committed to and invested in Fast Four tennis.
The Ten15 pilot series is already booked up, with five events starting April 15 and touring around Florida.