The Masher weighs in on how she'd fix tennis. And can you really argue?
Send in the clowns
When I go to sporting events, I enjoy the entertainment that surrounds the game. Tennis fans never get that experience. Tournament organizers need to play music or invite dancers and clowns onto the court during side changes. It's too quiet during those breaks.
Don't let the dogs in
Everyone knows I love dogs (I have a Pomeranian named Dolce), but the players' lounge is not a vet's office. Players carry around their dogs in little bags and let them run all over the place. They put bowls of water on the floor, and it spills everywhere. It's a tournament -- leave the pooch at home.
Get rid of the riffraff
And while I'm on the subject: The players' lounge isn't a nightclub, either. It's hard to get ready for a match when there's a bleached-out blonde in six-inch stilettos and a denim miniskirt hanging out. Who is this person, and why is she here?
Quit while we're ahead
The WTA schedule is too long. We start in January and go full speed all the way through to the U.S. Open in September. Then we have to keep going until the Sony Ericsson Championships at the end of October. I'd end the season with the Open.
Plug in and plug us
I would use the Internet, Facebook and Twitter more effectively to market our sport, and I would make all the athletes participate. Raising the popularity of individual players raises the popularity of tennis.
Give on-court coaches the boot
I would ban all contact with coaches between sets. I'm sure when the male players see coaches walk onto the court during our matches they laugh.
Accept a good challenge
Now a player is allowed three unsuccessful challenges per set. Obviously, a player shouldn't be allowed to challenge every call, but if she is out of challenges and the umpire appears unsure, why shouldn't she be allowed to ask for a replay?
Don't hide the game face
While I was sidelined with my shoulder injury, I watched a lot of tennis on TV. Sometimes I thought, Why do these girls wear so much makeup? I can't even figure out how they keep their eyeliner from running. Athletes should play au naturel.
Ignore the pain
Limit on-court injury timeouts to two per season. I've asked for a trainer twice in my career, but I've played against girls who call for an injury timeout in every match. They're just buying time; it's laughable.
Once every two or three years, Wimbledon should let us wear something besides white. It would add a spark of fun to a very traditional place. Of course, style has its limits, so I would also…
…Recruit fashion police
In my tennis, a board would approve all outfits before players could wear them on the court. There are some tacky outfits out there!
Throw a surprise party
I'd create a tournament in which you wouldn't know whom you were playing or on what surface until the start of each round. You might get the first round on grass, the second on clay and the third on hard court. This is unrealistic, but it would be interesting.
What, no stance on grunting? Seems to be all the rage.
She also weighs in on the best and worst dressed sports personalities:
LeBron James, Cavaliers
David Beckham, LA Galaxy
Tom Brady, Patriots
Dwight Howard, Magic
Nastia Liukin, USA Gymnastics
Tiger Woods, PGA
Lewis Hamilton, Formula One driver
Dwyane Wade, Heat
Sean Avery, NY Rangers
Chris Fowler, ESPN anchor
Mark Cuban, Mavericks owner
Craig Sager, TNT NBA reporter
Charles Barkley, TNT NBA analyst
Radek Stepanek, ATP Tennis
Cristiano Ronaldo, Real Madrid
Michael Phelps, USA Swimming
DeAngelo Hall, Redskins
Ben Roethlisberger, Steelers
Amanda Beard, USA Swimming
Brad Gilbert, Tennis coach
No love for Fed? Calling out Radek and Jeebair? Dissing C-Ron and Amanda Beard?
Oh, Maria. We are so going to be best buds. You just don't know it yet.