1. Hire a commissioner: Tennis desperately needs a neutral authority figure -- unaligned with a tour, a management group or an alphabet soup organization -- to arbitrate disputes that too often turn the sport into one big international, dysfunctional family.
2. Require players to wear uniforms with their names on the back: This no-brainer has been floated for years, and thanks largely to bullying clothing manufacturers and avaricious agents, it keeps falling on deaf ears. In virtually every other sport, merchandising does wonders to popularize athletes and create free advertising on the streets -- think of all the Beckham jerseys and Yao Ming uniforms you see from Sydney to Saskatoon. A shirt, available to the public, that reads "Henin-Hardenne" or "Nadal" on the back would go a long way toward building brands and solidifying fan loyalties -- and enriching players.
3. Continue to promote combined events: One of tennis' great assets is a certain gender equity. Most NBA fans couldn't name five WNBA players. But it is rare the tennis fan who doesn't follow both the WTA and ATP. Apart from the economies of scale, combined makes sense for the fans, the promoters and television. Venus and Serena aren't playing? Well, Roger and Rafael are. Roddick and Agassi aren't in Europe? A shame, but Hingis and Sharapova are. And why the sport doesn't combine the year-end championships is an enduring mystery. As the tennis saying goes, one (men) plus one (women) equals more than two.
4. Apply a defib paddle to the Davis Cup: The competition is -- potentially anyway -- a terrific asset that is being wasted. Tennis ranks right up there with soccer as the world's most global sport, and it is ideally suited for a nation-against-nation tournament. Instead of getting the World Cup (or even the Ryder Cup), tennis' answer is a fragmented event with a schedule that manages to confuse even the most avid fans.
5. Control lame fan behavior: Institute a lifetime ban for any fan caught making a "love means nothing" crack. Same punishment for anyone attending a tournament dressed as a player.
6. End best-of-five-setters for the first week of Slams: The sport has never more physically grueling, the injuries never more varied and abundant. So what do the tennis solons do? They continue mandating that players compete in grueling best-of-five-set matches at majors. The fans don't particularly desire it, television doesn't desire it, the players don't desire it. And, most important, it's a hazard to players' health. The rationale is that best-of-five distinguishes the Grand Slams from other events. If so, here's a compromise: Play best-of-three for the first four rounds and then go best-of-five. You'll uphold prestige and gravitas, yet the players won't run themselves into the ground in the first week.
7. Crack down on injury timeouts: Time was, losing players would try to break their opponents' rhythm by switching tactics. Now there's an easier solution. Sportsmanship be damned, you feign injury and call a trainer to minister to your gingivitis or your ingrown hair or your nasal cramps. Sometimes you can even get a massage -- no advance reservation required! -- out of it. Your opponent will seethe and you might get back in the match. But be warned: She is sure to pull the same scam on you a few games later!
8. Create an All-Star weekend: Particularly for such a personality-driven sport, it's inexcusable that tennis that doesn't have some sort of annual lollapalooza. Just think of the skills competitions: fast-serving contests, accuracy events, high-speed tanning, complain-about-court-assignment-a-thons....
9. Make some space for a legitimate World Team Tennis schedule: This "leaguelet" is everything right about sports. It's family-friendly; it's affordable; it's unafraid to experiment; it's a throwback to those days when sports didn't take themselves so seriously. Never mind the economics or the calendar issues. There ought to be room under the tent.