With tennis legends Pete Sampras and Andre Agassi at his side, President Barack Obama declared a state of emergency yesterday, and announced the formation of a task force designed to save professional tennis in the United States. The program, called Foundation Of Our Tennis: Fixing America’s Unconscionable Losing Tradition (FOOT: FAULT) was initiated via executive order as a result of America’s dismal 1-9 performance on Day 2 of the French Open. In those ten matches, American players won just four total sets. Worse yet, the lone American winner, Sloane Stephens, advanced by defeating her countrywoman, Venus Williams.
“My fellow Americans, we’re here today because there is a crisis that threatens to gore America’s very spirit with its horns,” Obama said. “Foreign affairs, the environment, the Truth In Fortune Cookies movement… they all pale in comparison to the issue that really matters: American dominance in sports. I know, I know… we have the whole ‘We’re #1′ thing pretty well in hand; I’m pretty sure the so-called professional basketball players in other countries are just fulfilling their phys-ed requirements. But for the past decade, there’s been one sport where we haven’t been on top, or even close. That sport is tennis, and it’s my favorite sport. Well, no, I take that back. All sports are equally good, and to suggest otherwise is a form of sports-based oppression. But one of my several hundred favorite sports is tennis. And let me be clear: Americans are as bad at tennis as my speechwriter is at coming up with similes! We played ten matches on a single day at the French Open, and we didn’t win a single one. Well, we did win one, but we lost that one, too! We’re so bad that we have to play against each other, just like Vice President Biden can only play Scrabble with Bo.”
“My aides have informed me that at today’s French Open matches, the following things happened,” Obama continued.
“Bethanie Mattek-Sands asked for clarification from the umpire on whether the ball was allowed to bounce twice, or only once.
Donald Young was so taken with the consistency of Roland Garros’ red clay that he brought a pail and a shovel on court, and tried to build a claycastle.
Sam Querrey spent his entire match recording a podcast on the Golden State Warriors’ guard play.
Nicole Gibbs skipped her match entirely to research whether the French kiss truly originated in France.”
“These facts are not acceptable,” said Obama. “Beginning today, the following steps will be taken to address this blight on America. All high-school debate teams, orchestras, and math clubs will be abolished. Their members will all be sent to tennis camps, where they will train for eight hours a day. There must be a few good tennis players among them, and even if there isn’t, the other things they were doing weren’t very important. Also, effective immediately, all tennis victories by foreign nations will be considered acts of terrorism. On a completely unrelated note, we have begun construction on a state-of-the-art country club resort in Guantanamo Bay. We hope it will attract some of the world’s greatest players.”
President Obama has appointed disgraced tennis player Wayne Odesnik to head the task force as United States Tennis Czar. “I’m excited,” said Odesnik, who received a 15-year ban from tennis earlier this spring after incurring a second doping violation. “It’ll give me something to do until I return to the tour at age 44. I’m going to have to put in a lot of work at the lab… I mean, the gym… but it’s going to be worth it. And I’ve always wanted to be the czar of something. I’d say my philosophy for improving American tennis would be… don’t suck, and take lots of my vitamin B12.”
The most recent American man to win a Grand Slam championship, 2003 US Open winner Andy Roddick, was critical of the president’s move. “It’s not going to work. You have to climb the ladder the right way,” said the current Fox Sports 1 analyst. “I’ve watched ESPN, our top ‘competitor,’ if you can call them that, try to dethrone us with quick fixes and cheap tricks. It’s not happening, guys. No one’s going to watch a blatant knockoff like ‘SportsCenter’ when they can watch the original ‘SportsMiddle’ instead.”
Across the country, various states, counties, and cities have criminalized failure to play tennis. One police department changed its motto to “Protect and Serve and Volley.”
Dustin Petzold is the editor-in-chief of Crooked Scoreboard and future United States Tennis Czar. You should follow him on Twitter.