Pro Tennis


Pro Tennis simulates tennis matches in the early 1980's, the era of Jimmy Connors, John McEnroe, Martina Navritolova and Chris Evert. Included are cards for 50 men and 50 women professionals. Each card has a column for "Serve", "Serve Return", "Volley" and "Special". Play consists of rolling dice (two white dice, plus a red die that isn't added to the others but sometimes changes the outcome) and cross-indexing the number rolled with the proper column. The result will be a point for one of the players or an instruction to roll next in one of the other columns. Once in a while, a player gets to make a choice that varies a column's results, and random events, such as stomach cramps, broken rackets, arguments with the umpire and thunderstorms, are possible.

To take an example, Connors is pitted against McEnroe. Connors has the serve. He rolls 1, 5 (white) and 3 (red). The dice roll is 15 (read the dice as digits, low roll first); the red is ignored unless it's a 5 or 6. A 15 in Connors' Serve column is "I", which means that McEnroe can return the serve. He rolls 2, 2 (white) and 1 (red) - a 22, which yields a "V" in his Serve Return column. Connors must now roll against his Volley column. He gets 4, 6 (white) and 5 (red). Ordinarily, a 46 would be a point for him, but the red 5 allows McEnroe to make a clutch return. He rolls the white dice (only). A score equal to or less than his Clutch Value is a V result; anything higher loses the point. McEnroe's Clutch Rating is 33. He rolls a 3 and a 6 - not good enough, and Connors is ahead 15-love.

Connors serves again: 4, 6 (white) and 5 (red). An ace for Connors; McEnroe doesn't even get a clutch return. 30-love.

The next Connors serve: 2, 2 (white) and 2 (red). Triples generate a random event. (Many players think that random events are too common and limit their appearance to rolls of triple 1's.) Connors rolls the two white dice: 3, 4. He's gotten into an argument with the umpire (realism!) and draws a warning. If he argues again, he'll automatically lose a point.

Back to serving: 1, 4 (white) and 2 (red). The result is "I". McEnroe's return: 3, 4 (white) and 1 (red) - a "V". Connors rolls 1, 2 (white) and 4 (red). A 12 on his Volley column is "S", which means that he returned the shot but left his opponent in a good position. McEnroe can roll on the favorable "Special" column. Sure enough. He rolls 3, 5 (white) and 3 (red); a 35 on his Special column wins the point. 30-15.

And so it goes.

This not a game for anyone who wants to devise winning strategies. Rather, the players watch as the dice play. That is, however, the point of this kind of sports simulation: to project what would happen if real athletes competed in imaginary matches.

The game also includes rules for doubles, mixed doubles and matches between men and women.


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