Tennis Manager 2021 is for all lovers of tennis, but especially for those with an interest in the technical side. You can expect detailed tabs filled with every bit of information, vital or otherwise. Players to keep happy and fit, and a board to impress.
This summary might be what you’d expect from a sport management simulator. However, if I look at a more general manager, like FIFA’s career manager mode. Then Tennis Manager 2021 stands out with how in-depth it’s systems are. Even if you can’t play the matches yourself.
What Kind of Manager Will You Be?
You start out by choosing a Tennis academy, management style and experience level. This gives you attribute points for different areas of expertise in both training and management. You might want to start as a solid communicator who can motivate your players effectively. Or perhaps you’ll role play as a retired star aiming to guide up-and-coming players with your sick backhand and spin techniques. Tennis Manager even gives you the opportunity to create your own academy. Of course this option is for the experienced and confident.
As one would expect you’ll be in control of every aspect of your academy. From players and staff, to press conferences, facilities and finance. But while you may be in control you have people depending on you and people to answer to.
Everyone Wants Something
Your coaches and trainers rely on you to place them in positions where they’ll be the most effective. And to divide up responsibilities evenly so that no one is overworked. Players have goals and ambitions, and they’ll need your guidance to achieve them. They’ve also got contracts for sponsorship deals you can oversee. But above all is your key player. This is the star of your academy who leads the way to winning big tournaments and increasing both the revenue and reputation of the academy. They’ll be your main focus and you’ll be spending the majority of your time working with and thinking about them. Of course, all players will need your attention, but the success of your key player is one of the most important aspects of the season.
And then there’s the board. This group, headed by the board director will also set a handful of seasonal goals for you, from reaching a set financial balance, to recruiting and improving players.
You’ve Got Options
There will be a lot of tabs to switch between and a lot of things to keep track of. The tournaments each of your players participate in should be chosen carefully according to their skill level and surface type. Planning training beforehand and between is also important. You want your player to improve each week, but at the same time do not want to overwork them. There are preset training routines, but Tennis Manager allows you to be very specific about what you’ll be doing every session.
You can also switch up your player’s game plan according to their opponent. Exploiting their weaknesses and employing drop shots, spins, or approaching the net when the opposing player is less comfortable with that. While you can only set other players’ game plans before a match, if you so choose. You watch your key players’ matches live and can adapt to an opponent’s style mid game.
As your key player is your biggest focus, you’ll be attending all of their matches. This allows you to read an overview of their opponent and their style and adapt your plan accordingly. Before the match begins you offer some advice, or motivation for your star. However, once the match has begun your work is not finished. You are in control of their intensity levels when they serve, return, and play key points. If their opponent is giving them trouble you can then change the game plan or edit specifics to get things back in your favour. There’s also the option to talk to your player, calming them if they’re getting frustrated or congratulating a well-played set.
Not About the Visuals
These matches can be fairly enjoyable to watch, but they’re not very pretty. You won’t be treated to any particularly pleasant visuals or crowds. The focus is about the management of tennis, and the live matches are so you can guide your key player more realistically. Outside of matches though, the UI for Tennis Manager is very clean and a pleasure to navigate. Nothing is confusing or difficult to find, there are useful help tabs and in this regard it works really well.
Unfortunately you won’t find any music to accompany your career. So you might want to get a playlist or podcast going and have that be your own personal soundtrack.
Overall Tennis Manager 2021 is an in-depth sport management sim that will definitely appeal to both tennis lovers and lovers of sport sims. If you’re looking to play tennis you might be better off elsewhere. But if the technicals are your cup of tea, then jump right in