I have not blogged in awhile. There is a reason for this. I have had it up to here with tennis fans. They are without a doubt spoiling the sport for me.
Earlier this year I ranted about the everlasting complaints from players about the heat in Australia, to then hear about why there is no roof at the French Open, to now why there is no play on Middle Sunday at Wimbledon, it is enough to make me want to choke someone. I am sure by the time the US Open rolls around and we start having rain delays or hurricanes and tropical storms passing through, we will again hear the cries of why does the US Open have no roofed stadiums. Let me tell you why, because the tournament is built on swampy ground and it cannot accommodate a roof. There, reason and explanation out of the way and it is only June.
Here’s the thing. Wimbledon has been around since 1877. That is 137 years now. There are some things that are not going to change about The Championships, Wimbledon. These are in no particular order:
1. There will be no play on the Middle Sunday. It is traditional. It is not going to change no matter how many rain delays and no matter how much the tournament gets backed up. Deal with it. Find a book to read on that Middle Sunday. Go visit friends, relatives. How about cleaning out that closet that you have been meaning to do. In short, find something to do instead of yapping about why there is no play on Middle Sunday.
2. It is going to rain. It is the English summer. There is no getting around it. You have a problem with the rain, go talk to God.
3. It is an outdoor tournament. It is not meant to be played under a roof. The fact that there is a roof is a benefit to about 6 players in the tournament. If your favourite is not one of the lucky ones to get booked for Centre Court, oh well, shit happens. He/She probably did not deserve to be there anyway.
4. There is a curfew. Play stops when play stops. There will be no tennis played under fluorescent lights. When the day’s play is called, tennis ends. Since you are about 6-7 hours ahead, it means that you have a lot of daylight left in your day. How about doing something constructive, like read a book, visiting friends and relatives, take a nap. Just go do something.
5. It is tradition for all players to wear white. Not off white, not cream, not anything that maybe could pass for white. It has to be white. Ladies (and yes, I don’t give a shite about calling them women), your dress, including your underpants and sports bras are supposed to be white. You have a problem with that, go talk to Roger Federer. Federer, if you will all recall won 7 Wimbledon titles. At last year’s Championships he wore orange soled shoes. He was told by the AELTC to change his shoes. Some of his more demented fans think that is the reason why he lost. My point is this, if Roger Federer could be asked to change his shoes because it broke the all white rule, why do you think you are exempt from being told to wear white bras and underpants? This is equality at its finest and no bloggers and outraged tennis fans, it is not fucking sexist.
6. Finally, there is never a good time to call a match due to bad light. If you are a fan of the game of cricket (another game at which the English used to excel, much like the West Indies) test matches are played in all white (yeah, it is not only tennis folks). At any point in time during a Test match, the umpires have the right to call the match due to bad light. It is not up to the players, or someone sitting a thousand miles away to infer, imply or generally second guess tournament officials as to when to call play. They can’t hear you and even if they could, do you think they give a shite? It is The Championships after all.
One of the traditions that I have always loved about Wimbledon, is seeing both players walking off court together after the match. This tradition seems to be going the way of everything that is traditional about this tournament. It was brought home even more forcefully to me when Serena Williams lost. After losing to Alize Cornet, Serena had her bags all packed and was waiting for her opponent to finish her joyous celebrations (she lost in the next round by the way). She eventually had to tap Cornet on her shoulder to signal to her that she was waiting on her so that they could walk off together.
None of the commentators on my stream or on the television made mention of that. Alison Riske after being beaten by Sharapova, basically ran off the court (she took the time to tweet about her match seconds after losing so clearly she just could not wait to get to her phone) after her match.
There are some players and fans who do not understand the history of the sport, and these are the ones who do not appreciate the traditions of the sport. The people of Wimbledon Village give up their privacy, peaceful and quiet lives for the benefit of us tennis fans. The only thing that they ask of us is that of the 2-3 weeks that the tournament sees thousands of people descending on their little village, is that they be allowed the Middle Sunday. Is that too much to give to people who open their homes and their hearts to us? How is that so difficult? Why must we bitch and moan about this every single year? It really needs to stop.