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Tony Grist

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Wimbledon: Opening Day [Jun. 23rd, 2009|11:13 am]
Tony Grist
The absence of Nadal devalues this year's Wimbledon. There is one great question hanging over world tennis right now: who is the greatest player of all time: is it Federer or Nadal? A tournament in which these two giants fail to come together is less interesting than it should be.

I watched/slept through a lot of tennis yesterday. Much nationalistic fuss was being made over the British debutante Laura Somethingorother- who was defeated- easily- by one of the lesser Eastern Europeans. The commentators were saying how magnificent she'd been. No, she hadn't. Going out in the first round at Wimbledon isn't magnificent- even if you are only 15. Magnificent is what Serena Williams was doing an hour or two later. It would be great if Laura goes on to be an all-time tennis great, but she's nowhere near it yet. Give the girl a break. Let her have space to breathe.   

Nationalistic fuss is better justified (if nationalistic fuss is ever justified) in the case of Andy Murray. Murray is a convincing world number three. Sooner or later he may even win a Grand Slam.  But for the time being he's merely a challenger to greatness- and I do wish we'd pipe down about him. Do other nations get as aerated about the winning of sporting trophies as we British do? Are the Swiss as gung ho about the incontestably great Roger Federer as we are about nearly-nearly men like Henman and Murray?
Finally: There seemed to be an awful lot of falling over yesterday. Is the grass more slippery than usual?

[User Picture]From: craftyailz
2009-06-23 11:03 am (UTC)
I put your grumpiness down to your ill health. Laura Robson, wasn't easily beaten - it went to 3 sets. We know she's not got the strength/build of Serena Williams, but she's doing okay. We are only a small island and shouldn't expect to have 'stars' in minority sports like tennis - but we often do. Laura is also defending her junior title, I'll be keeping my fingers crossed for her.

Go back to dozing and I'll wake you up when one of the Williams sisters comes on!!
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2009-06-23 11:37 am (UTC)
Grumble, grunge, grump....
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[User Picture]From: ingenious76
2009-06-23 05:23 pm (UTC)
In all fairness, Murray does deserve some of his hype - he has won a grass court title, something Henman never did. And lets face it, the fawning over Murray is more justified than over Henman (average) and Greg Rusedski (who was not only average, but "British" due to a mother who had left the country at the age of six months. )

To be frank, I'd like to see Murray go a long way. Seventeen years ago, a 22 year old who was a nearly nearly man won Wimbledon. His name was Andre Agassi.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2009-06-24 08:42 am (UTC)
I've been soured by the years of Henmania. I found it desperate, bordering on abject, that we insisted on piling so much unreasonable expectation on that poor man's shoulders. He was a charming, elegant player- aesthetically pleasing- but never the stuff of which champions are made.

I don't want us to go down the same route with Murray. Of course, if Murray actually starts winning slams it'll be a different matter. I agree that he has greater potential than Henman ever showed.
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