I used to love watching Wimbledon. Of course the operative part of that sentence is ‘used to’ and for good reason, in my opinion.
When I was much younger and the tennis clogs consisted of ‘plus four trousers’ for the men. No I’m kidding, I am not that old, at least not yet. I guess I am really talking about the 70’s and 80’s. If you are old enough you know what I am talking about here.
I am thinking about the ‘characters’ that used to grace the grass courts at Wimbledon.
John McEnroe with his vitriolic outbursts at the referees and his ‘potty-mouth’ ramblings about everything.
Jimmy Connors, the world of tennis’s first ‘bad boy.’ He was there before McEnroe and there was always that thing he had. maybe, with Chris Evert .
And about Chris Evert, was she the first ‘girl next door’ of the tennis court? I think she was.
Billie Jean King the outspoken proponent for Women’s Rights.
Martina Navratilova who although she only retired from the ‘singles’ game recently was the first female player that even men didn’t want to face on the court.
And the entertainers like Henri Leconte who loved the crowd and they loved him right back. Henri was a performer, a clown who knew how to get the most out of an audience. It was a sad day when he stopped coming to Wimbledon.
Bobby Riggs was another entertainer. Who can forget when he played Billie Jean King. He wore a dress for the occasion and lost. Another crowd pleaser was Bobby.
I have to also give an honourable mention to Andre Agassi, he was the last of the ‘showmen’ who knew how to play to the crowd.
The young people have lost that spirit of entertainment. They no longer play to the crowd, they focus instead on ‘faster-than-light’ serves and on Ace-ing their opponents.
Their personalities, when they have one, are almost devoid of humour.
I know that I have left out some of the other ‘entertainers’ of Wimbledon yesteryears and I do apologise. If you have a favourite player that you miss seeing, let me know.
You also might not agree with my assessment of today’s tennis players.
Again drop me a line.
I could be wrong.
But in closing I will just say, “You cannot be serious!”
- Wimbledon pigeon-scarer stolen (bbc.co.uk)
- Olympic tennis headed for Wimbledon (seattletimes.nwsource.com)