I’m not sure whether you’ve heard, but there’s this Tennis tournament going on at the moment, it’s played on grass and is one of the most highly regarded championships in the Tennis calendar. It’s in a little ole place called Wimbledon in London. More famously known for litter picking animals named after rivers Wimbledon’s little tennis tournament has become rather a big thing…
OK, I’ll drop the ludicrous act. Wimbledon seems to be all anyone is talking about at the moment. My mum is talking about it, my friends, my aunt in Australia, my girlfriend, that pigeon that just flew past my window… literally everyone knows the players in today’s Men’s Singles final so there is little point in me even referencing them by name but it does intrigue me that every year the All England Club’s little championship becomes the talk of the world. Yet the most interesting thing of all is that for the rest of the year the vast majority of the droves cheering on Mr Murray in front of their TV sets this Sunday won’t have watched more than a few points of the great sport throughout the year.
So what is it about Wimbledon? I mean it is the exact same sport, played by the same competitors except on grass. The answer is really very simple, it is a kind of soap opera that happens once a year every year which only garners such fanatical following simply because of its rarity. It isn’t like other sporting events which happen regularly, like football for example, England’s exit from the Euros was as predictably early as ever and Spain’s victory was even less of a surprise; everything seemed to have happened exactly as the bookies predicted it. What is the fun in that? Wimbledon has proved an exciting and unpredictable tournament to watch this year (as ever) and why? Because we saw world no#2 Nadal exit the tournament in an incredible match against 100th seed Rosol, we saw Maria Sharapova (World no#1) lose in similar style to another relatively unknown player Lisicki who then went on to lose to a competitor who then lost in the next round. Wimbledon seems to be the only sporting event that has these sorts of remarkable upsets and I think that is what makes it so enjoyable.
I think the most important thing about Wimbledon, to me at least, is that it is very English. Possibly the most English sporting event in the year, it’s something we can all support properly and knowing that a Brit (even if he is a grump Scot) is playing – and actually has a good chance – makes it all the more exciting.