Tuesday, July 3, 2007


It seems this is the week for rants. I had anticipated writing breathless reports of the goings on during this most sacred of all tennis tournaments and discussing the play on the surface some see as the only legitimate on on which to play tennis.

But noooo. I'm writing rants. Instead of posting pictures of a player making a fabulous shot I'm posting pics of fans sitting alone in the rain praying that some god, somewhere will hear and that the rain will simply go away.

There are two things affecting the Euro Slams as someone somewhere called them. Lack of lights for night time play and, because they're played on natural surfaces, being beholden to the weather. I do hope the folks in charge at the AELTC are installing lights to go with their new roof. They are aren't they?

When I first started this blog one of the first things I wrote about was the workings of the British class system in tennis and how it has affected Britain's status. This week, in front of the whole world, well that part of it addicted to tennis anyway, what is wrong with British tennis has been on full view.

To say this has been a debacle is putting it mildly. About Wednesday of last week when the forecast made it look as if that guy in the harbor building that large boat, and the mother duck were on to something the question arose about play on Middle Sunday.

What can you say about people who, when faced with a weather forecast that showed rain, rain and more rain after Sunday hold to tradition and say "WE don't play tennis on Middle Sunday." This harks back to the time when on Sunday's people went to church and then gathered for large family dinners. Sound like anyone you know? I didn't think so.

As if that wasn't bad enough they then proceeded to schedule women's matches - best of three mind you- ahead of men's round three matches even as the top half of the men's draw started fourth round play.

I should warn you that I grew up in the sixties so I see conspiracies under every rock but you have to ask are they stupid or is there a method to the madness? If the already proclaimed GOAT wins this will he have to deal with the asides saying that he didn't win fair and square since his opponent, whoever he is, has had to play five matches in four days? Just as there are people who say Serena was faking in the third set the hype machine will go into full gear. No way he could control the weather they'll say. Luck of the draw they'll say.

Some fans are already talking about the 2003 US Open and it's lingering effect on men's tennis. Andy Roddick's win has never been seen as legit by some fans since his opponent staggered into the final playing back to back to back while Andy had had some days off in between. From where I sit it looks like the same scenario is going to be reenacted at SW19.

One of the talking heads, not sure if was on ESPN or NBC, mentioned in passing that plans are underway for the men's final to be held on Monday. A friend of a friend who knows someone's uncle's cousin twice removed says they're thinking to be finished by Tuesday. Uh-huh.

The current situation is only a surprise for the members of the AELTC. Most of us check weather.com if planning a major event or if we're just going to hang with friends. I guess the internet is too new fangled for that lot.

I do think they've heard of the BBC. Their weather page makes it simple for those who are still analog in a digital world. They put up a graphic showing rain, sun, clouds, etc. Here's the graphic for tomorrow and Thursday.

BBC Weather Graphic

Tuesday final looks just about right.

As I write this it looks as if play is over for today. You have a men's match that has now lasted four days. Maybe this is part of the vaunted Wimbledon tradition, I don't know.

I do know that whoever wins this, at least on the men's side, should have an asterisk next to his name for all time.

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