Wimbledon fortnight is great, but it could be better, and not just by dumping the ladies’ events.
Of course equal pay cheques for the winners in men and ladies events is absurd, not because of the effort required to win longer matches, but because the entertainment on offer in the mens’ game is vastly superior.
The outstanding match between heroic Heather Watson and super Serena Williams was the exception that proved the rule.
There’s a reason why Lionel Messi’s pay packet is greater than Lucy Bronze’s. In fact there’s a reason why Marcus Maddison’s salary is bigger than Bronze’s and for the same reason Novak Djokovic should earn far more than Serena.
Even the lesser male players offer more excitement. There’s no equivalent of Alexandr Dolgopolov or Dustin Brown to put on a show in the ladies singles.
Equality supporters suffered a blow when the ladies were offered 10-minute heat breaks in the middle of one of their 35-minute matches whereas the men were expected to battle through extreme London temperatures.
I also can’t wait for the day when an umpire shows some courage and deducts points for the ugly grunting from the likes of Maria Sharapova and Victoria Azarenka.
There is a hindrance rule in tennis which was used against Andy Murray recently when he spoke out of turn during a rally. The pig-impersonators need to be punished as well.
Wimbledon is one of the few sporting jewels in the BBC portfolio and their blanket coverage of the tournament is appreciated, especially when the peerless John McEnroe is in the commentary box.
McEnroe is not afraid to speak his mind, issue criticism, poke fun at himself and you listen because he was a tennis great himself.
Compared to the nonenties and half-wits employed as football pundits to state the bleeding obvious, McEnroe is a genius.
If the beeb would just stop their endless between-rallies, shots of the royal box and the coaching areas, and scrap that pathetic post-day hour hosted by the over-rated Clare Balding, their coverage would be near faultess.
Believe it or not I’d rather see Murray on my screen than Bruce Forsyth.
Mind you at least Forsyth doesn’t shout inanities at every opportunity like some dolts on the show courts. He saves his for Strictly Come Dancing.
That irritating habit seen every week on USA golf courses has transferred to tennis crowds and it’s unedifying.
For every ‘get in the hole’ shouted by the gormless sports fans found Stateside. there’s an irritating ‘cmon, Andy, Tim, Roger’ from some Hoorah Henry at Wimbledon. It’s boorish not funny.
Most of the hooping and hollering at Wimbledon has been coming from the Australian oafs in the crowd. It’s so loud, rude and stupid I though cricketer David Warner had turned up.