The good, the bad and Sue Barker
A LONG overdue list for The Sporting Chameleon.
Quite simply the ten best and worst things of Wimbledon 2009.
1. The final. Admittedly it was an out and out serveathon and managed to be simultaneously tense yet quite dull, but any match that ends 16-14 in the fifth set is a classic. This was everything a final should be and provided a great champion.
2. Andy Roddick. This generation’s Goran Ivanisevic. Should be taken to the hearts of sports fans everywhere. An absolute warrior that did not deserve to lose and his post-match interview was the perfect blend of humility, wit and heart-break.
3. Tim Henman’s transformation into a half decent commentator. If only Andy Murray can now be made into a passable TV personality. Murray has got to start thinking about his retirement – there’s a comfy seat next to Sue Barker with his name on it, if he does not mess it up.
4. Murray v Stanislas Wawrinka. Everything top quality sport should be. A passionate crowd ferociously cheering on their man, with a a gutsy underdog playing at the top of his game and Eastenders bumped onto BBC2.
5. Laura Robson’s plait. Without it there may be a slight inkling that it was OK to fancy her, but as only 15-year-old girls wear plaited ponytails it was the reminder I think we all needed that for a few years yet she is still the wrong side of legal.
6. The re-emergence of Lleyton Hewitt as a force in world tennis. Although he retains a touch of sociopath with his demonic, high-pitched “come on” yelps and I struggle to take any man seriously who persistently wears his cap backwards, tennis is much healthier with Hewitt at the business end of tournaments.
7. Roddick’s wife. Apparently Roddick fell for Brooklyn Decker after seeing her in Sports Illustrated magazine. I have fallen for many women after reading Sports Illustrated, but have never convinced any of them to marry me, so kudos to Andy for that.
8. Roddick going to the wrong end at the beginning of the third set in the final and having to be called back by the umpire. Made me chuckle.
9. The realistic reaction to Murray’s demise. The media opted against the “he’s useless”, “he’ll never win anything” response that Henman received (although as it turns out it was right), instead favouring a more helpful “he only lost by a few points”, “his time will come” approach.
10. Henman Hill finally fighting off the challenge of Murray Mount to become the accepted name of that bit of grass with the big TV screen.
1. The absence of Rafael Nadal. Would Federer have won it if he was fit? We will never know, but it would have been great to watch.
2. The weather. At Wimbledon it always rains and the BBC has to play endless re-runs. So they build a roof. And it doesn’t rain. The public demand some roof action, so they even pull it out for Murray v Wawrincka when it’s not raining. Now how quickly can we get roofs on Sophia Gardens, Lords, Edgbaston, Headingley and The Oval to ensure it stays dry for the Ashes?
3. Women’s rankings. That Serena Williams can hold three grand slams and not be the world number one is ridiculous. That the current number has won none is even more so.
4. Federer’s wife not giving birth courtside. Would have made great TV.
5. The performance of the British, American and Australian men, Murray, Roddick and Hewitt aside. For the simple reason that they host three of the four slams, tennis needs these nations to be stronger.
6. Federer winning. I have nothing against the Swiss, he seems like a nice chap and is a great champion, but it would have been nice to see him lose. The only people who I know supporting Federer also support Manchester United. Coincidence?
7. The general performance of the women. The standard is supposed to be getting higher and Elena Dementieva gave Serena one hell of a match, but Venus winning her semi-final 6-1 6-0 is not a glowing endorsment of the strength in the women’s game.
8. The constant use of the towel, as though it is a comfort blanket. Almost all players now search for their towel as soon as the point is completed. If all you have done is serve an ace, exactly how sweaty have you got?
9. Federer’s Sergeant Pepper jacket. It was telling that when he collected his trophy – e.g. when he knew a lot of photographs would be taken – he removed it.
10. Murray not winning. He misses out on his guaranteed knighthood (aka the Chris Hoy approach) and it means Jenson Button may as well take the BBC Sports Personality of the Year trophy home now, but on the plus side the British public doesn’t have to pretend to like tennis all year around.
Written by Andrew Brook
July 7, 2009 at 8:12 pm
Tagged with Andy Murray, Andy Roddick, BBC Sports Personality of the Year, Brooklyn Decker, Elena Dementieva, Goran Ivanisevic, Henman Hill, Jenson Button, Laura Robson, Lleyton Hewitt, Manchester United, Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, Serena Williams, Stanislas Wawrinka, Sue Barker, Tennis, Tim Henman, Venus Williams, Wimbledon
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