I like to pride myself on being a pretty tolerant fellow, although you know what they say about pride. But every year in June I get this annoying feeling. It might be hayfever, it might just be I expect the sunshine and summer, yet it rarely turns out that way. Or, it might have something to do with something lurking and emanating from SW19 in London.
Yes, the Wimbledon Tennis tournament
So, in honour of this wonderful (sic) event, I offer you ten things I hate about Wimbledon and tennis in general.
- A person can score more points but still lose. You might need to sit and work that out for a minute or two, but it is more than possible.
- I can find myself being easily sucked into watching a game. This is counter to all my other points and I believe it to be some form of black magic, even though they only allow tournament entrants to wear plain white. It could be that the endless whacking of a ball over a net to be a form of hypnotism. Whatever, it is a paradox that I can sit and watch a game, despite how I feel about it. Therefore it must be some form of trickery and skullduggery and more than likely magical, even if it is white magic.
- The only time the English like the Scottish is when one of those chaps from north of the border becomes quite good. I mean, even Monty Python did a sketch about Scotland and tennis.
- That stupid clapping the crowd do, when one of the players makes a challenge and the video plays.
- Sue Barker. I think she has a picture in her attic that reveals her true form. No one can still look that young.
- It might be the fact that I still, rightly or wrongly, see Tennis as a rich person’s, private tennis club, type sport. Charge that to the Underhill’s account.
- The crowd making those stupid ‘oohs’ and ‘ahs’ and then laughing at something comical that isn’t funny at all. It’s probably the same crowd who go along to Michael McIntyre gigs.
- The crowd, or people in general. Sorry, that shouldn’t be here. I should not allow general introversion to rule my lists.
- Games don’t have time limits. They can be over in two or three sets for the ladies, three or five sets for the men, and the sets can take anything from a very short time to a very long time. I want ritual and liturgy.1
- Wimbledon is just so terribly British. Strawberries and ice-cream. The Royal Box. Penalties for racket abuse.2 Queueing. No play on the middle Sunday (unless there has been a lot of rain, and then it is called ‘People’s Sunday’ as if the rest of the tournament is for… well, I’ll leave you to fill that bit in. I mean, come on Britain, did punk rock never happen?
So there you have it.
I’m off to find my hayfever tablets and no doubt get sucked into several tennis matches that I don’t want to watch and couldn’t care less about who wins.
If I keep writing like this, I’ll end up working for The Guardian.
1 I also crave nonconformity but not in Tennis
2 Yes, I know that racket abuse is a universal tennis law and not just at Wimbledon, but if you are really taking this list seriously I suspect you quite like tennis.