You know when for no real reason and without knowing much about the subject you just decide that you don’t like it almost sub consciously for the sake of it and then realise after a bit of time that it’s actually extremely good? I’ve had this with many things throughout the many years of my life; Nightmares on Wax, Detroit Swindle, Gorillaz, Arctic Monkeys (although that was Humbug’s fault, being generally such an annoying album), Robert Browning, Harry Potter, crack and now Tennis! A sport which I previously slagged off as the annoying cousin of Squash. So I’m just going to go through a few of my thoughts at this stage of Wimbledon 2015 having watched it for the first time this year. Discovering tennis has made some kind of impression on me.
I’ll begin with the positives. Tennis is very aesthetically pleasing to watch, especially when the sun begins to set. The bright yellow balls, the aces, chiselled calves, the head bands, the wrist bands…
I also love the POCK, POCK, POCK of the tennis balls. The speed of serve impresses me very much and how that much power is achieved through a relatively simple motion. Then perhaps more impressive is how players return them so often. I can only imagine what it feels like to smash an aggressive across- court forehand with another aggressive across-court forehand with a racket as high quality as the professionals’ inevitably are and on a surface like that. Good probably.
I love how much people back the under dog. And there was perhaps the biggest giant killing of the tournament through the slaying of Rafael Nadal thanks to the intricate and determined racket work of a certain Dusty; of whom we can all agree is a fantastic character for the sport. I was extremely entertained when he decided to skin up in between a set and spark up a large spliff during the match. Only joking, this would have been illegal.
I was impressed by K Anderson this tournament. Going two sets up against the world number one. I watched him at Queens also and he strikes me as a peculiar character and an almost inhuman one. I’ve not really seen him express him any emotion or personality but he’s a perfectly good sportsman. I heard that he resides in LA now, despite his South African heritage. He’s just moved to LA to do tennis, play tennis and to become a tennis machine. He basically is just a big old tennis machine. And good on you Kevin. Better luck next year.
And like all sports tennis is full of characters not all so wholesome as figures like Kevin (above). I watched Kyrgios and he struck me as a very talented young player, although very irritating purely because of the amount of attention he draws upon himself. Walking onto court with his pink beats in his ears and playing matches in those massive diamond rocks in his ears Smashing rackets during the game and what have you. He’s only twenty though; I’m sure he’ll grow up a bit soon. He’s just trying to create a persona for himself, athletes who do that rarely ever actually fulfil them and ‘tennis player’ doesn’t seem to correspond to the persona that he is trying to create. The press have given him an absolute battering it seems and perhaps unfairly. He also attracted some very irritating Australian supporters who were loudly chanting absolute dross throughout the match which I was surprised was allowed to continue. “Hey Micky you’re so fine” all that kind of crap. You don’t get that shit at the crucible.
Oh yes and I absolutely can’t stand the ball boys. The tradition is so hideously archaic and drives seemingly innocent children to behave in a peculiarly robotic and servile way. I mean I know they probably enjoy it and want to and everything but Hell Jesus are they irritating to watch. What a childish and obfuscated perception of the world they must have. What are they thinking when they do this crap? Weird ball boy shit probably. Blame the parents I say. Bloody ball boys.
I don’t know if you are a tennis fan but I was watching Karlovic play Dolgopolov in a match which went on for an extremely long time due to a combination of Dolgopolov’s refusing to lay down and Karlovic’s evil service game. Karlovic and Dolgopolov were deep into a rally, playing to two clear points in the final set and Karlovic slips over and loses the point. He then decides to take 0.00001 seconds to gather his thoughts and relax for a moment and placing his racket inches to his side before a very irritating child appears holding the racket in front of him, paused like a statue. This super efficient racket service served Karlovic only as a means of rushing Karlovic to get to his feet. I found this weird and unnecessary. This isn’t the kind of child I would have been likely to have hung out with when I was a young boy.
I mean, I agree with preserving traditions but what I don’t agree with is the downright lionising of celebrities, royals and athletes. They are just humans, they don’t need our sycophantic cuddles to massage their already impenetrable egos. Parliament, the Monarchy, private education, all these hideously outdated tools of hierarchy construction must either adapt to the modern world or be abolished. And Wimbledon too must adapt and change the ball boy system, it’s doing the world no good. It’s an irritating facade. Get machines or prisoners to do that kind of work, don’t take advantage of children for the purposes of collecting your redundant balls when they are no longer needed.
Speaking of this lionisation of human beings who don’t do anything particularly admirable in order to obtain their position… Andrew Castle comes across as an utter moron in the way he commentates. He seems like all he wants to do is jump into a warm bath of tennis with Murray which is fine in a homoerotic sense but all he seems to talk about is how good he is at tennis and in such a grandiose and excessive way. Over and over again. It makes me think; What do you want Castle? Come on Castle, just tell us what you want!
Every shot Murray pulls off is described as ‘sensational’ regardless of whether it goes in or wins a point or not. The opponent is very rarely given praise for their play even if they win a miraculous point or break their opponent. All we get is commentary talking about how Murray has ‘dropped off’ or whatever. Expect a very long, very gay biography to be written by Castle called The Angelic Scotsman; On and Off Centre Court or something like that.
With regards to Murray I think he’s reasonably likeable in many senses despite the aggro he may get from certain people although I wouldn’t get behind him any more than any other tennis playing Joe, from any other country. He’s perfectly nice on camera but I heard that whilst she was a waitress he asked my old science teacher to ‘feed her his desert’. But I’m not going to hold it against him now. He’s a bloody good tennis player and that’s the only time I’m ever interested in the man- when he’s on court. (I’ll be eagerly watching him play Federa today, which I predict Andy will lose) I bet he’s probably actually very dull and uninspiring in real life like most athletes almost categorically are. We always tend to see them through fantastical eyes and create attributes and personality traits that only exist through our own dubious perceptions. Murray’s just a bloke who plays tennis- I think we are all happy to leave it at that.
The women’s tennis I confess I haven’t watched that much. Although I really hate it for the noises a few of them make and it spoils it for me really and takes my mind away from the tennis that is being played. Azarenka really got on my nerves and Sharapova as well. When you’re a woman tennis player and you go up against Serena you might as well go home. Whatever you do don’t actually play the match and groan all the way through like a fox in the night. That would be a bad thing to do.
Despite all these annoying things I think I would review the tournament positively over all and I’ll being watching the rest of it keenly like a falcon through a sniper scope. It’s no wonder it attracts the likes of Becks, Jose, Bear Grylls, Lallana, Jon Snow and many others to get down there and watch. But still, even like football; it’s just a sport. Sometimes full of greatness and awe but also human error and therefore irritation and disappointment. Not to be taken too seriously.