A Date with Wimbledon

Posted: June 25, 2012 in sports

I’ll watch more tennis during the next two weeks than the remaining 50 weeks all together. I consider myself the typical casual tennis fan. That means I watch Wimbledon.

Wimbledon is to tennis what the Masters is to golf; the Kentucky Derby is to horse racing; the Olympics are to a bunch of sports. Generally speaking, casual fans have little or no interest in some sports yet we watch them with some passion for one event.

To the contrary, I’m a golf nut and will even watch a Nationwide Tour event. Hell, I even find myself watching a Champions Tour event. Worse, I can totally get caught up watching the rerun of a British Open played 40 years ago.

But the Masters is special. It is No. 1.

When it comes to tennis, I catch a few highlights of the various tournaments and maybe read the match results in the newspaper.

 Except for Wimbledon.

Like the Masters is to casual golf fans, Wimbledon is unique and loaded with tradition – from the grass courts to the strawberries and cream; to wearing all white and the Queen.

For Wimbledon it doesn’t matter that I can’t tell one “kova” or “pova” or “ovic” from another. Well, that’s not true. I could spot Maria Sharapova in a crowded airport, but that has nothing to do with tennis.

I guess my interest would increase if there were more American contenders. With the Williams sisters in the twilight of their careers and Andy Roddick continuing to not live up to expectations, tennis is second only to soccer for its lack of American star power.

Still, when Wimbledon approaches I find myself remembering the greatness of Connors, McEnroe, Ashe, Sampas, Smith, Evert and the Williams sisters.  It isn’t must-see TV but it has my interest.

And so I’ll watch — although the scoring system still confuses me. Love? What the hell has love got to do with tennis?

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