Sunday, July 7, 2013

Is the painful 117-year Scowimblian drought about to end?

This is from Ethan Grant at the Bleacher Report -

"When it comes to Sunday's matchup, Djokovic and Murray are no strangers to staring each other down on opposite sides of the court. As noted by Live Tennis on Twitter, some of their matches have been legendary...

The duo last squared off at the Australian Open final, where Djokovic bested the Brit in four sets to win the first Grand Slam of the 2013 season. In doing so, Djokovic ran his head-to-head record against Murray to 11-7.

The lone meeting on grass, though, did go in Murray's favor.

The pair met in the semifinals at the Olympics, and Murray won in electrifying 7-5, 7-5 fashion. He also beat Djokovic in the 2012 U.S. Open final, but Djokovic has won the last three matches since.

Like the 77-year English drought at Wimbledon, expect that streak to end on Sunday."

Hmmm. Now I must admit that I haven't been closely following the girls' doubles, or the boys' singles, or the over-45s' invitational doubles, so I suppose it is just conceivable that some kind of 77-year "English drought" at Wimbledon will be ending today. But that sure as hell won't be happening in the men's singles final, which is being contested by a Serbian and a Scot. On the plus side, though, Andy Murray does have the chance to end an even longer drought than the presumably imaginary one suggested by Grant - he stands on the brink of becoming the first Scowimblian singles champion since Harold Mahony in 1896. Indeed, Ireland arguably have a stronger claim to Mahony (although he was born in Edinburgh), in which case Murray could be the first authentic Scowimblian singles champion ever. So quite a moment.

* * *

I have the same thought almost every year - why is the women's singles final not played over the best of five sets, rather than three? It's such a big setpiece occasion, and yet more often than not it's over before it's even started. Even an attack of nerves as dreadful as Sabine Lisicki's would probably have eased by a third set, and we'd have had a chance to see what she was really capable of.

It's become taboo to say anything at all in defence of the very small differential in prize money that existed between men and women at Wimbledon until a few years ago, but arguably that was a perfectly rational way of reflecting the fact that the men's champion plays far more sets of tennis en route to the title. I don't really understand why the push for equality focused solely on prize money and not on the number of sets that women play, because the latter point is surely far more important in shaping public perceptions of the women's game.

I suspect the objection would be that five-set women's matches would wreak havoc with the tournament schedules, which may be a fair point - but it still isn't an excuse for leaving the final as a three-setter.

* * *

It was refreshing that it was Garry Richardson rather than Scowimblian superstar Andy Murray that took most of the brickbats for that excruciating interview on Wednesday, although it baffles me that Richardson is still in his role of post-match interrogator after years on end of treating us to his Partridge-esque repertoire. It's also surprising that nobody (as far as I've seen) has referred in recent days to his encounter a few years back with Anna Kournikova, which was probably even worse and earned an on-air rebuke from John McEnroe. The fact that Richardson's fellow interviewer Phil Jones is such a consummate professional just brings his own shortcomings into even sharper relief.

* * *

Were the TV commentators just being diplomatic, or did they really not notice that the engraver had made a monumental blunder by failing to leave a space between 'M.' and 'Bartoli'?


  1. For years the fembots moaned about being PAID less than the men. They ranted about the equal PAY act. But now they all stick to the same story that it is PRIZEMONEY and not PAY so it's perfectly fair to discriminate against the men. Feminists make me sick.

    Especially when V Williams claimed that she felt like a slave due to only trousering £1,200,000 instead of £1,400,000. Revolting!

  2. Also the quislings and cringers justifying the treatment of Scots by the english pussycats against Australia reach new depths of cringing.

    Scotland has no players good enough to be chosen to beat Australia despite beating Australia home and away. And these people have a vote! Vomit!!!