Sunday, July 7, 2019

The almost-annual "I hate middle Sunday" commentary

I hate Wimbledon's middle Sunday. I do recognize that for members of the media, it's a very good thing--a day of rest, doing laundry, etc., and I'm glad for that. But for those of viewing the event on television, it's a drag. Sunday is a day when most people don't have to go to work; they can actually stay home and watch tennis. But there is no tennis.

Also, if there's a day of rain, the tournament is then not one, but two, days behind. And then there's the matter of Manic Monday. Because of the blank middle Sunday, we're stuck with Manic Monday, when viewers have to watch matches that should be played consecutively, but instead, are--to some extent--played at the same time.

I've never understood middle Sunday from a tournament planning viewpoint. But then, there's little about Wimbledon that appeals to me, so just add that to the list.

At least on this middle Sunday, we were able to take a break to watch the USA win the World Cup. (Now can we please name the other one the Men's World Cup?) And for those so inclined, it's also the final day of play at the Thornberry Creek LPGA Classic.

And on the positive side, it was watching Wimbledon that got me involved with women's professional tennis. I was a very young woman, staying at my uncle's house in London in the summer. The television was on and the tournament was in progress. No one else in the house was watching, but I was captivated by Evonne Goolagong, and was thrilled when she won the championship. 

I have never bought into the myth that Wimbledon is the "greatest" major. First, I don't believe in the "greatest" anything. But if forced to rate the majors, I certainly wouldn't put Wimbledon--with its long history (oh, pardon me--tradition) of sexism and its tendency to get so many things (including the champions' names) wrong. Getting ridiculously dressed up in very hot weather, serving strawberries and cream, and having a royal box does not a great tournament make.

There may be no play today in London, but you can watch these highlights from 1971, when Goolagong won her first Wimbledon title:

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