Wednesday, April 22, 2020

On not watching tennis

This isn't my first time to not watch tennis. There was a period, after the Graf-Seles era, when I grew tired of watching and moved on to other things. Gradually, I was lured back in by Martina Hingis, and--also gradually--my fixation with women's tennis became stronger than it had been before.

Several years ago, I decided to severely limit my ATP viewing because I refuse to watch players who consider me inferior because of my gender. This eliminates my watching some of the top (and sadly, most popular) players in the world, as well as many others. (The all-around bigots--the ones who are racist and anti-LGBTQ--repel a lot of viewers, but the sexist ones always get a pass--but not from me. So no Rafa, no Novak, etc.)

I also can't get too interested in Tennis Channel's summaries of recent years and recent tournaments; I'm happier when I don't listen to most of that group. And there are few matches that I want to re-watch, at least, in total; I'm just not a re-watch kind of person, though--once in a while--I'll take a look.

It's sad, though, to have no live WTA matches to watch, and to have no majors to which I can look forward. I don't care for Wimbledon, but I'm sorry, for the players' sake, that it was canceled. I'm sad if any major is canceled. I know that the French Open--my favorite of the four majors--is scheduled, but I'll believe it when I see it.

It's good that lower-ranked players are going to get some financial relief. It isn't easy, being a journeywoman. There is relatively little compensation for all the hard work, and there are so many expenses. This long haitus could break some players' careers if no relief is provided.

I sometimes marvel at the stamina of the tennis journeywoman: She has to travel all over the world, just like the higher-ranked players. Sometimes, she can stay in the homes of fans, but she can't count on that. She has to eat well and do her best to stay healthy; no physio staff travels with her. She has to have a coach. If she's lucky, a competent family member is available It can be a tough life.

For many years, professional tennis players have had to deal with viruses that run rampant through certain tournaments, or with food poisoning. One of my hopes is that the current health crisis will create a climate in which the players' physical health can be better protected in the future. I think especially of players whose health is already somewhat compromised and hope that things can change.

I'm using what used to be my tennis-viewing time to do other things--write more poetry and do more yoga. Tennis viewing gets in the way of my starting some new activities I think I might like, but when the tour resumes play, my best guess is that I'll get hooked all over again.


yonex said...

I have also tried to not watch tennis any more but i am unable to do that.

Diane said...

I hear you. Now that these invitational events are being held, I do watch some of that action. Looking forward to the one that's going to be held in Charleston in June.